In Brief—Females are being routinely discriminated against. It’s time to do something about this so all females can take their rightful place at the table. Get active today!
The Corrosiveness of Sexual Discrimination—
Long ago in a corporation far away, I was an intern in the law department. A smart, capable woman was hired to be the second-in-command to the vice president who headed the department. The woman was the single mother of four children, one of whom was mentally disabled. Abandoned by her husband, she had worked as a waitress to make a living for herself and the children while getting her law degree. She persisted and graduated, passed the bar exam and became a corporate lawyer.
One day at lunch with her, I happened to mention that I had told my young daughter she could be anything she wanted to be. The woman stiffened and retorted firmly that I had done my daughter a serious disservice. To say I was stunned is a gross understatement. To hear this from such a strong and capable woman was mind-bending.
I have often thought about that woman and what she said. But nearly half a century later, as I look around at America and the world, her shocking retort seems almost prescient. Though she cleared some major hurdles that would have defeated most women of her time, the hurdles remain today albeit they are concealed in the culture and in the attitudes of way too many men who control society, not least on the United States Supreme Court.
Supreme Court Justice Ginsburg has nailed it when she says that the conservative majority and Justice Kennedy just don’t get it that their decisions result in women being reduced to second-class status and discriminated against. Their implicit and probably subconscious assumption is that females are less than males. She goes on to say that the conservative justices even ignore a woman’s voice. She is right, but it’s much more pervasive and insidious in society at large.
Again, from my past experience, while at ABC in the 80’s, I wanted to promote a very smart woman who had once been a high school teacher and left the teaching profession to become a secretary in our department. The vice president of the department, an older and otherwise very capable man, objected on the grounds that women were not fit to be more than secretaries. I’m not joking. Those were the words he used. Ultimately, I prevailed. Several years later that woman became a vice president at another broadcasting company. Unfortunately, the type of thinking expressed by my boss is still common and limits women’s chances.
Examples of Discrimination—
Look around you. Women make appreciably less than their male counterparts in the same or similar job. Women are denied jobs for which they are eminently qualified. Women (females) find their reproductive health decisions being restricted—mostly by male politicians—in various parts of America. The Supreme Court conservatives—all males—decide that a boss is entitled to discriminate against his female employees. Females are raped and their reports are ignored by the authorities and schools or they are accused of being “provocative” and enticing their rapist. If the female has been drinking, she is said to have consented to sexual intercourse. It’s a case of “blame the victim.” Such can be found any day in the press. It’s so common that it has become old hat.
In looking for the reason for this persistent problem, I have come to the conclusion that its roots grow from the soil of religion. As the Abrahamic religions are paternalistic with their male deity, our culture subconsciously absorbs the flawed assumption that females are less than males.
Wake up, ladies! You are second-class citizens. You are being discriminated against every day in a variety of ways. If you don’t see that, you are part of the problem rather than being part of the solution. Raise some dust. Get active. Change things. Complacency won’t get it. Show that you and your daughters are tired of being second-class citizens. Get mad. Make your voice heard. Voting is one of the best ways to get their attention. Vote for change!