Monday, May 16, 2016

Gender Representatively Challenged?


Love this cartoon.  From the internet. 
I have been meaning to write a follow up to "Do We Have The Ovaries To Elect A Woman?"for quite sometime.


     After reading, article after article, watching show after show, commercial after commercial I cannot ignore, that for being, 49%-51% of the world's population, females are remarkably, disturbingly underrepresented.

I can't help wondering how many people, women or men, actually consider this.


Turn on your TV.
     News shows, news channels, comedy channels, late night talk shows.  Look and consider, how many shows are headed up by women versus how many by men.  Look down any news site that you visit; how many posts are written by men, how many by women?  Look at what the articles are about.  If they're about women, are they featured on an all inclusive page or are they in the "Women's News"?  Consider when you sit in church or temple, if you do, how many women are discussed by name from days of old?

     With Best Picture nominees this year for the Oscars, two out of 8 featured women as the central character.  The other six, men not only were the central character, but women hardly figured into the stories at all.

As I've shared before after hearing about it from Soraya Chemaly , in your search bar, type in Are wom... and see what comes up as the first option.  Actually today, it's the second option. The first is "are women stronger than men".  Probably in response to Secretary Clinton becoming the presumptive Democratic nominee. 

So, tell me, do you really think there is not that much sexism in the United States today?

Tell you what, instead of sexism, how about we call it gender representatively challenged.

     Some will say, that at least it's better here than other places in the world.  I admit, that there are times that I'm more than grateful for that fact.  Still there are days that, serves little as a distraction, much less a concession.  No, for most areas, throughout the United States, our daughters will never be subject to female genitalia mutilation or honor killings.  But that's not to be a justification for revoking medical rights or rationalizing anything less than 100% equality in pay here in the US.

     When I began writing this, it was a couple of days after Donald Trump made his remarks to Chris Matthews about abortion during an interview on March 30.  As it was noted on Saturday Night Live, "what a great way to end National Women's History Month."  There were a few headlines about it; Sanders comments on it, was that it was terrible and distracted from important issues.  Whereas Clinton pointed out that it was as serious issue and important as any other serious issue.

     Regardless of what people thought, by the Saturday, you hardly saw or heard mention of it.  However, to be fair, it has been rehashed a number of times.

This morning, I saw this:



Uh, excuse me, Mr. Priebus, I'd like to point out that I'm part of the "People" that make up the United States; and I'm a woman too!  

Given that since the dawn of time, the genders have been relatively 50/50, any time I see women left out of the majority of the story, the history, whatever, given it be a history or a religious book;
     I am highly suspect that the whole story has not been told.

What I find curious, is that thought, is rarely if ever brought up.  Is it even considered?

     After all, easy to see that if you are the gender that is represented to a point of raised recognition, how can it not seem to be the norm? After years of being immersed in the reality, how can we look at it as not normal?  Even for women; if it's all you've known, how can it be regarded as anything other than "normal." This is when we wake up and understand that normal, tradition, etc., do not equal moral, ethical, correct, or the best.

     Not long ago, my daughters were watching a cartoon on TV, a current show (as opposed to say... Looney Toons) was playing when I noticed something.  "Are any of the characters a girl?" "my 11 year old, replied, "uh... no,  I don't think so."

     My husband, working on the computer commented, "You're looking for positive female role models from a cartoon?"

My reply, "No, but I would like to see them acknowledge that females exist. "

I'm not saying we're better, or worse; all I'm saying is that WE ARE HERE.  Heaven forbid we shout. 

     Much of the history that we are taught, leaves out a good bit.  Not just women; plenty of other people of both genders and facts, as was my point in  History Be Damned.  I never heard of Hypatia until after college.  Yes, I could have enrolled in Women's Studies in college.
But I'd like to know, who are the fuckers that made the decision to leave us out in the first place?  

Women's Studies should not be an elective.  It should be part of the common curriculum from elementary school on.  Granted, since this has not been the case, there needs to be much done to and for all, to reeducate the masses.
   
     Be prepared, bring it up, on any social media or at any gathering, and you will be privy to many sets of rolling eyes, along with choice comments.

     The Good Doctor,  Dr. Ben Carson told Alex Witt that the women who've come out against Donald are just "publicity hounds."   How dare we speak up when we don't like something!  I see his mug a lot considering his campaign ended, (I was surprised it was only 2 months ago).  What should we call him?

When the status quo benefits you, why would you do anything to change it?  Is it any surprise, that many are fighting like hell to not change it?

     In Sady Doyle's In These Times, post, Why Progressives Should Support Hillary Clinton, she helps to make the case for how everyone could benefit.

     With the implementation of a few pieces of legislations, and admittedly bringing a few more hearts and minds around; to see that once we have a more equal country, we will have the full force of the country's people to create and witness a better tomorrow for all.

     Will there ever be a time when folks, look back and go, "Wow, America was a country for 200+ years before they ever had a woman as a president?  What the hell took them so long?"

