Apart from a clue that is. Although it is not good for my blood pressure, I read the lastest from Sam de Brito (look him up on the SMH website if you like, not giving him linkjuice). He argues that an average 8% greater pay for men than women does not compensate men for the things they lose out on by being men. These things include dying, on average, 5 years earlier; being more at risk of violence; being more likely to get screwed over in the family court and being the ones who have to investigate scary noises in the night.
Okay, so the dying thing – it is genetic, according to the latest study, and it is also an average. Most of us would love to live longer but you just never know when your time is up, unless you choose for yourself. Generally the timing of our own death is not something we can control. Also, those women living 5 years longer are more likely to be doing so in poverty, especially if they have been divorced. Still want to be a woman?
Men are at more risk of violence. Sort of if you squint a bit. Yes, men are more at risk of violence from other men. How about you guys stop hitting each other and trying to prove who has a bigger dick? Get out the rulers and get on with it. Women are more likely to die from intimate partner violence and be victims of domestic violence. Still think being a woman is better?
Men are more likely to get screwed over by the family court? I’ve never been through the process but I do know that many men are bitter after their experience of it. That doesn’t mean that women are responsible for it though, nor does it change the fact that a woman’s chances of having a comfortable retirement plummet after divorce whereas a man’s are pretty much unchanged. Yep, women really come out on top don’t we?
Seeing what that noise is in the dark: what, you signed the form that said the husband must investigate all scary noises at night and now you are whingeing? What, there is no such form? Well if there is no such form then who is forcing you to do it, apart from you? His argument gets really thin here.
So here are some of the things I would like to give SdeB:
- debilitating menstral cramps and/or flooding. Not all women suffer from these of course, but a day or two of them might make him think twice;
- harrassment on the street for being too: fat, sexy, unsexy, obviously female etc.;
- hassles from breastfeeding including sore nipples, mastitis, people giving you conflicting advice, or openly harrassing you for feeding your baby in public or simply being out in public with a child who may or may not act in an age appropriate manner;
- pressure to wear makeup, remove every scrap of body hair unless it is eyebrows, which must be plucked to an acceptable shape, or head hair which must be shiny and glossy and well styled at all times, have a body which conforms to whatever is fashionable from one year to the next, curvy to lanky to willowy, to full busted to flat chested;
- pressure to be super mum and super career woman;
- the ‘Mommy’ wars.
So if you think SdeB could benefit from a few more experiences before deciding women have it better please feel free to mention them in comments. Over a lifetime, 8% difference in pay really does add up.
But maybe I’m being too harsh. Afterall what is a man who is a blogger, published author and writer of a column in a major metropolitan newspaper to do? Who will hear his lonely cry in the wilderness? Where is his cookie for spending three days a week with his child?