While many of us fret over unimportant issues related to our own weddings or believe that our freedom of choice on how to marry is a sign of progress, we must remind ourselves that equality and humanity in marriage is seldom enjoyed in other parts of the world. From the denial of gay marriage to the following issue of child bride, we must remember that many existing forms of marriage violate basic human rights. It is up to us who are privileged enough to enjoy healthier forms of marriage to not turn our backs on those who still need help.
On August 18th, women celebrated the ratification of the 19th amendment in 1920 stating that is is unlawful for any United States citizen to be denied the right to vote based on sex. Women have been enjoying the right to vote for 91 years. And today, women are celebrating Women’s Equality Day, which honors not only the 1920 amendment, but also “calls attention to women’s continuing efforts toward full equality.” But don’t pop that champagne just yet, we haven’t accomplished full equality yet.
Made in Dagenham is a British docudrama by Director Nigel Cole and is based on the true story of 187 female Ford Motor machinists in Dagenham, England, 1968. The female workers, led by Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins), unite in a strike after management reclassifies them as “unskilled workers” to justify a lower pay rate. The women take their demand for equal pay all the way to parliament. The movie’s message on women’s ability to overcome a culture that promotes sex discrimination is still as relevant today as it was then. But the movie’s comedic, cutesy tone glossed over the severity of the cause, which brings to light larger issues in non-fiction women’s films.
Ah, I can’t wait to see this! And I can’t wait to write all about it, stay tuned.
Dangerous Beauty (1998) – Based on the 16th century true story of Veronica Franco who falls in love but can’t marry the object of her affections due to a lack of a dowry. With no marriage prospects, she’s faced with the decision to either enter the convent or become a courtesan. She chooses the life that provides her access to education, independence and the power of expression and articulation, as opposed to the cloister or wifehood which forbids women an education, basic intellectual rights and keeps them as subordinate creatures. Her beauty and smarts win over the hearts (and beds) of most of Venice’s aristocrats, but after Venice faces war and then the plague she is accused of witchery and causing the downfall of Venice.
An interesting turn by a conservative leader, Chile’s president, Sebastián Piñera, is proposing a law that would give unmarried partners many rights now enjoyed only by married couples. Singlism is a new concept which addresses concerns that laws, employers, etc. discriminate against those who are not married by providing special benefits to those that are. If Chile’s president manages to pass this type of legislation is gives singles and unmarried partners important rights that are currently being unmet. Unfortunately though, Pinera is still against gay marriage, meaning this law would then only hinder and delay it ever being approved.
While everyone is focused on gay marriage rights these days, we forget that the institution of marriage still has a lot of it’s old broken and quirky issues. While the right for interracial couples to marry passed in the 1967 in the case of Loving vs. Virginia (the last state to remove its ban on interracial marriage was South Carolina in 1998).
Apparently Michele Bachmann, who is attending an anti-gay marriage campaign with National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and is reported to be running Christian counseling centers run with her husband Marcus Bachmann where people practice so-called “pray away the gay” therapy, gets all tight-lipped with less conservative news sources about gay marriage. To them, she describes the issue as “frivolous,” but to eager ears on her side, she’s willing to speak her mind. Seems Ms. Bachmann is only willing to speak with those who will agree with her, sounds like great conflict resolution and diplomatic skills for a potential future leader. She’s also pretty quick to quote constitutional amendments and her belief for freedom, but in her book those freedoms don’t seem to apply to everybody. Seems not everyone is invited to her tea partay.
Whether or not you’re a feminist, you should know the name “Gloria Steinem.” Even if you are a woman and think you don’t agree with feminist politics, your respect is still needed. Feminists, like Steinem, fought for the rights for you have to disagree with them. That thanks, however, is often never said.
HBO is airing a documentary on the Ms. magazine founder, Gloria Steinem: In Her Own Words, that explores her early years to her ones as the face of feminism. It airs August 15th.
Everyone’s got an opinion on how us women should treat our uteruses. With a recent push by the fed to make insurers to cover birth control, the most widely used prescription drug by women 18 -44, most women are pretty happy. Catholic institutions and other conservative religious groups that provide health insurance, however, are not. They are looking for religious exemption, except the concern is that this would exclude female non-followers who work or access benefits under these institutions. An umbrella approach to religious exemption doesn’t work for the fed and Department of Health & Human Services who want to make sure all women get the fair services they need and want, especially since some of the free services are not just pregnancy prevention medication. For now though, it’s a step in the right direction and further away from the legacy Comstock laws women have been plagued by for over a century.
Despite the recent repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” gay service members still face considerable discrimination. While other states are providing equal marriage benefits to gay couples as we speak, the US military and Pentagon will maintain its stance on gay marriage based on the “1996 federal Defense of Marriage Act — which defines marriage for federal program purposes as a legal union between a man and woman” Meaning legal gay marriages will not and can not access the same rights as straight married couples through the Defense Department such as subsidized costs of medical care, travel, housing and other living expenses.
Yes, Virginia [Woolf] dowries so still exist! The writer who insisted women must have their own income would be upset about this law decision and the culture leading up to it in all capacities. Our Canadian neighbor’s B.C. Supreme Court turned down a petition for payment of a dowry under a marriage contract authorized in a sharia court of Amman, Jordan. Seems that the dowry and sharia were contracted by the bride’s uncle, leaving her to live in poverty after her divorce.
(CNSNews.com) – Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley (D), a Catholic, said he supports gay marriage and added that the
recent bill passed in New York showed that the government could redefine marriage while still protecting religious liberty. Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown decided to sponsor same sex marriage legislation in the 2012 legislative session.