Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Women’s Equality Day
We often talk about how much work there is to be done in the world of civil rights.
We often hear about how women have come a long way.
We hear women trying to convince others and themselves that they are special because they
don’t believe they have ever been discriminated against.
Working to eliminate discrimination we hope does not mean that in order to help others we must have personally suffered that particular discrimination.
Women make up over half of the U.S population yet there seems to be acceptance when it comes to abusing women and discriminating against them. This has become such an accepted form of behavior and many ask why. The discrimination is not about men discriminating against women. It is whole societies accepting this discrimination and abuse.
In the last 24 hours I personally have read stories that include:
* a university that not only has a severe campus rape problem but that they have released a victims personal records from counseling sessions.
* a prep school fraternity that strategically has organized ways to target incoming freshman girls
* a story today in my local paper about a man who has abused his wife for years and when asked if he still does he replied that it is difficult to change behavior after 30-40 years.
* in every newspaper across America these are daily stories, however, in Portland, Oregon we seem to have a special group of journalists who will land these stories above the fold and they don’t hold back which is critical in helping stop these abuses.
Should we even discuss politics?
How in 2015 can we have anyone running for the Presidency of America while referring to women as fat slobs, saying they are ugly, “bimbos,” etc.? How? The focus really should not be on the person saying this as often people have personal challenges and making fun of them gets us nowhere. The people who are victims of this are someone’s mom, grandmother, sister, aunt, friend, colleague, wife and so on. We should be asking how and why a person like this could have a following.
What if a presidential candidate was using derogatory remarks about other minorities? What would happen? Women are not a minority. Women are the majority of the population but a minority with minority rights based on the discrimination they’ve encountered. This is the paradox. This discrimination is what has led to supposed “protections” for women that in the end were and have always been discrimination. Yet, women are the only group who it’s acceptable to make fun of whether it is presidential candidates or late night comedy shows. This behavior against minorities ends with consequences of people being fired, formal apologies made, organizations and officials distancing themselves from the discriminator.
With women…not only is verbal abuse and physical abuse accepted, we have presidential candidates, top athletes, universities engaging in the abuse.
Nothing is happening now except a bunch of pollsters discussing the numbers increasing the greater the verbal abuse is.
We know that women do not have constitutional equality in the U.S. Constitution and in many states. We know it is critical to protect women in every state constitution in America as it is to protect women in the U.S. Constitution.
Today, we can gear up to watch the 2015-2016 campaign show and at the end we can vote for the candidate who represents what America is. If American presidential candidates are verbally abusing women, consider what the rest of the world can do with this. Does this help improve women’s and girls plight globally? It all begins with respect. Fighting for equality in a constitution is hard work. At the end of the day you win or you lose. Fighting so the majority of the U.S. population has basic respect and is safe from a societal acceptance of verbal and physical abuse is a lifelong pursuit.
When the leaders of our nation can not even meet this goal…we have only one option.
VOTE VOTE VOTE for the candidate(s) who in the end will respect and fight for all Americans.
We have the POWER to create change. We have ALL the POWER. The people have the POWER. We need to use it.
And…I should let you know that our hard work in passing Measure 89 worked! Not only did we pass women’s equality and amend our Oregon Constitution, we inspired many around the nation to do the same. Some are legislators in other states, some are activists, some are young junior high girls in different states but they are all now aware of the work that lies ahead to protect women in their own state constitutions and to continue to work toward passing the federal ERA.
Thank you for joining our effort in helping to pass Measure 89!