Sunday, May 2, 2010

I Am Woman…and I Am Grateful

I was having a glass of wine with a girlfriend in Olde Town, Arvada, a quaint historical area near my Denver-area home.

We were talking about how fortunate we are to be Western women. In many parts of the world, we wouldn’t be allowed to go out to a café alone, sit back with a cabernet, enjoy the sun, and talk about whatever we wanted to. We had serious discussions, and we laughed, and we counted our blessings.

One of the biggest freedoms we sometimes take for granted is the opportunity to live in a more enlightened age than our ancestors. (And here’s to future generations who will live in an even more enlightened age.)

Did you know…?

In 1873 Congress passed a law that banned birth control information as obscene.

That well into the 1960s, most US states had laws against contraception?

Margaret Sanger, after having lost her mother at age 50 (and 18 pregnancies!), decided there had to be a better way. Sanger was arrested for mailing out her magazine, the Woman Rebel. The magazine discussed contraception and there, was illegal. The troublemaker went on to open America’s first family planning clinic. It was shut down within ten days.

It wasn’t until 1938 that a US judge lifted the obscenity ban on birth control. But contraception remained illegal (even more married couples!). Believe it or not, it wasn’t until 1965 that that the Supreme Court of the United States overturned laws that prohibited contraception among married couples.

Are things perfect now…? Definitely not.

Women continue to struggle and fight. Some are still being rebels and writing aobut things that would have formerly been banned.

We are women, we are resourceful. We will continue to talk and educate ourselves and our sister friends. We are part of the leading edge who encourage others to ask for what they want and be bold in it!

That rebel, Margaret Sanger, outlaw writer and pioneer that she was, went on to form the American Birth Control League (which eventually became Planned Parenthood).

I feel fortunate to be a Western woman in 2010. Here’s hoping that the continued efforts of brave men and women everywhere will make it better to be a woman worldwide…soon.