ATTN: Calling on Lt Gen. Lauryn Hill, Capt. Aretha Franklin, and 2nd Lt. Queen Latifah!
Basketball Wives has been renewed for another season. There’s been an explosion in the belly of the earth. Misled missiles are making their mark and making women meet their maker. Between young girls being f-bombed without consent and paralyzing political bullets put in place to prevent women from progressing, the war on women is waged. Though soldiers are still standing, their minds, bodies and souls are slowly succumbing to the inevitability of death.
The U.S. has declared the war on women: Women’s right to birth control, women’s right to have sex, women’s right for damn near anything. At the time this article was written, Congress was in the process of voting on the Paycheck Fairness Act* – a bill designed to strengthen the Equal Pay Act, making it illegal for employers to pay unequal wages to men and women who perform substantially equal work. An unnamed Senator recently said this:
“You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious.”
This is a poor excuse to not pay women equally for performing the same job. If you want to be a breadwinner hustle harder. You shouldn’t just get paid more because you’re a man. Why is this an issue in 2012?
An Arizona birth control bill aims to penalize women for using contraception for non-medical reasons. The bill makes it easier for Arizona employers to fire a woman for using birth control to prevent pregnancy. The governor of Wisconsin signed a law that would require a physician to have three meetings before prescribing the morning after pill or they can be subject to a felony. Perhaps Mr. Governor doesn’t know why it’s called the morning after. No physician has adequate time to have three meetings with a patient the morning after. After three meetings, the baby is already thinking!
We’ve blamed women for being victims of rape. We’ve blamed them for our selfish infidelities. And now we’re taking our blame on tour. Women have become a campaign issue. Why are we treating our sisters like second-rate citizens?
I myself have been guilty of friendly fire casualties. In an effort to progress women, I’ve sometimes failed with patriarchal messages that seem to demote them from their place of equality. I’m not all the way there, but I’ve learned to rethink my approach and gain more understanding of ladies. All I want to do is keep everybody alive. In 2012 the word, “everybody” includes women, too.
Ladies, this is for you: We need you. We desire you. We love you. Regardless of any negative behavior suggesting otherwise, we admire you. Forgive us for our refusal to recognize your strength and acknowledge your greatness. Excuse us for years of looking down on you and looking at you as property. I encourage you to turn this war on women into a war by women. Fight for equal rights, equal pay and equal respect. But don’t fight each other in the process. Don’t fall for the rhetoric that you’re supposed to be at odds with each other. Stand united with your fellow woman and learn to love your fellow man. We all need each other to survive.
Gentlemen, this is for you: Man. Vs. Woman doesn’t even sound right! Why would you attempt to destroy the very thing you desire? 1st Timothy 5:2 says, “Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.” The mental and physical damage we’ve done to women affects us too. Treating them like second-class citizens doesn’t make us first class – it suggests we have no class. Declaring this war on women suggests the end of mankind. Let women be themselves; strong, complex and compelling – no matter how “un-American” that may be.
“There is hope for that race or nation that respects its women.” –Sutton E. Griggs, Imperium in Imperio
– Enitan Bereola, II
Bereola is the go-to style and etiquette impresario, public speaker and entrepreneur. He is also the bestselling author of BEREOLAESQUE: The Contemporary Gentleman & Etiquette book for the Urban Sophisticate. He is working on his follow-up book – “GENTLEWOMAN: Etiquette for a Lady from a Gentleman.” Check his website Bereolaesque.com and @bereolaesque on Twitter as well as Facebook.
*Editor’s Note: The aforementioned Paycheck Fairness Act failed in the U.S. Senate just days before this article was published.