Dad was the first kid in his family to go to college. He attended, then worked for a small college that was part of a large university system thus was able to parlay his baccalaureate degree into a doctorate and celebrated career. Mom graduated with honors from high school, met Dad and moved to the States where she had a Green Card for fifty years.

The minute Mom got pregnant with me, her life was stuck, unchangeable, so my parents went on and had three more kids. Mom said I could only aspire to her life. Dad said I could be anything I wanted to be. Nam and ERA came around and I went to college and though I was slated to get married two weeks after graduation, I gave back the ring less than three weeks after it was placed on my finger because I knew I wanted to try to make it on my own, move away from home, get a good job, so I did. Why? Because those avenues were now open to me.

Mom and I started college and finished the same year. She was Summa Cum Laude, I only made Deans List. She became a paralegal then a CPA and even after she retired, she volunteered doing taxes for seniors. Now I’m told I’m entering my “golden years” so, of course, Social Security and Medicare are gonna go broke in the foreseeable future and my generation’s daughters and grandchildren no longer have the opportunities that we did in the 70’s and 80’s.

Did I mention I grew up proud to be an American, and a big fan of democracy, open government and personal privacy? I worked for all of that, for many years, only to have a fraction of dissatisfied Americans try to unilaterally create an autocracy that hates everyone but white males. It hates immigrants like my mother, and my grandparents. It hates education. It says it’s for freedom but only for the privileged few.

I never thought I would hear white “christian” men speak so ill publicly of their mothers, wives and daughters. Are we merely a shell for their seed, to die for a fetus inside us because doctors are afraid to operate? Yesterday the “abortion pill” was literally erased by one man in one court in nowheresville, Texas. That means rich women will still be able to get abortions, while poor women will suffer.

Texas abortion bounty-hunters? How is Idaho to police family vacations? Pull them over, make sure they’re a family, search the vehicle to make sure neither mother nor daughter are pregnant? Walk the line straight, ma’am, while peeing in this cup.

If mifepristone is outlawed, how about suing to eliminate scalpels from being used for any surgery? Sorry, sir, you’ll never be in the Olympics because I can only use this stone knife that was created before the Bronze Age and it’s not small enough to do the micro-surgery you need to walk again.

I trust the FDA to vet drugs and vaccines that I’ve used for nearly 65 years. They do a pretty darn good job of it, regardless of what one Texas judge thinks. And as to standing to sue in court, saying that women are too ashamed to speak for themselves and need men to argue on their behalf is ridiculous. I know of what I speak, survivor of a traumatic brain injury with a court representative to speak for me? No way. I had the lawyer over, made him a cup of tea, assured him I could take care of myself and he cancelled the court hearing right then and there. We’re women. People with brains. God created us equal.

Certain of the people who want to change the USA to an autocracy don’t want women to work, or vote. Poor little dears, it’s too much for their delicate nature, to deal with real work and politics instead of meatloaf and cookies. You know what politics is? In a summer job at age 21, I had a crew of five drivers to take artists and lecturers to the airport, 90 minutes away. My father’s cousin was visiting, and was a bit of a misogynist and guess what lecturer was also going to the airport? Betty Friedan. Yes, I put them together. He deserved it.

Women, especially suburban women, need to heed the call to not go back to the 1950’s. At the very least, vote. Womens’ lives depend upon it. Voting rights, women’s rights, now is the time to move forward and assure us the multicultural democracy our founders envisioned. And when you hear inevitable conspiracy theories, consider who is promoting them and what they gain by doing so.

Wisconsin is taking back its Supreme Court, but gerrymandering has an unconscionable hold on its legislature and there are already rumors of impeaching the new justice before she even takes office. Tennessee is a call to action if ever there was one. Young people need to stand up on that one. Before the book banners threaten teachers to no longer teach about how democracies work, it’s time to teach our children how to be upstanding citizens and fight for liberty for all. Life for mothers with with untenable pregnancies. And for the right to pursue our futures through an education that makes us think, rather than spout back what we’re told to think. We all have work to do! Dee


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