Sunday, March 11, 2012

The Final Wave

Two weeks ago I wrote a post for Not Another Wave about Downton Abbey when what I really wanted to write about is the contraception debate. I chose not to talk about it because I felt like everything had already been said, that I’d just be beating a dead horse into the soiled ground of American politics.

But everyday I check the news and it’s filled with a brand new horror, eating up space, demanding attention and pushing at all the tender cracks in my feminist armor.

The debate over contraception is important and timely, however, what concerns me more is the rhetoric, nay the ideologies, the commentary and the decidedly anti-woman action that it has spawned.

During the 1970’s the Civil Rights Movement thought it would finally break down the last barriers for women’s rights and cement the ideas of equality and respect for women as foundational for our country.

But those ideas died a little bit. You know it. I know it.

Feminism became a dirty word. A moniker for perceived entitlement, anger and “ugly bitches who need a good lay.” And there that label lay, for quite a while and thing got worse and worse. Perhaps you think that I’m being a little over-dramatic here, and maybe I am feeling all of this a little too sensitively, but the current political current in my country, makes me feel scared. And I don’t even LIVE there right now.

I feel it. I feel scared for the choices that politicians in Washington are making about my body. I feel scared about the fact that we are slipping into a false nostalgia for the “good old days” when women were women and a man was a man and every one knew their place. This is not a time to be hearkening back to! Those were not the good old days and I refuse to take part in a rhetoric that espouses that ideology.

I’m sick and tired of feeling like a second-class citizen in my own fucking country; that somehow it’s ok for a panel of old white men to say what is morally acceptable for my body. As a response to the blatant patronization that it doing a coast to coast sprint in the United States, the past few weeks have seen a surge in concern for women’s issues and I love it.

I saw this video today and I know that perhaps it seems a little silly, but it really stuck to me and the fact that the fight for women’s suffrage in the early 1900’s follows a similar rhetoric to political conversations of today, freaks me out.

These words are real, they are relevant and they do resonate with me.

“I’m a citizen of this nation…I want suffrage and independence!”

So I say that this should be it. No more first wave, second wave, or third wave feminism, but the final wave. This is the last time we stand up, because from here until the end, I’m not going to sit down.

“The rights of citizens shall not be denied or abridged by the United States on account of sex.” ----19th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America

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