Monday, August 26, 2013

Abortion bans, nudity bans must go — and equal pay must be made law

Today is the official Women's Equality Day, although all of the events took place on Sunday.

From Asheville to New York, gender and lifestyle discrimination was at the forefront in most areas.

Today, I am reminded all to well at how bad discrimination is against women in society and how hypocritical society's attitudes towards women — and especially nudist and naturist women — are.

This is a very long post that necessitates the more tag as there are five major issues women in America face that I'm dividing into three parts: the right to abortion whenever it is needed, the right to equal pay for equal work, the right to breastfeed in public, the right to be nude in public, and the right to be topless in public.


Equal Pay

For the sake of simplicity, I am gonna reduce the figures to lowest terms.

As of this writing, Caucasian women still make only 19¢ for every quarter a man makes. It is even worse when you break it down by women's race.

Asian-American women make only 17¢ for every quarter a man makes, African-American women make only 2¢ for every 3¢ a man makes, and Latinas make only 11¢ for every 20¢ a man makes.

On average, a woman makes only 66¢ for every dollar a man makes. That's 33¢ for every half-dollar a man makes.

That is unacceptable.

Congress could have done the right thing, but Senate GOP filibustered the Equal Pay Act, and now the misogynist House will not even bring that bill up for a vote.

The wage gap is a significant factor in the local unemployment: double digit unemployment still persists in our 22-county area and much of it can be attributed to the pay gap that was described above. For example, Allendale, McCormick and Orangeburg counties still have around a 15% unemployment rate because women — those who never got a fair shake from the hacks in Columbia — comprise a substantial majority of the unemployed in the three counties.

Women have a right to equal pay for equal work. The fact is: they are working harder than men and are making less than the men, even if they are slacking.

Reproductive Rights

The second of the five major issues women face is the conservatives' War on Women. This year alone, at least fifty women's health clinics have been closed down due to unconstitutional laws being passed by the GOP Tea Party. The shuttering of the clinics via erroneous and unnecessary laws are also economic — closing down these clinics means a loss of jobs, and it means more unemployment. For a party who campaigned on "jobs, jobs, jobs" in 2010, they have done absolutely nothing to bring more jobs to the US — all they have done was wage a war on women and in the process, people who had jobs at these clinics now find themselves drawing unemployment checks or on welfare due to unconstitutional interference of health care by conservatives.

One big reason why women can't get nearly as much dough as men do is because of the Hyde Amendment — which is also the reason for the clean budget clock on this blog. The Hyde Amendment made it illegal for middle- and low-income women to exercise a legal right and took effect on September 30, 1976. Women have actually died from the Hyde Amendment. Rosie Jimenez, 27, was the first death, just 375 days after the Hyde Amendment took effect.

Another big issue facing women who want abortions is Street Harassment and terrorism. Terrorism by anti-choice extremists closed down many of the clinics in the 1980s and early 1990s, including all of the clinics in the Upstate of South Carolina at one point. Due to the all of the harassment and terrorism by anti-choice forces, the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 became law.

Street harassment against women seeking abortions is still ongoing, and in fact, is even worse now than it has ever been.

And if the harassment is not enough, the anti-choicers terrorize women by enacting laws and filing junk lawsuits against abortion providers who provide legal healthcare to women. There are currently no clinics specializing in women's health care needs in North Carolina open, and only five in Texas.

The conservatives' War on Women is a damning indictment against our nation and we need to hang our heads in international shame.

Public Nudity, Breastfeeding & Female Toplessness

The final three major issues facing women I'm posting today are three very big taboos in our society, taboos that earn women the biggest scorn of the evil patriarchy: being nude in public, being topless in public and nursing a baby in public.

Breastfeeding

The first of the taboos to come at the cusp of being broken is public breastfeeding. Although every state except for West Virginia (W.Va.) allows for breastfeeding in public, every state in the South still give municipalities and businesses leeway to ban it (some areas in this region have utilized this power that the States have given them). Nursing in public is the second most condemned activity that everyday women do — only being nude in public, which will be discussed in a latter segment, earns women more condemnation from patriarchy.

Women who nurse do so because they want their children to be healthy and because they may not have anything on hand at the present time. Although only about 10% of the breast is showing when a woman nurses her young, all nudist & naturist rights organizations include stories about breastfeeding in their blogposts or news feeds.

Breastfeeding is a women's health issue and the states must make accommodations for them.

Female Toplessness

The second of the taboos in line to be broken is public female toplessness. Although most states that allow for women to be topless are states that are overwhelmingly liberal, North Carolina also allows for female toplessness in their laws and municipalities cannot ban it. It is the main reason why the oppressive conservatives introduced a measure in the state house in Raleigh to ban female toplessness, and thus, codify sexual discrimination into the state's code. Female toplessness is the third most condemned activity.

Women who go topless do so because it may be hot. Last summer during the massive heat wave that saw South Carolina's long-standing state record highs fall, far more women than men were hospitalized for heat exhaustion. Like breastfeeding, public female toplessness is a public health and feminist issue. It is a public health issue just for the reason I explained — you can only take off so many clothes when 125°f heat indices are around. It is one of the main reasons why laws outlawing female toplessness are unconstitutional everywhere except for West Virginia and such bans must be removed from the laws.

Public Nudity

Public nudity is the absolute last taboo in American Society, there are no other taboos after it. It is the most condemned activity that women (and men, but this post is about women only) partake and one that results in mass illegal and unconstitutional arrests by out-of-control law enforcement agencies.

Like female toplessness and breastfeeding, the right to be nude in public are both a feminist issue and a public health issue, given that 100% of the people who died from heat stroke nationwide since Chicago's deadly heat wave of 1995 were fully-clothed.

Public nudity is non-sexual. Public nudity is normal. Public nudity is natural. Public nudity is not lewd. And if outlawing public nudity was all about the children, then how come 49 of the 50 states allow for public breastfeeding, a normal and natural activity that also involves at least some bearing of the breast (in order to properly nurse children)? Also, if outlawing public nudity was all about the children, how come the nation's leading psychiatrists for over 25 years running continuously produce study after study that debunks the outrageous lies claiming children are scarred by nudity?

Just like with the bans on female toplessness, bans on public nudity also violate the 14th Amendment of the US Constitution in all but one state (West Virginia). Furthermore, four other amendments are violated by outlawing public nudity: the 1st, 9th, 10th and 13th amendments.

Bans on public nudity, just like bans on abortion, also bring disgrace to the republic. Banning public nudity lays bare the façade of the United States being this shiny beacon of liberty when the truth is, we're not that beacon. We the People of the United States — all 320 million of us — are just plain hypocritical prudes who like the sight of naked women and men in speedos on a billboard in Dorchester, but the moment a woman nurses her child; or the moment a woman and/or a man walks into an establishment nude, or in the case of women, topless, the people sharpen their fangs and attack like the uncouth vultures patriarchy has made them become.

For years and years, trampling on the rights of nudists and naturists have been accepted. If America is to be truly the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, we must become extremely intolerant of attacks on the civil rights of nudists and naturists and we must become extremely intolerant of bans on public nudity.

On this Women's Equality Day, I am making these following simple requests:

1. Call on your local politicians to get rid of all bans on public nudity, make it illegal for police to arrest people simply for being nude (and defund law enforcement agencies that arrest nude people), and make it illegal for any business or government entity to ban public nudity.
2. Call on your state and federal politicians to get rid of all bans on abortion, repeal the Hyde Amendment and make it illegal to reintroduce the Hyde Amendment.
3. Call on the Congress to pass equal pay.
4. Call on your state and federal pols to revive the Equal Rights Amendment.

Let's do this!

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