AN OPEN LETTER TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE -- WOMANHOOD --
"The true measure of any society can be found in how
it treats its most vulnerable members" - Mahatma Gandhi
Dear Congress/American People,
This open letter is just one of many letters to be written to the Congress-to the American people. Although it is directed to Congress, it is actually directed to USAmerican people . . . If this country and the government is a government "By the People and For the People," this letter is really addressed to US. If the Congress has failed US, we have no one to blame but US - we have failed US, we have failed ourselves. We have failed to hold ourselves responsible. It is up to US to make the difference; to be the agent(s) of change that we want to see in a positive, unified America. John F. Kennedy said, "For in a democracy, every citizen, regardless of his interest in politics, "hold office"; every one of us is in a position of responsibility; and, in the final analysis, the kind of government we get depends upon how we fulfill those responsibilities. We, the people, are the boss, and we will get the kind of political leadership, be it good or bad, that we demand and deserve."
There are many social ills in society. The list is too exhaustive to mention all of them here. Just to name a few: poverty; subpar education; sickness, disease, famine; broken healthcare system; abuse of children, abuse of the elderly, abuse of women, abuse of minorities, abuse of tall people, little people, heavy people, skinny people; abuse of anyone that is different - the shame game; rampant crime; environmental pollution, and the list can go on.
But the greatest of these social ills, is the one that sits in each and every one of US. It involves the evil and wickedness that festers in our hearts - the lack of empathy, the lack of compassion and the lack of consideration. This lack of empathy, compassion and consideration can be said to be the root of all the other social ills. Let US specifically look at how we treat women. Americans have treated women as second-class people (not that other countries have not also done so) but right now, this is an open letter to US - to the American Congress - to the American people. Women have been raped in the street, raped in the bedroom, and raped in the boardroom - both literally and figuratively. Women have been demeaned, denigrated and dismissed. They have been forced to suffer subpar wages, substandard jobs, and substandard education and healthcare. The question we should be asking why is this so. Its answer lies in the evil and hate that sits in our hearts. We are Americans and we can and must do better if we are going to not just survive together but thrive together.
America has always been a country that advocated and advanced the notion of "Right to self-determination." America advances this concept every time its military goes into other countries to liberate - to set free. It is in this notion of freedom, and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that USAmericans are willing to die for at home and abroad. Yet we fail or refuse to give this same right of self-determination and the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for USAmerican women. Women want to be and have a right to be free from oppression, tyranny and abuse at the hands of men. Women have a right to self-determination. This concept is bore out in the issue that men have perpetuated in the abortion debate. Whether a woman is pro-choice, pro-life, pro-abortion, anti-abortion, can be discussed by all, but it is (collectively and/or individually) a women's right to self-determination that should decide the issue. Not the men in the boardroom. It is men who are first to discriminate against women who are pregnant in the workforce (not that other women do not discriminate against other women). Women have a right to be treated with dignity, respect and equality. If USAmericans cannot, do not and choose not to treat women with dignity, respect and equality, then in essence, USAmericans are saying we have chosen evil over love, hate over compassion and ignorance over wisdom. John F. Kennedy said, "I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, human liberty as the source of national action, the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas."
USAmericans are all in this together. In the words of the Reverend, Doctor Martin Luther King, Jr., "History will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it."
Please join in and send this letter to your Congress, but before doing so, apply it to yourself. Are you willing to reflect - to look at the person in the mirror?