It's More Than A War On Women

Lauren Zuniga -- To the Oklahoma Lawmakers: A Poem (Strong themes, may not be appropriate for work or children)

We all process events through the lenses of our own experiences. I think what makes us liberals is that we do generally try to consider lenses other than our own. I haven't been the victim of institutional racism, but I can empathize with those who have, and it makes me more determined to challenge my presumptions. It's been my experience that conservatives typically do not care nor are they interested in any other lens but their own.

But I read something this weekend that made me realize that I had only considered my own lens in this mind-boggling GOP War on Women: it's not a war on women at all.

It's a war on all of us. Mike Penney:

[W]e’re all in this together – both male and female. The importance of an egalitarian balance amongst the genders is essential if the necessary cultural transformation is to transpire, so as realistically confront long-range planetary sustainability issues such as peak oil, global eco-rape, and the consumer madness depleting planetary reserves. A Higher Consciousness celebrating and promoting what the previously repressed nature of the feminine can contribute to the whole is essential; the repudiation of the right-wing, male-dominant culture’s “War on Women” is most immediate and imperative. Women are indeed the focal point, but it’s not just a “War on Women.” It’s worse. It’s an assault on all of us, women and men, seeking to escape the chains of a more primitive consciousness; it’s a war on all of us seeking a cultural transformation so as to leave a livable world for future generations of our species.

My focus has been on the violations against women, the infantilizing condescension that we couldn't understand our own bodies enough to make decisions without legislative interference. But that is a narrow lens. This condescension is an attitude that affects all of us, just like not pushing back against institutional racism reduces all of us. And there are tons of unintended consequences to allowing this kind of war on our health care. That's not just women being affected, but men, children and society as a whole.

So yes, women may be the focus, but this is a war on the kind of society we want to be. We must all fight, because we cannot let them win.

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