Equal Opportunity

November 18, 2010 at 2:45 pm 9 comments

The current United States Supreme Court, the h...

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Over the weekend one of the Mr. Brewsters developed a bleeding ulcer. It affected an artery, and he was vomiting up blood and bleeding internally. He had to be rushed to the hospital and have a blood transfusion. I visited him on Tuesday night. He’s doing fine now, home recuperating, but that was a close call.

I have a lot of experience in hospitals. My mother went to nursing school when I was growing up, and she works as a nurse now. We would frequently meet my mother in the hospital cafeteria for dinner when she worked the evening shift.

When I was in high school we were on one of these excursions when I actually saw someone I knew from school. It was a girl that I hadn’t seen in a while but hadn’t noticed was missing (it was a very large school). She was also eating in the hospital cafeteria. But this wasn’t because her mother was a nurse. It was because she was in the home for unwed mothers attached to the hospital.

Even in the 1980s apparently girls were spirited away when they got in the family way. God forbid that we see them walking our halls. The girl eventually came back to school after she had her baby, and I never said anything about it. I didn’t know if other people knew or if a story had been made up about her going to visit some ailing aunt, and it wasn’t any of my business. But I remember thinking that it would be bad enough to get pregnant and have to give up your baby without also having to miss a year of school. I wondered why they didn’t have a home for unwed fathers and make them skip out on a semester or two.

Last week Solomon II made a comment that went something like this: I don’t get this thing with women’s rights. Name me one thing that you can’t do. Basically, he was saying that we have equal opportunity and that if women aren’t politicians or engineers or business leaders, then that just must be because we’re not doing the work involved.

This is the lame assed argument of a brain dead, entitled man. I say lame assed instead of lame brained because his head is obviously up his ass. It’s like saying that a black man in 1880 had equal opportunity. Well, he had the right to vote, didn’t he? He can run for President. Why doesn’t he? That argument is nothing short of imbecilic.

Sure, technically he can run for President, but if the overwhelming majority of Americans are white and bigoted, and the overwhelming majority of African Americans are poor, then who’s going to vote for him and where will he get the campaign contributions he needs? Hmm. Good question. Never thought of that. But the black man had “equal opportunity.”

We’ve come a long way, baby. We have an African American President, and women run for President. The sad fact is, though, that we’re not there yet. No one, hopefully, with any good sense, would argue that racism and sexism no longer exist. You only have to open your eyes on a daily basis to see it in action. The problem is that guys like Solomon II only see what they want to see. It’s backlash. We gain six inches toward that meet you halfway goal, and they want to take back a mile.

Women are 51% of the population in the United States. There is absolutely no significant difference in intelligence quotient scores for men versus women.

So, riddle me this, Batman.

How come women wear engagement rings but men do not?

How come men ask for a woman’s hand in marriage but women don’t ask the man’s family for the same permission?

How come women make only 76.5 cents for every dollar a man makes?

How come the United States still hasn’t had a female President?

How come there are only three women on the United States Supreme Court?

How come 17 out of every 100 United States Senators are female?

Out of Fortune 500 companies in 2009, only 15 of the CEOs was female. What explains that?

Why are women expected to take their husband’s name and children take their father’s name while women’s last names are deemed expendable?

Why are only 40% of middle managers women?

Why are one in six women the victims of sexual abuse within their lifetimes when only one in thirty-three men are sexually assaulted? What accounts for this discrepancy?

Is the explanation for all this inequality and heinous treatment just that women are lazy and lack ambition? Maybe we should ask that lazy black man from 1880 who didn’t run for President. Darn, he’s dead now. I think it’s because someone dragged him in chains from the bumper of his truck after they kidnapped him while he was on his way to the polls to vote. Something tells me that someone was not a woman.

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Entry filed under: Ethics, Human Rights, Men, Women's Rights. Tags: , , , , , , , .

