Women’s Issues

Once, shortly before the 2004 presidential elections, I was having lunch with a friend from my old life: my life pre-April 4th when Casey was killed in Iraq. She informed me that she was going to vote for George Bush because he is “pro-life.” My answer to her was:

“If George Bush is pro-life, then why is Casey dead?” She could not give me an answer and did not see the hypocrisy in someone who is supposed to be “pro-life” sending thousands of our young people to die and kill other innocents in foreign aggressions based on lies and for profit.

I have always been for a women’s reproductive freedom over her own body, even in the years that I was a Roman Catholic. I never appointed myself judge or jury over a woman who had to make a very difficult choice. However, the pro-choice issue is not the only “women’s issue” in our world today…obviously!

A columnist for one of this country’s self-proclaimed “progressive” magazines talked to my campaign manager, Tiffany Burns, the other day about our trip to Egypt to protest against the client dictator of the US, Hosni Mubarak, trying civilians in a military court. Using military tribunals is forbidden under international, regional and national law in Egypt and our government is doing the same thing in Guantanamo. But the columnist kept trying to get Ms. Burns to say that I supported the Muslim Brotherhood’s attempt to take over the government of Egypt to make it an Islamic state that would not recognize women’s rights. Tiffany could not say it because it is not true, and the columnist finally said: “Does Cindy care about women’s issues at all?” When Tiffany said: “Of course, even in Egypt we met with wives and mothers…” The columnist cut her off and said: “I said women, not mothers.”

Hmm…the last time I checked, not all women are mothers, but all mothers are women. Who does Ms. Columnist think gets hurt the most in our nation’s wars for profit? I never felt more acutely a woman than when I fell on the floor screaming for my son when he was killed in Iraq. My son, the flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone. The one that I carried in my woman’s body for nine months; nourished him for 14 months more with the fluid that was manufactured in my woman’s body and tried to protect his body from harm until he was 21 and was entrapped by the US Military Industrial Complex. Would my “issue” of being a woman hurt by violence been more acceptable or palatable to Ms. Columnist if I had chosen to abort Casey rather than give birth to him?

Our illegal and immoral occupation of Iraq has not “liberated” women who were highly educated and worked as doctors and other trained professionals under a tyrannical regime. Now, after almost five years of US occupation, in many instances women are being forced to wear veils or are being forbidden from attending school. Women in Iraq are not only having to deal with daily violence and the primal fear of worrying about children and other loved ones but also they are dealing with daily primitive conditions of water, food and power deprivation. Our aggression in Afghanistan has not improved the condition of women either, and if possible, has made their lives harder. Hundreds of thousands of women (married, single, with children, or not), have been killed, displaced, wounded, raped and oppressed under the Bush regime’s destructive foreign policy agenda. Does Ms. Columnist think that my tireless efforts to end the occupations are “women’s issues?”

According to Nobel Laureate in Economics, Joseph Stiglitz, one of the three trillions that this bloody occupation have cost US taxpayers could rather have paid for: 8 million housing units, or 15 million public school teachers, or healthcare for 530 million children for a year, or scholarships to university for 43 million students. Three trillion could have fixed America’s social security problem for half a century. A peace economy is inherently more just for women, children and families, than a permanent war economy. I believe that whether one is a “woman” or a “woman who also happens to be a mother,” peace and prosperity would benefit us all.

In my efforts to call attention to humanitarian crises all over the world and in my Independent run for Congress, I have tried to deconstruct the labels and pigeonholes that we all put ourselves and others into. After creating our own personal segmentation, it is so easy for us to allow the fascist-elite of government and media to compartmentalize humanity so as to first demonize, then oppress, kill, or impoverish certain segments.

Ms. Columnist self-identifies as a “feminist” and has endorsed Obama over Clinton. Why? Does she think that Obama will be better on “women’s issues” than Clinton? I do not know and I really do not care why she chose to endorse Tweedledee over Tweedledum, but the choice seems a little strange-ish to me. If Ms. Columnist identified herself as a humanist, then I could better comprehend her choice and it would not be controversial.

I self-identify as a “humanist” and I have a fundamental hatred and disgust of oppression and violence wherever it happens or whomever it happens to.

