Wait, What? Women have rights now?

Post by Freya Logan 

I’m sure that the advisors to GOP presidential candidates and other conservative politicians will have to break the news sometime soon as US elections are coming up in November. The news will probably seem quite shocking and they will have to review a lot of policies and things that they have said. They’ll probably be pretty surprised and they’ll probably feel a bit sheepish. But soon the day will come when they will be told this shocking news and I am pretty sure it will go something like this:

Advisor: So I need to tell you something pretty shocking.

Conservative politician: Mmm?

A: So I was reading the constitution…and under the 19th amendment it says that apparently women in the US can vote too and have been able to vote since 1920.

CP: WHAT? I only read up to the 2nd amendment you know the “right to bare arms”.

A: Yeah, so apparently women make up over 50% of the electorate too.

CP: Oh. Oh crap.
A: Yeah. Damn.

Currently in the USA there is in my opinion a definite a war on women and their rights. I have been watching the level of policy promoting women disintegrate to where our sisters in the USA are slowly having their rights stripped away.

Late last year when I heard of some of the submitted acts and laws I thought “surely, this has to stop, I mean this legislation being debated is ultra-conservative extremist views, they won’t get passed.”

But no, I was wrong. I seems that every week I read something going from bad to worse. From women in Virginia being forced to have an ultrasound before an abortion, to Arizona where women have been literally legislated into a permanent state of pregnancy and Wisconsin’s repeal of the Equal Pay Rights act justified for the reason that money more important to men and therefore are more deserving of it.

And all of this in 2012.

What is worrying about this huge backlash against women occurring overseas, especially in a country such as the US that has such a cultural influence on Australia – in which the media it produces saturates our market, there has got to be political consequences that flow on.

This horrifies me. With the entire east coast of Australia governed by the Coalition party and with the chance that Tony Abbott could be the next Prime Minister I am very concerned over the position this would leave my rights and all women’s rights in Australia.

Since the Baillieu government was elected, Victoria has already seen the backtracking of equal opportunity laws and a continued struggle for better working conditions and pay by public sector workers who fill occupations that are predominantly taken on by women, such as nurses and teachers.

I am angry that I have to be worried about my rights as a woman in society today and I really should not have to be.

The situation in the US has gone far from being one-off extremist attack on the rights of minorities to a point of traditional mainstream conservatism which only views women as baby carrying receptacles. Before this goes any further backwards than it already has it needs to stop. Right now.

Women in the US have not been silent on the issue and there is a growing campaign calling for all women to use their vote wisely and to call out their local representative to remind them of that pesky little 19th amendment thing. Check out this video about equal pay in the US:

and the “Unite Against the War on Women” campaign.

And they really need reminding that we, both here and worldwide,  have a right to be treated equally and not as lesser citizens unable to make our own decisions, so they do not continue to make them for us.

This entire situation over the Atlantic reminds me why I am a feminist and why feminism is still so, so important in this day and age.

I am angry and concerned about what might happen to my rights, and I really shouldn’t have to be and that is why I am a feminist and you should be too.

In sisterhood,

This post was written by Freya Logan, Secretary of the Monash Student Association. To get in touch or involved with the MSA please head over to their website http://monashstudentassociation.com/ or ‘like’ them on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/msa.clayton

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