Friday, December 9, 2011

Civil Rights

I would like to propse a question:

What defines civil rights?

Civil rights, to me, mean that everyone is treated equal.  Everyone has access to the same things, like insurance and voting abilities.  Everyone is treated equal regardless.

Which brings me to my next question:

Have we achieved equal civil rights in the United States?

I'm going to give my thoughts, but I would really like everyone to take a moment and chew on this.  I think it is incredibly important.

My answer is no.  No, we have not achieved civil rights for all in the United States.

What do you think of when you think of civil rights? 

Do you think of the racial inequality once brought about until the 60's and 70's? That's one aspect for sure of the topic.  While  we have come so far where race is concerned, we still have a ways to go.  There are still places where people are uncomfortable around each other, which is a shame.  But over all, we have gotten far.

But civil rights encompasses so much more.

Take, for instance, the women's movement.  Women still only make 80 cents to every dollar earned by a man.  While we are no longer forced to be stay at home mothers, it's still expected by some people and is disappointing if your husband is a stay at home dad.  Yet if you are a stay at home mom and you don't work, you're frowned upon.  When will women be able to do what they want - be that working or staying at home - without judgement? 

Same with our bodies and our sexuality.  Women who read this, please consider something.  Women in the middle east don't get a choice as to having children, getting married, and living their lives.  And yet some women and men here in the United States are passively trying to get us back to that state of being by banning types of birth control and morning after pills.  Abortion will always be a hot topic, but without it as an option even remotely available, we lose one aspect of owning our bodies and our sex lives.

It's another facet of civil rights.

What about the gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender community?  They live their lives like we do - they work, raise families, own homes, add to communities, run PTA's and bake sales, put out fires and save lives.  But they are denied the right to marry the ones they love legally.  They are denied insurance benefits to their partners because they are same sex.  How is that equality?  Explain that to me.

 It doesn't matter where you stand on the issues.  You can be right wing conservative or left liberal.  If this is going on to these minorities, what's stopping it from happening to you?

So many people outwardly condemn others.  "That's wrong!"  "You're going to hell!"  "A woman's place is in the home!" And so on.

But I don't think they realize that it's a fine line between having rights and losing them.  All it takes is enough people saying you are wrong or a disgrace to the eyes of God, and you're freedom to marry is gone.  Or your freedom to vote is gone.  Or your ability to protect your sexuality is gone.

Do we have equal civil rights in this country?

That is up to you to decide.

Please, dear readers, I hope this post has made you think.  Form an opinion, it is your right.  Just make sure it is educated.


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