The current action in the Texas legislature to pass legislation that will shut down most clinics in Texas that provide legal abortions clearly shows that a minority with a radical religious agenda insists on taking away a woman’s legal right to make her own healthcare decisions or to have access to needed medical facilities.
Women around the country are incensed by the callous way in which voices dissenting from this religious radicalism have been quashed, from the truncating of Wendy Davis’ historic filibuster to the confiscation of tampons and mini-pads from women entering the Texas Capital Building.
But the fight is much bigger than Texas—and not as obvious as what is happening in the Texas legislature. The attack on women and women’s rights has gained traction in the US over the last decade thanks to people like Rush Limbaugh, Pete Santilli, Fred Mecklenburg, and a long list of others. Even CNN’s coverage of the Stubenville rape trial was disgustingly weighted to show sympathy for the rapists.
We still make less on the dollar for the same work as men; we still pay more for dry cleaning, cars and car repairs than men; we still do more of the housework even when we are also breadwinners; we still are the most common objects of sexual harassment on the job. And, that is just looking at the US.
In other parts of the world, we are assumed to have no souls and thus are not really human; we have our clitorises brutally removed so we will not enjoy sex and thus be faithful to the men who can be as unfaithful to us as they please; we are kept from education so that we can never threaten the supposed superiority of men; we are tossed out to die by our parents at birth because they want a male heir; we are commodities whose only value is the ability to sexually satisfy men—even when we are only three or four years old.
So yes, what is happening in Texas right now is appalling, but it is just one glimmer in an avalanche of blinding ignorance about and prejudice against women. As for Texas, the fight has just begun.
— Billie Duncan / guest editorialist and Texas correspondent for Here and Sphere