Stop Speaking for Me

Image via iStockPhoto/Deigo Cervo

It seems all sorts of folks have been speaking on my behalf about a few things. And I am referring to myself in the general “just your average mom” kind of way.   As a typical, average mom who believes in equality, choice and, well, love (I know, sooooo feminist of me), these folks seem to have me wildly misinterpreted and misrepresented. And that’s not OK.

Let’s start with a group that subtly titles itself “One Million Moms.” (I’m not linking to them because I don’t want to. Go find them for yourself if you wish.) People look at that name, however, and say, “Oh hey, that’s a whole lot of moms! That must be every mom! Let’s hear what all these moms think.”  Well, this group of a “million moms” has recently waged war against JCPenney. Why?

“Recently JCPenney announced that comedian Ellen DeGeneres will be the company’s new spokesperson. Funny that JCPenney thinks hiring an open homosexual spokesperson will help their business when most of their customers are traditional families… By jumping on the pro-gay bandwagon, JCPenney is attempting to gain a new target market and in the process will lose customers with traditional values that have been faithful to them over all these years.”

Wait a second. I’m a traditional family. I mean, I have kids and a mortgage and I want them raised to be nice, lawful people. So, JCPenney is going to LOSE customers with these values because their new spokeswoman is a woman who loves another woman?

Nope.  So, please stop talking for me.

And stop talking for so many other moms and bloggers. Thankfully, bloggers and mothers never let things lie. We listen, and share, spread awareness and, most importantly, shop at JCPenney. And we take pictures of our shopping. And spread them all over the Internets.

This ragtag collection of (not nearly) one million moms need to check their hate and get the hell off my lawn. My values are about equality and love and I’d like to think those values are pretty damn traditional in a certain “What Would Jesus Do” kind of way.

But wait, there’s more.

I choose to use birth control. Funniest thing, that. If I don’t, I get pregnant. I’ve tried it, twice. So, I know I cannot afford to pull the goalie because we can’t feed more mouths, we need me working and, dammit, I’m getting kind of old for that stuff. Deciding to provide for my family is far more productive than reproduction — but apparently this is questionable to others.

One of the current GOP candidates running for President (of the United States, yep, the whole country), Rick Santorum,  has said this:

“One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea. Many in the Christian faith have said, ‘Well, that’s okay. Contraception’s okay.’ It’s not okay because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

AND PEOPLE ARE VOTING FOR HIM.

And people are supporting him. Like this bozo, Santorum’s billionaire backer, who actually informed us that:

“Back in my day, they used Bayer aspirin for contraceptives. The gals put it between their knees and it wasn’t that costly.”

Yep. He said that.

People are bringing Santorum’s views on contraception up, why? Because our president thought that maybe women might need some help affording birth control. You know, since health care is kind of expensive? And because poor women are more than three times as likely as middle class women to have an unintentional pregnancy due to birth control costs. So every woman has the same rights as I do to choose NOT to have babies and go back to work, right?

Ask the GOP. They are scratching their heads and aren’t really sure how to respond. And Democratic folks on Capitol Hill like Senator Barbara Boxer are left reminding us that, “This is the 21st Century:”

“Ninety-nine percent of women, including 98 percent of Catholic women have used birth control. And 77 percent of Catholic women voters support requiring insurance plans to cover contraception for free.”

What’s the problem here?

Well, did you see what Congressman Darrell Issa decided to do? He called a panel of men (yes, men) to to discuss the possibility that religious views might actually trump women’s health.

Men are talking about this.

Men who apparently care more about their gods and fathers than whether or not their wives have the right to choose when they want to have a family. Or go back to work. Or help pick their families up out of the financial hole this country dug us all into.

These guys HAVE to stop talking for me.  Because none of this is about equality or choice.

I’m in the middle of my own local school politics war about a potential four-day school week in my county. An “impartial” task force was formed to discuss the possibility. At last night’s meeting, it seems this group is speaking for me, too. They seem quite ready to neatly — and fairly quietly — nudge this option along and sweep the deficit under the carpet by taking away my children’s school time.

Oh you guys had better stop talking for me. AND my children.

I’m all kinds of fed up. Because people are talking for me and treating my values — equality, choice and love — as if they were outrageous, anti-family values, and something that actually needs fixing.

Our political leaders speak for all of us. Because we hired them and we put them there. Write your congressperson, make noise and take this opportunity to speak for yourself before we’re left with a bottle of Bayer aspirin and so many fewer rights than we thought we had in (what century? Oh that’s right, the 21st, thanks Senator) the first place.

 

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