Misogyny: the world’s oldest prejudice. Indeed, women have been held in contempt by many men for centuries. They are blamed for Original Sin and accused of “asking for” rape. They have been dehumanized for millennia. At the same time, statues that symbolize liberty and justice are women. Liberty holds high a torch representing freedom. Justice holds a balance scale representing the fair and equal administration of the law.
The hatred of women has flourished in multiple ways. The founding fathers of the Catholic church wrote long rants against women. One wrote, “You are the devil’s gateway.” Hatred and distrust of women underlies much of Western law. We can see the results in the multiple laws recently passed that restrict access to abortion. These laws, that pretend to be about abortion, are quite transparently intended to control women and their reproduction. The effect is to eliminate our rights to bodily autonomy and self-determination.
Yet, misogyny is complex. In their daily lives, women may be held in contempt. Paradoxically, you see women revered in statues of Liberty and Justice. As another example, you see that reverence in the statues of the Virgin Mary. This planet is called Mother Earth.
But our social and legal systems deny women’s equality. That is where our fight takes place. As traced by history, women have always been there, unacknowledged yet powerful. Today our power is no longer hidden. We are punching through the screen to become ever more influential. We are shaking up the traditional social order.
When we join together, our power multiplies. From kitchen tables, to street corners, to state houses, our own individual actions as citizens matter. We will steady the scales of justice for fairness, kindness and equality. We will hold high the torch of freedom to shed light on truth. We will stand tall and march forward together until there is reproductive justice for all.