Trump’s War on Women Includes Mother Nature

Women’s bodies are always under public scrutiny. We’re on display from the moment we’re born. Why do you think so many of the naked babies featured in films and advertisements are clearly girls? Even before we learn to command our own bodily functions, our bodies are not our own.

And ever since Trump and his cohorts came to town, it seems almost illegal to inhabit the female form.

Sexual assault victims, as it stands, will soon be treated as accomplices of their own attack if the GOP has anything to say. Under Trumpcare, victims will no longer have access to safe abortion services, should the need arise, leading them to take matters into their own hands or carry the child to term—an alternative to the traditional life sentence. Because rape will soon count as a pre-existing condition, victims likely won’t be able to afford maternity care and mental health services either, forcing them to pay—both monetarily and emotionally—for the sins trespassed against them.

Of course, while women are nothing more than “second-class” citizens whose only crime was being born, Trump has chosen to tackle an even greater foe of the female variety—Mother Nature. By pulling the United States out of the Paris Climate Agreement, Trump has stripped Mother Nature of her rights. And she will not remain silent.

Source: kellybdc/Flickr

While women continue to speak out against the injustices we face, it’s easy for the predominantly white, male Republican Party to brush us off as nothing more than noise. But Mother Nature? No, she will never go quietly into the night. No matter how deep their denial flows, lawmakers cannot and will not put an end to climate change by pretending it doesn’t exist.

Because it does exist. Anyone with common sense and an eighth grade education will agree. We’ve failed our planet and, in response, our planet has begun to fail us. Why do you think the massive crack in Antarctica’s ice shelf grew 11 miles in only six days? Why do you think the once-vibrant Great Barrier Reef now suffers from coral bleaching and imminent death? Why do you think koalas, polar bears and countless other animal species are struggling to survive in their evolving habitats?

It’s downright preposterous that the political party that so closely associates with the pro-life movement continues to pursue policies that imperil the lives of those who are and those who will be. They might not live to experience the repercussions of their decisions, but their children and grandchildren certainly will. Even great wealth won’t save them from what’s to come.

Remember when Cal, played by Billy Zane, tries to bribe his way onto a lifeboat in Titanic? While Mr. Murdoch takes the money initially, he ultimately throws the stack back in Cal’s face as he says, “Your money can’t save you anymore than it can save me.” No amount of money will ever be able to reverse the damage Trump’s decision will inflict.

We are all in the same boat and everyone’s the captain—if the U.S. proves to be the iceberg that destroys the world’s environmental efforts, we’re all going to go down with the ship.

Government officials and their law enforcement lackeys can continue to treat women like one collective menace to society, but they cannot punish Mother Nature without being punished in return. Climate change will persist no matter how fervently the GOP resists. We might not be able to leave this planet in a better state than it was when we arrived, but we can do everything within our power to make the future brighter for those who don’t yet have a say.

In this instance, Trump shouldn’t be concerned with the people of Pittsburgh or Paris. When it comes to Mother Nature, he should focus solely on the children of tomorrow. He has an 11-year-old son, after all. Such disregard for science should be considered some form of negligence, if you think about it. In fact, it’s downright criminal.

 

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(This post originally appeared on the Ms. Magazine Blog.)

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Soon They’ll All Be Weeping Willows

Plain, white envelopes grace the inside of my mailbox on a nearly weekly basis.  These envelopes say nothing more than my address on the front, with the return address across the back flap, all in a very appealing (yet suspicious) font.  Perhaps it’s simply a gimmick – make the recipient “discover” that the envelope holds a pre-approved offer for a Discover card.  Eventually, however, the novelty wears off and such envelopes remain unopened, shredded to prevent any possible identity theft (or whatever crime is trendy at the moment).

And while money supposedly doesn’t grow on trees, these lovely, natural structures are responsible for creating that paper.  We are bombarded by junk mail on a daily basis, recycling some, but simply tossing the vast majority to the bottom of our trash cans.  “Going green” seems to be a great and increasing trend, yet companies (most notably that of the credit card variety) pile stacks of heavyweight paper into large envelopes just to annoy and harrass us with offers for services we would actively seek if we so desired.

Instead of sending back the credit card applications complete with the required information, I propose a revolution (despite the fact that it will most likely never catch on).  To show our disdain for not only the personal inconvenience, but the detriment it imposes on our environment as well, I suggest that we use the very paper we receive to send them our own message.  Each company provides an envelope for returnng your application, many of them postage paid if mailed within the United States.  Perhaps, if enough people sent these applications back completed with feelings of contempt and disapproval for what this excessive paper waste may do to our environment, maybe we could raise awareness and get these major companies to pride themselves on their “green” acts instead of their pursuit of green.

The weight of a single envelope feels as if they are mailing an entire tree, and if this real-life spamming of the mailbox continues across the nation, too much paper will be used to promote the use of plastic.  Uproot too many trees and we will destroy what holds our world together, literally and figuratively.  And maybe, even if they fail to understand the environmental ramifications of their mailings, the influx of junk in their mailbox just may be enough to convince them how annoying junk mail truly is.

(Photos by Anna Papachristos)