Monday, July 22, 2024

To the Barricades

Washington, DC – In Iran, massive protests are staged against the “Morality Police” following the death of a young woman who was hauled off the street for “re-education” because she was immodest in not wearing a head covering. Women all over Iran are aggressively and, at times, violently reacting to the oppression.

The US has protested the situation. The almost risible irony of it all.

American women, also being aggressively policed by our own morality police, are barely reacting to the ever-increasing oppression under which they are living.

A delightful African American, Stanford educated Republican male candidate in Michigan, John Gibbs, has opined that women having the right to vote has been a cause of our problems. He has stated out loud that men are smarter than women and think better than women because, you know, the old canard, women are so emotional. I want to emphasize that this guy is a black man simply reusing the anti-negro rhetoric opposing the enfranchising of black men.

What the heck!

After George Floyd was murdered, black folks and some white and other racially and ethnically subdivided categories of what are just actually, well, people engaged for several months in protests that were aggressive and occasionally violent. Often, it was the police who were the violent ones. Those folks, like the folks in Iran recognizing the ever increasing oppression, made a stand.

So, the question for me is, where are the massive protests in America against the courts and legislatures extinguishing women’s constitutional equality? Women have been stripped of their right to medical agency and privacy, a right men continue to enjoy.

By extinguishing that right, women are stripped of their right to “life” because they are forced to either continue an unwanted or life-threatening pregnancy or resort to dangerous means to end it.

Women are deprived of “liberty” when they are incarcerated for “killing” a baby because they used drugs during pregnancy and miscarried or had a stillborn child. There are efforts afoot in some states to criminalize and prosecute women who have an abortion. Women are deprived of “happiness” because they cannot choose when or whether to have a child.

Yet, here in “The Greatest Country In The World,” where we’re glad to be an American cause, at least we know we’re free, in the face of the greatest effort to disenfranchise a group since the Reconstruction era, nothing.

Frankly, it’s terrifying. Mr. Gibbs needs to re-visit history. Precedent does not bode well for any American if we allow the stripping of personal agency from over half of the population of this country, then of any and every other ethnic, religious, racial, or gender group. The Constitution was devised to prevent the exclusion of any group by the individual states from rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The Supreme Court, in its recent decision, reversed that order and has allowed each state to decide whether women are actually part of “all men are created equal and endowed with certain unalienable rights” or whether the strict interpretation means what it says. Men have those rights but not women.

The Equal Rights Amendment was an attempt to rectify that ambiguity, but it lacked one state for ratification. That omission must absolutely be rectified. However, the current state of division in this country and the anti-women efforts across many states do not bode well for passage.

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M.A. Callahan
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