10 Rights That Women Don't Have But Men Do
If America is so good for women, why is access to equal protection under the law, bodily autonomy, and fair pay a set of rights that women don't have but men do? Because America is not so good for women!
America is a white supremacist patriarchy. That's the only way that Trump was able to become president. And every day that Trump is in the White House is a day that the set of rights that women don't have but men do have remains unchanged. That means wide spread social ills remain unaddressed. Less pay, less safety, and less representation for women hurts everybody. And in case you were unaware, here are just some of the ways that women are deprived of social equality in the US.
Less Free Speech
Men can spin misogynistic conspiracy theories on social media with little to no consequence, but when women vent that #MenAreScum they find their accounts shutdown. That’s exactly what happened to Marcia Belsky, comedian and co-host of the podcast Misandry with Marcia and Rae. In fact, to protest her banning, 500 female comedians posted #MenAreScum at once and nearly all were banned by Facebook. FB claims that the bannings are a consequence of their moderation guidelines, but the fact that these bannings unintentionally favor men is evidence of just how pervasive patriarchy is. Without even thinking about it men are favored; those are rights that women don't have but men do!
Louis CK used to do a joke about how it takes a lot of courage for women to go on dates with men because men are the number one threat that women face. Then we found out that CK liked to coerce women into watching him masturbate, and thus he had been proving his point all along. Indeed, women are more likely than men to be victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, serial killers, etc. And the legal recourse and police protection that's afforded to women in such situations is so rigged against women that many simply choose not to seek justice or peace. Then the men who commit violence against women go unpunished. Those are rights that women don't have but men do. It’s almost like we live in some kind of patriarchy!
Less Representation in Politics
Rutgers University reported that as of March 2017, women make up 19.6% of Congress even though they make up more than 51% of the US population. While that statistic provides plenty of bloggers the opportunity to edit men out of pictures to show how often Hillary Clinton was the only woman in any given room, it also does a great disservice to the whole country. Remember, policies that affect 51% of the population are being bungled. The rest of the country is then itself bungled by that bungling. That’s widespread bungling! And yet millions of men can shrug their shoulders and not feel the effect of the unequal representation women face. Can you imagine the uproar if a bunch of men said they didn't feel like their voices were heard?! The whole world would come to a stop so men would feel okay. Just another example of more rights that women don't have but men do!
Representation in Popular Culture
There's so many white guys that it provides comedian Phoebe Robinson with enough material to host a podcast called Sooo Many White Guys. How many white guys are there? There’s the western literary canon, there’s movies and TV, and, heck, women are even staggeringly underrepresented in pop music. Representative rights are just more rights that women don't have but men do.
Why does this matter? Well, when they made an all-woman reboot of the Ghostbusters, a lot of people asked asked, "But who are little boys supposed to look to as role models?" THE WOMEN OF GHOSTBUSTERS! It never even occurred to these people that a woman could be a boy's role model. Some of these people were mothers. Are these mothers not expecting to be role models for their sons? WHAT IS GOING ON?!
Speaking for All Women
Men are not expected to speak on behalf of all men, but when a woman provides her testimony she's expected to be taken as a representative of all women. Speaking only for one's self belongs in the set of rights that women don't have but men do. There's an undue pressure faced by all members of marginalized groups who attempt to assert their agency in America: they're subjected to needless scrutiny and expected to speak for all others with whom they share superficial markers of sameness. And yet the metrics used to scrutinize are less frequently thrown into question. How often is it observed that to be androgynous is to possess male traits? Or that an unadorned economic agent is just a white guy? Exactly! Step off, dudes!
Women are Poorer
The Institute for Women's Policy Research reports that as of 2015, 11% of senior citizen women live below the poverty line compared to 6.6% of men. More broadly speaking, 15.5% of women live in poverty compared to 11.9% of men. The numbers are even greater when race is taken into consideration. Women earn less then men, a lot of labor performed by women is unpaid, and there's often times systemic discrimination to contend with. Access to opportunities are just more rights that women don't have but men do.
Fewer Women CEOs
There are far fewer women CEOs than male ones for many reasons. People tend to hire people like themselves. So, if men are doing most of the hiring, men are going to be those hired most often. Living in a patriarchy means that women are penalized for seeking credit for their accomplishments but take all the blame for their missteps. Additionally, women are forced to choose between their careers and their families, whereas men are afforded the opportunity to have both a family and a career. As women approach the upper echelons of business, they are often the lone women in spaces dominated by male colleagues, an oftentimes alienating experience in an inhospitable environment. So many rights that women don't have but men do!
Women Have Less Bodily Autonomy
Women have to pay for their own tampons and pads. If men had periods, pads and tampons would be free everywhere! Women also too often get side eye if they breastfeed in public even though it's a natural process our own society encourages as indispensable for the healthy growth of children. Then there's women's reproductive rights, which are too often governed by men. Even the temperature in offices is often calibrated with the male metabolism as the figure taken into account. It never ends with the rights that women don't have but men do!
It makes sense that in a white supremacist patriarchy like America that the degree to which one resembles the most privileged class will determine one's income. Those are just rights that women don't have but men do. Women make less than men and women of color make even less. And because America is a white supremacist patriarchy, when any proposal is made to correct this inequality, a large number of white men and a shocking number of white women—we're looking at you 52% of white women who voted for Trump!—rush to tap the breaks on change.
Women Pay More for Less
Marie Claire ran a comparison on several products and found that, on average, women pay more for products like socks, shampoo, and deodorant. But the The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs ran its own study and found that out of 800 products those marketed toward men are of higher quality than those marketed toward women. Of course they are! Once you know America is a patriarchy, then you can assume that male products would be, on the whole, better than female ones. That's what a patriarchy is! Even when the stakes are at their lowest, there are many rights that women don't have but men do.