When I read statements such as this: “Do they strive for gender equity or do they support the policies and leaders that perpetuate oppression?”, which happens to be listed as the #2 reason for “A Day Without A Woman” protest march, I shake my head in disbelief at what I perceive to be the ignorance of people.
Are women “oppressed” in the United States? Let’s consider these three facts:
- Women graduate college at a higher rate than men. Source: Time
- Women commit suicide at a much lower rate than men. Men die by suicide 3.5x more often than women. Source: American Foundation For Suicide Prevention
- The “Gender Wage Gap”, when all factors are considered, is simply a myth. Source: Washington Examiner, Real Clear Politics
Which definition of oppression are the organizers of this march using? Oppression is defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary as follows:
- A: unjust or cruel exercise of authority or power especially by the imposition of burdens; especially: the unlawful, excessive, or corrupt exercise of power other than by extortion by any public officer so as to harm anyone in his rights, person, or property while purporting to act under color of governmental authority
B: something that so oppresses: exaction
<unfair taxes and other oppressions>
- A: the act of weighing down (as a person, his mind or spirits)
<the continued oppression of the heat>
B: the condition of being weighed down (as by misfortune)
- : an act of pressing down: pressure, weight
- : a sense of heaviness or obstruction in the body or mind:
Do those facts support the notion of an oppressed gender? So I ask, where precisely is this “oppression” that requires such protests? Where is this “unjust exercise of authority” that “imposes burdens”? Women graduate college at a higher rate than men, and as mentioned, the gender wage gap is just not real. Where is this “weight” that burdens the mind of women? Men commit suicide at a 3.5 higher rate than women. If women are so “burdened by the heavy weight of oppression”, why aren’t they killing themselves at a higher rate than their oppressors? I’m sorry, with all due respect, I just don’t see this “oppression”.
Personally, I believe there is a burden on men, starting in schools with a “War on Boys”. I have two sons, and I have witnessed first hand how much of a disadvantage they have in public school, and for no other reason than because they are boys. Many behavioral rules and subsequent punitive disciplinary actions for failure to adhere to said rules, for all intents and purposes, often only apply to boys. Additionally, and generally speaking, the curriculum is geared towards female interests.
When all is said and done, I genuinely believe there should exist, a level playing field for everyone. People, of ALL races, ALL genders, ALL religions, simply put, EVERYONE should be afforded the same opportunities. When society intentionally makes a curriculum that is geared towards one gender, it enacts racial quotas or affirmative action, it may be attempting to fix a legitimately unfair problem, but it does so by replacing that problem with yet another unfair problem. Fixing inequality by simply changing the recipient of the unfair benefit is not truly fixing inequality. It is just creating another injustice. Rosa Parks didn’t want to fix the wrong imposed on blacks through segregation by forcing whites to replace blacks in the rear of the bus. She just wanted justice for all. We, as a society, should strive for no less.
So, perhaps women who are considering participating in this protest should ask themselves what the real purpose of it is. At the very least, they should be able to specifically define the “oppression” they are protesting and do so with actual facts, not emotionally driven hogwash. Or, not. They can allow themselves to be pawns, used by others with an agenda. An agenda that most participants in the march aren’t even aware exists. Perhaps they can spend the day reading about countries where women truly are oppressed, like Saudi Arabia. But that would not support the agenda of the organizers, now would it?