Women versus minorities is a subject that has been at the back of my mind for quite a while. The very title sounds strange, but it reflects a perspective that, when analyzed, is even stranger.
The concept of equal opportunity has brought the issue of minorities into sharper focus, particularly in the United States, but also in many other parts of the world. However, I have to wonder why society has allowed itself to regard equal opportunity for women as somehow part of the minority rhetoric, along with, in the US at least, Hispanics, Blacks, Native Americans, Chinese Americans and other minority groups. To state a reasonably obvious fact, women are, more or less, 50% of the population. THEY ARE NOT A MINORITY AND TO REGARD THEM AS SUCH, IS AN ATTEMPT TO DIMINISH THEIR STATUS/CONTRIBUTION. Hence my blog title, women versus minorities.
Before getting myself into serious trouble with half the world’s population, I decided to do a little research on actual female percentages across populations just to see if my assumption of 50% was correct. That research produced some interesting numbers. The following is a non-scientific survey of the percentage of women in the populations of a selection of countries, starting with the highest percentage:
Russia 78.8%; Europe 51.7%; Australia 51%; Colombia 50.9%; Brazil 50.9%; US 50.8%; South Africa 50.7%; United Kingdom 50.6%; Germany 50.6%; Canada 50.4%; Egypt 49.5%; China 48.71%; India 48.04%; Saudi Arabia 42.2%. Women are definitely not a minority so “women versus minorities” is a valid concept.
The outstanding anomalies in these numbers are Russia at 78.8% and Saudi Arabia at 42.2%. Russia, in particular, is so far off the logical charts that is warrants further comment. The imbalance of the female/male populations has existed for over a century – in 1897 women made up 51% of the Russian population and that percentage has steadily increased since then. World War II contributed significantly to these numbers: Twenty-five (25) million Russian men were killed. Today, the imbalance has produced some interesting facts: 72% of all Russian civil servants, and 76% of all municipal employees, are women.
As an aside, maybe the West should ally with Russian women in an attempt to stop Vladimir Putin? It might be more effective.
The low numbers in China, India and Saudi Arabia may reflect cultural issues rather than actual birth counts. Female genocide in China and India has been widely reported, and Saudi Arabian culture historically dismisses/ignores females once they cease to be capable of child bearing.
All these numbers only go to prove that females are not a minority and, in my mind, confining them to that category does us all a great disservice. To females in general, it’s demeaning, insulting and a blatant attempt at suppression. I reality, it is not women versus minorities, it means that women’s issues stand on their own.
Perhaps female leadership around the world should detach themselves from minority causes and concentrate on the reality of their role in civil society, and the power their numbers should command.
Of course, there is also the historical suppression of women by men but that is another blog. It occurred to me that that situation is similar to the way secular rulers throughout history have enforced the separation (suppression) of church and state because, in a straight fight for power, religion will win: Religion has the great advantage of faith. Men suppress women because, in a straight fight for power, women will win: Women have the great advantage of controlling sex. Remember Lysistrata!