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Another day in the country

© Another Day in the Country

The history of women in America, land of the free and home of the brave, is a troubled tale. While brave ladies followed their husbands to new frontiers in quest of freedom to believe, freedom to attain, freedom to choose; their own personal freedom to do all of the afore mentioned was withheld. It was just the way it was. Things could have been worse. Most of them didn’t seem to mind. Some thought it their duty.

It’s mind boggling to learn that many women were little more than legalized slaves for the first hundred years of our country’s history. A woman belonged to a man, legally — given from her father’s hand to her husband’s. She had no right to leave her husband, once married, and if she didn’t marry, she had even fewer rights — destined in spinsterhood to be a servant, a nanny, without wages, living subservient in someone else’s home.

Some women, often provided for with an understanding father’s legacy, were able to flout these conventions and achieve beyond their station; but for the majority, they were held captive by the circumstances of their birth — meaning born female.

This startling way of doing things was a carry-over from England, I guess. Conventions die slowly, even with a group of people searching for freedom. It has only been during the last hundred years that women attained the right to own property, divorce, vote, and we’re still fighting for the right to equal pay for equal work.

We can still see the subservience of the female played out on the evening news, often in other countries, where women are denied the right to leave their home, show their face, drive a car.

“That’s in some foreign country,” we say, “Not here!”

But here, on the television I watched men, a panel, called in, sitting in their suits and collars, giving testimony to Congress. They are testifying about women? About their belief system? Talking about their first hand knowledge of the subject of childbirth? Homey don’t think so …

Where were the women? Oh, yes, there was at least one, later, testifying to her need for contraception to be included in her insurance policy, and wouldn’t you know it, some rather well known man calls her dirty names. I’m still waiting to see a panel of women in leadership called in. Who is asking women?

In this land of the free and home of the brave, it is my opinion that who should be talking about anything to do with procreation before Congress, should be the women, first and foremost, since it is within their bodies that this mighty miracle can exist. We know the basics: While the male sperm begins the process, it is the female body who is host to new life until it can be sustained at birth, breathe in the air after nine months gestation and become (as Scripture says) a living soul.

What is this masculine need to decide, make laws for and against, control. It’s their own bodies they should be controlling, not mine. I don’t see women making laws about male functions, or have we been making state laws about Viagra and I haven’t heard?

For me, it only stands to reason that since my body is host to the cycle of life, that I am the one endowed with life, liberty, and the freedom to make choices about either instigating or sustaining that role. And, as women, why would we not support this ability to choose wholeheartedly? You may believe differently, the cycle of life you’ve been taught, different than mine; but why would you choose for me?

All women certainly wouldn’t agree on the subject of procreation. Their actions and reactions running the gamut from sex as a sacred act through sex as recreation, to sex as troublesome and unnecessary. But we should be asked. No one should expect all women to agree; but what we should expect is that in this land of freedom, it is our right to choose.

It’s another day in the country, and suddenly I realized I’d missed the paper’s weekly deadline. I pondered, deleted, changed, read and reread my words. “Ah, well,” I said to myself, “maybe I should not be writing about this subject.” But then again, maybe I should! Think about it.

Last modified March 14, 2012

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