All people who are in the human category deserve the rights to: good paying (union) jobs; a living, not minimum, wage; healthy food; clean water; warm shelter; health insurance; and good and accessible (for all) education. All people have the fundamental human rights to live in environments that are also healthy and free from war and violence or to marry or partner with whomever they choose as consenting adults.

Segmented killing and hatred will only stop when we enlarge our personal, national, and international circles of concern to include all six billion people on this planet: not just the white ones, Christian ones, American ones, female ones, or any ones.

Simply put: every one.

Cindy Sheehan is the mother of Spc. Casey Sheehan who was killed in Bush's war of terror on 04/04/04. Sheehan is a congressional candidate running against Nancy Pelosi in San Francisco. You can visit her campaign website at CindyforCongress.org. She is the co-founder and president of Gold Star Families for Peace and The Camp Casey Peace Institute. Read other articles by Cindy, or visit Cindy's website.

11 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. D.R. Munro said on February 29th, 2008 at 8:02am #

    Here here Cindy!

  2. Lloyd Rowsey said on February 29th, 2008 at 8:16am #

    Listen up, folks. Bertrand Russell lives!

  3. corylus said on February 29th, 2008 at 10:22am #

    When was the last time you saw an essay written on human needs, on justice for all, on the unconscionable price we all pay for eternal war, by ethically and morally vacuous politicians like Pelosi, Feinstein, Clinton, or Obama? Cindy Sheehan brings her agenda and platform to the people, instead of cloaking it in the prevarications, mendacity, and deceit so characteristic of corporate-owned and operated misrepresentatives of human needs. Yet the so-called progressive media faun over these political pretenders and murderers as if they were somehow capable of even a miniscule departure from the status quo: this goes for The Regressive, The DamNation, In These Slimes, HuffandPuffington Toast, Daily Gross, and Mother#!$%#ing Jones. If one can’t support Cindy Sheehan on principle alone, then that one must surely lack any principles whatsoever.

  4. Wendy said on February 29th, 2008 at 11:10am #

    Since Hurricane Katrina wiped Cindy $heehan out of the headlines in August 2005, she wont give up the spotlight. After that she wrote her book, then she pulled the State of the Union stunt with the t-shirt incident, then she embraced dictator, free speech quasher Hugo Chavez, then she went on a hunger strike which lasted somewhere around 6 hours, then she announced her retirement from the peace movement, only to announce 5 weeks later her candidacy for Pelosi’s seat in Congress. Question is, what will she do after losing her campaign? Maybe a reality show like the Surreal Life with Cindy, President Bush after leaving the White House, Mini Me from Austin Powers and Flava Flav. Cindy, is this really about Casey anymore? Or is it about media attention and financial profit? I think the latter. My vote is going to Pelosi this November.

  5. Lisa said on February 29th, 2008 at 2:49pm #

    Dear Wendy,

    Do you really believe that Nancy (Impeachment is off the Table) Pelosi gives a rats ass about you and yours. Perhaps you need to grow up before you vote to save us all a lot of grief.

  6. Cory Hinman said on February 29th, 2008 at 4:12pm #

    Thanks and God bless, Cindy!
    I wish we weren’t a single paycheck household struggling as many more materially advantaged households are, so we could donate to your campaign, ut our prayers are with you.
    i do wonder, however, that we no longer hear you on Air America, the Ed Schultz Show, or the Stephanie Miller Show, etc.
    Now it couldn’t be because the alleged progressive talk radio culture actually aspires to be for the Democrat Party what the Fox News Channel has been for the Republican Party, could it?

  7. Roger Anderson said on February 29th, 2008 at 4:22pm #

    Ignorance is: Since when is Hugo Chavez a dictator? (Since when does a Republican tell the truth?) I believe Cindy is doing the best she can to bring some accountability to the people who have created a monsterous amount of death and misery, misery that is not in service of much else but ego and the almighty American dollar. Funny how people who get up off their butts and take some action are so ringingly criticized by those who spend their time on the couch listening to Fake News.

  8. John Hatch said on February 29th, 2008 at 8:07pm #

    Bush is pro-life, it’s just that he’s MORE pro-death when it comes to American troops, the people of Afghanistan, Iraq, maybe Iran, Syria, etc., etc. Oh yes, and all those people on Death Row in Texas that he so gleefully put to death and mocked. ‘W’ is ‘pro-Bush-life’. Pretty much everyone else gets the finger.

