October 3, 2008

Tolerance and Women's Rights? Not so much....

I am a bit tired this morning, because I stayed up egregiously late last night before waking up criminally early for a meeting with my academic advisor. What compelled this girl who loves sleep SOOOO much to stay up SOOOO late? The Vice-presidential debate! It started at 2 am London time, and my residence hall lounge was full of viewers eating pizza and chips while groaning over the poor quality of debate. Every North American expat in the building was there - even us Canadians - and the odd UKer or continental European. The debate was not great debating-wise, but man, was it worth it to stay up just for the comedic value - if you're into dark humour, that is.

So, last night Sarah Palin called American the "Greatest nation in the world," sighting its "tolerance", as one of the sources of its greatness. Call me crazy, but what the hell do they do that's tolerant? Even on a relative level? In Canada, Spain, the Netherlands, The UK and other countries, gay couples can marry and have equal rights to see each other in hospital and receive spousal support in the event of a divorce. In the US, that's definitely not the case. That and everywhere you turn, people are hating on so-called "illegal" immigrants and Hollywood celebrities like Mel Gibson are making anti-semitic comments out of a combination of attention-seeking and genuine hatred. Visible minorities are also massively under-represented in American government, and having one black guy running for president doesn't really do much to change that huge inequality, even if Obama does manage to win. So tolerant, wtf? Compared with whom? Saudi Arabia?

GoVernor Palin also said that having "Women's Rights" makes America a great place to live. Again, what fucking rights? There are politicians in Colorado who are trying to give embryos rights from the moment of fertilization, which would make the pill and spermacide illegal! For reals!!!!! NOt only that, but Governor Palin herself is staunchly anti-choice. WOmen in the US also don't seem to have the right to have equal pay for equal work, as the average American woman makes 75 cents for every dollar an American man makes doing the same job. WOmen are also massively under-represented in American government, and even if Palin wins the vice-presidency, that wouldn't make much of a difference to address that inequality, just as a president Obama could not make up for the lack of black members of Congress and the Senate. So, how many women in the Western World are American women really better off than? I'm a Canadian woman, and the thought of living in America scares the shit out of me! What if I needed an abortion, but was in a state like Missouri, where it's practically impossible to get one? Or what if I lived in Alaska and needed a rape-kit? Thanks to Governor Palin's policies, I'd have to use up my rent money just to have a chance of convicting my attacker. I honestly feel terrible for American women. It's like they are imprisoned in their own country. No woman should have to live the way American women in so many parts of the US now do.

All I'm saying, Governor Palin, is that I can think of many adjectives to apply to The US and its government policies right now.;Backwards, racist, sexist, irrational, violent, deceitful, greedy, irresponsible, war-mongering and self-absorbed all come to mind, but "tolerant" does not come to mind once. I also associate America with many rights, like the destructive right to bear arms that sees so many people accidentally and intentionally shot each year and rights for embryos just fertilized that perversely tromp mine as a grown woman of child-bearing age, but "women's rights" are not the rights I would say America specializes in. Living in America must suck, and a McCain/Palin presidency would so not make it any better, but I'm sure they'd be really "tolerant of you" and your "Women's Rights" while appointing supreme court justices who want to take away your right to choose....

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