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Paul  |  November 19, 2010 at 5:55 am

    For the most part, I agree with you, but in many of these cases you’re arguing for equal outcome, not equal opportunity. They are separate concepts.

    Also this:

    “How come women wear engagement rings but men do not?”

    Seriously? Women are the ones who expect this. Believe me, I would like nothing better than to not be expeceted to pay several thousand dollars for what amounts to a useless stone, and (let’s be honest here) female vanity.

    There are many ways in which women are disadvantaged in this country- but the whole wedding process is certainly not one of them.

    Or do you plan on getting down on your knee and asking a man to marry you?

    Reply
    • 2. gooseberrybush  |  November 19, 2010 at 2:59 pm

      I couldn’t care less if I never have an engagement ring. It depends on the woman. In fact, given what I know about the diamond industry I’d prefer not to have one.

      I wouldn’t mind asking a man to marry me. The problem is that it’s as futile as asking a man out. Men want to be in charge. You might ask a man out, and he might even say yes. However, he’ll merely be flattered. He doesn’t value any woman that he doesn’t have to pursue. I admit that’s a stereotype, but it’s probably true 90% of the time.

      An engagement ring is a sign of ownership, making a woman property. It would be okay if the man wore one as well. Since he doesn’t I have a problem with this.

      Reply
      • 3. gooseberrybush  |  November 19, 2010 at 3:33 pm

        Also, I am arguing for equal opportunity. My point is that we don’t have equal opportunity.We won’t have it until people’s attitudes change regarding gender issues. If the people making the decisions to hire managers intrinsically believe that men are better managers by virtue of their masculinity alone, then that’s not really equal opportunity, is it? Same with voters.

        Our legal system recognizes this concept. That’s why prospective jurors are allowed to be dismissed for bias. The defendant is entitled to a fair jury of his peers.

  • 4. Craig Benno  |  November 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

    I am not convinced that you have made the case for the existence of inequality.

    I am not a lawyer, not interested in being one. Therefore I will never be qualified to be a high court judge. I receive a disability support pension which was reduced to $80 a fortnight when I got married because of my wife’s earnings.

    To prove their is an inequality problem with the system..you first have to prove that there are equal numbers of qualified female and male lawyers who want to become high court judges to do so.

    In Australia / UK we have seen female prime ministers and within the political system many female politicians. I will never become prime minister or a politician because that is not a vocation I want for myself. However to prove their is a inequality within the political system.. one first has to show that there are just as many men and women wanting to enter the political arena.

    In Australia it was a female politician who disposed of the male prime minister who had stood as PM for 10 years in his own electorate.

    I go to a female doctor / specialist … she earns much more money in a year then I can expect to in my lifetime… a male doctor referred me to see her for she is one of the best…

    So to truly prove there is inequality one first needs to show there is a equal number of men / women wanting to enter into that profession / vocation.

    In the case of equality… when I became homeless because of abuse… I had to live in the back of my van…because no organisation that dealt with issues of DV helped men… only women.

    Reply
  • 7. Amanda  |  November 20, 2010 at 6:53 pm

    I love my engagement ring and my wedding ring. I love all the pomp and circumstance and TRADITION that went along with it. I loved the wedding ceremony and the white dress ( I was not a virgin!) and the gift registry. I strongly disagree with the concept of an engagement ring symbolizing a man’s property. That’s ridiculous and sounds a little bit desperate. Some things should be left out of the equal opportunity feminism movement and this is one of them, IMO.

    Reply
    • 8. gooseberrybush  |  November 20, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      I didn’t say we should definitely get rid of engagement rings, just that both should wear them, like guys wear wedding rings. I don’t want one myself. That doesn’t mean that other women shouldn’t have one if they want one; I just think the guy should wear it, too, in that case.

      Reply
  • 9. popsdumonde  |  November 28, 2010 at 8:38 am

    Good post. I don’t understand how your observations can be disputed.

    Reply

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