I enjoy being a woman and have never had a desire to trade places with a man. I probably would have been less satisfied 75+ years ago, when women were expected to keep the houses clean, their husbands happy and their mouths shut, but things have changed...are still changing...and women can lead interesting lives while raising a family. Women, in fact, now have full careers while they also raise their children and keep up with the housework.
That is why it is so difficult for me to understand why women are treated less than equal throughout the world. The United Nations recognizes 197 countries in the world, and according to a study done by World Bank, only six of them(Belgium, Denmark, France, Latvia, Luxembourg and Sweden) treat women as 100% equals. According to an article written by Rob Picheta and Kieron Mirchandani, CNN March 2, 2019, “The criteria analyzed were: going places, starting a job, getting paid, getting married, having children, running a business, managing assets and getting a pension." Those were broken down into questions such as: "Can a woman travel outside her home in the same way as a man?" and "Is there legislation specifically to address domestic violence?" The global average was 74.71%. The United States came in at 83.75%, which didn’t even make the top 50.
Somewhere in the days of the hunters and gatherers, it was decided that females should tend to the menial chores while males went out “ into the world” and brought home food while acting as protectors. (Hmmm...I wonder how many cave women had a vote in that decision). We see cavemen depicted as grabbing women by their hair and dragging them as acquisitions instead of equals. While these pictures have been modernized through the changing cultures, men are still often raised to believe that they are the stronger sex and should have first dibs on the stronger job opportunities. Women, in fact, should be thankful for the opportunities they are afforded, and if that comes with a little bit of inappropriate groping, so be it. If they decide to complain about that behavior, they will quickly find themselves ostracized and often forced to “resign.”
It is amazing to me that men are still protected by each other in this age of “me too,” but it happens in the work place, in social environments and in our justice system. When Santa Clara County Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky gave Brock Turner a six month sentence, his reasoning baffled women everywhere. He explained that he felt giving him a harsher sentence than six months (to serve only three for good behavior) would have a “severe impact” on his life. I wonder what kind of impact he thought being raped behind a dumpster while unconscious would have on his victim?
The sad thing is, I don’t think Brock Turner really believed he was doing anything horribly wrong that night, because family and society protect and defend young white males. His dad wrote a statement saying, “His life will never be the one he dreamed about and worked so hard to achieve. That is a steep price to pay for 20 minutes of action...”. His friend explained it wasn’t really rape, just too much campus drinking and promiscuity. It is difficult for young, affluent white men to accept their wrong doings when no one else in their circle does.
It is not just our country that protects young men. In Canada several years ago a seventeen year old young woman was violently attacked and raped by a sixteen year old young man in a restroom at a school dance. She was rushed to the hospital and into emergency surgery to stem the massive bleeding. She was then asked what she was wearing and if she was sure it wasn’t consensual. When the young man was ultimately found guilty of her rape and one he had perpetrated before, he was sentenced to three years, but the judge ruled only two weeks of that sentence had to be served in custody and the rest under supervision. The judge said that he had taken into consideration that the young man had missed graduating with his friends and was being shunned in his community. He also said he thought there was a low risk of re-offending. Since the young man had been found guilty of two rapes at the age of sixteen, one has to wonder what a high risk would be and what message the judge is sending to young people everywhere.
It is frightening how deeply the illusion of men’s superiority is embedded into our everyday culture, and I imagine that it will take longer than my lifetime for that glass ceiling to be totally shattered. I am encouraged though when I see the strength and determination of women today and the supportive men that surround them. I truly believe that when women finally reach total financial and social equality, our world will be a better place for every man, women and child that inhabits it.
Speaking of making our world a better place, in his newest book, Without Precedent,
J. D. Trafford takes on our country’s drug crisis and “Big Pharma’s” part in it. True to form, Trafford weaves a story that keeps the reader turning pages deep into the night.
As always a complete review of this book follows my blog.