Roe v Wade is 40!

17 Jan

I spend a lot of time on this blog writing about how, sometimes, being a woman really sucks.  I wrote about it here, when I talked about street harassment.  And again here, when I discussed this recent tragedy in Delhi.  And then here and here and here, when I went on about how much certain politicians and real estate moguls are complete asshats.  And, for one last example, here in a discussion of a particularly off-putting experience I had while bartending one Friday night.  Honestly, those are only a choice few, feel free to go adventuring through the rest of my blog for a few more fun examples.  Being female in this world is like constant fodder for me and this blog.  In fact, my first ever post on this blog was inspired by the fact that I am in possession of breasts and a vagina.  Without those things, who knows whether this blog ever would have come into existence!  Along those lines, I would like more than anything to weigh in on this whole Manti Te’o disaster and how disgraceful it is, as was pointed out by Melinda Henneburger here and here, that Notre Dame and the entire country got so riled up over the death of a fake person while, 2 years ago, the death of a real girl, Lizzy Seeberg, went almost completely unnoticed.  The same university machine that has used its resources and soap box to paint Manti Te’o as a victim – which maybe he is (either that or he is unstable and still deserves support) – claimed that Lizzy Seeberg falsely accused a different football player of sexual assault, a player who never sat out a day of practice following her accusal and IN FACT was not interviewed until 5 days after her death which was 10 days after the assault allegedly* occurred.  But I’m not going to write about that today.  Today is different.  Today I am going to use this opportunity, the 4oth anniversary of Roe v Wade, to talk about why I think being a woman, and specifically a woman in America, is awesome.

In the interest of full disclosure, I have now been sitting here staring at my computer for about 5 minutes trying to figure out how to proceed.

Okay.  Here goes.

I love the fact that when I was in school, every sport had to either have a team specifically for men and one for women, or, if there was no women’s team available, women had to be allowed to play with the men, or vice versa.  Granted, there were no female football players or male field hockey players, but the option was there.  Also, our football team sucked and so our sports heroes, as much as we had any really, were the members of the women’s varsity soccer team.  They kicked ass.

I love the fact that I can vote, can drive a car, can live on my own, can walk around with my head held high, making eye contact willy-nilly (but not with people who look like maybe they are crazy and want to (a) attack me or (b) get me to sign some sheet supporting environmental rights and just give them my credit card number right there on 5th Avenue!  Yea right.  Whaddayou think I am, stupid?).

I love the fact that when I was little and swore off skirts and dresses my mom, and society at large, was totally cool with me wearing sweatshirts with “Mr. Egghead” on the front or bright yellow overalls.

I love the fact that, at least theoretically, I can hold any job that a man can hold and that, maybe eventually, I will be paid equally for equal work.  (Well, I guess that one falls a little flat, doesn’t it?)

I love the fact that in my classes from grade school on through graduate school, my opinions were respected and appreciated as much as my male classmates and that my insight, having been gained from my experiences as a woman, were never, at least not to my knowledge, dismissed as feminist ranting.

I love that I live in a country that allows someone like Hillary Rodham Clinton to be where she is today.  (So glad that health thing is okay now!)

I love that I live in a place where I am able to express my opinions while at my job, with my friends, or on this blog without feeling threatened or unsafe.

I love that, at least theoretically and for now, if I, or any woman I know, find myself pregnant at a time when, for whatever reason, I feel I cannot or do not want to carry that baby to terms, then I have options.

I’m sure I am missing some things here.  There are plenty of other reasons that it is great to be a woman and, forgetting some things means that I am taking a few things for granted which is both good and bad.  It’s always good to be aware of the ways in which we have it good, but sometimes its nice to have the luxury to assume a few things, to have that battle be unmistakably won.  I do hope though that, when it comes to historic wins like Title IX and women’s suffrage and Roe v Wade, that we never forget how far we’ve come and how hard we fought.  We’ve got a long way to go, people, but let’s not forget where we came from.  Happy anniversary, Roe v Wade.  Today I would like to renew my vow to fight for your continuance.

*Man, I hate that word and everything it represents.  Something about the word “allegedly” makes me feel like by saying it that I am not believing the victim, which I do, because the overwhelming majority of the time rape and sexual assault victims do not report rape or sexual assault unless it actually happened.  So, “allegedly” is out.  Never again to be used on this blog.  That’s a promise.

4 Responses to “Roe v Wade is 40!”

  1. Debbie Hangemanole January 18, 2013 at 9:32 am #

    As another person who has breasts and a vagina, I greatly appreciate this post! Let’s keep fighting for justice and equality, but remember – and be grateful for – the fact that we are indeed able to fight!

  2. Barney Moss January 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm #

    This myth suggests that one is safe at certain times or in certain places and at danger in other times and places. Women can easily be led into a false sense of security and let their guard down. Believing that one can only be raped in dark alleys falsely implies that those who are found in these places are rapists. About 95% of rape committed are acquaintance rapes and take place in the survivor’s home. Only 5% of rape is committed by strangers. This does not mean that one should not trust one’s acquaintances; it merely emphasizes being aware of oneself and one’s surroundings. Acquaintance rape is often seen as miscommunication and misunderstanding. There is a lot of victim blaming, in which people believe that the woman should have spoken up and said “No.” Under a strange and horrifying situation such as rape, it is hard to decide the best way to defend oneself; it is difficult to remain calm and do the most rational thing. There are instances in which a perpetrator will threaten the survivor by saying, “if you scream, I will kill you.” Also, survivors can be too terrified to fully comprehend what is happening to them. The number one though going through a survivor’s head is “I am going to die,” or “I do not want to die.” Death is on the survivor’s mind during the assault in many more occurrences than STDs and fear of pregnancy. In short, sexual assault is unwanted; just because the victim is too fearful to vocalize her feelings does not mean she enjoys the act.

    • FranklyRebekah January 24, 2013 at 4:46 pm #

      I am confused as to what myth exactly you are talking about at the beginning of this comment.

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