As we move into a new decade, I can’t help looking over my shoulder at all the things I would like to leave behind.
VIOLENCE: Number One – Violence perpetrated against the female gender. Whether it is domestic violence behind closed doors in the United States, acid being thrown in the faces of young girls in Afghanistan trying to attend school, or rampant rape as a tool of war…It must end.
DYSFUNCTIONAL HEALTHCARE: I would like to discard health care that doesn’t take into account the needs of women, and policies that don’t speak to the disparities in care for all members of the female community at the local, state, and national levels.
UNEQUAL CHANGE: I would welcome a roll back on the wage disparities between a woman’s paycheck and a man’s, taking into account a gap that is even larger for women of color. Moving forward, I would like more support for women working in the services sector, where wages are lower and benefits are commonly non-existent. More legislated awareness for the work/life balance issues that often drive women to choices based on the need for flexibility, as they seek to mesh family responsibilities with a career agenda, would be helpful.
HOUSEKEEPING ANXIETY: On a cultural level, I envision an end to television commercials firmly planted in 1950s soil, continuing to push the message that women have a love affair with their kitchen floors, mops, and laundry.
BEAUTY CARTOONS: Send directly down the tubes an elimination of airbrushed women giving the female population anxiety that they can’t look twenty when they are forty-five, or be a size 6. Add to the trash pail skin-lightening creams for those being encouraged to emulate a whiter visage.
BODY-WORSHIPPING TV: I want fewer reality shows featuring all types of permutations of women vying to be a top model in some category (the latest, an import from BBC America, featuring girls with “disabilities.”) Bottom Iine, I would prefer zero sales pitches featuring female body parts and sexual innuendo to push a product.
LACK OF SISTERHOOD: I’d like to eradicate the negativity embedded in women-to-women relationships–the part based on fear, fighting over our small piece of pie, and the lack of support and empowerment hidden beneath a veneer of solidarity. Women can be each other’s strongest advocates when they feel secure enough to join hands.
A new decade of inclusion and progress for all women, regardless of race, political persuasion, or economic status is something I look forward to in the next ten years. It won’t happen right away, but we have plenty of time to get there.
This article previously appeared on the website WomenMakeNews.