On January 22, 1973, the Supreme Court of the United States passed Roe v. Wade. This court made a legal decision and set a precedent that seemed would stand the test of time, with the continual fight for women’s rights and equality for all. In reality, there never should have had to have been a Roe v. Wade in the first place! Women should have had the right to choose for themselves individually from the very beginning.
I was quite young in 1973, just six years old when the court’s decision came down, but I remember my mom, though a conservative with liberal tendencies, applauded the decision of the court. I figured that if my mom approved, I should too, and so I became a supporter of a woman being able to decide what is best for her body, without the interference of men. And as I became an adult I continued to support those rights of women as being set in stone.
In 1973 I had friends of all backgrounds, gender, race, culture and ethnicities. I never gave it a thought why someone had any difference in them than I did, or me from them, whether it be race, gender or even hair color. They were just my friend, period.
It seemed, back then, in general, we all got along better than we do today. Sure there were still issues in 1973, integrating schools, I can recall the busing of black students to white schools in Boston. It was a time that did have its problems for sure. Women couldn’t get their own credit cards, having to rely on their husbands credit to get a card under his name. Nothing in history has ever been perfect. But we seemed to be heading in a better direction. Climbing out of a past of inequality — whether it be racial equality, gender equality, equal pay, gay rights — we were working towards a positive outcome in some form or fashion.
Today, I woke up in a different world, a different place, a different country that I do not recognize. I feel like I woke up in a bad episode of the Twilight Zone.
Today, in this country, though we claim such advanced strides on freedoms, rights and equality, we really are not much closer to those things than we were back in 1973. Yes, gay rights have come a long way, gender equality is getting the attention that it needs, racial issues can be solvable and women are in a better place — almost.
Today, in this country, we have advertising on television for individual rights and protections. We have to voice the idea that a certain life matters — but they all do, equally. No life has more value than another. We have to remind ourselves that hate against a certain race or group of people is wrong. There are commercials celebrating diversity down to the minutest detail. We label and divide ourselves and other people within a single community. I am this, but I am not that. We have wittled ourselves into a seclusion of identity within an identity. We want so much diversity that we have become islands unto ourselves. Claiming allegiance to a cause or people when it serves us, distancing ourselves from the negative as not to be lumped in with “them”.
Today, within groups of people we have gays who do not accept other gays, lesbians who do not accept other lesbians, races who accept the good of their kind, but shun the bad as not one of them, and on and on we go.
Today, in this country, it is no longer issues decided on by singular or individual rights, it is groups much bigger than the people who project their ideas of what America should be. There is absolutely no doubt that Roe v. Wade would not have been overturned without the extreme influence of the religious right community, and the justices allowing personal beliefs to cloud what is supposed to be non-passioned and non-prejudiced decision making.
I didn’t see signs of protest outside the Supreme Court from big corporations, no signs saying IBM or Apple or Microsoft support one side or the other. The largest groups protesting are religious, whether their signs acknowledged that or not, and that is a fact. And here I thought we lived in a country where we do not allow religion to influence our laws, liberties and freedoms. Roe v. Wade is a women’s rights issue, not a religious issue, period.
And to those who agree that religion is and should be a part of lawmaking I ask, what religion? Should only Judeo-Christians make the laws? Should Muslims make laws in America based on Islam? How about Buddhists or Scientology or any of the more than 4,000 different religious belief systems around the world? Who’s religion EXACTLY should be allowed to influence or make the laws? I’ve got an idea, I think we should have aliens come down to earth and make our laws! That’s how much sense it makes to allow religion, ANY religion to influence lawmaking.
Today, in America, we have suffered a blow against women’s rights. Five Supreme Court justices decided to overturn Roe v. Wade, including one woman justice, Amy Barrett. How the hell can a woman be against protecting a woman’s right to choose!? Unless Amy allowed her personal beliefs to sully her rookie judicial decision making. Lady Justice has a blindfold on for a reason! No passion (belief) or prejudice (personal feelings towards issues or others) are allowed in the rule of law.
And how can women of this country allow MEN to still decide women’s issues!? A question to men: would you allow women to decide for you whether or not you could have a vasectomy? Or whether or not you could take some drug to alter your ability to conceive a child? The overwhelming answer from men would be a guaranteed, hell no! Yet women allow men to decide what is best for them and women even lend support to those men in doing so. Instead of just protesting the issue, we should be protesting the men behind the issue deciding it for us.
Religious or not, if a woman is out there protesting against women’s rights, I find that a paradox amongst paradoxes. As a woman, I exercise my personal right to go to the beach and be topless, regardless of the law, just as a man can do. And women who see me topless come up to me and harrass me and call the police. The police who patrol the beach have never once interfered with me in my state of toplessness. This is a case of a woman choosing to exercise the same freedoms afforded men, and other women do not support that!? It is insane thinking in this day and age. I support any rights for women, or anyone else, regardless of whether or not I would take part in those rights, as a means for those people to exercise their freedoms. Another woman doesn’t HAVE to go topless because I do, but in today’s equal minded world they sure as hell should support my right to do so! No man has the right to dictate what a woman does, as no woman should dictate what a man does. Personal freedoms are just that, personal.
I will never be able to become pregnant, I will never be able to give birth to a child, or even have the option to terminate a pregnancy. However just because I cannot participate in those things does not mean I don’t support another woman’s right to do so. That is the truest form of equality, and we all need to start practicing it.
Let the religious groups start thinking along those lines for once. I let everyone else be them, without protest or judgment, and I expect the same in return. If you cannot see beyond your own belief system to allow another person to participate in their chosen freedom, even if you vehemently disagree with it, then you are intolerant, ignorant and a hypocrite, plain and simple. No belief system, religious or otherwise has the right to interfere with an individual doing what they feel is best for them. If you don’t agree with it, don’t take part in it!
As someone who has always been a patriotic person, served my country and supported it in times of crisis, I am disgusted to be an American today. I feel as though we are going backward, not forward as a people.
No person or group has the right to force their beliefs upon the masses, not religious, political or judicial. A group of judges has decided for everyone what they feel is best. What if they made a decision banning all religion today as well? Would those of you who claim a certain god as your salvation support that? Religion and politics are completely man made. No religious or political party existed on this planet before humans got here. And ever since we have fought tooth and nail against one other.
I’m just waiting for the earth to rise up and wipe us all out, because we deserve it. Maybe the next time humanity will get it right, because we as today’s humans have failed to do so. And today, the Supreme Court has screwed up, Supremely!