March represents the accomplishments women have made across the country. It's interesting women were granted the right to vote in August 1920, but it wasn't until 1981 when Congress authorized and requested the President of the United States to proclaim the week beginning March 7, 1982 to be considered, "Women's History Week.' (Ironic that both Black History Month and Women's History Month started out as just a week!). It would be close to five years later in 1987 when a week went to a month. What's interesting is each year the President still has to issue an annual proclamation confirming March as "Women's History Month."
I think it's ironic, or coincidental, not sure what you would make of it, that we recently experienced the battle over women's health issues around the subject of oral contraceptives being testified by Sandra Fluke. Ms. Fluke testified on behalf of women who will benefit from the Affordable Care Act Contraception Coverage Regulation. Her controversial testimony has caused so many thoughts, words and emotions to fly. She has been called a heroine, a "slut" and a fake to name a few. We've all heard how Rush Limbaugh attacked her calling her "out of her name" and eventually having to apologize. What's interesting is Sandra Fluke said his apology doesn't change anything. She dismissed his statement as insufficient. Ms. Fluke stated that she felt he really wasn't sorry for how he thought, just on his choice of words, (probably pressure from advertisers) as she sought to refocus the discussion on access to contraceptives being a matter of women's rights. In one of his statements, Limbaugh said before a panel of lawmakers as asking, "you and me and the taxpayers" to pay her "to have sex." He said the request made her a "slut" and "prostitute" and would make the American public "pimps."
Fluke argued that oral contraceptives are important for women's health and she focused on its medical uses beyond just preventing pregnancy. Medically there are several reasons women benefit from taking oral contraceptives, one being the problem with cysts. What I find interesting is how a man can pass judgment on something he will personally never understand or have reason to need. Whereas, President Obama personally called Ms. Fluke and extended his support to her for testifying on behalf of all women.
The subject of women's rights whether we are discussing health, trafficking or dealing with equality in the workplace is still an issue on the table that must be fought. Although someone may issue an "apology" and yes, I am totally an advocate of forgiveness, we can't forget the battles that have been fought for the rights of women and those without a voice. If we are not careful we will lose all the gains that have been made. Take this month to find a way to "march" forward in helping the life of a girl or woman to have a better life.
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