I’ve been thinking about American social structure lately. This is brought on by documentaries like Sicko, well-written blogs like Feministing, idiots like John McCain (can you tell if I was American I’d be a Democrat?) and the good old news.
First and foremost, I need to point out a massive problem with American health care. I think this sums it up nicely. In the United States, Viagra is covered by health insurance companies, but no form of birth control is. What a nice little hypocrisy. It’s cool for old dudes to be getting laid, just as long as they’re impregnating someone. If you want to watch a fun little (short I promise) clip of McCain failing epically at discussing the issue, click here. He avoids the issue like it was an interracial gay couple. America is more sexist than racist, I think we’ve seen that displayed many a time by now… You can only get what you need if you have a penis and behave accordingly. The thing is, they like to be really hush-hush about it. Want to see more blatant hypocrisy? What about the fact that McCain allegedly supports equal pay for equal work, but voted against a law that would allow workers to take legal action for wage discrimination? And what about the mommy wage gap? Statistics have shown that the more children a woman has, the less she gets paid. Talk about an oxymoron. Women don’t have any access to birth control, pregnancy tests (yes in some pharmacies they will even deny women pregnancy tests), Plan B, abortions or family planning… and yet, when they have children, they’re treated like lepers. What’s a girl supposed to do?
Stay the hell at home is what. People are only judged by society by the financial contributions they make. What about all the people that don’t make money? The mothers that raise the big-time bankers, lawyers and politicians (oh how we love those) are literally valued for nothing. In the current American economical system, they are just zeros. They don’t make money so they aren’t worth it. Recent studies, which I can’t cite because I can’t remember the name of but I’m sure you can find if you really want to, have shown that if stay-at-home moms were paid for the work they do they would make well over $100 000 per year. Excellent.
The paradoxes run on and on. They are hard to deal with and shocking on a daily basis. The one that gets to me most is victim blaming – the legal system saying that women are responsible for their own rapes. Think that people have a better attitude lately? Think again. How are women told to protect themselves? Dress a certain way, walk in certain places, carry a whistle. I ask you this: why is the burden of safety on women? Why is no one saying to the men that they have no right to treat women this way? Why has no one stepped up and said a person should be treated as a person, not a rape toy?
This is just the beginning of a humanist issue. Gender inequality still runs as rampant as racism. Please don’t fool yourselves. That said, do something about it. Speak up if something makes you uncomfortable. Tell people it’s not ok to talk down to you. Just be strong, be aware, and read the news… better yet, read as many versions of the news as you can, to try to find the truth, because everyone has a bias. Make sure you’re as informed as possible so you can form your own opinion. I have a bias too. I think that there are serious issues that need to be addressed now, on both a macro (governmental) and micro (person to person) basis.
“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Just a little update on McCain:
Here’s a lovely little quote from the New York Times:
I think that we’ve proven that both parents are important in the success of a family so, no I don’t believe in gay adoption.