Women today

So there’s a lot of stuff to talk about from the months of June and July. I’ve been trying to wrap my head around one thing and then another comes hurtling down. So let’s recap for a moment:

Women have been in the news a lot lately. That is if you’ve been paying attention.

In June the Supreme Court repealed the “buffer zone” around abortion clinics claiming it violated the free speech rights of the “sidewalk counselors” better known as protestors. This has already resulted in more “no-shows” as women fear they will be harassed for entering the clinics by these supposed “counselors”.

Imagine if this was what greeted you outside your doctor's office.

Protestors gather outside the (now defunct) buffer zone.

Many organizations purport themselves as an “educational resource” for women who want to have an abortion but many of these clinics tell us that these protestors do much more harm than good to women who may already be struggling with one of the most difficult decisions they may ever make. Already some of these “counselors” are following patients to the doors of clinics, attempting to change their mind about the procedure.

The now infamous Hobby Lobby ruling has made it possible for certain “closely held companies”, which applies to many more than one might think, to deny women access to specific types of birth control (mainly emergency contraceptives) based on their religious beliefs (whether or not they’re scientifically true is a moot point). Women around the country were angered by the infringement on their ability to have coverage for basic contraceptive treatments and there are multiple companies following suit with Hobby Lobby.

In Texas on July 10th a man shot and killed six members of his family and critically injured his niece because he was looking for his estranged ex-wife. His wife has a protective order against him and he had been charged with simple assault but none of these things stopped him from obtaining guns and seeking to harm family members in an attempt to kill his wife. The 15-year old victim who survived was able to call 911 and prevent him from shooting other family members. He was eventually arrested and is awaiting trail.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.26.50 PM The incident has sparked conversation about gun laws in relation to protective orders and convicted stalkers as well as how to redefine relationships in a society that is getting married less and less.

And now according to a recent study psychologists have discovered why “promiscuous” women are looked down on by society: because they’re viewed as financial dependent on the men in their lives. This is a common belief despite the fact that more women than ever make more money than their husbands and are more educated. (This is not the majority but it is a sign of progress). Why is this such a common belief when there is evidence all around us that refutes these stereotypes? Because news programs like Fox continue to talk about the “problems” that female breadwinners present to our society.Screen Shot 2014-07-12 at 12.25.38 PM They run segments on how to keep your husband happy and Bill O’Reilly blathered on about how Beyonce was not setting a good example for young children (despite the fact that she’s happily married and was before she had her first child unlike hundreds of other celebs).

Oh and remember Todd Akin and his “legitimate rape” comments back in 2013?

Todd Akin Well he’s back and apparently he’s not sorry about them because it led to a “misinterpretation” of what he said. In case you were on the moon when this happened in 2012 Akin, who was running for Senate, said that: “if it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.” Now Akin is saying that he stands by his statements but is clarifying them further saying that he is talking about a “legitimate rape” in the sense that the claim is based on evidence and is not being used to “avoid an unwanted pregnancy”. So basically he is saying that some women claim rape so they don’t have to face the shame that they got pregnant on accident but if it is a “legitimate” rape the stress but on the fertilization system will prevent pregnancy. Thankfully this man was not elected in the 2012 Senate race.

These are just some of the things that are facing women every time they turn on the news. We see our right to birth control being taken away, our autonomy as people being doubted by a major news network, men who stalk and assault us are able to get through legal loopholes that still allow them to own guns, and people who are supposed to represent us in the governing body have absolutely no idea what rape is and what it does to a person. I’ll be doing individual blog posts this week about each of these issues so hold tight and keep reading.

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