Perhaps the most life-changing happening of the 20th century was the widespread advent of birth control. For the first time in the history of human kind, women - millions of them - could control their ability to have children. 'When and with whom' became everyday decisions. Suddenly, women's were able to move into new career paths, seek greater educational opportunities, travel the world, support themselves and development friends with common interests and goals. And hasn't that changed the female/male dynamics worldwide?
We so naively believed that once there was birth control, life would simply be better for everyone. Well, life is better for woman and families who excercise birth control. But A LOT of men in suits and bishop outfits are just fit to be tied. They are staging a battle. Enough of this open ended feminine uppityness and independence.
They are not going to take it anymore - not this freedom of women to pursue lives that do not always depend on men's decisions and whims.
I've just read a terrific summation of this state of affairs, "Why Patriarchal Men Are Utterly Petrified of Birth Control and Why We'll Still Be Fighting About It 100 Years From Now," written by Sara Robinson, editor of AlterNet's Visions page.
Several years ago, I began to hear that all the passion that motivated the anti-abortion movement wasn't really just about abortion. No, sooner or later, some folks intimated, the focus would turn to contraception, because all this angry fervor is really about women and 'their place.'
How slow we've been to see what's happening right in front of us. Who yells the loudest outside of abortion clinics? Angry, heterosexual white men. Who railed against Nancy Pelosi when she was Speaker of the House and displayed her on posters with a Pinnochio nose? Angry, heterosexual white men. Who have fewer of their numbers graduating from college and heading for law school and corporate ladders? Angry, heterosexual white men. It's all just too much for them and they are very angry because they've lost their footing, feel outranked, not 'in charge.' This cannot be.
Folks, read up and see the lay of the land. Make some strategic plans for yourself and for all women. Our gains for ourselves and our families, our sons and our daughters, will be short lived if we don't recognize the backlash of anger and begin to confront it. We could wake up and find ourselves once again, legally barefoot and pregnant.
We cannot and will not take that anymore. So, let us get busy with the task of holding on to our own gains and the gains passed on to our daughters and grand daughters. Let us not forget that the first women to fall prey to this anger will be poor women without resources. And let us not forget that we women are all in this together - rich, poor, young, old, black, brown, yellow and white. We have strength in numbers. Let's put those number to work. NOW.