Thursday, March 29, 2012

Unequal Still

     ~ in memoriam Adrienne Rich (1929 - 2012)

Since the beginning of time,
no matter what socio-political clime,
it has ever been man’s pleasure
to count women among his treasure.

Rendered thus into objects apart,
women, who continue to balance art
with work and home, still yearn
for rights men took but did not earn.

Modern mores tend to deceive
about equities the sexes receive;
women still bear brunt of labor,
and at home have little time to savor
any “accomplishment” of “equal rights;”
men still demand that women’s sights
remain unpaid at hearth and home,
when women might prefer to roam
beyond the care of men and babies,
beyond battered promises and maybes.

The few gals granted a turn at the helm
work for less than men who underwhelm,
while men control the gates and are better paid,
perhaps even smiling at small tokens made.

From this first great division of class
come all the others perceived en masse;
as long as the lie of “equality” makes so little noise,
we will mind and mine the gaps of social inequipoise.

©  2012 by Elisabeth T. Eliassen

Though times have changed, situations have not. While things may be better in the United States than in other countries, equality is something that is little more than a dream for women, people of any ethnic group that is not the dominant one in the region, for people of different faith traditions and people whose sexual orientation differs in anyway from heterosexuality. In the United States, women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns, even if women perform the same job and outperform their male counterparts.

Two stories from my local newspaper attest to the challenges that still face women:

How women, girls are faring in education, jobs in state (CA)

IBM CEO is a woman; will she be able to wear the Masters Tournament Green Jacket?

If the double standard continues in the area of gender, how can we ever truly address the double standards elsewhere in the social spectrum?

The truth is clear = each individual is unique, but as a whole humanity, we are equal. Human thinking and acting needs to evolve in a way that this truth of our equality is apparent in every life.

Please feel free to comment. Discourse is the only avenue through which change is possible. Silence supports the status quo

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