‘Systematically Oppressed’

Feminist blogger claims America is worse than Rwanda

In October 2008, Barack Obama described his agenda as “fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Now that Donald Trump is president, however, many Democrats seem to have concluded that Obama failed. Not only has America not been “fundamentally transformed,” but it’s apparently now the Worst Country in the World.

Having a Republican in the White House means that hating America has become de rigueur. And a feminist blogger has published this:

You are not equal. Your daughters are not equal. You are still systemically oppressed.
Estonia allows parents to take up to three years of leave, fully paid for the first 435 days. United States has no policy requiring maternity leave.
Singapore’s women feel safe walking alone at night. American women do not.
New Zealand’s women have the smallest gender gap in wages, at 5.6%. United States’ pay gap is 20%.
Iceland has the highest number of women CEOs, at 44%. United States is at 4.0%.
The United States ranks at 45 for women’s equality. Behind Rwanda, Cuba, Philippines, Jamaica.

In terms of women’s rights, then, America is worse than Estonia, Singapore, New Zealand, Iceland, Rwanda, Cuba, Philippines and Jamaica.

OK, let’s start here: Iceland is a tiny island in the North Atlantic with a nearly all-white population of about 320,000 people —just 0.1% of the U.S. population — and its economy was destroyed by a banking crisis in 2008. So in order to be comparable to Iceland, the United States would have to get rid of 99.9% of its population, including nearly all its racial minorities.

Whether or not Iceland is really a feminist utopia, the problem is that conditions are so different there that it’s an apples-to-oranges comparison, which proves nothing. There are a lot of island nations — Singapore, Cuba, Jamaica — on the feminist blogger’s list, but geography is not the only problem. There’s also demography and history and politics. Estonia is another nearly all-white country, with a history of being conquered or dominated by its Russian neighbors, and Singapore (a city-state with less than 6 million people) was part of the British colonial empire. The government of Singapore is authoritarian — political dissent is illegal there — and perhaps that explains why women are safe on the streets, eh?

Rwanda? The per-capita GDP of Rwanda is less than $2,000 a year. It is one of the poorest countries on the planet. If there is more “women’s equality” in Rwanda than in the United States, it’s an equality of poverty.

What is implied by the feminist blogger’s argument is that we can ignore the actual differences between the United States and these other places, isolate some specific measure that makes the U.S. look bad by comparison, and then proclaim, “A-ha! American women are systematically oppressed!”

This is the sort of propaganda we used to get from the Soviet Union, when millions were enslaved under the Marxist-Leninist regime, but Pravda was always claiming that life in America was a nightmare of fascism.

One cannot argue with hate propaganda. The feminist blogger is not seeking a policy discussion, she is simply publishing anti-American propaganda in an effort to demonize President Trump as an enemy of women. A point-by-point rebuttal of propaganda claims is a waste of time. What is far more important is to understand the political motive behind this kind of hateful rhetoric.

Trying to convince women that they are “systematically oppressed,” merely because a Republican won an election, is just partisan dishonesty.