I’ve always taken issue with the concept of exploiting children for the purposes of some form of political propaganda, and that is no different with regard to the video that has spread across the internet in which various young girls shout profanities in support of the movement of feminism. If that weren’t enough, the video also includes the statement (regurgitated by the girls most definitely from other people off-camera) of various concepts about women that are either outright falsehoods or useless divisionary claims…and selling t-shirts in support of the movement of course.

The fabrication/myth of the gender wage gap issue completely disregards the different lifestyles and choices that men and women make as a result of the different paths they take in life, as well as not taking into account different levels of employment which can also impact the output in wage earnings. When that is taken into account, the gap almost completely vanishes. In some cases, when taken to account on a case-by-case basis, women in some industries actually earn more than their male counterparts. Such an erroneous assertion over the gap only serves to distract from any real abuse taking place by drawing attention to unimportant matters.

When it comes to the assertion made in the video that over 20% of women will be raped, statistical analysis doesn’t back up such a claim. Many studies into the issue tend to be unreliable and inconsistent thanks in part to either vague or ever increasing/expansive definitions of what qualifies as sexual assault. An online survey most often cited as the origin for this claim of 20% came from a grant by the Department of Justice which listed “forced kissing” and “attempted forced kissing” (exactly what is contained within such a statement is ambiguous) as sexual assault. In contrast to such a questionable rubric, a study into violent victimization among collegiate individuals was done by the Bureau of Justice Statistics (a subsidiary of the Department of Justice) which found that between 1995-2002, there were about 6 rapes or sexual assaults per thousand per year. With about 4 million female college students across the United States, that comes out to about 1 victim in 40 students. Other studies done by the DOJ across the spectrum of rape have found that the overall rape rate is in sharp decline, with the number dropping by about 60 percent since 1995. Indeed, one person getting raped, whether male or female, is still far too many. But these studies call into question the notion that female rape is “epidemic”.

With so much emphasis on apparent understanding that women have it rougher or that the system is stacked against them, it can come across that somehow men have it easier and are therefore held to account for this inequality. However, the truth is that men find themselves with many hardships. Studies have found that between the grades K-12, boys make up 70% of all suspensions. Within the medical establishment, according to statistics from the Department of Health and Human Services, men are about twice as likely to be diagnosed with learning disabilities. Men also are about 4 times as likely to commit suicide than women, and have a higher probability of falling victim to substance abuse. For committing similar crimes, men on average tend to face longer sentences in prison. Men are about 76% more likely to be murdered. And finally, men are also raped by women (in some studies found to be around the same rate in occurrence as vice versa), which is hardly reported on.

There also is a lack of perspective on places around the world where, as opposed to Western locales, the picture is quite different for women’s economic and political prospects. Saudi Arabia is perhaps one of the more well-known infamous ones, where women find various resistance in the areas of employment, safety, and livelihood. Little is mentioned on the part of protests as to how the United States can provide political and military support to a nation that ranks as one of the lowest globally on the issue of human rights, and is currently engaged in one of the biggest on-going humanitarian disasters.

All this is not to somehow say that women shouldn’t be respected or valued…of course they should. But that should also be weighted with the truth of what is really going on out there in the world. Not only will that serve to help those who are truly impacted by terrible circumstances, but also serve to show that many hardships exist out there, whatever gender one is. Only by realizing that can we hope for real answers to the issues we all face.

Links:
http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702303532704579483752909957472

http://fee.org/freeman/detail/is-the-job-market-sexist

http://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/economic-intelligence/2013/10/24/statistics-dont-back-up-claims-about-rape-culture

School Has Become Too Hostile to Boys

http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/08/boys/factsheets/ed/index.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_differences_in_suicide

http://www.drugfree.org/join-together/study-finds-men-more-likely-than-women-to-develop-substance-use-disorders/

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/11/men-women-prison-sentence-length-gender-gap_n_1874742.html

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_differences_in_crime

http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2014/09/22/rape-cdc-numbers-misleading-definition-date-forced-sexual-assault-column/16007089/

http://www.theweek.co.uk/60339/nine-things-women-cant-do-in-saudi-arabia

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/more-saudi-arabia-women-working-despite-limited-rights-a-1040135.html

https://womanstats.wordpress.com/2013/01/16/the-high-rape-scale-in-saudi-arabia/

https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2016/country-chapters/saudi-arabia

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