Sunday, February 26, 2012
I spent my Thursday night researching Madeleine Albright. She's amazing. I love her so much because she will not be silenced. When she was appointed Secretary of State, she was the highest ranking woman to date in the US government. In that position, she made women’s issues a priority and instructed US embassies worldwide to make the furtherance of women’s rights an integral part of US foreign policy. She brought women’s issues to the front, and she spoke up. Later in life, she said “It took me quite a long time to develop a voice, and now that I have it, I am not going to be silent.” I think this attitude of women using their voices is what will move women forward, because when people speak up, when people pay attention, it makes a difference.
An example of this is the recent Virginia State bill that would require women to have a transvaginal ultrasound before undergoing an abortion: a medically unnecessary procedure intended to bully women out of having abortions with emotional blackmail. The media has reacted viscerally to this, and as a result Virginia governor Bob MacDonnell changed his politics. Though he initially stated he would sign the bill, facing national backlash, he proposed amendments to the bill and released a statement saying he thought the bill had gone too far. It makes a difference when people pay attention.
Many women believe the women’s movement has come and gone. They are wrong. These issues are important in America today; this battle is still being fought. It is important to me that I can be part of the process of women forging our path and creating our own definitions of what it means to be a woman. After all, there is a special place in hell for women who don't help other women.