Women who depend on men and on women who defer to men for their definition of self are not only not properly defined , they are also used and abused. This kind of deference to men has no value for women who want a world where they and their daughters can decide for themselves who they are, what they want to be, and what they do with their bodies.
And if that means that more women need to become more assertive and less deferential to politicians and religious leaders to make that happen, then more women should become more assertive and less deferential to those groups to make this a better America for themselves and their daughters.
But if any woman let politicians, pundits, and religious leaders convince her that any woman who demands equality in pay and the right to be in control of her person, her body, and her sexual health is not worthy of protection or respect, then that woman has given up the fight to make this a better place for herself, her sisters, and their daughters.
This kind of acquiescence to repressive socialization through politics and religion makes women and girls weak and enable men and boys to dominate and control their emotions and definitions of self.
To be sure, the irony does not escape me that I am a man telling women what they should do. but I believe that men who love women, respect women, and live without the need to control women should speak out. And while this post is directed to women, it's message is not restricted to women,but also to all the men who love women for all the non-sexual ways that men love women.
In this political season, with its mass of divisive issues, every American has a responsibility for helping America decide in what direction the United States of America will take in its treatment of women. We submit the following statements as reminders of what lies ahead of us and behind us.
1. A man's need to feel superior to women doesn't begin and end with other ethnic groups and lower economic groups. It begins with the women in his own group.
2. Men who constantly refer to women as sluts and whores will never love you as much as you would like him to. Nor does he deserve to be the father of your daughters.
3. God never commanded women to be submissive to men. Paul, in his letter that was first sent to the church in Ephesus said: "Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife...Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything." In that same letter, however, Paul also said: "Slaves, be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart as to Christ." Both these have been oft quoted by religious men for reasons which should be obvious. Doesn't make them right.
4. A South Carolina senator suggested that Fetuses are victims. Women who have been sexually assaulted are not.
5. To be sure, even America's white grandmothers and great grandmothers had to fight to make beating them illegal. But today the GOP worked to weaken the violence against women act and even expressed a willingness to tolerate some domentic abuse.
6. Any woman who feels morally right to deny other women control over their bodies and sexual health care do so because they think the horrors that require it will never happen to them.
7. Christian women should remember that Jesus Christ did not wage a war on women, abuse women, hate women, or deny them their rights because he deemed himself morally superior.
8. Your white grandmothers and great grandmothers had to fight to get the right to vote. Today you have to fight to get affordable health care.
9. Whether you admit it or not, there is a war on women in these United States of America. And anyone who thinks that the conservative right can continue its assault on women and America remain a great nation is delusional.
10. 75% of civilians killed in war are women and children.