I read. I read whatever I get my hands on. I read news - especially news that affects me as a person living in the United States of America.
And I'm disheartened.
I feel as though the boat has sailed and I'm still standing on the dock.
I grew up in a time when FEMALES took a back seat. I remember being told in high school that I couldn't be a member of (or take classes) in the FFA - Future Farmers of America. I could be nominated for FFA Queen, but I couldn't be a part of it ... even though my background was animal science and I was planning on a career in the industry.
I remember meeting with my advisor at Colorado State University the first time. He told me he "didn't like female vets" and didn't like "female vet students" and told me flat out that he didn't want to ever see me in his office again. For four years, I forged his signature on registration papers.
I remember being denied admittance to veterinary school because "it would be waste of resources to train a woman who might get married and have children."
I remember watching the total destruction of a family of four when the 12-year-old daughter was denied a legal abortion after being sexually assaulted. TWELVE years old! And ... I was in the damn delivery room and watched that child deliver a "thing" that wasn't even close to being a human being. That girl's body was NOT ready for pregnancy or childbirth. But there were no options for her - or her parents - before Roe V. Wade. And because of that ... ALL members of that family were destroyed ... dead or in prison. I'll tell you the story if you ask.
I remember being told that "women can't be news people on radio because nobody trusts them." And then I stormed my way through a 22-year career in radio broadcasting. And it wasn't easy. I thank Bob Crites for giving me a chance ... and I ended up in the positions of DJ, News Anchor, News Reporter, News Director, Public Affairs Director, Talk Show Host. And all the way to the end, I was someone who stood out because I was a woman.
I remember being told that I couldn't get a raise ... the same raise as my male counterpart who was doing the SAME job as I was ... because "Joe had a family." Uh ... what in the hell were my two sons?
I remember the days when contraception was NOT available to all women in the United States.
I remember when male doctors treated female patients as "things." When I saw my first obstetrician, I started asking questions and he said, "Don't worry your little head about this." Uh ... WHAT? This is MY pregnancy, MY baby, MY life!" I fired him and found a female OB/GYN.
Well ... things have changed ... right? Uh ... not so much. Since the Republican Party became the "in crowd" in Congress and state legislatures around the country, women have been shoved to the back of the bus. What I (and others in my generation) worked so hard for, has been destroyed.
A doctor in Oklahoma recently denied a rape victim the early emergency contraception medication. Why? Because it was against the doctor's "beliefs."
In Virginia, women - even those who are dealing with a life-threatening pregnancy - must undergo an ultrasound and a waiting period before terminating her pregnancy. How many lives will be lost because of this law?
In Arizona, doctors can now LIE to women about the state of their pregnancy. Doctors do NOT have to tell women in that state about any medical issues that might warrant an abortion.
In Arizona, women are classified as pregnant two weeks BEFORE they had the sex that could have resulted in a pregnancy!
Congress turned down a re-authorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Why? Because it included Native-American women, undocumented immigrant women, and gay/lesbian women. Hmmm ... it's okay to commit violence against a certain group of females? I find that unacceptable! Just read the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and see if YOU can excuse the congressional action.
Now do you see why I'm disheartened? Women's rights have been moved back to the 1950s! And I don't hear the young women of America fighting back. They grew up in a time when they didn't have to fight and they don't understand that THEY are now the targets of the people who want to keep them down.
I wish ... oh, how I wish ... that our young women would fight. FIGHT! Fight to keep the rights and protections that were won for you! FIGHT for your dignity and your privacy!
And I'll fight with you.