March is synonymous with Women’s History Month. It’s something we’re all very aware of and something which we openly recognize and celebrate. But during a month in which the extraordinary accomplishments of females should be honored, we’re finding a virtual war on women instead. From a Governor proposing required “vaginal exams” to restraints on access to birth control and Rush Limbaugh’s vile comments, attacks on women and our liberties have reached disturbing new levels.
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And it’s not just conservatives either. Just last month, rapper Too Short delivered a recorded video message to young middle school boys on ‘how to turn girls out.’ It’s a sad state of affairs, and as the Mothers, sisters, and wives who make up the majority of our population, we’re just not going to tolerate it anymore.
Growing up, I was surrounded by strong women who taught me the value of getting an education, having a voice, and establishing myself in the world. Most of us learned great lessons of how remarkable females pushed the envelope to secure equal access in society on so many levels. But when I studied the women’s movement, I would have never guessed that we’d be here today, at a point where all of these gains would be under attack. Didn’t we squash many of these issues 50+ years ago? Am I dreaming, or is this not 2012?
Rush Limbaugh’s syndicator has suspended all national advertising on his show for two weeks, which is good — but we want more. Too Short has apologized for making a video urging young boys to ‘turn out’ young girls — but we want more. When men degrade, insult, or attack women, they do a disservice to everyone. You can’t just say whatever you want and think a quick apology (whether sincere or not) is enough. Who’s responsible for fixing the environment of disrespect and hatred when men humiliate women? And who will bring us back to sanity when politicians use contraception and other wedge issues to get elected?
We just passed the middle mark for the month, and so far, it’s been a disappointing one to say the least. Instead of focusing on the amazing contributions of women, we’ve spent the last several weeks covering fools who continually put us down. It’s not OK to require “vaginal probes,” it’s not OK to call us “sluts” and it’s not OK to teach young men how to disrespect us. Everyone – not just women – should be outraged by this war on women. Rush Limbaugh is now learning that the nation is not on his side. Let that be a lesson to anyone trying to attack women; you will find yourself isolated.
It’s Women’s History Month, and it’s time we really recognize it.