    My best to Cindy Sheehan and every other principled American.

  9. Robert B. Livingston said on March 1st, 2008 at 4:35am #

    Living in San Francisco, I am so proud that I have had a few chances to help out Cindy’s congressional campaign effort. Her campaign certainly helped me out! Last December, I was out of work– and they employed me enough to help me to get to a better job.

    It never made the news, but her campaign office was recently flooded by bad plumbing.

    I stopped by briefly today just to say hello, and the place was dry and getting back to normal: volunteers were happily painting signs and working on other tasks, some mundane– but so necessary.

    It wouldn’t matter if I lived elsewhere. I would still try to find a way to help her out.

    Cindy constantly amazes me– she is not loquatious. She is a good listener however. She also has an excellent memory, and never misses anything important. Her devoted sister Dede, who is chief grip for operations, is similar, except I might say she never misses anything, period. That reminds me– she lent me twenty bucks– and I need to pay her back! She’s never mentioned it.

    It was no error of his when the former CIA analyst turned dissentor Ray McGovern declared it was observing the courage of women like Cindy that inspired him the most.

    Tiffany Burns, mentioned in Cindy’s essay, is utterly devoted to Cindy’s cause and works very hard for her. I took a photo of her that I really like which I posted at my flickr site. The photo shows her in pensive mood, no doubt thinking of what she can do to help make Cindy’s campaign a success. Her face looks to me like it could have been a model for the painter Goya who was as renowned for his beautiful portraits as for his indignant works against… war… and all evils that ravage and destroy beauty. http://tinyurl.com/32uxgk

    What I especially like about the people who are working for Cindy is that they are all transparent. One knows exactly where they “are coming from”. Their plan is to win the election in November, but they will not do it by hook or crook. Their deal is simple: they stand by the truth and are guided by right. (Cindy is not keen on gimmicky protests and events either. She definitely likes to keep dialog and speeches real.)

    I like what Cindy writes here, which is simply (like most of her writing) about making right choices.

    Everyone deserves basic human rights– the most primary right being (of course) the opportunity to live.

    Her ideas remind me of the economist Doug Dowd’s. http://www.dougdowd.org/

    Life for everyone should be full and joyful– what an alternative to what existence is like for most people on our modest, but miraculous planet!

    And what responsibility or plan could be more important than to work in some way toward achieving that?

  10. ChingarraSan said on March 1st, 2008 at 1:58pm #

    Thanks for the article Cindy.
    For someone, anyone, to wish to vote for Bush, because he’s pro life is preposterous! Bush and his minions are responsible not only for the deaths of our own brave soldiers, but hundreds of thousands of Iraqi citizens! All
    for an illegal war to steal Iraqi oil! Bush is a war criminal! He is also guilty of treason for the assults his administration has made on our Constitution!
    His lies and sleazy actions require that he and his administration be impeached immediatly!
    I agree completely with everything that Cindy wrote in this article. As far as Nanct Pelosi is concerned. I have tried to contact Pelosi with letters, emails, and phone calls, and received no response at all.

    Pelosi is no leader! She is a political hack, and supporter of the Bush crime family agenda! She is no representative of the constituants who put her into office! She is a power hungry politician who will do whatever she thinks it will take to keep her job! She cares not one whit about the American People, and is in violation of the oath she took to uphold and protect the constitution! She should be removed as speaker for her illegal stance of taking impeachment of this criminal administration off the table. That action alone is a violation against the constitution, which demands impeachment, to remove an administration that is breaking the law in plain view!

    Shame on you Ms. Speaker! You are a disgrace, and an embarassment to the Democratic Party who put you in office! Do the right thing and tender your resignation, which in my estimation, is long overdue! It’s time to have someone in government who actually represents the citizens of this country, rather than out of control, war profiteering corporations, and an imperial presidency!

    To Cindy Sheehan: Keep up the good work! You can count on my vote!

  11. Hue Longer said on March 2nd, 2008 at 3:31pm #

    Wendy the troll is not going to vote for a Dem