It's not by me, and I don't know who invented it. But it's a beautiful political parable:
Americans are like mushrooms: Kept in the dark and fed with shit.
It is just unfortunate that she hasn’t learned from her own example that every life must be given a chance to realize its full potential and that every life matters.
It's possible, of course, that we simply haven't found the right tools to end gender inequality. But it's also possible that, whether for biological or cultural reasons or both, many women are less interested in absolute parity with men than they are in work that gives them plenty of time with their kids. Is that such a bad thing?If you don't really need money from a job you can make that statement. If you don't really care who it is whose retirement benefits and old-age security are most affected by their earlier role as the major caretakers of children you can make that statement. And, of course, if you don't really care about the fact that having plenty of time with the kids might mean a part-time job with few if any benefits you can make that statement.
In Sweden, fathers have long been encouraged to take some parental leave, but in 1995, noting how few of them were actually doing so, the government followed Norway's lead and reserved one month of total parental leave as a use-it-or-lose-it month just for fathers. The reform was at least nominally successful: The average father took off 35 days, a little more than the month offered. In 2002, the government went further, making two full "daddy months" of parental leave nontransferable to moms. Men took off an average of 47 days, still considerably less than the total available. Then in 2008, dissatisfied with the remaining large gender gap in the leave taken by dads versus moms, the government introduced yet another reform: the "gender equality bonus." Under this law, the more couples shared leave time, the more money they would get. Amazingly, the reform had no impact. According to official statistics, women still took 76 percent of leave days in 2011. The long-term effects of Sweden's parental-leave policy, in other words, have been negligible, all the more so when you consider how many women gravitate toward part-time jobs.
Given a choice between a woman of childbearing age, who might well take a year off in the near future, and an equally talented young man who would take maybe a month off, many executives -- male or female -- would probably hire the latter.
Indeed, the World Economic Forum (WEF) ranks the United States eighth globally on gender equality in economic participation and opportunity, ahead of Sweden, Finland, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Iceland.That's one of the four sub-indices in the overall index. On the overall index US ranks 22nd, well behind those other countries the quote lists. And the countries ahead of the US on the economic participation and opportunity sub-index?
In summarizing her dissent from the bench, an unusual move and a sign of deep disagreement, Justice Ginsburg called on the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to make a different point.“The great man who led the march from Selma to Montgomery and there called for the passage of the Voting Rights Act foresaw progress, even in Alabama,” she said. “'The arc of the moral universe is long,’ he said, but ‘it bends toward justice,’ if there is a steadfast commitment to see the task through to completion.”“That commitment,” she said, “has been disserved by today’s decision.”She said the focus of the Voting Rights Act had properly changed from “first-generation barriers to ballot access” to “second-generation barriers” like racial gerrymandering and laws requiring at-large voting in places with a sizable black minority. She said Section 5 had been effective in thwarting such efforts.
In the midst of all the chaos on Sunday night as the Texas legislature pushed through a series of stringent restrictions on abortion and women’s health, it was easy to miss what might have been the most inaccurate and dangerous claim of the evening: One state representative tried to argue on the State House floor that rape kits are a form of abortion.
Texas Rep. Jody Laubenberg (R) sponsored several anti-abortion measures currently making their way to the Governor’s desk. Taken together, they would shut down the vast majority of the state’s women’s health clinics and criminalize abortions after 20 weeks. But in reasoning out why she did not support an exemption for rape victims in the 20-week ban, Laubenberg betrayed a woeful lack of information on the procedures a victim of rape undergoes — namely, the “rape kit,” which is used to collect data on the assailant and in no way relates to pregnancy:
When Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, called for an exemption for women who were victims of rape and incest, Rep. Jody Laubenberg, R-Parker, explained why she felt it was unnecessary.
“In the emergency room they have what’s called rape kits where a woman can get cleaned out,” she said, comparing the procedure to an abortion. “The woman had five months to make that decision, at this point we are looking at a baby that is very far along in its development.”
The remark about rape kits, which is not accurate, sparked widespread ridicule on social media sites. Laubenberg, who has difficulty debating bills, then simply rejected all proposed changes to her bill without speaking until the end of the debate.
Rape kits are used to collect DNA evidence from the bodies of rape victims; after a victim enters a hospital, staff collect bodily fluid, residue under the victim’s nails, and any blood or hair samples that could be relevant for an investigation. Rape kits are in no way equivalent to an abortion.
In a most underhanded and insidious way, women's reproductive health rights in California were dealt a significant blow last month. That was when the availability of elective abortions at Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian, one of Orange County's elite medical centers, was abruptly ended.
The ban on abortions was imposed by Hoag administrators effective May 1, shortly after the hospital entered a corporate partnership with St. Joseph Health System, a Roman Catholic chain with five hospitals in Orange County. The administrators acknowledge that the change was made at least in part as a response to St. Joseph's "sensitivity" about abortion.
What's worse, doctors at Newport Beach-based Hoag say the administration lied to them about the partnership deal. They were assured from the outset there would be no changes in the services they provide to their female patients. But public documents suggest that the abortion ban was planned by Hoag and St. Joseph as long ago as last fall.