Several friends and acquaintances have made the decision to try to elect the President for yet another four years. Although none of them has been able to identify a specific item in President Obama’s first four years making him worthy of reassignment as CIC, it happens that all of these folks are women and their reason for voting for him has to do with “women’s issues”.
So I began thinking about this. Several of them have identified pay inequality in the workplace as something that they feel would be better addressed by the incumbent than by a President Romney. On this point I agree – not that Obama would do a better job handling it – but that differentiating payment and offering women lower wages for performing the same work is unethical, immoral – and most importantly, just plain stupid.
If you’ve ever worked in an office environment you know that the every office has a “grapevine”. In fact, the intelligent manager, realizing this, will use the grapevine to transmit information she wants disseminated without the need to write memos or hold staff meetings. And, of course, one of the items that is always on the grapevine’s agenda is, “How much are you making?”
Paying different amounts to people who perform the same job, whether it is because of gender, age or race, is just plain bad business and will always engender bitterness, jealousy and (in today’s age) lawsuits. Mitt Romney, as a businessman, knows this and if those who admire (or are envious) of his success really think about it, he would most likely not have pursued that sort of policy in his personal endeavors – or he wouldn’t have gotten where he did.
On the other hand, the President has never held a real job (although arguably being President of the United States is one) – but if so, this is his first.
Another item under the category of “women’s issues” which my friends described is accessibility to various preventative medical tests such as mammograms and cervical examinations.
On this subject, I couldn’t possibly agree more. Preventive diagnostic tests would greatly reduce the number of female medical conditions which we often do not address until we need to employ radical approaches to treatment. (The same thing applies to men, by the way).
Once again, as with the case of discriminatory pay, common sense dictates that an enlightened populace would actively campaign for just exactly that sort of early detection. But then again, common sense would also dictate that we would each of us make an effort to do everything in our power to ensure our personal well-being. The explosion in cardiovascular disease and diabetes suggests that is simply not the case for the average American.
If we are ever to rein in the burgeoning costs of our “disease maintenance system” we must begin by starting to educate our children on the importance of a good diet and proper exercise so that they do not succumb to the same illnesses in the same quantities as their parents. The explosion in the obesity levels of young children suggests that we have not seriously, or at least not effectively, addressed this matter, notwithstanding the 2,600 pages of the Affordable Care Act.
I believe, setting aside any of the allegations about Mr. Romney’s personal disdain for the average Joe or Jane, as a businessman he is far more likely to develop cost-effective common sense ways to rein in the skyrocketing cost of healthcare. And irrespective of the media’s portrayal of him, if for no other reason than that it makes sound business sense, is much more likely than the incumbent to develop positive solutions which not only save costs but save lives.
Then, of course, we have the question of whether women should be allowed to get birth control pills as part of their coverage under medical insurance contracts. In the interest of equality, I think that if that is the case, then men should equally be allowed to charge the cost of prophylactics to those same insurers. I mean, fair is fair, after all.
I have never quite understood why our sisters even want to expose themselves to the risks inherent in birth control medicines. Virtually all of them have side effects and some have been taken off the market for the danger they posed. Yaz and Yazmin come to mind as recent examples Wanting to expose yourself voluntarily to that sort of risk is beyond my understanding. But McDonald’s has tens of thousands of outlets throughout the world, serving some of the most unhealthful food that humankind has yet invented – and they all seem to be doing quite well. So it’s obvious that people hold different opinions.
While I would advocate that the best birth control available to members of either sex is, “Just Say No,” there are some of us who have found ourselves in a weak moment and offering birth control pills is a far better alternative to having an abortion.
If we do decide to be really equal and allow men the same latitude as our women, then I have a solution (no this is not facetious) about how we could make condoms acceptable even to those who hold a religious belief that this is interfering with God’s plan and the purpose of sexual engagement. In fact, I think I could make what would be a theologically sound argument supporting my idea.
All we have to do is make prophylactics that have one or two of the tiniest pinholes in them. This would allow those really aggressive sperm that happen to be in the right place during intercourse to escape their encasement. Then, if it were God’s plan that the couple should conceive, they would be able to go out and swim and do their duty. If we consider a God who can divide the Red Sea, getting some of these little guys out to fulfill their mission should be a matter of little difficulty.
Considering the obviously superior genetic material of a sperm that could overcome the obstacles involved in this challenging environment, we might, as a by-product, even elevate the quality of the offspring so conceived, thus improving the gene pool. That would be something we could all welcome.
Of course, with this whole issue of birth control, as with the question of abortion, we are dealing with an inherent inequality. More female children than male are conceived, so we are preventing a disproportionate number of girls from being born than boys.
Again on the issue of equality, statistically there are proportionately more female and minority embryos that are aborted than Caucasian male children. I am sure that the reasons for this are numerous and beyond the scope of this post. But it should give a person who is considering the question of “women’s issues” pause, why this should be and how their support of a woman’s “right to choose” impacts the disproportionate number of female embryos that meet an untimely end.
There are countries in which “gendercide” is routine and common. We think of those countries as primitive and not yet ready to enter the 19th century, let alone the 21st. Their attitude on the worthlessness of women has not advanced much, if at all, from countries who in ancient history viewed a female child’s birth as an unwelcome event and set the newborn out to be devoured by wild animals. In those more compassionate societies, the girl would merely be sold into a life of prostitution or servitude.
In view of the historical evidence and what is happening today, I have to believe that Mr. Romney’s business acumen must be in direct conflict with his social views and moral beliefs. His position on the “right to life” makes bad economic sense – and the President’s “Pro-Choice” posture makes good sense (possibly the only thing about the President’s economic policies which does).
Consider the cost of an abortion versus the cost of raising a child. There is simply no question that getting rid of an unwanted fetus is far more cost-efficient than bringing a child to term; then having to feed and clothe this infant; getting her ready to enter an already over-crowded and under-productive school system; and since a greater number of our poor than our middle class or wealthy choose the abortion option, having to spend taxpayers’ money to support this child, adding further to the out of control costs of our badly broken welfare programs.
Clearly, abortion is the economically sensible option. And I cannot but wonder why a heartless, out-of-touch businessman like Mitt Romney doesn’t automatically gravitate to it – unless it’s a matter of conscience.
On the other hand, my friends glowingly endorse a President who advocates a policy which wreaks the most havoc on the unborn of minorities and female babies and consider him to be a man who is in touch with the people.
Perhaps he is. And perhaps that says something about those who support him – that is, that he directly reflects their own attitudes.
Equality sounds like a good thing. I’m in favor of it. Of course, the fact that I’m here writing this and you’re there reading it means that we aren’t two of its victims.