Archive for the 'Gender Equality' Category

“The perils of polygamy”

Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018

The Economist: The link between polygamy and war. “Plural marriage, bred of inequality, begets violence.” (December 19, 2017)

“Wherever it is widely practised, polygamy (specifically polygyny, the taking of multiple wives) destabilises society, largely because it is a form of inequality which creates an urgent distress in the hearts, and loins, of young men. If a rich man has a Lamborghini, that does not mean that a poor man has to walk, for the supply of cars is not fixed. By contrast, every time a rich man takes an extra wife, another poor man must remain single. If the richest and most powerful 10% of men have, say, four wives each, the bottom 30% of men cannot marry. Young men will take desperate measures to avoid this state.

This is one of the reasons why the Arab Spring erupted, why the jihadists of Boko Haram and Islamic State were able to conquer swathes of Nigeria, Iraq and Syria, and why the polygamous parts of Indonesia and Haiti are so turbulent. Polygamous societies are bloodier, more likely to invade their neighbours and more prone to collapse than others are. The taking of multiple wives is a feature of life in all of the 20 most unstable countries on the Fragile States Index compiled by the Fund for Peace, an NGO”.

#YouToo?

Tuesday, January 2nd, 2018

The Economist: This year has seen an explosion of rage about sexual harassment. “Will it lead to lasting change?” (Print Edition, December 19, 2017)

“The dam broke in October, with accusations of harassment and assault against Harvey Weinstein, a film producer. Since then dozens of prominent men in show business, journalism and politics have been accused of sexual harassment, and been sacked or stepped down. The #MeToo hashtag has already been used 4.7m times on Twitter by women (and a few men) whose harassers were not famous enough to make the news.

Both sexes have found the outpouring astonishing. Many men are amazed to learn that so many women have suffered sexual harassment. For women the surprise is that perpetrators are being punished at last.”

“It turns out those pink kitty-cat hats weren’t just for show after all.”

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2017

The Atlantic: Women Exit the Party of Trump. “After laboring for years to close the gender gap, GOP strategists are suddenly facing a gender chasm.” By Michelle Cottle.

“As if the situation weren’t ticklish enough, the spotlight on sexual harassment is boosting many women’s sense that something needs to change. As [Jean] Card put it, “We’re having a little bit of a sisterhood moment here.”

“Imagine if we had a female leader, how this could be handled,” said Card (who supported Carly Fiorina for president last cycle). “Instead, we do have the polar opposite. We do have a man who said he could grab women by the pussy. We can’t have presidential leadership on the sexual harassment issue because of that.”

(No question, Trump is a problematic ambassador for the cause. Greenberg recently conducted a national poll asking voters, “Do you believe that Donald Trump sexually harassed women, or not?” Sixty-eight percent said yes.)”

“Mothers die too often because women’s health isn’t valued in the US”

Tuesday, October 24th, 2017

Vox: California decided it was tired of women bleeding to death in childbirth. “The maternal mortality rate in the state is a third of the American average. Here’s why.” By Julia Belluz, Jun 29, 2017.

“[T]here’s been a decline in access to contraception and abortion in many parts of the US, leading to more unplanned, unwanted — and, in some cases, more dangerous — pregnancies.

The opioid epidemic certainly hasn’t made births safer for moms, and health care access remains poor for low-income and minority women, who have among the worst maternal health outcomes.”

Also:

“Large employers in California, including Disney and Apple, as well as insurance payers have recognized that making births safer saves them money. They’ve supported CMQCC by helping pressure hospitals to follow the steps to protect women in the workforce – and avoid incurring unnecessary costs that drive up insurance premiums.”

Emphases mine.

ProPublica and NPR: The Last Person You’d Expect to Die in Childbirth. By Nina Martin, ProPublica, and Renee Montagne, NPR, May 12, 2017.

“The U.S. has the worst rate of maternal deaths in the developed world, and 60 percent are preventable. The death of Lauren Bloomstein, a neonatal nurse, in the hospital where she worked illustrates a profound disparity: The health care system focuses on babies but often ignores their mothers.”

ProPublica: Lost Mothers. “An estimated 700 to 900 women in the U.S. died from pregnancy-related causes in 2016. We have identified 134 of them so far.” By Nina Martin, ProPublica, Emma Cillekens and Alessandra Freitas, special to ProPublica, July 17, 2017.

Links via MetaFilter.

“[A] few firings won’t solve the ongoing and underlying problems of objectification and inequality that manifest […] throughout American culture.”

Monday, October 23rd, 2017

The Atlantic: America’s Sexual-Assault Epidemic. “The Harvey Weinstein scandal rocking Hollywood has now spread throughout the American business world, with a growing list of firings and suspensions among high-profile men.” By Gillian B. White.

“In a sense, the current reckoning with predatory behavior by successful men has come about both because of, and in spite of, the country’s choice of president. […] Yet it’s impossible to contextualize the growing public outcry over sexual assault without considering the short distance, and largely unresolved tension, between Trump’s “you can do anything” attitude toward women and his subsequent victory over a female candidate. Trump’s repeated denigration of women on the campaign trail, and the fact that he was elected anyway, set the stage for this moment. Viewed in that light, coming forward about experiences of abuse are both an act of personal courage, and a protest against this political moment.”

Link via dangerousmeta.