Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Women Ignore Legacy Of Opposing Wars And Militarism #daywithoutawoman

The Women's Peace Parade, New York City, 1914
Historically, women's movements were in the forefront of opposing wars and militarism. Theories of why this might be abound. 
Pioneering social worker Jane Addams and delegates en route to the Hague conference, 1915

Is it because women revere life and oppose violence as a way of death dealing? 
Vietnam war protesters

Is it because women revere life and know that resources diverted to guns are taking butter from the mouths of hungry children? 
Joan Baez, Mimi Farina and ????, 1968

Is it because women know that girls and women suffer most under conditions of war and in hypermasculine, militarized cultures? 

Is it because women revere life and know that wars are an environmental disaster for the future of life on our planet?
Canadian antiwar protesters, 2014

Now we have the regularly marching "resistance" to a viciously misogynistic demagogue with bad hair and his terrible cabinet and cabal of right wing advisors. Privileged women will be striking today in the U.S. while the many female workers who cannot afford to do so may show support by wearing red. 

I'll wear the red but, even though I am privileged enough to get away with skipping work for a day without a loss of pay, I won't be doing so. Why? 

Here's the long list of issues the organizers of today's strike have identified. What's missing from this list?

We believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. We must create a society in which women - including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, disabled women, Muslim women, lesbian queer and trans women - are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments. 
Women deserve to live full and healthy lives, free of all forms of violence against our bodies. We believe in accountability and justice in cases of police brutality and ending racial profiling and targeting of communities of color. It is our moral imperative to dismantle the gender and racial inequities within the criminal justice system.
We believe in Reproductive Freedom. We do not accept any federal, state or local rollbacks, cuts or restrictions on our ability to access quality reproductive healthcare services, birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention, or medically accurate sexuality education. This means open access to safe, legal, affordable abortion and birth control for all people, regardless of income, location or education. 
We firmly declare that LGBTQIA Rights are Human Rights and that it is our obligation to uplift, expand and protect the rights of our gay, lesbian, bi, queer, trans or gender non-conforming brothers, sisters and siblings. We must have the power to control our bodies and be free from gender norms, expectations and stereotypes.
We believe in an economy powered by transparency, accountability, security and equity. All women should be paid equitably, with access to affordable childcare, sick days, healthcare, paid family leave, and healthy work environments. All workers – including domestic and farm workers, undocumented and migrant workers - must have the right to organize and fight for a living minimum wage.
We believe Civil Rights are our birthright, including voting rights, freedom to worship without fear of intimidation or harassment, freedom of speech, and protections for all citizens regardless of race, gender, age or disability. We believe it is time for an all-inclusive Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.  
We believe that all women’s issues are issues faced by women with disabilities and Deaf women. As mothers, sisters, daughters, and contributing members of this great nation, we seek to break barriers to access, inclusion, independence, and the full enjoyment of citizenship at home and around the world. We strive to be fully included in and contribute to all aspects of American life, economy, and culture.
Rooted in the promise of America’s call for huddled masses yearning to breathe free, we believe in immigrant and refugee rights regardless of status or country of origin.  We believe migration is a human right and that no human being is illegal.
We believe that every person and every community in our nation has the right to clean water, clean air, and access to and enjoyment of public lands. We believe that our environment and our climate must be protected, and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited for corporate gain or greed - especially at the risk of public safety and health.

The Democratic Party, which is behind most of today's organizing, supports every war that comes down the pike. They clearly plan to continue doing so. They can do it without me.

Women ignore wars and militarism at their peril. Whether it's out of false patriotism (check out the root of that word, my sisters) or fear of "terror" or even political ambition, this blindness is fatal. Without women's leadership to step away from the weapons and the gargantuan Pentagon budget and its carbon bootprint, life on Earth may be doomed. 

Arise, women, and stand for life instead of silently supporting endless war against your sisters around the planet. Withdraw your support from the war machine and watch it crumble.

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