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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 cafĂ© 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 contraction among married couples.

Are things perfect now…? Definitely not. But our books are available to readers worldwide. We are part of the leading edge, writers who encourage women to ask for what they want and be bold in it.

Margaret Sanger, rebel outlaw writer 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.


Lisabet Sarai said...

Hello, Sierra,

I heartily agree with you. I feel particularly blessed to have reached adulthood after the invention of the Pill. For the first time, women could reliably control their fertility--without the involvement of the male partner. A true breakthrough in freedom.

Planned Parenthood is an organization well worth supporting. They provide practical, objective information and education for young men and women and comprehensive reproductive health care.


Sierra said...

I always enjoy your comments! Thanks!

ElaineG said...

What a great post! Sometimes it's easy to forget, in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, that I have SO much to be thankful for. Sometimes small problems get to me, then I read something like this and I am reminded that so many of the world's women have little to no freedoms....even posting an opinion is beyond their reach. I am grateful that I live in a country and a time that allows me to say what I want and believe in what I want. Thank you for the reminder....and here is hoping that the future gives MY freedoms to women all over the world.