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Chatterbox: Of many issues

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There’s something inherently wrong when rights and privileges, or access to certain basic necessities are denied to any particular group of people.

All and any basic human equalities are necessities, and access to them can’t be controlled by anyone, anything, any legislation or attitude, spoken or unspoken, overt or covert … and yet, they are.

If we were talking about some remote tribe, a small community of people in a controlled area or of a certain small religion, self-contained and answering to no one – and we agree that it does happen – the world does just scratch its collective head in wonderment and move along. When such injustices are happening in what the world considers a well-developed nation and a progressive or democratic government, this kind of purposefully structured social blockade becomes a whole other ball of wax.

It doesn’t matter if all Americans individually subscribe to unlimited rights and privileges, or advocate for America’s always hoped for but not yet delivered in full, liberty, equality and justice for all. The fact remains that most Americans do. It was promised as our basic doctrine, but we weren’t really structured to achieve it, and we have only to look at history to realize that we never actually got there.

Worse, right now, in America, we seem to be going backwards. Many people who call themselves Americans are promulgating many inequalities as being valid, having some roots in our legislation, and being the plan of the Framers of the Constitution all along. They’re right, of course, the country was fairly limited from the jump, but the promise was sold and, therefore, must be delivered.

There are many groups of people who aren’t, and never have, been given a fair shake and, sadly, we must talk about them and that situation, often. There are many caught amid the double standards in this country. All are sad, most are very obvious, and every one must be discussed until rectified.

Though no one wants to oversimplify any issue, the secondary citizenship of women, around the world, even in America, is somewhat unique. This issue has become so ubiquitous, part of such a common mindset, that it most often goes largely unnoticed, especially on the world scale. The secondary class that is female represents a singular double standard that has existed – around the world, throughout history. Let’s say that again: around the world, throughout history. That’s very intense.

Cultures and nations have been overtaken; Men have been enslaved from one nation to another, as a class, color or religion; their civilizations have been raided, warred upon, or annihilated ... true, but the women of each civilization were as well, all of these things, or worse. Throughout history, societies committed many gross inhumanities against one another; they still do. It’s happened in wars throughout time and that fact is one of the saddest truths of humanity. Wars, prisoners, coups, occupations, and who did what to whom has varied throughout our world’s dark historic record.

The least varied aspect has always been in regard to women … around the world, throughout history. No other group of people of any nation, religion, position, color, time-frame, political affiliation, physicality or description we can conjure can lay truthful claim to that sad distinction with as much consistency or longevity.

Maybe it’s this sad fact that made it go less noticed and more acceptable for women’s rights to be ignored for so long in so many countries. One nation that sticks in my mind is Switzerland, which only gave women the right to vote in federal elections after a referendum (voted on singularly by men) in 1971. Yes, many nations did it even later, but they were far less progressive countries than Switzerland, barring, possibly, Portugal. I visited there many years ago and remember a deeply Catholic nation, with serious attitudes toward the short skirts on the tourists, but still a nation alive with tourism, and with no holds on working women, yet, with women’s rights on the back burner. A late bloomer, they only gave women the vote in 1975.

At the moment, the current rattle is about the women who were so obviously overlooked for Oscars. The Oscars aren’t the best barometer for women’s equality. Let’s remember, right now in America, women still do not earn equal pay for equal jobs. This is a huge issue sluggishly addressed no matter how consistently debated … and the cost of child care is another.

And it’s 2024, America, yep … and this isn’t the worst of it.


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