Thursday, February 17, 2011


There was a chant that arose out of the nascent anti-sexual assault movement in the1970's-"Women Unite Take Back the Night." We put it on t-shirts, signs, organized take back the night marches, and chanted the chant through the streets, and into the civic centers of cities across the country.  While it focused on making the street safe for women after dark, it was the cry that heralded women claiming a basic human right; the right to freedom from sexual violence.  It was the cry that said, we would no longer accept blame for the criminal behavior of sexual abusers. With all that is coming out these days from the GOP (local, state and nation), their cheerleaders in the reactionary right, and for sure from ill-informed, ignorant, and downright detestable bloggers, I offer a friendly amendment to the chant-"WOMEN UNITE, STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS."

Little did we know in the 1970's that breaking through the myths, and raising consciousness about rape, incest and child sexual abuse would lead to the open discussion of these crimes and routine reporting about sexual assault on national media outlets, it was our aim, our hope and our dream, but believe me we never thought we would get here. We didn't think we would get here, because the kind of victim blaming that has come from some in response to the news story about the assault, in Egypt, on CBS reporter Lara Logan, was commonplace back then, even in courtrooms from the mouths of defense attorney's.

But again we had hope because women came together, young and old, rich and poor, black and white, and, wait for it-Republican and Democrat to educate, illuminate and legislate. Of course back then we were not many years down the road from woman not being able to get credit without a male co-signer, or not being able to freely choose a career outside homemaker, nurse or teacher, or from being able to plan a pregnancy and prevent unplanned pregnancy, or get the picture. We were however committed to, in the word of the song, not letting anyone turn us around.  We kept on walking, we kept on talking and we did start a brand new day.

Well with the legislative initiatives from GOP majorities in Congress, and many state houses, with the attempt to re-define rape as means of legitimizing forced pregnancies, with the likes of Michele Bachmann ridiculing a tax break for working moms who are breast-feeding an infant, and with the sickening victim blaming of Lara Logan, it seems from my old eyes that not only are women getting turned around, we are getting turned out, put down and threatened with once again being considered chattel. Time to call a halt-WOMEN UNITE, STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS.
Like the saying from that old series of horror flicks-they're back. The scary part of this movie however is that they have names like, Michele Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Debbie Schlussel and Sarah Palin and although they look like real women, I think they must be female impersonators. WOMEN UNITE, STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS. I can see the streets and corridors of power filling now, and I can hear the crescendo of voices chanting, WOMEN UNITE STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS, WOMEN UNITE, STAND FOR YOUR RIGHTS. Can you hear it? Can you see it?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The push against reactionary supression must continue for all. "Non illegitimi Carborundum"