I am a woman, and I am angry.

Dear Readers,

Hello. I realize that my blog is called a Bonney blog, and is thus supposed to be about happy, lovely, pretty things. But I’m taking a break from chatting about flowers, sunshine, and travel to tell you something: I am angry.

I’ll tell you why. I am really really sick and tired of the current public discourse about women’s issues. I feel I am constantly being offended and put upon by a blatantly sexist system these days. For goodness’ sake. This is 2012. I am nearly shocked that every time I turn on my computer right now, articles like this one pop up:

Senate judiciary committee endorses controversial contraceptive bill

If you don’t care to read it, it is basically a bill stating that employers have the right to deny birth control coverage to female employees if the employers have “religious objections” to the use of contraception.

I can’t believe that I live in the state that inspired this article:

When States Abuse Women

And this subsequent comic strip:

 

 

 

 

 

No matter what you think about abortion, seeing a comic strip about a woman “in the stirrups” is an embarrassment.

 

I am angry about seeing a presidential candidate blithely dismiss funding for a (granted, controversial) organization that provides preventative healthcare for thousands of underprivileged women:

 

DISCLAIMER: I realize that there is a strong argument against government funding for Planned Parenthood from those who believe abortion is immoral. I can see the point that even though tax dollars don’t go to abortions directly, having them to go a program that has a different morality is disconcerting to people who believe that life begins at conception. That is valid argument with a place in public discourse. I am not here to say whether government funding for PP is right or wrong. But ending funding for a program that provides affordable pap smears, cancer screenings, and standard healthcare to so many women should be a serious consideration. His tone of, “Oh! That stupid useless program!” is offensive no matter what side of the fence you fall on.

I AM ANGRY about the fact that there is even a need for articles like this one:

One-Way Wantonness

I am sick to tears of having my anatomy and hormones be a political issue. I am sick of name-calling of both conservative and liberal women.  I am sick of the lack of humility and consideration about these incredibly sensitive issues. It’s not about politics, it’s about respect.

I am so angry that I’ve had dear friends call me in tears because men in their life have called them terrible things, abused them, or humiliated them.

I am angry that found out this week that I was let go from my job because I am a nice and sweet person and would go quietly. Talk about questionable ethics. I’m not even sure what to call that. “Nicenessism?” “Kindness discrimination?” How about simple, easy “sexism.” Young women are notoriously asked to take too many things lying down.

Yeah, sexual pun intended.

Well, I’m not lying down now.

The talks about women these days sound like something out of an Onion article. We Women have fought too long for our rights to have our personal lives become fodder for a politician. We women have battled for respect for too long to have men call us nasty names in any platform, ever (cough cough, Rush Limbaugh). Hormone-regulating (aka birth control) pills have too many health benefits to women besides contraception for health insurance companies to get away with not covering them. No woman should ever be forced to reveal her medical history to her employer for the sake of receiving health coverage. These facts are so obvious I’m astounded I even have to state them.

I’m angry that the term “feminism” can’t be allowed to die, because there is clearly such a need for it. I am a woman. And I’ll say it again. I AM ANGRY.

 

4 Comments

  1. Susan
    March 16, 2012

    I agree AB and thank you for writing it! It is really shameful that these issues are happening to women. I am proud of your expression and of all the young women today who are voicing their opinions on these issues. Yea Doonesbury, too, for bringing these issues to the public eye as well. I think your words are spoken like a true Bonney.

  2. TRMII
    March 16, 2012

    AB, it’s a bummer, for sure. I think the reason that stuff like this crops up all the time is the basic premise of male-female relationships: sex based on attraction. Whether we like acknowledging it or not, that’s the subtext of almost every image of women in our country; it’s also the basis of most relationships. Even campaigns like Dove’s that focus on ‘real women’ or some other such misguided term functions on that same premise: men, be attracted to more than just runway models! It’s a thoroughly poisonous environment for men and women both.

    I can’t begin to describe how deflating it was for me to go through college listening to my friends and teammates (whom I love(d)) talk about women in just about the filthiest ways possible. Though it’s not as pervasive, I’m not immune, I like to push specific memory of similar instances to the side, but I know I’ve thought and said the same stuff about women before. It’s just kind of awful. And, to crown the absurdity, someone who doesn’t engage in the same kind of filthy talk or, worse yet, have sex with girls, gets insulted by getting called gay. I kid you not, not actively being a condescending prick when talking about women makes other guys think you’re gay.

    Women might not be bought and sold individually like objects anymore (well, they still are most places), but they’re certainly used as objects and symbols by every marketer in the capitalist world.

    I don’t really mean to be depressing in all this. I have every hope that if people like me can take notice of the propaganda about women that other people might, too. There’s also the fact that I think our generation has a lot of women in it who will be in charge of things. There will also be people with non-white skin who will be in charge of things. Both of those phenomena will result in some sort of shift away from this guy-scores-skinny-babe fantasy that’s played out in every sphere of society. I also hope that girls like you and Caitlin will make people realize that girls want to be talked to and not just looked at.

  3. Franny
    March 17, 2012

    I’m angry too Anna Beth about this very issue and thanks for writing so brilliantly about it and expressing how you and many of us feel. You rock!

  4. Anna Beth
    March 19, 2012

    Timbo! You have a tumblr. I had no idea, and I’ll confess it took me a good bit of time to figure out who you were! Thank you for weighing in; it’s so nice to have a male perspective on these issues. I’m sure being on a sports team, you had to endure all sorts of talk that would make most women blush. It is heartening to me that I have known so many kind, smart, respectful men, who actively work to fight the bill of goods we are all sold.

    You are so right; working in advertising, I see over-sexualized images so often. My (nearly entire female) team scoff constantly and work to tone down some of the messages we are asked to put out there. But it’s an uphill battle. It will be interesting to see with all the anti-women legislation happening right now what the backlash will be. Perhaps I’m being overly hopeful, but maybe all this national mess will re-open the conversation about how we treat and think about women.

    You’re awesome. I love your blog.

Leave a Reply