The More Things Change, The More They Go Backwards

In 1973, Roe v. Wade affirmed a woman’s right to privacy over her body;  in 1994, the Violence Against Women Act was signed; and in 2017 the #MeToo movement spread like wildfire.  FINALLY, we can tell our stories without fear of retribution and hold men accountable for their unchecked abuse of power over women.

Sadly, I was wrong as evidenced by some of the headlines this week: “Louis C.K. Returns to Comedy Months After Admitting Sexual Misconduct”; “Michigan State: NCAA Finds No Rules Violations in Sexual Assault Cases”;  “New Policies Proposed by DeVos Would Limit the Definition of Sexual Harassment on College Campuses.”

Is this how we make America great again – by forcing women back to the 1950s? NO!  Women have found their voices and we must continue to use them – with our words, our votes and our pocketbooks.

We must continue to call out those in power trying to shut us down. We must go to the polls in November and vote as if our freedom depends on it because it does, and we must boycott companies and advertisers who care more about their bottom dollar that the pain women have endured.

I am a candidate running for Atlantic County Freeholder, but I write this not as a candidate; but as a woman, a mother and a grandmother. We must rise up in the names of our grandmothers before us and our granddaughters ahead of us.  Now it’s OUR turn.

I submitted this as an OpEd, but I’m doubtful it will get printed verbatim, if at all, so I wanted to share this in case it gets “revised” by some male editor.

Author: Maureen Leidy

I am a proud resident of Ventnor and a member of the Ventnor Democrats and the South Jersey Democratic Women’s Forum. I am a single mother of four adult children, and grandmother to seven. When I am not working, I’m either calling my congressmen, signing petitions or marching in the streets. When I was approached to run, my inclination was to decline, but my daughter bluntly told me, “Put your money where your mouth is. If you don’t run, you are a hypocrite.” As much as I hated to admit it, she was right. So I am running to give a voice to those Atlantic County residents, who, like myself live paycheck to paycheck; who have struggled with the disease of addiction in their family; who have nowhere to turn when they are facing abuse and harassment. I am running to keep our beaches clean and our roads free of flooding. I am running to ensure your children and grandchildren can go to school without fear and receive a quality education. I am running so that my daughters and yours have access to Planned Parenthood. I am running so that all of us, male or female, are treated fairly and paid equally in the workplace. I know it’s an uphill battle, but I’ve always been a fighter. I will fight for your vote and I will fight for the ideals and values that the people of Atlantic County believe in – a safe, affordable community that we are proud to call home.

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