Silence of the Women

It seems as if  you can’t go anywhere in the news where there isn’t something that written or said about women’s issues or injustices.  Simply put  I am appalled at the amount of ‘women hating’ exploits; while bills taking away a woman’s right to choose are still teetering, bills inflicting more medical procedures (demoralizing medical procedures) in the event an abortion is needed have surfaced more than ever (state by state), placing women in precarious and humiliating positions.  Also, blame seems to have reared its ugly head in the courtroom when it comes to certain rape cases.  As if to say that what a woman wears is the same as her clothing taking a man’s penis by force and placing it (by force) into the woman’s vagina (or any other orifice).  While, in other cases, unconscionable sentences are being handed down to women who were arrested for simply defending themselves from their abusive spouses/boyfriends (like the one in Florida… look for comments from this writer later).

While history reveals to us that Lady Liberty betrays her own; and no, this  is not ‘news’, it also shows us that the ‘silent treatment’ oh so wittingly  seems to pop up  around every major election.  That somehow we women must be taken and controlled and/or silenced.  Funny, the  last election where we women have ever had such an overwhelming endorsement really,  was in 1912! (100 years ago? C’mon!).  Case in point: Women’s Suffrage took center stage in the presidential

Woodrow Wilson, Norman E. Mack (LOC)

Woodrow Wilson, Norman E. Mack (LOC) (Photo credit: The Library of Congress)

campaign.  But even that caused the two party’s (deeply divided in each, but mostly in the Republican, by Progressivism) to split off into three.  The Progressive party, which was created for past president Theodore Roosevelt, openly endorsed Women’s Suffrage, as they did have the most to gain.  Woodrow Wilson and President William Taft, however were opposed.

It is interesting to me in reading of the outcomes of the elections in California that women were no longer waiting for their husbands to tell them what to do, they wanted a voice and were showing up and voting.  In 1912 there were a little over 1 million women of voting age in the six states where women had the right to vote. When this happened in states such as Washington in 1910 and in California in 1911, the Electoral College vote more than doubled. The four states that enfranchised women in the 19th Century – Wyoming (1869), Utah (1870/96), Colorado (1893), Idaho (1896) showed for the first time in this election (the election of 1912) where the candidates treated the female populace as important members of society, that perhaps the ‘silent treatment’ (or silencing nearly half of their populace) would be a far greater detriment.  My question is when and why did this flip back?

Our votes matter ladies; don’t they get that?  Yet, when election time rolls around we seem to get side-tracked with women’s health issues (the moral right and wrong of it) or other issues that want to place us back another fifty years.  Men hear me, hear us; all we want (all we have ever wanted) is to be treated as equal members of society; why is this so hard for you to understand?  Not shut down, not treated as chattel slavery and not treated as mere sex toys or slaves.

For some reason, when women speak out, when they speak intelligently about an issue and men disagree, it’s all about controlling her.  Suddenly the slangs come out (they can’t help themselves).  Last week it was announced that U.S. conservative commentator S.E. Cupp was photo-shopped by Hustler magazine in a very compromising position to look like she had a penis in her mouth; a penis in her mouth… interesting.  I guess that is a fairly profound way of shutting a person up, wouldn’t you say?

Many came to her defense, but surprisingly many did not.  What baffles me is that women, like Rosanne Barr (guess I should consider the source) felt that she deserved this; really?  So, I guess if she were to be walking down the street half-naked she would then deserve to be gang raped?  I’m not sure how they can see this as deserving?  If you wish to make a point, you come back with duct tape on the mouth… Or a face with no mouth… that would be taken well.  But, I don’t see Larry Flynt placing penises in Rush Limbaugh’s mouth or Glen Beck’s mouth (and Mr. Flynt doesn’t seem to be a person who would be in agreement with these two men or seem to care for their politics).

Also, this war with women; OK, let me rephrase… this war with the women we don’t happen to agree with; it is far too easy to place them in a sexually explicit light.  Why?  Would it also  be considered “just part of the 1st amendment” and “it’s just satire” so everybody is OK with it if we took say Clarence Thomas and placed him in a loin cloth eating water melon and with big cheesy white grin say “mmm mmm, I jusss luv me some water melen  with a piece of pubic hair… yassir!”  Would we?  We are just making a funny-haha.  It’s just a ‘satire’.  But is that just as acceptable?  Why is it more acceptable for women to be in compromising positions than for black men to be even hinted at as slaves or Uncle Toms?

I tell you why, because they are MEN and we are merely women.  We are the opposite sex and it is sex that drives this war.  Until you realize that misogyny is driven by arrogance and not sex drive, by anger not love or nurture, and by jealousy not caring; until we realize this we haven’t a chance.

I tell you what, if good ole Larry Flynt had taken Black Conservative radio talk show host James T. Harris and photo shopped him with a penis in his mouth and sent that photo?  Good ole Larry would have been up on criminal charges and the whole country would have been up in arms.  We would have race riots in every city.  Hell, now the Gay community would be getting itself involved!  But place a penis in a woman’s mouth and all is right with the world and we call it 1st Amendment rights; ‘satire’.

Women have been silenced since the beginning and it is high time we break this.  This last week I had a friend of mine tell me she was sexually harassed.  I was speaking to my brother who was telling me that it was no surprise as she is a beautiful woman.   Now wait!  Back up the bus!  Sexual harassment has nothing to do with beauty, sexual attraction, or attraction [period].  It does have to do with, as I said earlier, jealousy, anger, power, misogyny.

100 years ago we made history and showed our male cohorts that we have the sense God gave us (many times our sense is better than a man’s… sometimes it’s not… such is life).  But we can’t forget that we only got the 19th Amendment in 1920 (less than a Century old folks).  And there is still so much to do.

So, we must ask ourselves, why?  Why is it that when a man runs a great business and is successful; he’s called a successful business man?  Yet a woman is called some colorful slang depicting a female dog (or worse).  Why is it that when a man spews out his commentary and people don’t agree with it, they tweet, they Facebook, they use all the resources out there.  At worse there might be a caricature of them somehow, but I’ll bet it’s uncompromising (Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck – where were the penises?  I ask you Larry?).  But, take a woman who is out spoken and firm in her beliefs and she is silenced with a penis (almost like gang raped, isn’t it?).

When are we going to stop this?  You tell me…  I may not agree with S.E. Cupp (or Rush or Glenn), but c’mon this woman did not deserve to be silenced, not this way.  Larry says it’s satire, simply a caricature.  I say NO!  Sex is sex and it sells, true.  And as long as both parties are consenting there is no problem.  But when you take a persons picture and you place it in a such a way as this?  Then there’s a problem.  Ms. Cupp did nothing to deserve this and I say we all better take note and speak out.  This is a crime and it’s an injustice against all women.  We are still far from equality.  We are closer than we were, but still  have so far to go.  We will get there, but not if we stay quiet.  I personally don’t believe the 19th Amendment would have made it had it not been for women like Alice Paul; many disagree.  But she put it in everyone’s face and wouldn’t let up.  This can’t go on.  Freedom of speech is one thing, what Mr. Flint did is entirely something else.


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