Wednesday, March 2, 2016

More Thoughts on Inequality and Hillary Clinton for President

I am not sure if there is just more discussion about women and  the workplace, or if I am just naturally drawn to these articles, but either way, I seem to be reading a few a week.

Results continue to be terribly discouraging.  Turns out there is gender bias at work, in journalism, and in the film industry, there is income inequality at work and work disparity in the home (scroll down to Melinda Gates' portion, though I loved Bill Gates' passionate insights into global energy and the lack thereof - and also see this nifty chore comparison chart).   Women pay more for their products even though the underlying ingredients are the same.  Women get less credit for their work.  In a well documented phenomenon known as the "motherhood penalty" and "fatherhood bonus," women with children are viewed as less dedicated and competent when they have children, while men with children are viewed as more responsible and committed to their jobs.

What a bleak picture.  (And this is all from the perspective of an American woman who has been given more opportunities than most.  Where do we even begin to list the injustice being done to women in a country like Afghanistan?)

And as if it all weren't enough to suffer, now all of these issues seem to be playing out before our very eyes, in the U.S. presidential elections.

I thought this article expressed a lot of what I have felt and been feeling since graduating from law school.  I was always an advocate for women and women's rights but in my eighth year at a traditional white shoe law firm, I am exactly that more radicalized, more fierce, more angry feminist who is going to vote for Hillary Clinton, because if not her, if not now, then we are sunk and lost.  I also really detest the "we want a female president, just not this female president" justification.  Please.  If NOT Hillary, if not at this moment, then who?  If Hillary were a man more than half of the criticisms levied at her as of late would have instead been effusive praise.  In fact, if Hillary were a man she probably would have been president 16 years ago.

I truly think that this article nails it, contrasting the popularity and approval that Hillary enjoyed as secretary of state with the visceral criticism that has dogged her in this challenging presidential campaign.  The ugly truth is that our society likes the idea of a female president, but isn't ready to support her to get there.  Time and time again we see this trend - in female politicians, comedians, directors, and management.  We need more men in power like Canada's newest prime minister, Justin.  But ultimately?  We just need more women in power.

Finally, I leave you with this very inspiring photo shoot.  In order to effect change, we actually have to encourage change.

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