If you are determined to sail into the holidays without getting mad about anything, then skip this story from the Huffington Post.
But I didn't skip it and I think it deserves comment. Here is the headline:
The U.N. Sent 3 Foreign Women to the U.S. to Assess Gender Equality. They Were Horrified.
The story begins:
A delegation of human rights experts from Poland, the United Kingdom and Costa Rica spent 10 days this month touring the United States so they can prepare a report on the nation's overall treatment of women. The three women, who lead a United Nations working group on discrimination against women, visited Alabama, Texas and Oregon to evaluate a wide range of U.S. policies and attitudes, as well as school, health and prison systems.
The delegates were appalled by the lack of gender equality in America. They found the U.S. to be lagging far behind international human rights standards in a number of areas, including its 23 percent gender pay gap, maternity leave, affordable child care and the treatment of female migrants in detention centers.
The most telling moment of the trip, the women told reporters on Friday, was when they visited an abortion clinic in Alabama and experienced the hostile political climate around women's reproductive rights.
Frankly, I would be appalled by a twenty-three cent wage gap, too, if it really existed. A 2009 report from the Department of Labor put the gender wage gap at ten percent–and even here, if choices women make are factored into the equation, the gap is even smaller. Democrats know that the gap has been debunked but it is just too good to give up on.
On the abortion clinic–and don't you find it in-ter-resting that the U.N. delegates selected a clinic in a southern state, where abortion is less accepted than in, say, California or New York–I am sorry that the men were hostile. They should not have shouted ugly things. Most abortion clinic demonstrations consist of people saying quietly the rosary. Wonder how they hit upon this apparent anomaly?
The report makes recommendations (more gun control, more abortions, mandatory paid family leave) that could have undoubted appeal to Democrats and those who favor international organizations (like the U.N.) over U.S. institutions.
I don't know why the delegation had to come to the U.S. to produce this report–they could have gotten all this hashed-over material from reading Democratic party handouts.
Maybe they just like being here? Costa Rica is dandy, but if I lived there I would not turn down ten days in the U.S. of A.