During the debate on the responsibility of insurance companies to provide contraception to women, much has been made of Darrell Issa’s (R-CA) panel composed of five men testifying on whether religious institutions must provide birth control. After a photo of the witness table was posted, the response was instantaneous. “What I want to know is: Where are the women?” Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) asked the committee chair Issa, before walking out. “I look at this panel and I don’t see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?”
In the context of this debate, thanks to Rush Limbaugh, women have been slandered, their reputations attacked, and, worst of all, have been ignored in matters which concern them most intimately. Peggy Noonan of the Wall Street Journal calls it a war on women.
To many women, this testosterone-fueled circus dominating the debate on women’s health issues is convincing them to increase their participation in government at every level. A number of organizations are spreading the message that women are best equipped to decide issues that ultimately affect them—health, education, the economy, the environment, and even foreign affairs. Currently, women hold just 17% of seats in Congress, but the 2012 Project is determined to increase that number. Emily’s List seeks to identify prospects, prepare them to run, and contribute to the campaigns of Democratic women who are pro-choice. Elect Women Magazine functions as a sounding board and message center for a host of female-centric campaigns, some state-wide, some regional, and some national.
If a particular question lingers in the minds of women in the wake of this controversy, it should be: Why have we left things that matter so much to us in the hands of men—matters they can’t seem to wrap their minds around? A very long time ago, 1868 to be exact, during the debate on whether to allow married women property rights, the London Times opined that such a step would “’destroy marriage as society knew it…’ Were a wife to become financially empowered, the paper editorialized, she would be ‘practically emancipated’ from control by her husband. What is to prevent her from going where she likes and doing what she pleases?” -Time Magazine, March 26, 2012, p. 30
The Times was quite right, of course. And we see the wreckage all around us. What could be worse than to have a woman doing what she pleases? Best to have her penniless and submissive—at the mercy of her husband who knows what is best for her.
You’ve come a long way, baby. Mind you—don’t go back!
What can you do—you are only one person? True, but you are only “six degrees of separation,” on average, from any other person on Earth. You become powerful when you share information with your friends and ask them to share it with their friends—it becomes a global revolution. As Stephen King suggests in The Long Walk, when these “society-supported sociopaths” come, step aside, and find the strength to run…