Not an Intersectional Feminist? Misogyny it is then!

The whole world benefits from gender equality. The rights of women are important on the basis of human equality, regardless of an individual’s gender identity, and using up all of the world’s human potential to tackle big issues. Women are constantly over looked as sources of power in the military, in politics, in STEM fields, and in everyday life. We need to stop boxing women into roles that do not allow them to reach their fullest potential. Our global society will reap the benefits that women will be able to produce and contribute in every field they are underrepresented once this potential is encouraged and allowed to flourish.

Often times when I tell people I’m a intersectional feminist they look at me like I have three heads, but intersectional feminism=gender equality. When people, including women, argue with me and tell me that we are post sexism I simply break down all of the areas of oppression women currently face for just identifying as female (that global goals has conveniently outlined for everyone in the form of goals here: https://www.globalgoals.org/5-gender-equality):

  1. Discrimination against Women and Girls-seen in the wage gap (which is present in every country in the world except Iceland right now), day-to-day gendered micro aggressions, the over-sexualization of female bodies, the glass ceiling, etc.
  2. Violence and Exploitation of Women-women and girls are disproportionately trafficked as sex slaves, and slaves; women and girls are disproportionately abused in homes and in public spheres, femicide(: a gender based hate crime–>”the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender.”
  3. Forced Marriages and Genital Mutilation
  4. Unpaid Care and devaluation of the Domestic Responsibilities Women take on or are forced into at disproportionate rates compared to men
  5. Disproportionate Amount of Female Leadership and Decision Making-this is seen in and out of politics, and in the gap of  venture capital women have. In 2017, only 2.2% of all venture capital in the United States went to companies founded solely by women, only 4.4% of transactions went to female-founded companies and only 11.3% of partners at venture capitalist firms were women according to Forbes.
  6. Lack of Access to Reproductive Health and Rights- reflected in the number of Planned Parenthoods that have been defunded all across America, and the all male American female reproductive health board that is single handedly attempting to control the bodies and choices of women in America.
  7. An Unequal Amount of Female Property Owners- seen in farmlands, financial services of the family unit, etc.
  8. Lack of Women having access to technology
  9. Lack of Global Legislation to Eradicate the Above Issues ^^^

Everyone should identify as an intersectional feminist if they want to see the Anthropocene thrive, if they believe in human rights, and if they believe in freedom and equality for all. If you don’t identify as an intersectional feminist….de facto, the word to describe you is a misogynist.

 

 

Global Awareness

Global awareness is the most important aspect of sustainability as the world is filled with different countries practicing different cultures. The concept of sustainability for the human race as awhile would have to depend on the teachings and understanding that these people have of their environments. Native Americans believed in the idea of being in sync with nature as they understood, they were part of nature as well. The harms to the planet have been continually through the human contribution of our consumption and energy usage. The production of plastic goods have not decreased in high numbers, oil drilling is still a common acutance, and deformation is still a major problem in different parts of the world. From 1980 to 2017, gross domestic product increased 165 percent, vehicle miles traveled increased 110 percent, energy consumption increased 25 percent, and U.S. population grew by 44 percent. The growth of societies can as have negative effects as technologies are often not understood properly and its effects on the planet. The understudying of the damages to the planet through human change comes with time and realization which often may be too long to allow the situation to be reversible.

Global Learning and Sustainability

The 17 global goals outlined are incredibly ambitious, some of them can potentially be achieved, others are a bit idealistic and far-fetched.  Goal number 16, which highlights peace, justice and strong institutions is a goal that will likely never be completed.  To expect governments across the world to all be stable, and all have equal respect for human rights is close to impossible.  Freedom House is a nonprofit institution that analyzes and reports on the state of human rights across the world.  By their assessment, out of the 195 recognized countries in the world, only 87 are actually considered ‘totally free.’  49 are ‘not free,’ and 59 are considered ‘partly free.’  This means that less than half (49% to be exact) of the countries in the world show complete respect for human rights and civil liberties.  With half the countries in the world not adhering to goal 16, it makes accomplishing it a daunting task.  I don’t think activism alone is able to achieve a solid foundation of human rights and strong institutions.  Activism can only do so much in the face of violent and repressive governments.  In order for goal 16 to be fully realized, military interventions might be necessary to force governments to change their ways, and their leadership.  However, military interventions go against the very nature of peace, and can lead to death, poverty, and famine, thus violating other global goals.  It begs the question if achieving goal 16 is worth worsening progress on other goals.  Out of all the goals highlighted, I think goal 16: climate action, is the most doable.  It doesn’t call for solving climate change, it simply mandates that countries and people take steps to act in the face of climate change, something which is already happening with things such as the Paris Climate Accords.

Internal Displacement and Apathy

The issue of internal and external migration of people is something I am very passionate about, and I think it is fascinating the amount of factors that provoke the migration of people whether the factors be environmental, violence, race, lack of resources, economics, etc. According to the 2017 Global Report on Internal Displacement, the global rate of internal displacement in 2016 was equivalent to one person forced to flee every second totaling to 31.1 million new internal displacements catalyzed by conflict, violence, and disasters in one years time.

