Mothers, Sisters, Daughters, Wives is the title of an article written by Mimi Swartz in this month’s issue of Texas Monthly. I assure you, the article is worth your time if you have a pulse. It is gripping. So gripping, in fact, that while I was reading it, one of pages came completely out in my hand. I’m quite certain this wasn’t due to inferior glue.
Texas women, like all women, garnered influence over the years the best ways they knew how in order to improve the lives of women and secure the rights we enjoy today. Women have endured hardship at the hand of thieves, threats and toxic attitudes, the mildest of which, a comment that Judge Sarah Hughes’s colleagues “oughta slap her face and send her back to the kitchen.” For an educated, confident, accomplished woman, comments like that don’t need to be dignified with a response. Even now, women of character and resolve face the same attitudes.
The politics isn’t what interests me about this article. There are clever people who can find ways of managing the politics. No, what interests me is the arrogance, manipulating, and ignorant to the point of embarrassing, way in which men assume that they know best how to make decisions for women. For instance, the 2003 Woman’s Right to Know Act that required doctors give deceptive and outright false information to pregnant women.
The signing of a bill that requires women to undergo a procedure these legislators cannot articulate much less comprehend is beyond absurd. It is reprehensible. Their rhetoric, the kind best left to a holier-than-thou televangelist just before he gets caught with his pants down, about morality, emotional trauma, and saving lives is certainly not to improve women’s health care. Hypocrites, too squeamish to even hear female anatomy discussed in the forum where decisions affecting women’s health care are being made, claim they want to make sure a woman knows what she is doing when she makes a personal choice about her own body. If I could speak directly to the arrogant, ignorant man who believes a woman’s ability to think and reason is “nonsense,” I would ask him, why such blatant manipulation is necessary to prevent her from making a choice that affects her life, her economics, her body. This man admits that arguments against his position “make no sense to him.” It seems to me, he’s the one who doesn’t possess an ability to think and reason.
How shameful to us all that after enduring oppression, cruelty, abuse, neglect and poverty women have no leader who will stand against this self-righteous intrusion of our privacy by those bottling snake oil in government buildings, labels in one hand, penis in the other. My question is this, “Where are the women?”
Texas Monthly is on a news stand or here http://www.texasmonthly.com/2012-08-01/index.php