It is now 2012 and for women there is much work to do. The plight of women and girls is still filled with issues that are harmful to women and girls in our society. Many men still feel that they own a woman and therefore can control her actions, her thoughts, her body, her money.
Women today do have more choices than we did in the seventies and much more than when the suffragettes were working to get us the vote. We can wear pants now, we can go outside the home to work now if we choose. But many women’s paychecks are not their own. They still must turn over their hard earned money to their husband. In many marriages, there is not a partnership but a situation where the man has the last say, instead of Making joint decisions. We can own property these days but divorce laws that were written to protect wives and children are often being ignored or put aside.
Domestic Violence is worsening. Partly because it is no longer the ” Silent Scream” and therefore it is reported more often, but also young women don’t understand that they have the right to live without violence and fear. Couples who are dating are often tied together by violence and pain, not love and mutual respect.
Despite all of the work in the seventies and President Obama signing into law the equal pay act, we still make $ .77 for every dollar a man makes. It is 2012 and in the seventies, we earned $ .64 to every dollar a man made. So while we do equal work we are not given equal wages. Men have more value in American society.
While more girls and young women are receiving higher education, the thought still prevails that women go to school so they can find a husband. Women who decide not to marry or not to have children continue to still face discrimination.
Government still feels it can legislate what we do with our bodies. If the government thinks it can control our bodies, no wonder the men in our lives feel the same. The argument could be made that the men feel that they can control our bodies and Congress is still made up mostly of white men.
Society wants to prevent teen pregnancy by “just saying no.” and without the education that they need to protect themselves from pregnancy and disease. I am not speaking about encouraging teens to begin to experiment with sex but since they are human teens and hormones rage, situations happen and the results can be totally devastating to the teens and the next generation.
One of the sexist things which is happening in our country and others in the world is polygamy. Here, it is found mostly in fundamental Mormon sects. Not all Mormons practice polygamy, but it is a very demeaning lifestyle for women and children.
There has recently been a television show on The Learning Channel called “Sister Wives”. I read the 19th Wife which is a memoir of Brigham Young and his “sister wives.” I just finished, Favorite Wife:/Escape from Polygamy.
What these stories do is to give us a glimpse into a lifestyle which is demeaning to women and their children. So I have decided to do more research on the subject and its beginnings and how it attempts to hide itself now.
I am shocked to find that even though polygamy is against federal law written in the late 1800’s, it exists and whole communities are filled with “sister-wives, celestial wives, or plural wives and they are not arrested. Warren Jeffries is the most recent controversial case but there are thousand of women and children living in these horrible situations.
Let me give an image to you to begin our conversation on the subject. The practice of Polygamy supposedly began in our country with visions or revelations which Joseph Smith had from God. Brigham Young had similar revelations later on confirming that this is God’s idea of what marriage should be.
The revelations showed that for a Mormon man to reach heaven he needed more than one wife as each one was a jewel in his crown. If his crown was full upon death, thanks to many sister-wives, he could attain godhood and the wives got into heaven on their husbands coat-tails. Little girls were taught that this was the only way for them to reach heaven. Boys are raised to go out and find a Gentile girl, marry her and bring her into the fold. These men hold total control over everyone of their wives and all of their children.
There are two colonies, Colinia LeBaron and Los Molinos which are active fundamental Mormon groups which practice polygamy today. There are hundreds of other sites around the country and in Mexico.