Cathy Reilly

Cathy Reilly, Front Desk Coordinator 

If you haven’t noticed, there is an ongoing backlash against women in this country. Among a couple of recent examples are the announcement last week that the United States Supreme Court is taking up a case from Mississippi; it’s a major challenge to precedent set by Roe v. Wade.

It is as if the current majority is throwing out the window settled legal decisions, known as “stare decisis.” And even if the court doesn’t dismantle Roe after hearing this case, there are others waiting in the wings. Ironic given that these challenges come from those who otherwise preach that the least amount of government intervention is best.

Another issue that came to light this week is that a PUBLIC Florida high school’s yearbook committee — including a staff person for the school — digitally altered clothing in photos of some 80 young women.

The rationalization: They were inappropriately dressed when their photos were taken. Apparently this translates to: They have breasts and they were noticeable. This was done without the students’ knowledge. This is wrong on so many levels, not the least of which is that the female body in this country is always being judged. Adolescence is hard enough without having to grapple with someone else’s opinion of how you SHOULD look. As one of my sisters says, some people would outlaw women if they could.

And of course it was just over two weeks ago that the Grand Ol’ Party booted Liz Cheney, R-WY, from her leadership position in the U.S. House of Representatives.

She has been a vocal critic of the former Trump administration and its efforts to overturn the 2020 election, as well as the insurrection that occurred at our U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6. It is abundantly clear that there is sexism involved here — the men in the party who broke with leadership have not been subjected to the same relentless abuse she has received.

So what does any of this have to do with you, one might be wondering? Well, it comes down to rights. And even if you aren’t concerned about the above three examples, don’t be too sure that the next round of incursions might not move into territory you hold dear. As the famed German pastor Martin Niemöller said post WWII,: “...then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

Or maybe Bob Marley is more your style: “Get up...stand up for your rights...don’t give up the fight.” The 2022 midterm elections are now less than 18 months away and it has never been more important for us to stay alert and to prepare. The alternative is to make ready your handmaid’s robe. And that’s not something I ever want to wear.

— Staff notes originally run in our daily email newsletter, Indy Now, along with news updates, photos of the day, a weekly poll and more. Sign up below.