Today is the Fourth of July. Independence Day in the United States of America. There is an oft repeated line that authors shouldn’t get into politics. We should be quiet about our beliefs and feelings so as not to alienate our readers.
As a woman, with a degree in history, I have always disagreed with this point. There is a reason that governments come for writers and artists when they are floating with or full on embracing authoritarianism. And remaining silent so a few more people might buy books is not an option.
On this Independence Day, a movement that has been working for years to control women, and people with uteruses, bodies got the political win that they wanted. The Supreme Court, with five justices selected by presidents who lost our popular election, overturned fifty years of precedence protecting privacy and the right to bodily autonomy with their decision on Roe v. Wade.
The impacts are already being felt. I live in a state with a trigger law. In a state that is already considering a bill to take away my right to birth control. In a state with representatives who have stated that while assault and rape are horrid, it doesn’t matter. The life of a mother in danger…doesn’t matter. The right of a person to simply make the best decisions for themselves for their own reasons…doesn’t matter.
Did you know that red lips, bright red lips, were a sign of rebellion for the suffrage movement? Suffragettes painted their lips red to force men to notice. Elizabeth Arden passed out red lipstick to women marching for votes in 1912. Now a century later, I find myself painting my lips red. Readying myself for the battles to come, for the cries for justice and bodily autonomy.
If you live in the US, I urge you to vote in November. Our rights quite literally depend on it. If you are interested in joining the fight, please know, there is no need to reinvent wheels. There are organizations who have been in this fight for decades, largely led by women of color. Join those already in the fight, who know what we are dealing with. Two good resources to start with are: Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
Need to know how to vote in the US, this link will take you to a page explaining how to do that for which state you live in. AND what the deadlines are for when you need to register.
Remember, romance heroines get consent over their bodies. Romance by its nature is rebellious because it says we deserve pleasure and consent. Overturning Roe impacts us all.
Well behaved women seldom make history. ~ Laurel Thatcher Ulrich