As I am writing this, the US Supreme Court has overturned Roe vs Wade, taking 50-year-old freedoms away from women in this country. It’s about abortion, yes, but it’s about so much more, too. It’s about a group of people who want to impose their beliefs on everyone else. It’s about control. It’s about keeping women “in their place,” which is farther down the ladder than white men. I’m always amazed at women who subscribe to this type of control, who are willing to bow to whatever men and some religions want and demand. We are strong and able to control our own lives. Why would any woman want to be subservient to anyone else or ideology?
What is even more difficult for me to understand is the lack of care people give to unwanted children. Many are against any kind of social programs that might help families take care of their children or prevent unwanted births, like free child care and birth control. They only care that the child is born, not how it will be cared for in the long-term. I’ve heard the phrase, “pro-birth” not “pro-life” that describes those people. Some unwanted children have terrible, violent lives or not enough to eat. Many are homeless. Some end up dead from abuse. Where are these high-minded people when such need is so great?
This month also includes Independence Day, July 4. Somehow it doesn’t ring true this year for me. The rights of women have been diminished. Where is our freedom?
I wrote the following poem after Texas passed their anti-abortion law, but it serves to describe this new blow to women’s freedoms, too:
Her faith abides by the cycle of the moon.
See how perfect she is. from “She Is” by
Tsering Wangmo Dhompa
Her voice is swallowed by air rising. . .
from somewhere outside herself.
It takes her breath away; she is suffocating.
Waves of wind blow into her nostrils,
and she cannot do anything to stop it;
now there is no sound.
It is all silence;
then it is a cacophony of words shouted.
Then it is done. It is over; she has lost her voice.
It has been taken from her. . .
and her body.
Her mind is paralyzed.
She cannot believe words cried above the din of loss.
She is alone with nothing to hold on to.
She is sinking back in time, back when fear was alive.
It is alive again, even now in this age of awareness.
Darkness is falling fast into the closing window;
there is nothing to see.
It is all gone, taken away by the signing of a document,
hand-cuffing her to words she did not utter. . .
to which she did not agree.
She will fight though her mouth has been closed.
She will not let this stand.
She weeps in grief, in anger.
She rises to do battle and stands strong.
It will not stand.
She is the perfect storm. See how perfect she is.
© 2021 Dorothy A Joslyn
Write about your feelings that have come from recent legislative and court decisions regarding women’s rights, abortion, or other women’s issues.
What can you do to help keep more legislation from becoming law that demeans or denigrates women?
How can we make this a safer, more livable country for children so they don’t grow up abused, hungry, and homeless?
A very eloquent and powerful poem, Dottie. I could feel the words rising as if from the depths of your being, the words emerging like strength in the face of mortal threat. Outrage finding its voice. These are words that cry out to be published prominently as part of the struggle that is now on.
Thanks for your response, Robert. I did have a strong reaction to all that’s been going on with women’s rights. I’m glad it came through in my poem. Thank you, too, for your support of my work. You’re a wonderful friend.