I’m Stumped
Published in

I’m Stumped

Mrs. America

I recommend the FX miniseries “Mrs. America.” Tanya and I are watching it on Hulu. It examines the women supporting and opposing the ERA and fighting for (and against) the rights of women. The performances are remarkeable. The attention to details about life in the 1970s and ’80s is spot on. The writing and character development are excellent.

But that’s not why I’m recommending it. I think you should watch it because we should all know this part of our history better than we do. We should learn or be reminded of the courage of the women who sacrificed and fought for rights that were and are their birthrights. We should revisit the power of a unified force and the devesatating consequences of division. And we should have it front of mind that women, racial minorities, people who do not identify as heterosexual or by the physical gender of their birth are still fighting for basic human rights and equality.

The laws have improved and continue to improve. But we must go beyond the legal minimums. We need to stop pointing to a handful of improvements and suggest it is “good enough.” We need to keep fighting every minute for those with less power until true equality is a given not an aspiration. Go beyond the law. Go beyond what is expected. Go beyond what you were taught to do. Go beyond your comfort level. Go beyond what you saw your parents do. Don’t just support, advocate. Clear the path. Take yourself out of the center. Take less. Listen. Give.

To do that, sometimes it helps to have a reminder of the history and the people who shaped it. It informs our present and should inform our future as well. Watching this show has been a good reminder of this particular part of the human struggle.

Men, and especially Christian Men. The fact that women have had to ask, beg and demand to be treated as our equals is a disgrace. The fact that we have used scripture and the teachings of Jesus’ disciples to justify discrimination and inequality is a full measure worse.

Do not let your role in history to be a collaborator to injustice whether by intent or apathy. We should everyone of us be feminists and let go of the fear that something will be taken from us if we stop fighting to protect our power. There is enough for everyone and we will all be better if we carry it together.

The show got me a little stirred up. Especially watching it with my feminist roll model.

That’s why I’m recommending it. I hope you watch it and get strirred up too.

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Joshua Stump

Joshua Stump

I am a Dad, a husband, a son, a brother, a follower of Jesus, a lawyer, a songwriter, and just generally someone with a lot of strong opinions about stuff.