Elizabeth Cook-Lynn. Photo: Labriola National American Indian Data Center / Arizona State University

Elizabeth Cook-Lynn: Native women blazed the trail with writings on women's rights

Two writers to remember on Women’s Equality Day

By Elizabeth Cook-Lynn
Native Sun News Today Columnist

These days when lawmakers want to see women’s health centers closed, when religionists say there should be “no choice” for women concerning the termination of an unwanted pregnancy, when women are “stalked” by our now top winning politician on the debate stage as Hillary was by her opponent she calls “a creep” in her new book, vulgar talk by men toward women is either accepted or ignored in the media, and Native women are said to be the most frequent victims of abuse in the streets and their homes, it is difficult to “celebrate” Women’s Equality Day as we did last month.

None-the-less, we have been celebrating our progress toward equality in the modern world, and even Native women are thankful for the work that people continue to do for women in America who make up half of the total population of this country.

Huge numbers of immigrants from everywhere come here every year and bring with them the many changes which have affected contemporary Native women in so many ways. The New World looks very different from the indigenous world of our ancestors. None-the-less, we continue to try to say what “traditional feminism" might look like.

One of the most important things to say is that Native women of all tribes have always been in charge of child bearing, pregnancy, and child rearing until the Christians came and forced indigenous peoples to change their ways, nearly destroying the “tiospaye” concept of family.

Native women have always held the knowledge of performing abortion services for themselves and their families in the face of necessity and health needs. The right of a Native woman’s “choice” concerning reproduction was protected by all tribes without the interference of power structures and male influence until recent times.

Read the rest of the story on the Native Sun News Today website: Two writers to remember on Women’s Equality Day

Contact Elizabeth Cook-Lynn ecooklynn@gmail.com 605-341-3228

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