In Texas, the Fight is Nowhere Near Over for Women’s Rights. In fact it’s now Game On


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


  1. Well said, Ms. Duncan;I completely agree. Blocking women’s progress and rolling back women’s rights wherever possible is a bizarre,coordinated attack nationwide. Also underway, a war on the poor, apparently orchestrated by the same people and organizations. Justice will eventually triumph, certainly, as the arc of history always wins. But this war will have to be fought at the precinct level, district by district and state by state. We will surely win, but only if we do not, in Clayton Williams’ words, lie back and enjoy it.


  2. In order for women to gain true equality, it has to be clearly seen how far we still have to go to even begin to be treated as equals. Women who have allowed themselves to support legislation that denies them equality, will have to be forced to realize the oppression this causes for all women. They have to see that it effects them, their daughters, their mothers, and sisters. Once our voices are united, there will be no fight. There will only be the female voting majority forcing those lawmakers out who do not support equal rights for all of their constituents.


  3. The weight of the realization that there are men, whole organizations of men, complete with women’s auxiliaries, out there with the goal of keeping women economically in subservient positions is a little hard to get my mind around. Part of me would like to think that the Republican Party in Texas is simply fanatically pro-life and anti-abortion, and thus the fact that their policies will lead to the shut down of Planned Parenthood and preventing millions of women from getting cancer screens, birth control, and a host of other basic healthcare services is simply the unintended consequences of their fanaticism. But I can’t help but suspect that not just a few of them are secretly getting off to the idea that working class women will go without basic preventive medical treatment. It’s not the forced female circumcisions in Egypt or the gang-rapes in India or the child prostitution rings of Southeast Asia, but it’s still an undeniable form of oppression. It’s like a dull thud to the head that this is going on in my country and in my state.


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