The Last Minority

I think it's about time I returned to the first political movement I got involved with: women's rights. Why? Women are what I call the "last minority", since within every minority (racial, homosexual, people with disabilities, even children), there are women. And if that minority is subject to discrimination, it's even worse for the women in that group, since there is general discrimination against women, and it's even more difficult to address.

Additionally, women's rights are under attack with even more vigor than before. Voting laws requiring identification disenfranchise the poor, homeless, people with disabilities, the elderly, and all of these classes include many women. Even more women than men in some of these classes, like the elderly.

Women are losing the right to make their own decisions about their own bodies and what happens to those bodies. It's even more insidious since it is forcing an often foreign moral point of view on them. While I'm completely in favor of doing what we can to reduce abortions through education and support systems, it's up to every woman to decide what is moral and what is not - these are subjective decisions without moral absolutes. Everyone has to decided what is right and wrong in these cases. And while you are entitled to your own opinion, you are not entitled to force it upon another person - as long as what they are doing does no harm to you or anyone else. And that last part is where it is far too subjective in the case of abortion, and every woman must decide, on their own: What is me, and what is not me?

Most importantly, we cannot effectively advance human goals with so many people suffering from a lack of basic needs and rights. Think of Maslow's hierarchy, but for the entire human species. Basic human needs, like food, and basic human rights, like bodily safety, would be toward the bottom. Any endeavor, like space exploration, would be closer to the top, and could arguably be more important for our survival as a species (like identifying asteroids that could impact Earth). Having at least half of our population (it's far more than half with basic physical needs not being met for so many) concerned with basic needs and rights detracts from any higher goal.

Lastly, one reason (of many) I want to have a girl as a second child is so I can help in some small way with these issues, by raising a woman who is aware of these issues and by enabling her to fight for her rights. Sure, I want to teach Luca to be aware and fight, too, but it's even more important for a woman to raise her voice in dissent. I want her to be confident, intelligent, and passionate. She will at least be able to stand up for herself if not for others as well. I want her to have a safe home to return to if she feels unsafe, to provide her a place to grow so she can figure out her place.

These seeds, if we plant them within men and women alike, will grow into fruit of change, and one day, maybe, we can say women have equal rights.