It’s Time to Address the Complicity of White Women.
I don’t think it was a shock to many that all the members of Alabama’s state senate who voted for their recent anti-abortion bill were conservative Christian white men. Images of the faces of these government officials have flooded our social media accounts, igniting the justified and furious conversation about white men’s continued efforts to suppress the rights of women in this country. Efforts that are as old and familiar as the country itself.
In the discussion surrounding the individuals who passed Alabama’s ban on abortions, we cannot forget the individual who signed it in to law.
Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey had the opportunity to protect the women in her state. She had the opportunity to stand up for the vulnerable, and ensure that no women in Alabama will ever find themselves in the desperate positions they will now find themselves in when seeking an abortion. She had the opportunity to stand up against the men who wrote this law, and keep her people safe.
She had the opportunity, and didn’t take it.
Instead Governor Kay Ivey signed in to law this draconian all out attack on women’s rights, that I’m sure she was all too aware will affect predominately poor women of color. She chose to side with the white Christian men, rather than preserve the rights of these women she is supposed to represent and serve. She sacrificed her own rights and the rights of the women and girls around her in order to uplift and strengthen the white, patriarchal status quo.
Of course, Governor Ivey is not alone.
Whether it’s slavery itself or the civil rights movement and the Jim Crow era, white women have a long history of either staying silent or actively participating in systems that hold down women and/or other people of color. Even when it came to women’s suffrage, white women were more than willing to leave other disenfranchised groups behind. Famed women’s suffrage activist Susan B. Anthony famously said:
“I will cut off this right arm of mine before I…