I have been baffled, angered, and disturbed lately by the lack of women’s presence and voices on TV news, in other media outlets, and at the GOP Oversight and Government Reform Committee panel discussing women’s health and contraceptive issues. The absurdity of excluding the one group of people who are most affected by their decisions and opinions is ridiculous. I have friends who are Pro-Choice and Pro-Life and most from both groups are outraged by the silencing of women on this critical issue.
"What I want to know is, where are the women?" Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) asked Issa before walking out of the hearing after the first panel. "I look at this panel, and I don't see one single individual representing the tens of millions of women across the country who want and need insurance coverage for basic preventative health care services, including family planning. Where are the women?" (from HuffPost).
Too many times in our culture the powerful people of politics, media, religion, etc. make decisions that relate to others without seeking their input. It happens in churches and synagogues, meeting halls and parking lots. It happens in local, state and national politics by the powerful listening to only those who can donate big bucks to their campaigns. It happens in denominations and work places by silencing those who disagree with the majority or those in power. It even happens at the altar and around the table of our Lord when some are welcomed and others are kept away.
It happens in homes when the powerful deny the voices of the weak to be heard. It happens in bullying and betrayal. It happens when people speak of inclusion and acceptance but act contrary to those words. It happens when groups refuse to even consider including someone from outside of their circle for inclusion. It happens when games are played and some are left out. It happens when the needs and opinions of some are drowned out by the wants of the majority.
The slippery slope of silencing “the other” leads to exclusion and oppression.
We have too much of this in our society already. It happens too much!
We are called to do better! We are called to be better!