We need to take care of our women

Published 6:06pm Monday, August 27, 2012

There was something different about her. She wasn’t the same bubbly and outgoing person who left the office that Friday evening. The last time her coworkers saw her she was excited about her future and career. Monday when she showed up for work, she didn’t have that familiar smile and energy. Normally, she walked with her head up, but now she could not even muster the strength to look up. Even her posture had changed; her shoulders that were once pulled back were now slumped over. Whatever happened to her, had taken the very life out of her. She, as so many others, had experienced the ultimate violation. She had been raped. She felt that she had no one to talk to because she had too often heard ignorant, insensitive, and appalling comments about the difficulty proving forcible rape. She had no proof that a gun had been placed to her head. There were no bruises on her body. All she had was her word and she wondered if that would be enough proof for the Republican Senate candidate, Todd Akin, to understand that she had been forcibly raped. Regardless of political affiliation, Todd Akin’s comments were both shocking and deplorable.

It’s disturbing that people are legislating and running for office who have such a fundamental disregard for women and women’s health. This is just a glimpse of what we’ve seen over the last year from Congress, state legislatures, and candidates for office. Earlier this year, along with Democratic colleagues, we were able to defeat the outrageous Republican Vaginal Ultrasound bill. The bill itself would have caused women to be forcibly raped. Regardless of what adjective used to describe it, rape is rape.

It should bother us that women are held in such disregard. I can only imagine the pressure of being a woman in today’s world when you don’t even have a voice in how your body is treated. There are many women who never report rape because they are ashamed or out of the fear that no one will believe them. It is estimated 1 in 4 women will be sexually assaulted. These are our mothers, sisters, aunts, and grandmothers that are being assaulted and disgraced. We have to stand up and fight for them. The whole point of the story of Adam and Eve is that man alone in this world is inadequate. Men need women, not someone just for procreation, but someone that can share in the joys and trials of life. Just imagine, if you can, a world where there are only men. I know your mind cannot even go there. So, sisters, your words are enough; rape is rape!


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