Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Emma Watson, Women's Rights, the U.N. and the War on Women That Isn't

Emma Watson, the actress who starred as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, is the Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. In speaking for women's rights and against the daily and sometimes subtle and sometimes overt hostility against women, Ms. Watson has become a target of threats against her safety and against her reputation. But there is no war on women. For doing nothing more than speaking for equality, Ms. Watson is now the target of webpages threatening to release nude photographs of her in an attempt to tarnish her reputation, to humiliate her, and to cause her to stop speaking.

Now I don't know if there are nude photos of her, nor do I care. We all know how rampant photoshopped photographs are and before one more person says, "If you don't want nude photos leaked, stop taking them", I suggest you listen to the speech this impressive woman gave to the U.N., because you are part of the problem. What a woman does in her private life, is not anyone else's business and when that business is hacked and leaked, the blame should rest solely on the criminal, not the victim.

What the vast majority of people don't realize, both male and female, is that such an attack should be an affront to all of us, regardless of who we are or what we believe. If one person is stifled by threats of violence, and you sit back and do nothing or say nothing, you are as guilty as those who make the threats. And if you sit back and do nothing and say nothing, what do you expect to happen when someone threatens you as a way to intimate you into silence? Are you going to look around and wonder where the outrage is? Are you going to be looking for support in righting the injustices that happen to you when you didn't rise to that challenge when faced with the injustices happening to those around you?

When did women wanting to be treated with respect become such an affront to so many men? I am surrounded by loving, caring, compassionate men, all of whom want to see the women in their lives succeed and be happy. None of them are walking around cat-calling women, degrading them, blaming them for being attacked or raped. None of them think that because their wives or daughters wear athletic clothes to run means it's okay to attack them or wearing a skirt means it's okay to put a phone under her skirt and take photographs of her panties.

How did our world become so upside-down and when are we going to right it? Too many men are
keeping silent while women are victimized daily. Too many men are being silent when other men talk about women asking for it, liking it, wanting it, deserving it. Too many men are doing nothing while women's rights are being stolen.

If you think there is no war on women, I challenge you to go onto Twitter and search #YesAllWomen and listen to the issues that women face every day. Read the comments and take in the anger at these women for doing nothing more than vocalizing their personal experiences on Twitter. If you think there is no war on women, I challenge you to read some of the laws proposed in the past two to three years restricting women's access to health care and birth control. If you think there is no war on women, I challenge you to go to this site and read the bills that have come up in the past several years. I don't care if you read the article. I'm not trying to slant or sway your political views at all. Read only the last portion, if you like, which lists the bills and what they do.

Bill HR 358 is a bill in Pennsylvania that allows insurance companies to deny birth control to the extend that hospitals can refuse to do the abortion and refuse to transfer the patient to another facility, even if the mother's life is at risk.

Bill 1217 is a South Dakota bill that was signed into law in May of 2011, that requires women to have spiritual counseling prior to any abortion. It also limits who can provide that counseling. The councilor will make the final decision as to whether the abortion is performed or not.

Bill HB1166, also in South Dakota, is a bill that forces doctors to tell women seeking an abortion that they're at higher risk of suicide, a claim that is unsubstantiated by any scientific or medical evidence.

Bill 1210 in Indiana requires that physicians tell women that abortions cause breast cancer, even though there is no scientific or medical evidence that this is true.

Bobby Franklin is a State Representative in Georgia and has proposed a law making both abortion and miscarriage illegal. He calls it prenatal murder and wants it punishable by the same code as homicide, which means a woman who has either an abortion or a miscarriage could be sentenced to death.

Texas has made the so-called creeper photos, a protected right. What this does is make it perfectly legal for anyone to shove their cell phone or camera under your skirt or down the shirt of women, take a picture, and be protected from any criminal charges.

The Massachusetts Supreme Court threw out a lower court ruling penalizing a man for taking photographs up women's skirts and dresses on the public transportation system. State lawmakers quickly created a new law making this specific activity illegal.  You can read about it here.

This has to change, people. Look at the women you love and ask yourselves what life you want for them. Stand up.

Read this and tell me there is no war on women. Read this and tell me you're okay doing nothing and saying nothing. Better yet, read this and do something.


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