Thursday, July 17, 2014

Introduction to Gender Inequality in American Healthcare

“Welcome to the first session of this course: Introduction to Gender Inequality in American Healthcare.

“First off I want to show you a slide which speaks volumes about how much remains to be done to achieve healthcare equality in this county.

“As this graphic makes starkly clear, a woman born in this country in 1980 can expect to die about 6 years sooner than if she’d been born a man. That is to say: women in America enjoy 6 fewer years of life itself. It’s a tragedy and an outrage, and one that our male-centric medical establishment barely even acknowledges

“Could you imagine if the tables were turned and men, instead, were dying six years younger than women? It would make headlines in every paper, and be the top of the news every evening. Congress and the big pharmaceutical industry would be funding men’s longevity research faster than you could say ‘someone give me another blue pill’! There would be fundraising telethons, and marathons, and walks for men’s health.

“It’s unconscionable that in this day and age our society is still so paterna… uh, yes, there in back, you have a question?"

“Yes, professor. Um… I’m not sure you’re reading that chart correctly. I think those lines might be mislabeled. Yeah, um, it looks like someone scratched out the proper labels and switched ‘Males’ with ‘Females’. Rather crudely, too. They didn’t even correctly spell ‘males’.”

“What? You’re saying that it’s the other way around? That females are outliving males?”

“Yes, professor, that’s exactly what I’m saying.”

“Oh my… you may have something there…  OK. You’re right. Never mind. Class dismissed."

Next week: Introduction to Gender Inequality in the American Penal System: Why are women five times as likely to be incarcerated as men, and why is nothing being done to protect these women’s rights?