     I just finished, Nancy L. Cohen's Breakthrough The Making of America's First Woman President.
Highly recommend it.  It's not about Hillary per se; though it does feature her; but more about what has happened in the last 200+ years to lead us to this point.
     Before reading the book, I read her LA Times Article, "Why Women Should Elect Women."
     After reading the article and seeing a couple comments, I offered:
      I'm going to choose to credit men with having the intelligence to know that women have the intelligence to discern which women will be pro-women, and qualified candidates and which will not. 
     I've had to contend with more than enough mansplaining, this campaign season.
     The condescension exhausts me.
     I've seen and heard the following statement many times in the last few years:
"If she's qualified, I have no problem voting for a woman."
     Oh good.  Here I thought after twice electing "W", we'd gone and given up on "being qualified" as a consideration.  Please, for the love of all that's holy, please; think before you speak.   

     Growing up in a bi-partisan household, I came to think of, Republican, meant lower taxes and less government.  Democrat, meant more social programs that had to be paid for by taxes, but was for greater fairness overall.  Bill Maher, once had a routine where he likened Jesus was a Democrat and God was Republican.  Things have changed.  Today, I think the reason more women are Democrat is the GOP party has come to view themselves as the keeper of the constraints on women.  It's a top priority.
     Why support that?  The only women that benefit from any of their policies are those who are wealthy enough to have the means to finagle out of the constraints their party enforces.

     The lack of representation, and the obliviousness to the fact, once you acknowledge it, is hard to retain patience with.

I've had to step away from this post many times out of sheer anger.

     For example, when I watched the 9th Democratic Debate.
     Like many who've watched the debates, I was always frustrated and aggravated at the fact that there was no mention of abortion, Planned Parenthood, protecting Roe vs. Wade etc.  During the last Democratic Debate, Secretary Clinton pointed that fact out close to the end, to enormous applause.  Prior to that on Twitter, a woman and I had been trading messages as to why we had not heard any mention on the subject.  We know both candidates are pro-choice, that's a given, they're Democrat.  That should not be where the conversation ends though.  We still don't know how they plan to ensure the right; to expand financing for Planned Parenthood; and many more "women issues".
     Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood,  applauded Hillary's actions on Twitter; that it was Hillary who'd finally brought the topic up.  She received comments of support, as well as comments that were not.
     That's putting it nicely.  The nicest one among the non supportive comments I read, "It hasn't been brought up, because it's a nonissue."  For who?
     Have you ever talked with a man, and when someone inquires if he has kids, he replies something along the lines of, "heh, heh, heh; oh I may have some out there somewhere."  Or if a man has engaged in casual sex; be that one night stands where little more info than names were exchanged, or whatever; if you're a man with a past and have many women that you've slept with and haven't seen since; if you can not say with 100% degree of certainty that nobody got pregnant from a one night stand, I do not feel that you should be able to rant about being pro-life.
     As I stated in So None of Your Business, someone's abortion is none of your business.  As it's not of mine.  Just as any other medical procedure that a person chooses, whether it's a vasectomy, a mastectomy, plastic surgery, etc. is none of anyone's business.
    Abortion is not the subject of this post, but I do think the way it is wielded throughout the world, if  the decision is anyone's, other than the woman's, to have or not to have; then it is to control the woman.  To attempt to control someone is to not grant them the respect required of equals.  Until abortion is safe, available, legal, and private for everyone, we will not have gender equality.  I do not see how there can ever be economic equality without equal opportunity or without equal self autonomy to enable one to pursue opportunities equally.
     
     Today, after seeing Mr. Priebus's archaic statement, and Dr. Carson's glib comment, I came across  this Sanders' Campaign poster for tomorrow's Kentucky primary:

     I've written enough about the candidates.  I've already voted.  Once again though, before I have to give reason for why I voted the way I did; look at this poster, and with what I've written just here in this post, not to mention every other post since the inception of Sadie's Gathering 3 years ago; what would possess me to vote otherwise, than how I did? 
    There are only 2 women featured in the drawing, compared to 8 men, and solely men in the background.  I am not savvy about the origin of the painting itself.  It may be entitled "Kentucky Settlers," for all I know.  Still, for a campaign poster that features the slogan, "WHEN WE STAND TOGETHER THERE IS NOTHING WE CANNOT ACCOMPLISH!" it might have served better if it had a more representative drawing.  Only two women, and no, to the best I can make out, no representation of variance of color are included in that royal WE.   Not to mention the women look as if they're from Biblical times, and the men look as though they're off to conquer the Wild West.  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

     As Jessica Valenti wrote in her Guardian article, "Insults and rape threats. Writers shouldn't have to deal with this"
     "If the mere act of writing about women’s issues sets off a stream of harassment and threats, surely we are nowhere near where we need to be."

     Everyone, should be able to write about what concerns them.  To express their point of view.
I don't think that's too much to expect.

In perhaps a simplistic argument for equality-
Goodness begets goodness.
Happiness begets happiness.  

Shouldn't we want that for all?