Why would any woman ever choose to be a mother? Why would she even want to be a woman for that matter? Have we completely lost our minds in regard to how we see women? The disrespect and vicious rhetoric being directed at women today is unbelievable. Watching this three ring national circus today you’d have to question if someone were a masochist for even considering motherhood. So where did this lack of respect come from?
The fact is that historically women have been given few choices by society’s rules. I highly recommend a book called The Kennedy Women if you want to understand the systemic brainwashing of women. It traces the Kennedy women’s generations back to Ireland and the social brainwashing and deprivation they endured in convent schools while the boys were sent to secular schools so they could learn how to function in the business world.
Reading that one book gave me a better insight into the paradox of the Kennedy men than everything else I had seen and read. Rose Kennedy was respected until the day she died because she never broke society’s rules, even with her husband, so she didn’t have to be punished. Most people probably don’t know that it was her dream to go to Wellesley and she had a brilliant political mind but her family forced her into convent schools in France so she would accept the life of suffering women were taught to expect as their due. It’s what enabled her to not even cry publicly when she buried so many of her children.
Women are still socialized to be pretty, quiet and soft-spoken and never let a man touch them…and if they do for mercy’s sake don’t enjoy it or don’t admit they do. That has been the social reality for women since the dawn of time and if they dared step out of that assigned role they were to be punished harshly and most often for the rest of their lives. They still sneer about Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem how many decades later? They want other women to fear being free so they must be punished if they speak up.
It’s why Sarah Slamen was dragged out of the hearings in Austin when she tried to speak. Take a minute and watch how she was treated for speaking up. It took four big burly Texas cops to remove one small woman from the hearing? What was her crime? She spoke truth to power and refused to be silenced. How long will it be before women are actually imprisoned again like Kate Richards O’Hare was in 1919 for making an anti-war speech? Oh but women are being arrested in Raleigh, NC, as we speak…even one who is an Episcopal priest, Jane Homes, and serves hospitals and prisons…because women’s voices are dangerous you know. Because we all know the world might come to an end if women were ever treated like equal human beings with identities, goals and needs of their own, right?
This rebellion against societal rules probably started during WWII when the women went to work in the munitions plants and first had financial independence. Before that “her own money” was a foreign concept unless it was her family’s money and even then there was always a man’s hands on the purse strings, either a male relative or an executor of some sort who could use it to control her. Women weren’t allowed into public policy discussions either because of their “weak minds” and “emotional instability.” That talk was for men in the brandy and cigar rooms. It was the same concept as not letting slaves learn to read because knowledge is freedom.
The need for women in the work force might have given them some financial freedom but the advent of “the pill” and reliable birth control methods was what opened the door to sexual freedom for women. Between “having her own money” and not being a slave to her womb women were more liberated than they had been since the dawn of mankind. Let’s face the facts… men who want to keep women under their heel just hate that they can walk away if they choose.
They hate the idea of reproductive freedom because it means women aren’t helpless. They hate the idea they can’t keep them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen while they do as they please because after all he’s a “good provider.” I actually know women alive today who were told that by their mothers when they were mistreated by their husbands. As long as he brought a paycheck home you just needed to tolerate everything else even if it was a beating on Saturday night because he was a good father.
Before all of this liberation took place women were so economically helpless they would often travel across the country to marry a frontier man they had never met just to keep from starving. Now it’s not so easy to get a woman if a man doesn’t bathe and have a little respect because she has a whole new range of choices. They’re running wild and misogynists are losing their minds trying to get them back under their heel.
The only acceptable choice society has ever allowed a woman is to be chaste until she is a man’s possession so he can validate her existence and control who she is. Women are crazy, unethical, unreliable and dangerous you know so somebody had better keep them under control.
