March brings with it spring, sunlight, and Women’s History Month. (And, this year, some global conflict and a third year of a pandemic! But that’s for another blog…)
The Second Wave of Feminism didn’t get us everything—but it got us Roe v Wade, a sense of empowerment, and the ability to distinguish between good sex and somebody squirting their love juice all over their partner whether s/he is ready. And in the decades since, Roe has been a constant firestorm for people claiming to be “Pro-Life.” To my observation they care about fetuses, not children who might need childcare money, and help with child tax credits if they are from a struggling family.
It infuriates me to see endless hypocritical attacks on women’s rights all these years later, like the new Texas abortion ban, which doesn’t allow exceptions in cases of rape or incest. Governor Abbot says “rape is illegal, and we will put a stop to it.” Good news indeed, except that in the millennia of human existence, rape has never been stopped.
But Gov. Abbot may be too easy a target, because I’m equally vexed these days by the loudmouthed women signing anti-LGBT laws, restricting reproductive rights, and assisting in the destruction of our democracy. (And heckling the president. Just not a good look.)
I don’t want to celebrate those women this month. They are the antithesis of feminists. And there are millions more just like them. Instead, I want to spend the month thinking again about the future—and re-defining feminism so it can be meaningful.
For me, feminism is about the strength to refuse diminishment or abuse. The smarts to demand real, complete, equality. I know there are plenty of us who feel this way, too—and am hopeful that, like ground cover, it will spread throughout our country, and the world. (And yes, I hope it will include compassion for animals.)
More to come on the women I’ll be thinking about and celebrating this month, and in the weeks beyond… but for now, happy March. Let’s go make history—for the better.