First I Am a Human, Then a Woman

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I am a woman so this subject is extremely personal to me. Yesterday, a friend made a comment in response to my post that it’s nice to hear my views because I have an ‘outsider’s’ perspective. I was offended by that remark, and indeed I made no reservation in showing just how I felt! I am a person as unique as anyone else in this world. I think for myself, listen to various rhetorics, and finally develop my own view on a matter. I am entitled to change that view as I get more exposure but that I was born in India does not influence my whole personality. It can influence my interests, like my interest in immigration, but it still does not guide my perspective. My thoughts on immigration are founded in logic and ethical treatment of people. I agree with Bernie’s agenda because it speaks to those core values. If I weren’t an immigrant, I probably wouldn’t bother myself with reading the plan, but if I did, I would still end up supporting it because it sounds logical. Just as if I were an American, I still wouldn’t support the candidate with the most horrific views on immigration that sound dangerously similar to an ethnic purge. Any two people will agree or disagree from time to time. You might agree with some of my posts, not agree with others, but that’s because we’re different people irrespective of the skin we wear, the countries we’re born in, or the languages we speak- we’re different at an intellectual level. And while cultural differences have a role to play, it is not always the case. My thoughts on healthcare are independent of my heritage. I don’t think I even had a view on abortion when I was in India- I was too young and protected to have to think about it. At 30 years, I have something to say, and guess what, it’s everything that a 74-year old American man is saying!

When it comes to women’s rights, I don’t have a whole lot to say besides this:

It is a shame that a woman’s rights should even be a topic of political debate, like we’re animals and men of this world have to fight for our rights (read: PETA). We are human beings just as men are and if there is never a debate about what men can and cannot do, why should there be one for us!

But this damage wasn’t done today. It has been done over centuries and now we must try to undo it. We can only look to the future and we must ensure we build a better one- we must “go forward”. I agree with all the points in Sen. Sanders plan so I have only selected the top two to talk about in detail.

Item 1:

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Equal pay for equal effort- it is as logical as it can get and I don’t see any reason why anyone should be opposed to it. But much like my friend from yesterday, at a subconscious level, most people struggle to see everyone as equal. It is part of the cognitive process to identify a person’s physical attributes when we first meet them- man or woman, young or old, their race, etc. Our brains have evolved to register these nuances so that they can access the surroundings and any potential danger based on past experiences. It’s science and it’s all good. But there was a time when people let these differences determine how they treated the other person. After centuries of protests and progressive movements, we have reached a point in time where most people outwardly agree that people should not be treated differently. But subconsciously, they still end up doing it.

I was grossly underpaid at my former job. And I don’t say this by comparison to anyone else, but in absolute terms I was not paid enough for the hours of work I had to put in. It was a male-dominated workplace with a handful of women. So not only was I an immigrant worker which made me inherently unequal to my peers, I was a gender minority too. I don’t know how much salary my male counterparts made but it would not surprise me if it turns out to be significantly more.

Consciously or subconsciously, women are still not treated as equals in the workforce. Equal pay is more than inevitable, it is common sense!

Item 2:

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Women have a natural disadvantage over men- pregnancy. But had this been reversed, if men were the ones responsible for bringing a new life into this world, I wonder if the term ‘reproductive rights‘ would have ever come up! Again, I am not talking about the world we live in today but the world that set the stage for some of the issues we discuss today.

Personally, I would rather see an unwanted pregnancy terminated than an abandoned infant in an orphanage, or worse, in a garbage dumpster. It does not matter how the pregnancy came about- forced or consensual- the burden falls on the woman. There are no consequences for men, even when both parties had equal role to play. To those who say women cannot choose, I say, men shouldn’t be able to choose either. If the union leads to a pregnancy, the man must sacrifice his social life just as much as the woman does, and pay for child support until the child reaches the age of 21. I would like to see how many people will change sides then.

I know someone who accidentally got a girl pregnant when he was only a teenager. He did not marry the girl but decided he was going to be part of the lives of the girl as well as their child. He stayed true to his word. He does have a wife now, and kids from his marriage, but he still takes full responsibility for his first child. But how many such examples do you hear of? Most young men walk away from such responsibility. I know someone else who has a child from a previous marriage and the ex-husband refuses to take any responsibility for their daughter. She has had to take him to court several times just so he would pay child support. But a court can only force someone to pay, not to be a good father. This woman lost her job and was going through incredibly difficult circumstances. To have to be embroiled in lawsuits on top of that? Is that fair?

Women are equal contributing members of the society and should be treated as such; I am with Sen. Sanders!

P

 

 

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9 thoughts on “First I Am a Human, Then a Woman

  1. I don’t know how or why it happened, but I feel like at least in this country there was a time where we were getting closer on equal rights for all. Somehow we lost it which is very unfortunate. I don’t think there should be anything as draconian as-qualified male applicants, and qualified women applicants. No, there are qualified people period! Either they are a good fit for the job, or not. If they are, pay them in full, with benefits and everything else. End of story! Its so unfortunate that anyone has to deal with that situation. Well articulated points here.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I find the continued abortion debate nothing short of ridiculous. First of all, as far as I’m concerned you need a uterus before you’re even entitled to have an opinion on the subject. Secondly, I would REALLY like to know (a) who exactly it is that perpetuates the idea that women go around having abortions without good cause; (b) what exactly the supposed defenders of life plan to do to support all those babies they want to force women to have. Because, last I checked, all those people who run around with their little home-made posters to make a woman’s life even more miserable on the worst day of her life didn’t exactly come up and say, “hey if you decide to keep the baby I’ll adopt it”. Or, “oh so your unborn baby has countless medical problems that make it unlikely to survive its first year, that require extensive surgeries, and/or is missing vital organs/limbs? Please let me assume ALL financial responsibility while I care for this child”. It’s absolutely RIDICULOUS! Instead of being all up in arms about abortion, these people should spend more time coming up with real, tangible solutions. Like what to do with all the children in foster care, to start out with!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can tell you’re passionate about this cause! I agree with you completely. People need to come up with real solutions to the problem of homeless children who are longing for a loving, nurturing family. Let’s start there and then we can talk about those you are yet to be born. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

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      1. Honestly, the more time goes by the more upsetting I find this subject – especially the preposterous gall of people who think that someone, anyone, should be allowed to legislate the reproductive rights of a woman. I’ve never been in a situation where I would’ve been faced with the choice, the option, of abortion – but there are so, so many misunderstood reasons why a woman might avail herself of this, even as a last resort. What I personally find the most upsetting is not only the misnomer of “pro-life” that anti-abortionists cloak themselves in and, essentially, insinuate any other perspective is inherently “anti-life” – but also the constant barrage of “baby killers”. 0_0

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I know, it’s unbelievable that although we’re almost two decades into the 21st century, some people still think that what a woman can or cannot do with her body is somehow for the law or public to decide! And absolutely right about the ‘pro-life’ tag! The way I look at it, preventing an unwanted child from a life of misery is more ‘pro-life’ than letting it be born simply for the sake of the argument! Thank you for leaving a comment j

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          1. It’s especially ironic when those same people are really only pro white, Christian, heterosexual life before birth. They don’t give a damn what happens after birth – or who takes on the financial burden and lifelong responsibility. I’ve finally finished my own post on the subject just now but, seriously, I feel like one can’t even give adequate consideration for all the many, many issues involved in this topic.

            Liked by 1 person

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