Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Before the fireworks, before you light the grill, or chill that beer take a moment to think about what today really stands for: the day that our founders signed the document that laid forth their grievances and call for independence. We,today, have truncated the list of grievances to "no taxation without representation." We also focus on the 2nd paragraph: "We hold these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."

Liberty and equality are the two American values that we hold and cherish,, yet these are the two values that have been contested throughout our history. Today, we are still seeing the tension between individual liberty and our need for national security. Today, equality is still not a given for women, for lesbians and gay men, for minorities, for the poor.
Here are a few examples, a few grievances, if I may, in which equality is still not for all:
Women's inequality
* Women still do not earn the same as males in the same positions or comparable ones. (
* Women still do not have full control over their own reproductive health.
(, or more recently the debate on whether or not birth control is preventative medicine : or when women's lives are trumped by religious doctrine when they go to religiously affiliated hospitals: )
* victim of domestic violence with orders of protection are not guaranteed that the police will respond (see Gonzales v Castle Rock).
Lesbian and Gay inequality
* Gays and lesbians may serve in our military and die for our freedoms but they do not have their own freedom under Don't Ask Don't Tell; and coming to the Supreme Court soon the Westboro Baptist Church claim of freedom of expression to picket outside military funerals. . .
* The majority still thinks that they may reserve the civil and legal benefits and social recognition of marriage to those of the opposite sex ( see for over view of prop 8 case )
* In many states lesbians, gays, anyone who employers think are sexually othered may be legally fired or not hired ( See ) )
Minorities and inequality
* That minorities do not have the same freedoms one only has to look at NYC police practices of stop and frisking people of color
( or Arizona's new anti-immigration law.
The Poor and inequality
* The poor are treated as if they are the cause of their own poverty and punished. If they live in public housing they do not have 4th amendment rights. Minimum wage is not a living wage. The Personal Responsibility Act (Welfare Reform)requires mothers of children age 3 and above to work, yet there is no child care provision, the act also says that women who get said monies must not be sexually active, and the purpose of the act is to make poor women marriageable, because marriage cures poverty (NOT!).
And, of course, the recent Senate decisions not to extend unemployment insurance because that is just extending the economic recession.

So take a moment to re-read the Declaration of Independence

and think about liberty and equality before you chill the beer, light the grill and watch the fireworks.

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Whether you mean to, or not, and despite your feminist views (which i'm sure you're proud of-- and that's completely okay, and your right), your arguments regarding women in this post are an injustice to women and in my eyes a detriment to their strength, power, and progress.

The reason being is you equate their status to nothing more than their annual worth in money. You allude to abortion, but I won't get into that as it is easily a more hostile argument than salaries of equally qualified people. I also happen to think that abortion is an abomination of humanity-- and I'm an agnostic, so that opinion comes from no religious tradition or belief.

What happened to good old admiration? The job of being a mother pays $0, but I consider that miles more difficult and honorable than a CEO making a 7-figure salary. Why are you allowing yourself to fall into an equally deep hole of nothingness, so as to compare a woman's worth to nothing more than the money in her bank account?

You may preach to the masses about your desire to see women as equals. And you may even have links to feminist literature and blogs. But I, as a man, look up to women as people that have a strength and a worth more valuable than any coin of any currency. I don't see why you are so easy to ignore that, and so quick to believe that people gauge a woman's equality in nothing more than dollars and cents.
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