April 12, 2012

The War on Women


There are people who, despite their equal numbers throughout the world, are still treated like second-rate citizens. This group is constantly vilified and debased and judged for their decisions.

This group?  Women.

Women are and have been belittled by men, made to be objects for pleasure and servitude throughout history. But this has improved. The worst part is that now, women are condemning other women. Those that should be allies are turning against each other.

Yes, this post was inspired by the Hillary Rosen debacle. For those that have been living under a rock, Hillary Rosen recently said that Ann Romney has "never worked a day in her life." But this post is not a partisan comment. It's a comment about women--and my heartbreak that the people who are responsible for creating our world do not have any refuge from the storm.

Yes, there is more to the story. Rosen was remarking on the Romneys' perception of being out of touch with normal Americans. Yes, that fact might be true. But that's not the point right now.

As an LDS woman, I feel that there is no better use of my time on this earth than to be a mother. But that is my personal choice, based upon my religion and how I feel about myself.

Why is it okay to belittle and condemn women for how they choose to live their lives?

Ann Romney (all personal and political feelings aside) is an amazing woman. Raising 5 children and 16 grandchildren, surviving breast cancer, living with MS, and still being involved with church and volunteering, is work. She has truly led an accomplished and successful life.

So has Hillary Clinton (again, all political opinions aside). She attended Yale Law School, was the first female chair for Legal Services Corporation, and was twice listed as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. And that was thirty years ago. She has been a senator, First Lady, and is now the Secretary of State.

Despite your political views, it is obvious that both of these women are successful. It just depends upon one's definition of success. One can remark about Ann Romney's "inexperience in the real world", or one can condemn Hillary Clinton for only having one child, and bring up the failures of her marriage.

But as women, we should all support each other.

These problems exist everywhere. It is not just one side of the aisle condeming the other side. These judgments come from every angle. Friends who choose to marry and have children are belittled. I am criticized for working hard to go to graduate school.

"Women are the largest untapped reservoir of talent in the world. It is past time for women to take their rightful place, side by side with men, in the rooms where the fates of peoples, where their children's and grandchildren's fates, are decided." -Hillary Clinton

She's got it right. And the thing is, these "rooms where the fates of peoples....are decided", are everywhere. In our homes, our businesses, our governments. Wherever we want them to be.


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