MICRO-BLOG: Women are Weeping. Women are in Trouble. Women need Allies.May 9, 2022 Leave a comment
Content Warning: Violence against women
Back in the 1960s women talked about the personal being political. They linked their personal lives and situations directly to the impacts of sexism which operates at the personal, interpersonal, institutional, and structural levels to devalue and systematically oppress women.
Sexism and its companion, male domination, are powerful forms of oppression. And if you intersect these with others like racism, classism, transphobia, or the oppression of mothers, it’s clear that a woman’s life and material well-being are in danger.
With Roe v. Wade on the brink of being overruled, Black women who already have poor maternal health outcomes will lose their lives and low-income women will have to scrape together their last dollars to make it across state lines to get safe and legal abortions. Parenthood is difficult, even for those who choose it. Very few of us talk about or normalize the pressure of raising a child: the deep exhaustion, the financial cost, and – if you’re in a dangerous relationship with the other parent – how life threatening it can be. And this is all nearly unimaginable if the person who placed the child in you did so against your will.
Roe aside, the psychic wounds of being a woman are real, whether you are a cis woman1 or a trans woman. Women’s lives are threatened by domestic and sexual violence including in our own homes. Many work for less pay than men and toil away in unsympathetic workplaces that don’t provide paid family leave, child care, or flexibility around school drop-off and pick-up schedules. Women are cut down to size by cis-men2 who they think they know more, know better, and know what we need. We have watched every woman who has run for public office belittled, objectified, dehumanized, and even fetishized. We can’t elect a woman as president even though the stakes are high for women without representation as we are witnessing now.
Women are in mourning. Whether they support a woman’s right to choose or not, they know deep down that their lives are not as valued as cis-men. They can feel it in their homes like a fog surrounding them and as they enter into workplaces and places of power. Women need powerful allies in this moment – people of all backgrounds, even from various political parties, to rise up and challenge the status quo. There are women’s marches, elections, and policy decisions that we can participate in and influence. Otherwise, we risk a major roll back of rights for women – from reproductive freedom to same-sex marriage and equal pay for equal work.
These times aren’t easy but they won’t get any easier if women minimize their struggles and allies stay quiet. We can fight many oppressions at the same time and because they are inextricably connected, if we win in one place, it’s a win for the others.
1 Cis-woman. Definition: https://www.thoughtco.com/definition-of-ciswoman-721261
2 Cis-man. Definition: https://gscc.msu.edu/education/glossary.html