19 July 2017

#Sexism and #Inequality

A gentleman direct messaged me with the assertion: “inequality between genders is no longer a thing…” He included the assertions that he’s not trying to troll, that men are actually disadvantaged now, and that he’s just trying to be informed. I’ll begin by recommending people who believe these statements to do a bit of research – starting with government provided, publicly available-to-all statistics. I’ll continue by posing a few questions and sharing a few examples:

Were you aware that women in the Trump WH make 63¢ on the dollar that men make?

Were you aware that women, until the ACA, were charged nearly double what men were charged for healthcare – and that was BEFORE adding pregnancy coverage?

Were you aware that businesses and companies STILL refuse to talk to wives unless definitively specified by their husbands – but that no such limitation exists for men. My husband and I have a loan on our home; my name is on the title. But, when the mortgage company calls, they refuse to speak to me beyond leaving a contact number and message for my husband. Yet, the credit card which is in MY NAME, from the same company, upon which my husband is merely an approved user, has no qualms with full disclosure to my husband.

Were you aware that on average in America women make 79¢ to the dollar men make for the same jobs – and that we women are delighted with this “progress” over the last fifty years or so.

Were you aware that women alone are less likely to be approved for mortgages? Were you aware that women alone are less likely to be approved for small business loans?

Were you aware that women who do manage to get approved for loans are likely to be approved for LESS than men with the same financial prospects?

When my husband called a flooring company out for an estimate, they came and met with him and never considered me. When I tried to schedule a few appointments with competitors to compare costs, they would not meet with me unless “both decision makers” were present. My husband called two of them back and nothing was mentioned of “both decision makers” when he scheduled their visits.

Have you ever met a man who lost a job because he was having a baby? I personally lost a career job for that reason – I lost a baby, did not miss one day of work, but was foolish enough to answer the boss’ question when he asked if I was going to keep trying to get pregnant. Next thing I know, this award winning graphic designer was out of a job.

I know numerous women – especially service sector workers – who’ve lost their jobs because of their pregnancies. They return from a few weeks of maternity leave to find their job gone and they’ve been relegated to demotion (a common occurrence professionally); or, more likely, they don’t get enough hours put on the schedule to be able to afford to keep that job – that’s what getting pushed out of a job looks like in the service sector.

I’ve also worked jobs where I trained guys, who went on to be promoted above me.

Was that a man thrown out of the Speaker of the House’s corridor for dressing for the weather in DC? It was not.

Is it a common occurrence for women to push past men and grope them? It is for women.

Is it a common occurrence for people to comment on men’s bodies either negatively or positively? It is for women.

Is it a common occurrence for people to tell men, during serious and/or profession conversations that they need to smile? It is for women.

Do men get told to “let it go” or “sit down and be quiet” or “laugh it off” or – worst of all – “that’s just the way things are?” Women and girls are told these kinds of things all the time.

Have you ever been advised not to go somewhere public just to preserve your physical safety? Women are advised not to walk alone anywhere, especially at night. Women are taught to makes sure someone knows who they’re with and where they’re going. Women are taught that getting into a car with a new guy is accepting the physical risks that implies.

Have you ever been warned not to dress as you see fit because it entices sexual advances? Women and girls are told that all the time.

Have you ever had your male biology legislated? All non-CIS-male biologies are legislated.

Does a man have to fight for access to birth control?

Does a man have to fight for access to his little blue pill?

Is there any law concerning men even approaching the recent law in Arkansas requiring women to get the sperm donor’s permission for an abortion – even if the sperm donor is the woman’s rapist? The list of examples could go on to fill a dozen libraries… or more.

Inequality is real. There is inequality in gender and in ethnicity. If you are genuinely seeking an enlightened social intellect, it begins with being willing to accept the fact of inequality. Gains in equality are not taking anything from the fortunate-birth white-CIS-male biology; it is merely sharing the privileges with all persons which are accorded white-CIS-males by virtue of birth. See, that’s what “privilege” is: it is an advantage in life that has nothing to do with talent or skill or deservedness. The struggle for gender equality, ultimately, is the struggle for equality for all humanity.