When We All Lose

by Natalie

This so-called war on women has been misunderstood. A war is being waged on women. What they do not understand is that it is not the Republican GOP they are fighting, it is society. Ours is a society that has vilified the female body, and denounced it of the true aspects of its femininity. It is a society that presses for a size 2 when a size 8 is perfectly healthy. A society that sells only one idea of beauty, makes clothing that caters to an ideal shape, and spends millions touting the flawless finish of the makeup industry.

Women have bought into the lie, perpetrating and profiting off of it. The war on women is being engaged in by women. There is no unity, no sisterhood, no common ground, when one woman derails another for her most personal choices. Every woman has her own story that led her to believe as she does; her own path fraught with doubt, failure, and insecurity, an entire past to explain the choices she has made, and the positions she has come to defend. Yet we will get nowhere while we are divided. When women are pitted against other women, the battle has already been won, and we have all lost. When a woman cannot find within her empathy for the plight of her neighbor, and can only look at her with disdain and scorn, what type of society have we become?

And no, women, the men vying to lead this country are not the enemy. Mr. Romney is not the enemy; Mr. Obama is not the enemy. No, ladies, we are the enemy. I dare every single one of you to endure the pain of a friend who has been raped, or to open the door, and before a word is spoken, to know that the friend standing before you just had an abortion. And I dare you to cast the first stone, because it will not be me.

Every time the word “slut” is uttered, or we force another woman to feel ashamed of her choices, we drive the stake down deeper, causing the wedge to become wider. If we do not first and foremost acknowledge each other as women, I ask of you, what have we become? From the most pro-life to the most pro-choice among us, we need to acknowledge that we all care for the same thing – the lives of women. The danger lies in when we care more for an agenda than for one another. When we claim to be championing women’s rights, but see a right as only one choice, and fail to acknowledge the women fighting for their cause on the other side.

This fight is not about the presidential candidates. It is about denying a woman who asks for it birth control, and forcing women who do not want to take it to feel as if they have no right to that decision. It is about respecting the right to life, as well as another woman’s right to support her choice. Respect is not an either / or situation. So yes, there is a war on women. Hopefully soon enough women come together to realize that we are the ones waging it.