The current GOP is literally a dinosaur on its way to extinction, unless by a miracle it manages to change course, but I don’t believe in ‘miracles.’ They yearn for the “good ole days” so much that they are attempting, and unfortunately succeeding on red states where they control the government, to take the country back to another era, stubbornly refusing to advance forward and embrace the 21st Century. Instead they are stampeding back in time.
Their open dislike of today’s women is obvious. They despise modern women that have proved to be qualified to hold any position previously held only by men and in many instances performing better than men. The GOP is not happy to see that women, in the majority, are capable to juggle work, fun, home and family and that men usually drown in despair when placed in the same scenario as a single-mother. Women have demonstrated to be able to do the job of a man at the corporate level and the job of a woman in their homes. They’ve shown the tenacity to succeed at the workplace, being as professional as her peers while tender and loving when she is at home with her family. This represent a threat to the GOP and the men that approve the attacks on women this Party is relentlessly inflicting.
James Wilson, one of the Founding Fathers of this country and one of the first six Supreme Court Justices appointed by George Washington, wrote in 1790 a piece called “Of the Natural Rights of Individuals” . In this piece he expressed his personal opinion regarding when life begins: “With consistency, beautiful and undeviating, human life, from its commencement to its close, is protected by the common law. In the contemplation of law, life begins when the infant is first able to stir in the womb. By the law, life is protected not only from immediate destruction, but from every degree of actual violence, and, in some cases, from every degree of danger.” The GOP reveres this particular quote as if the opinion of one man, given over 200 years ago, is unquestionable. James Wilson was your typical 18th Century man and expressed himself as most men and even women did back in those days; but Republicans of the 21st Century still believe and promote the same, obsolete views and that is unacceptable.
Abortion has been performed long before we obtained our independence. During the 1820s many statutes regarding abortion sprung throughout the young nation under the disguise of protecting women and their safety, but just as it is happening today, it was more about control and religious beliefs than the wellbeing of women. The laws they passed regarding abortions included the incarceration of women and physicians who dared to break that law, regardless of the reasons they had to seek these abortions.
Society during the 18th Century and well after the 19th Century considered women incapable of making their own decisions. In a family where they were many children - very common back then - if the children were lucky enough to go to school it was usually the male who had that advantage, unless the parents were rich; females would go up to 6th grade if lucky after all, they would marry and have their husbands to support them financially, they didn’t need to go to school but the rich girls were taught to read, write and basic math. The poor didn’t go to school regardless of gender.
University was out of the question for the vast majority of women and very few were lucky to attend. The “middle class” trained their daughters to work at the family business which may have been a tavern, a store or some other service establishment they may have owned. During the 1870s, only .7% of women went to college. For the American society of two centuries ago, women were sub citizens. They were not allowed to vote, many were not even allowed to write a check and all decisions – personal or family ones – were made by the men in her family. They didn’t have a voice, they were expected to provide comfort to the members of her family, to nurse them if ill, to do all the household chores without complaining, to take care of the children, be the pillar of their homes and to provide their husbands with a tranquil and peaceful home and of course, fulfill their duties as spouses even when they weren’t up to it.
The treatment women were subjected to is clearly evident in the Declaration of Sentiments, presented at the First Women’s Rights Convention held in Seneca Falls, New York from July 19 to 20, 1848 and written by Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The Declaration of Sentiments (to read it in full, click here) among many things stated: “But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled. The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.” That sentiment is as true today as it was in 1848.
Those are the times Republicans want the country to go back to. They are using the same rhetoric employed during the 18th Century and it failed then as it will now. The Grand Old Party is becoming older than ever and as it happens to all of us, the older you get the closer you are to be departed. The Republican Party is closer to its grave than we can even imagine. That will be a funeral where I will not mourn the dead, instead I will celebrate it – I’ve been waiting a long time for that funeral procession!