Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Justice for All Except Women

I may never understand what causes men to deny women freedom. The usual answer is denying women power, desire for domination. I think it's fear. Women do not take back their power because of fear, too. Men hold the governments, the religious leadership, the whip hand. I read an article by Laura Bassett today about the Catholic bishops and the lobbying to undo reproductive freedom, the church's minions using the ludicrous argument that allowing women birth control is an attack on freedom of religion. Tax the Catholic church. Lobbying against reproductive rights violates that tax-exempt status. Enough already. I'm watching Women War and Peace on PBS. Women are risking their lives to gain footholds in countries with horrific government-sanctioned and religious restrictions. Our country talks the talk, but do we walk with these women? U.N. Resolution 1325 was passed by the security council in 2000, resolving in a global body that women may not be excluded from peace negotiations. Are we holding any country accountable? Sanction governments that do not comply. Especially the bloody countries with our soldiers stationed in combat zones. While U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for global women's issues Melanne Verveer is working to get more women on peace counsels, our own legislatures are working overtime to deny women rights they are already guaranteed. I am mad as hell, and I want to do something that helps. I searched for an image of Justice, and was dismayed to find all passive images; a woman blindfolded, silently holding the supposed scales of justice, sword sheathed at her side, mute and powerless. Then I found this statue on a blog post from 2009. "...and Justice for All" by James N. Muir is installed at the St. Louis School of Law. Read the sculptor's thoughts about the statue. The law does not serve humanity, it serves power. Power can never allow itself to be subjugated to the individual. Holding space on my computer behind this magnificent statue is the Declaration of Rights and Sentiments, drafted by Elizabeth Cady Stanton and other women, and delivered at the women's rights gathering at Seneca Falls, NY in 1848. We have not achieved equal protection under the law of the United States, and we are under attack to remove those freedoms and rights we have secured. Muir's vision of Lady Justice is how I feel, my cells sing out a call to end the assault on women the world over. This is the time. We are the women. I claim my power, and celebrate other women who do in courageous and impactful harmony.

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