So let’s review her choices. If she didn’t she was cold and frigid and if she did she was a slut. She’s a murderer if she chooses to end it rather than bring a child she can’t provide for into a difficult world. Service jobs rarely provide maternity leave and a woman is never more vulnerable than just before and right after she gives birth so it’s about survival not just wanting to live a better life or advance her career. It’s also often about the children she already has and how she will care for them while she gives birth to another one and recovers from it.
Yet if she chooses to have that child and do her best for it but can’t get anything but service jobs, that don’t pay a living wage much less cover adequate child care, God help her if she ever gets in a spot where she needs help because then she’s just a lazy, useless drain on society. Now they are actually trying to starve them by separating Food Stamps from the farm bill. Sure we can give millions to corporate farmers to make sure they don’t feel any kind of pinch from the economy but we can starve that mother and child. It’s part of the woman’s punishment for expecting to be free.
Isn’t it rather odd that women are trusted to bring all new life into the world, to nurture and love that child until it’s grown, molding the person they will be without supervision and yet they can’t be trusted to decide when it would be cruel to bring another child into their world? They can do everything else yet this one thing they can’t be trusted with?
There are children who are going to bed crying tonight because they’re hungry. We have children who are barely eating and are sick because they never get fresh fruit or vegetables. That should make us all cringe and swear that one thing will stop no matter what it takes…make it our number one priority. How long will it be before we see rickets raise its ugly head again with children crippled for life from malnutrition?
It should definitely take priority over beating up their mother when she is doing the best she can or trying to force her to have another one she can’t feed. In this economy we should be increasing food stamps not cutting them. Yet Laura Ingraham finds joy in comparing them to the “roof squatters” of Katrina because she believes they should be allowed to starve just as she believes it was right to let people drown in Katrina. Yes we have a lot of people on food stamps because there is no work and what work is there isn’t paying a living wage.
And please let’s fully fund birth control so we don’t have unwanted pregnancies. That should go without saying for any thinking person. It should be free of charge to everyone. Because if history has shown us anything it’s that people will not stop having sex even when whole kingdoms are brought down by it. You can’t prevent it by law, church or secular, no matter how much you punish the women because it’s a basic function of human nature.
So why do women become mothers? It seems like nothing but a losing proposition to me. When did being a mother stop being a valued and wonderfully respected thing of its own? We’ve all heard the jokes about “good Catholic mothers” but they weren’t expected to raise those children and provide for them.
Women keep becoming mothers no matter the personal cost because it’s part of our human nature. We do it because we love babies and there’s no experience on earth like being pregnant and becoming a mother. We do it even when women still die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth. It’s a special kind of warrior who volunteers to be a mother. There’s no way to describe it adequately so it’s impossible for a man to ever fully understand so how can they think to tell women what to do about it?
But we want to do it when and if we can care for a child. We want to do it when and if we’re with someone who wants to share the raising of that child because it is a job that was designed for two people. We don’t want to bring horribly sick babies into the world where healthcare is still a privilege so we can watch them suffer. Does this make us heartless killers? Or are these the very qualities that make us qualified to nurture the next generation?
We need to tell these people to shut their vicious mouths and do their jobs on things that actually are their job. Using the government to control women is not what they were hired for. Have we learned nothing from the last 100 years? Women have a much better track record at controlling themselves than men do and we certainly deserve the respect of not pretending otherwise. Use the ballot box, ladies. And make sure you take your friends.
I know there are a lot of progressive men out there too…men who don’t want to hold women down and hold them back…we need you too. You are the men smart enough to see that a woman has so much more to offer the world, and a man, when she’s free and equal. You are as strong a voice in the 3rd wave of feminism as the women. We see you all over the internet standing with us and speaking up with us because you see us as whole people with our own identities and goals.
Hopefully, our combined voices will be able to drown out this assault on women and shut it down. And yes, this disrespect has reached the level of an attack…it is a war on women and it’s not even a new war. It’s been going on for centuries. It took black and white people standing together to address civil rights and it will take smart men and women standing together to rein this misogyny in and end the war once and for all.