Sisyphus is the mythological figure doomed by the gods to roll a rock up a hill, only to have it roll back down again and restart the process.
It’s kind of like the women’s movement, isn’t it ? Women make strides in issues of health, employment, rights, only to have to begin again and roll that rock back up the hill.
So, March is the month to celebrate women, and we should reflect.
This year, states have enacted abortion laws that span a draconian spectrum, from curtailing legal time for procedures to banning all abortions to criminalizing anyone involved in abortions. These regressive laws have resulted in severe illness, sterility, and births of children into poor and hungry households. We’re not even a year from the June 24, 2022 Dobbs decision, and the impact has been far-reaching and devastating. Women will die.
This month, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the ERA’s arbitrary deadline was set in stone. Thus, even though 38 states passed the amendment, the requisite number to make it official, the date was evidently more important to the courts than the content. The amendment is, once again, back to square one. So even in this month of the woman, females remain second-class citizens, by law. And we watch the rock roll back down to the bottom of the hill once again.
But even though the majority white male legislators do everything in their power to keep the majority (women) voters in their place, mothers, wives, sisters, aunts and all other women keep moving forward and rolling that rock back up the hill. They work, maintain households, feed families, offer comfort to those in need, plan vacations, balance budgets, become scientists, teach children, care for the sick, lead the public, and tackle everything else in a world that always seems to favor males. And women do it well, while juggling a host of other responsibilities that would daunt any other sex.
So if you are a woman, keep moving up that hill. Vote for candidates that want to protect your rights, not limit them. Take heart from recent demonstrations in Israel and Tbilisi, Georgia, that changed the course of government. Be loud and be demanding.
And if you know a woman who has positively impacted your life, thank her. Help her make the world a better place for all of us by paying attention and using your vote to make a difference.
After all, men wouldn’t exist without women. I’m pretty sure that men wouldn’t have survived without them, either.