refrigerator-sized cars

If there one idea Tumblr has given me is that the US must be a horrible place to be a woman. According to Tumblr’s “Social Justice Warriors” and all the documentation they upload on that platform, women in America have very little empowerment in society and very little authority even over their own bodies. Also, nothing much is expected to change because the power is held by white male biggots.

Shit can give you nightmares of being stuck between a white, lacrosse team bomber jacket-bearing jock offering you a drink with roofies and pro-life demonstrators holding up anti-abortion signs while a group of senators turn their back on you and snicker.

Or at least it gave me interest in learning more about how America does gender equality (or doesn’t). And today I was reading an article on Bloomberg Business Week (a sounder source for oppinion shaping?) about american policies on maternity leave, which is almost non-existent. The problem seems to be nobody wants to pay young parents for the time they don’t work because they just had a baby. The very little that is paid is, well, very little and also doesn’t mean the job will be there waiting when the leave is over. Some of the consequences are that families can get into financial trouble for having children and that women lag behing in career progression. The article inevitably compares this scenario with what’s going on in other parts of the world, particularly Europe where we seem to have it good. (I assure you we only have it slightly better.) Read it if you’re interested.

A whole new debate, which the article didn’t cover, shapes up in the comments section: who’s benefiting from babies and, therefore, who should pay for the babies? Is it the parent’s who fulfil their dream of nurturing a family or the society who, well, lives on thanks to people reproducing on? Are children a societal or a personal benefit?

This could be the deepest shit ever seen in a comments section if it weren’t for the level of the comments as well as the the other recurrent point of debate: no comparison with Europe is pertinent because Europe is a high-tax, socialist society with a welfare (Welfare?) lifestyle… Some people, apparently, feel very strongly about that. I think this reader summed it up really well:


So now we know it, fellow Europeans: refrigerator-sized cars and the hellish price to pay for social protection and smaller gender gaps and also we should all be ashamed of them.