New Orleans Men in power seem to need to be taught the lesson over and over again that no matter how long they stall and struggle, women will invariably prevail. The tide of history is overwhelmingly moving in only one direction along the path that women shall will it to move. The evidence is everywhere, yet still some resist.
Ireland had the most restrictive abortion policy among the twenty-eight countries in the European Union. The balloting recently delivered a 2 to 1 smackdown of the Catholic Church and decades of opposition as women demanded and won the right to choices about their own bodies. Poland is the last holdout in terms of restrictions and still has resisted several efforts to make abortion even harder to achieve. Smart politics would seem to demand that even these conservative, populist elected officials find a way to take these issues off the battlefield. In the end they will lose.
Saudi Arabia has arrested at least five civil rights activists who have been supporting the right of women to drive even as the country had won plaudits recently for seeming to relax the restrictions. How can there be a claim to modernity and recognition of the community of nations and its people in a country that hasn’t even reckoned with whether or not women are autonomous beings sufficient to get behind the wheel of an automobile? How can the princes pretend that they are not so out of step as to be objects of ridicule? How can they presume that they will be able to hold power in the future as they resist the tide of history?
One United States and United Kingdom company after another is caught in embarrassment when evidence of different pay standards is revealed between women and men. Among Fortune 500 companies there was a report that there were as many male CEOs named John as there were women CEOs across the country. Who seriously believes that pay will not be equalized, and that women’s place will not be achieved? No one in their right mind, I can assure you.
Yet, in red state America we read daily of rearguard actions by mossback legislators who still believe that the power of the state should prevent women’s autonomy and control of their own bodies and family decisions. They are committed to such a course even at the risk of the lives and well-being of millions of lower income women who will be denied health services because of their misplaced and atavistic ideologies. They must know their cause is lost, yet they are unwilling to surrender until vanquished.
Interestingly in the surge of candidates for the midterm elections, women standing for office dwarf the numbers of men stepping into the resistance. We have years more in which we must aggressively wage this fight, but resistance is futile. Women will win.
And, when they win, men will thank them for their courage and celebrate their victory. Mark my words.