Sunday, July 14, 2013

Zimmerman Proves Yet Again, Inequality is a Man's Game

I've been reading article after article about the Zimmerman case and acquittal. There are a few things that strike me.

One is the overwhelming sense of being pigeon-holed. I, like many others I'm sure, don't want to be painted with the same brush as others who happen to share my skin color.

The other thing that sticks out to me is the similar (though structurally different) plights of women and people of color. While I may not be stalked and subsequently shot, I have been stalked and followed home - presumably with very different intentions by my would-be attacker.

The anxiety a black man feels (cited in the link above) is similar to a feeling I have every day as a woman. I have rarely if ever felt completely safe when stepping outside. I have to alter my habits in order to make sure I would not be sexually assaulted. I can't walk alone at night. I can't wear certain clothes. I can't go certain places alone, and others I can't go to at all - even with a male escort.

My words aren't given the same weight as many men's. My emotions are often attributed to hormonal imbalances or surges as opposed to being legitimate reactions to stimuli in my environment. I don't earn the same as men. I have to fight for the same employment positions as men. I don't get to have control over my body. I don't get the health care I need, despite the important human producing abilities that dictate special circumstances and care.

But there aren't riots over my situation. There aren't widespread protests and outrage when my sister dies from abortion complications. There aren't widespread Facebook statuses declaring the horrible inequality women still experience when a woman experiences injustice. It just isn't as important.

Women, society says, just aren't as important as men.

So while I empathize with the families involved in the regular failures of the justice system to be color-blind, I can't help but be a little annoyed.

People just don't seem to care as much about the half of the species that ensures we continue.

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