The ‘War on Women’ is really a war on freedoms

Posted on March 30, 2012

The News Star, March 30, 2012 by Jackie Dehon

March was Women’s History Month.

I have written Women’s History Month guest editorials since the 1980s. I usually tell about the many unsung deeds of women. This year I feel a need to report on “the State of American Women.”

Unknown numbers of women have contributed greatly to the improvement of our world despite cultural discrimination against them. Women continue to achieve beyond anyone’s wildest imagination. That we do not know about these achievements is part of our oppression.

Wages continue to be differentiated by gender: men are paid more than women for the same work, despite identical education, experience and type of work. Several years ago I began “Girlcotting” stores and businesses which discriminate against women. It’s a thing I will continue until women are treated fairly.

The fight for women’s rights is unfinished. We still lack a Constitutional Equal Rights Amendment to guarantee equal rights for women. The ERA was passed by Congress in 1982, 40 years ago. It was ratified by 35 states. It needs to be ratified by three more before it will become law. Shame on our elected officials who withhold full equal rights to more than half of America’s citizens based on gender!

I protest against un-American activity against female citizens. I Googled “War on Women” and was offered 929,900,000 stories about this subject. In addition to threatening to cut off funds to the poor, ill and elderly, many state government officials — including those in our beloved Texas — are forcing women to undergo an invasive ultrasound before they can have a legal procedure, an abortion. Abortions have been legal since 1973, yet some people think they have a right to force their own religious beliefs on others. If you and your religion don’t want abortions, you don’t have to have them. But leave others alone. No one wants an abortion. Governments don’t have the right to force more pain and sorrow on a woman who cannot afford, health wise, psychologically, or economically, another child. Harming women also harms their families. When governments turn against their citizens, it’s time for the government to be changed. Witness riots we see around the globe. Want one here? Just keep harming women. I urge women and anyone who has ever cared for a woman to vote against elected officials who advocate harming women.

If groups want fewer abortions, governments must provide full sex education courses including birth control information. I believe hateful treatment of women is some warped-people’s-punishment for their having sex. Men have sex too. Why are only women treated badly? They (men) don’t get pregnant alone!

Women will continue to have abortions. The distinction is whether they will be safe or dangerous. The poor will have few choices, while wealthy women will have safe private procedures.

America owes women in many ways. American men guaranteed themselves full constitutional rights more than 230 years ago. It’s well past time to extend these same rights to American women.

Jackie DeHon, Ph.D., is a Monroe resident and a women’s rights activist.

Posted in: Fighting back