As a citizen of the United States, I’m surrounded by so much ideological bullying that I no longer watch the news, nor tune into cable stations that focus on modern politics or the state of our union. I carefully source my news from the internet and my local newspapers. I’ve chosen to do so in order to be informed of the events and issues that concern and affect me, while avoiding the rants and ravings of the tea party conservatives and members of the religious right whose rhetoric makes my blood boil and my feminist heart break.
Hope for a positive change in our national consciousness accompanied the inauguration of President Obama. This optimistic expectation has evaporated into thin air. Tragically, Obama’s election has brought every bigot, racist and narrow-minded man and women out into the open, be it through social media, reality TV or local “man-on-the-street” interviews, where they proudly proclaim the truth, as they see it. I’m especially infuriated by those who latch on to a catchy, politically charged phrase they’ve heard and gleefully repeat it ad nauseam, without a moment’s worth of fact-checking.
Besides our president, women are fair game. When I say they’ re repeatedly hit below the belt, it’s not only a figure of speech, it’s where women are targeted most frequently. The words hateful men spit in our direction are obscene. The rules self-righteous religious leaders concoct are demeaning. The women who stand by these men, who are their husbands, in some cases, cause me particular distress. Do they worship a god who would debase them? Is self-loathing their excuse? And, while we’re on the subject, do they refrain from using contraceptives?
The call to arms is at fever’s pitch, now. Ban our abortions, murder our doctors, insist on ultrasounds, take away our contraceptives, limit our healthcare, all in the name of God. Strip us of our dignity and our rights, rights won with the real blood, sweat and tears of those who fought for what should have been ours, from the day the first male child emerged from his mother’s womb.
It’s a tragic era in America’s history, to be sure. And what makes it worse is that so many people don’t even know what’s happening, nor do they seem to care.