Monday, June 30, 2014

What do I Teach Her?

So today the Supreme Court basically ruled that women's health and rights are not only second to men's but that they are lesser than corporation's rights to discriminate against them. Women have always been second class in this country but now our rights are being actively stripped away from us. Rights we fought hard to gain. Yet women are the majority in this country, not only the majority but we make up most of the students graduating with degrees in this country and the majority of the workforce currently. We are overwhelmingly taking over this nation and yet we still make much less per dollar than a man makes, and all our rights are being stripped from us. We have to work 10 times harder than a man and get half the respect. Look at Hillary Clinton. She is one of the most driven and intelligent and strong minded politicians out there right now, and what does everyone talk about in the news? Her looks, her age and her upcoming grandchild. Really????
So here is my question as the new mother to a little girl... what do I teach her? What do I say when she asks why her brother makes more money than her. What do I teach her when she works twice as hard as her male classmates and her teachers overlook her? What do I teach her when she applies to a engineering college and gets passed over for a boy, or worse given the placement BECAUSE they need more women to look good? What do I tell her when  boys look at her for her chest or her behind and not because she has read more books than they ever will? What do I teach her when she asks why congress keeps taking away her rights?
Before now I only had a son. That in itself has been an interesting road because as you all know from previous posts he is a sweet sensitive boy who loves dolls and ponies and tea sets etc. I have spent 5 years fighting for gender equality as far as boys being able to wear pink or dresses or be who they want to be. Yet the gender discrimination against women goes much higher because it's not just that we push girls to wear pink or play with dolls.. it's that as a nation we have systematically over the last 10 years undone all the progress women had gained and rewound us almost back to the 1950's.
Now I have a daughter and right now she is a bundle or sweet breastmilk breath and soft downy fluff hair and the softest pink skin, but soon very soon she will be 10 or 15 or 20 and she will be asking me.. Mom why are women not as good as men? You always taught me that I am the same as my brother but why don't I have the same rights? What will I tell her then. What do I tell myself and women like me?
I guess I will say what I say to women friends and family. VOTE! Get involved and fight! Your sisters of the past were jailed, raped, starved and murdered to win you the right to vote. So use it. JUST VOTE! There may come a day when I will have to march for my rights along side my sisters and I hope that my sweet baby girl will march along side me. What's more I hope my son will too, because it is not just women that need to begin standing up for our rights, our brothers and husbands and fathers need to start standing by our sides as well.
Today the Supreme Court ruled that companies can deny women contraception, what rights will be gone tomorrow? Will you stand by and let it happen? What will you teach her?

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