On January 21st, the day after Inauguration Day, people all over America are marching in support of women’s rights, health, and safety. Here in Sonoma, there is a gathering planned as well, beginning Saturday at 11AM in front of City Hall in the Sonoma Plaza.
People across America are worried about women’s rights, and we share their worry. Donald Trump, whose personal history with women includes bragging about sexual assault, has voiced support for overturning Roe v. Wade, and his GOP supporters seem determined to cut off government support of Planned Parenthood. The prospect of Supreme Court appointees who will affirm the legality of such policies, and a GOP-controlled congress determined to repeal health care support to children and families, is plenty to worry about. Nor are Trump’s cabinet choices reassuring to those concerned about the fate of government programs and policies that benefit women and children.
The marches planned, including the one in Sonoma, welcome all supporters of women; men, children, organizations, and politicians. Despite the many gains made by women over the past 50 years, sexist and misogynistic attitudes remain deeply embedded in American culture; a male-dominated political system offers little in the way of reassurance.
Here in California we enjoy a greater presence of women in political power than in most other parts of America, and in the City of Sonoma and Sonoma County, women comprise the majority on our highest elected bodies. It’s not coincidental that government policies here reflect concerns about families, housing, healthcare, and the environment; in a state with two women U.S. Senators, California leads America in demonstrating that compassion and equity accompany a healthy economy and social stability.
We are not making the argument that women are inherently more liberal-minded than men; there are plenty of examples otherwise. We do believe, however, that women overall are underrepresented in politics and commerce, and given that women comprise more than 50% of the population, that is not only a loss for society but a failure of representation. It’s not simply a matter of equal opportunity; gender equity is the fulfillment of literally thousands of years of effort and advancement by women.
There are plenty of people around who would love to preserve the second-class citizenship of women. Pressure is required to combat such thinking. Gathering to voice support for America’s women is part of such an effort, and we enthusiastically endorse it.
Sun Editorial Board