A hot topic in both 1966 and 2016 has been that of abortion and women’s reproductive rights. The time period between 1966 ad 1976 saw great change with women finally obtaining the right to have control over their own bodies. One might think that that would be the end of the issue. But it was not.
This year’s election has brought the issues of Planned Parenthood, reproductive rights, and mainly abortion back into the light. In a town hall earlier this year, Donald Trump said that if he becomes President he would consider some form of punishment for women who terminate an unwanted pregnancy. Trump’s running mate Mike Pence tried to pass a law in his home state that would force women to have funerals for not only aborted fetuses but also miscarried fetuses. While this law was blocked by a federal judge, the views and efforts of these men, who have a very real chance to become two of the most powerful people in our country, parallel the issues in our society as a whole.
In an effort to stop this regression in women’s rights, a group of women from Pence’s home state of Indiana created a campaign in which they emailed and called into his office to update Pence on their menstrual cycles due to his ‘concern for their bodies and reproductive systems’. This reminded me of the NOW movements of the past. While the women in Indiana used newer forms of technology, their commitment to raise awareness and have their voices be heard was reminiscent of former feminist movements.
I think feminist today need to follow the example of the NOW of the past and the Indiana women of the now. Change will only occur when women, and their male allies, force politicians and more importantly the public to listen to them, because people must first listen to be able to understand. Once society understands that there is a problem, and that they are contributing to it, they can realize that they have the ability to decide to contribute to the solution instead of the problem.
Sunday, October 9, 2016