If you've been out of the loop, you may want to read. this In a nutshell, Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a leading breast cancer advocacy and research group, has decided to pull the financial support they give to Planned Parenthood; a press frenzy ignited. Nancy Brinker, Komen's founder, called Planned Parenthood "a dangerous distraction from the work that still remains to be done in ridding the world of breast cancer." At first, I was livid. Now, I'm sad and angry.
Lately, it has been a difficult time to be an equality-minded woman. A few months ago, a proposed boycott of Girl Scout cookies was proposed, because some Girl Scout troops choose to discuss women's health and reproductive options. Other troops let in transsexual young men. Apparently, the right to produce a women's organization that appreciates all humans who choose the female gender, and the right to educate said people on the health options available to them is dangerous. Planned Parenthood, and the health care that it gives to women, many of whom are underprivileged, is dangerous. The underlying message I'm seeing over and over again in the media is that an educated woman is dangerous. And yet, the pink guns that is being peddled in partnership between Smith & Wesson and Komen for the Cure is not a dangerous distraction? What are we going to do, shoot cancer?
I don't understand the pressure on women who want to make informed health choices to defend that right. I don't understand why people who do not share my liberal values or feminist beliefs feel so threatened by my right to choose when I have a baby or to teach the young men and women that I teach about their options for health and self-esteem. When did our views towards women's issues become so polarizing? Five years ago, I would have said that it was a great time to be an American woman. Now, I feel that the strong backlash against liberal women comes from the uncompromising polarity of our political parties. I don't dispute that Komen for the Cure does great things, or that people want the right to teach their daughters about reproductive issues according to their families' values. I just don't understand why we would deny those that want birth control and reproductive health issues discussed in an honest and unbiased way the right to do so. After all, Komen for the Cure started because breast cancer was such a taboo and silent killer. Now STD prevention and birth control may become the next great whisper in secret. I respect others' rights to live their lives as they wish, but I'm sorely disappointed by a move that has resulted in two of the best charities that women have fighting against one another. We came so far as a society that valued women's rights. Why are we backsliding now?