Freedom. It’s something we all take for granted. We grow up in this country being taught it is “the land of the free.” And I’m so very happy and excited about the SCOTUS ruling today, but I can’t help thinking how we’re not done. Yes, women now have the right to marry other women. And that’s great! But women, girls, ladies, we still do not have the right to be paid the same; to be in control of our own bodies. While our beautiful brothers and sisters are gaining rights, we continue to lose our own.
If we are working. If we are paying our taxes. If we are members of this country that says we are all equal, is it not time for us, as women, to have equality under the law? Do not tell me we do. Do not tell me about the two women you know of that do better than the men. Do not tell me there is equality between men and women. There is not.
Women. I was born one. I enjoy being a woman and yet I plainly see I am not an equal member in your society. I must work harder, earn less, keep my mouth shut, do as I’m told, and watch the men be strong, passionate, uncompromising and be seen by your society as strong, while I continue to be seen as weak; a liability; a trouble maker.
Women are succumbing every single day to the pressures we face. We give up because we’d prefer not to be beaten–either physically or emotionally, into submission. We do not accept the role you lay in place. We want our freedom and acceptance to follow our own path. We want to be able to have our children and be respected for our choice. We want our freedom to not have children and be respected for our choice. We are not second class because of our chromosomes. We are here. We work, we’re horribly represented in government. There may be men that represent our needs, but many of us are still too afraid to express them.
Women. We truly do hold up half the sky. And quite honestly, I’m tired of holding it up while not being treated an equal member of your society . The equal rights amendment has been waiting for close to 100 years. Either grant us equality or stop taking our tax dollars. And seriously, we need the country to acknowledge our equality or people will continue to treat us worse, pay us less, appreciate us less, and hurt us more. While every murder you see publicized is worthy of your outrage, the murder, rape, abduction, and general mistreatment of women goes unnoticed. If equal rights is truly no big deal, let’s ratify it. If every time it says “man” or “men” in the constitution just happens to apply to women too, let’s just make that change. And some may ask, “how do you not have freedom? ” I do not have the freedom to express my opinion without being beaten. I do not have the freedom to walk down the street without being harassed. I do not have the freedom to report sexual assault knowing I will be listened to and taken seriously (as a man assaulted by a man would.) I do not have the freedom to exercise my right to be or not be a mother without being harassed. I do not have the right to make the exact same salary, take the exact same vacation, be valued the exact same way every man at my workplace is valued. Please add to those I’ve forgotten, but we are not free. And knowing our government says we are equal will not solve every problem, it will acknowledge that we have a damn point and give us the grounds to speak up loud.
So, celebrate a victory for freedom today, but remember, we still aren’t free. Living in fear will never be freedom.