Please, give me a break from the nonsense that the year 2014 portends.
First, some advice to those who choose to get into politics: Presidents can lie about their reasons for going to war, invading a country, torturing prisoners or about why they are imposing more stringent laws on their people. But if they lie or are not forthcoming about something that involves sex, beware, the western Media will never forget or forgive.
I actually heard a news reporter on CNN call the personal life of President Francois Hollande of France and his relationships with the current women in his life “a salacious triangle.” Does that reporter even know the definition of salacious? If she wants to describe something as salacious, she would do better to become a music critic and watch the Grammys or any live show of the current pop singers. I won’t mention the names of comedians who are doing their little juvenile riffs on President Hollande’s affairs. I just wish they would all grow up.
And now on to women in the news. There have been women in politics and positions of power since, and probably before Cleopatra, but this month the news is highlighting the (too few) professional women who have made it to the top management of large corporations.
Actually, this makes me smile. Prostitution has been called the oldest profession, and it probably is. Women were prominently involved, no doubt because it was the only profession men would pay them for. In spite of that, it was eventually labeled a crime.
Today it is recognized that if women are given a chance to be educated and start a business or earn a living, the whole community benefits. This is not always so with a man. I find it baffling that in Latin American countries, including Costa Rica, considered macho and male oriented, there have been women elected to the presidency while we are still waiting in the Northern Hemisphere for such a break through.
Aside from the few women who have made it to the top, the rest of us have not fared so well. In the late 1960s I was employed at an Orlando TV station. The young man who was in charge of working with advertising agencies was leaving, and I said I was interested in his job, which I already knew, having filled in for him a number of times. The station manager offered me $25 a week less than what he was hired for. I pointed this out.
The response was “He has a wife.”
I responded, “I know; and she owns a beauty shop. I am divorced and have two children whom I help support.”
“But he is married,” the manager insisted. “He has a wife to support.”
Changing his attitude was hopeless, just as my trying to convince him the news show should have a woman anchor, who would do as well with the news as well as the former football star reported on sports. Fortunately, the matter was settled within days when the president of one of the advertising agencies offered me a job paying even more, and I gave my notice.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama pointed out that women are currently being paid 77 percent of what men are paid for doing the same work.
Two percent gain in 55 years is not exactly fast track.
And finally, there is the matter of war and peace. Western media is constantly reporting on the atrocity of current wars, and it is a sad comment on humankind when we talk of peace and diplomacy, and understanding between nations and then honor with the most thanks those who have returned forever damaged from going to war, which involves trying to kill the enemy (often totally unknown) before he kills you.
We are barraged with news of war crimes and war atrocities without acknowledging that war itself is a crime and atrocity. The profit that a relatively few war related corporations make from war is offset many times by the cost of repairing the damage, the cost of which is borne most often by countries, not corporations.
And, finally, while leaders of the U.S. and other countries have finally reached an agreement with Iran that can lead to a peaceful conclusion over Iran’s ability to develop a nuclear bomb, there are still people in power who want to impose more sanctions that were put in place to do just that. I think that is as ludicrous as two boxers who agree to stop fighting and beating up each other, but one says, “Okay, but I am going to continue to hit you until you actually take off your gloves.”
Is this the future of 2014? If so, I do need a break or at least a change in direction. We all do.