Another Round With Gloria

African bush woman

I had another square-peg moment recently, while reading the Sunday Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Page four of the Opinion and Commentary section, featured a 4" x 5" photograph of feminist leader, Gloria Steinem, with an accompanying interview. Los Angeles Times columnist, Patt Morrison began the interview, "There are people who'd suggest that when it comes to women's liberation, its game over, a done deal."

Steinem responded by calling the statement, "ridiculous" and spent the next five columns, supporting that contention. I read the entire article twice, and none of it made any sense to me. She might as well have been speaking a foreign language, because I was lost!

Muslim women

I sat on the sofa, in a state of bewilderment. It occurred to me, that I'd been there before.

Once, while taking a riding lesson in Belgium, the very handsome instructor, a member of the prestigious French Cadre Noir, told me to stop my horse, avec les jambes. When I didn't respond, he repeated himself and again, I failed to react. I wasn't ignoring the instruction, I just didn't understand him. "Avec les jambes," he insisted more emphatically.

I was in real trouble! I'd paid almost two hundred dollars for a lesson with a man that was telling me to stop my horse by using HAMS? " Avec les jambes! Avec les jambes! " I slowly pulled back on the reins with my hands (les mains) and the near hysterical instructor began shouting, "AVEC LES JAMBES!"

The French/English dictionary in my head kept reassuring me that my translation was correct and he was indeed telling me to use a HAM to stop my horse. That can't be right! My rational self finally won and sadly, I had no choice but to stop my horse in a totally inappropriate manner, and ask him what he meant.

"Pas jambon, Madame ! (not HAM, lady) Jambes," he said, pointing to his inner leg. "Jambes!" (LEGS!). "Pardonez-mois, Monsieur. Mais oui," I managed to squeak (Pardon me, sir. Of course!). Je suis stupide! (no translation necessary).

As far as the Steinem interview is concerned, I may have been just as perplexed by her, as I was by the French speaking instructor, but I know I wasn't being stupide. That honor is reserved for Ms. Steinem and her cockamamie ideas.

At one point in the interview, Ms. Morrison says, "I wonder whether you think the war on terrorism may have elevated feminist awareness in this country because of how hideously the Taliban treats women."

Muslim woman in a burqua

Steinem responds:
We don't need martyrs and we don't need examples. I think we have a bad case of first-ism in this country. We seem to think that women here are better off than they are in any other country and that's not true. We are the only modern democracy in the whole world with no national system of child care, no national system of health care, no national system of family-friendly work place policies. Women are a lesser percentage of elected officials (here) than in India. We are not "first."

Women of rural India

This diatribe is flawed in so many ways, it makes my head hurt.

Ms. Steinem has never lived outside the United States, so she has never had to depend upon her host nation's system of health or child care. I did, and I can tell you, neither can compare to what we have access to here in the USA. You can't even buy an aspirin in Europe, without a prescription.

When my daughter was ill, I called the doctor and was told to appear at his clinic, take a seat and wait for our turn - which we did, along with twenty or so other patients. No appointments are taken. If the doctor runs out of time before he can see you, oh well! You must return the next day. Most doctors' offices are located within a personal residence because doctor's can't afford the rent on commercial real estate.

When we moved overseas, we were cautioned by seasoned ex-patriots, to stay away from the European hospitals, if at all possible. The Europeans themselves, save to fly to the United States for elective surgeries.

There are government-run child care centers all over Europe, but personally, I can't think of anyone I'd be less likely to trust with the health and well-being of my child, than Uncle Sam (think: United States Postal Service).

Let's not forget, there is a price-tag attached to all this government sponsored health and child care too. As of 2009, the federal income tax rates in Belgium, France and Germany, were between 25% and 55%. Which means, that even if you are earning less than $10,000 a year, you are still expected to pay 25% of your income to the government. On top of that, most Europeans pay a sales tax of about 6% on essential items like food and an additional 19% to 21% value added tax (VAT), on all other goods. Add to that, local taxes and social security, and the average European ends up paying out about 60% of their income on taxes. Europeans are afforded no deductions.

In the US, if you earn less than $10,000, after deductions, you basically pay no income tax. On the other end of the scale, our maximum income tax rate is 35%. And yes, we do have additional taxes including sales tax which we are required to pay, however, they pale in comparison to those in Europe.

News-flash for Ms. Steinem and the rest of her ilk: Part of what makes living in the United States great, is that once a woman earns her paycheck, she gets to decide how she wants to spend it!

American women, must stop trying to translate the gibberish this kook and others like her are spewing and use common sense. Stop and say to yourself, "This can't be right!"

I've found recently, that its not only the ramblings of egg-heads like Steinem that leave me flummoxed by insisting that I'm truly oppressed, but don't know it. I'm similarly addled by the reasoning and sound bites offered daily by politicians and elected representatives, intent on convincing me that they know what's in my best interest. I wish they'd just STOP talking and leave me and my money alone.

Maybe if I threw a few HAMS at them . . .

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness I felt the passion in that one. I totally agree. I wish woman like her were forced to live in a middle east country for six months. She might have a different view....