Sunday, May 10, 2020

Evolution: Part II

Evolution: Part II

My Mother’s Day present to my wife was to clean out the section under my desk. As I’ve confessed before, I actually love pulling things out into the light that I thought were important enough to save, but actually sat in the dark for a decade or two without anyone missing it. But inevitably, I find little treasures. 

Today was a scrap of paper with some statistics about women’s rights. Good timing! Both because of Mother’s Day and my post yesterday praising the species for collectively becoming a bit wiser, kinder and more inclusive. On one hand, this list affirms it. On the other, it provoked this reaction:

What the hell??!!!

So here’s a little trivia game that you owe it to your mother—your wife, your daughter, your sister, your sweetheart,  your colleague, take your pick— to read and reflect on. And if you’re a man, put down your defenses and own up to what a piss-poor job we’ve done giving these important people in our life—and generally, just our fellow human beings—the most basic rights they certainly deserve. 

Okay, here’s the game. Guess in which year the following was still true, (Precede each sentence with, “In the year ___________, by law, American women couldn’t:)

1.     Get birth control if they were unmarried.
2.     Serve on a jury.
3.     Get an abortion, even if pregnant from rape.
4.     Get a credit card in their own name.
5.     Sue a man for sexual harassment.
6.     Keep their jobs while pregnant.
7.     Refuse to have sex with their spouse.
8.     Pay a man’s rate for health insurance. 

I hope you’re as astounded as I am by the answers:

1.     1972
2.     1973
3.     1973
4.     1974
5.     1977
6.     1987
7.     1993 (!!!)
8.     2010

And here we are again with some wanting to repeal the ERA and people still trying to shut down abortion. But I’m sticking with my general lean of the arc toward more rights—while reminding us all—especially men! (and the 51% white women who voted for Trump!)—to keep working here. 

Wouldn’t that be a good resolution for Mother’s Day?

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