In 2015 according the UNHCR there was a total of 40.8 million internally displaced peoples which means if we add the new figure of 2016 to that of the 2015 figure on internally displaced people the growth rate would be approximately 1.76 of internally displaced people globally and a rate of change from 2015 to 2016 of 31.1 million people displaced/year. Even though these figures are staggering, according to the IDMC, “Each year, IDMC provides robust, compelling evidence on internal displacement. Each year, the evidence fails to elicit a response commensurate with the scale of the problem. Why? Because of international indifference, lack of accountability, and state failure to protect.”

Quantifying Increase in Drug Offenses in Federal Prison Population

In my last post, I created figures depicting the overall trends in the general federal prison population as well as these trends broken down to account for different types of offenses. I was especially intrigued by the information on the prevalence of drug offenses leading to incarceration from 1990 to 2014. From looking at the graph, it is clear that the drug offenses have accounted for the greatest proportion of crimes leading to incarceration on the federal level. The green line used for this offense on the graph stands out and reaches much higher than the other ones. It is also clear from looking at this figure that the most significant increase in drug offenses was at the beginning of the figure, from 1990 to 2000 and it seems to level off somewhat from 2000 to 2014. Due to this interesting trend, I did calculations to specifically quantify the increase in drug offenses during this time.

I first focused on the time period of 1990 (31,300 inmates) to 2000 (74,276 inmates). During this time, there was an overall increase of 42,976 federally incarcerated drug offenders, therefore the number increased by an average increase of about 4,297 inmates per year over these 10 years. This means that the number of drug offenders increased by 137% from 1990 to 2000 and increased by about 13.7% each year during this time period. This is a huge increase from both the 10-year unit perspective and when it’s broken down into yearly increases. An increase of 137% overall means that the number of drug offenders in 2000 increased by double plus one-third of the population in 1990.

I also examined the period of time where these numbers seemed to level off. Often, when you see a graph level off after a large increase or decrease, it appears stable and resolved at first glance. But, a seemingly stable line could still indicate a significant change. Between the years 2000 and 2014, the number of drug offenses increased by a total of 21,524 people and over these 14 years there was an increase of 1,537 offenders each year. This indicates an increase of 2.1% per year over these 14 years. This seems like a minor change that may not be important, but when you look at the total increase, the impact appears much greater. This 2.1% yearly increase led to a 29% overall increase in drug offense incarcerations from 2000 to 2014. Although this increase is not as dramatic as the increase between 1990 and 2000, this still accounts for almost additional one-third inmates incarcerated for drug offenses which is pretty significant.

When the time is taken to further analyze graphs such as this one, it increases the understanding of the magnitude. While an almost straight line might suggest stability at first glance, further investigating the relationship results in a more thorough understanding.

Home Owners and the Decline of the American Dream

It’s safe to say that the American Dream is still around in a pretty prominent way; however, is the American Dream and all it’s trimmings becoming obsolete? One of the key pillars of that famously patriotic dream was the idea of owning a home with a mortgage somewhere out in the suburbs. However, the recent years following the real estate bubble and the 2008 recession have shown a decrease and stagnation in home ownership across the country which could lead to the idea that the American Dream may stop being relevant.

There are massive amounts of articles discussing this problem in America, but the general consensus seems to be that there are five major reasons for the stagnation/decline of homeownership after the housing bubble and 2008 recession all outlined in an article for US News. The first is the lack of mortgage availability due to the credit shortage following the recession, which led to the decline in loan approval even with excellent credit. The second, an issue incredibly relevant to out generation, is the dramatic increase of student debt among younger generations and the rising prices of higher education which leads to the lack of saving for the future goals of owning a home. The third has to do with a more psychological aspect of s term coined “post-foreclosure stress disorder”, essentially meaning that families and individuals whom had their homes foreclosed upon during the recession could be more hesitant to take the risk on homeownership once again. The fourth and fifth reasons appear to be the issues of housing supply and affordability, and the supply is minimal while the affordability for first time home owners isn’t affordable at all.

The following data for homeownership was collected from the US Census Bureau’s website. Sorry it’s a download, my computer wouldn’t let me insert the excel sheet into the post.

chart hw week 4-ql76xt

 

 

Comparing the Wages of Females Compared to Males

This graph was based off of information I found in an article regarding the wage gap and just how apparent it is in our world today. There is an obvious great deal of issues when it comes to gender roles, as there is more and more discussion regarding women’s rights. Finally, people are beginning to question why men are treated in such high regard when women are still managing to be given the lower hand.

The world is well aware of the fact that for some reason, men earn more money than women when comparing annual incomes. However, I feel as though it is less talked about how this is even more so the case when it comes to women of color. As shown in the graph attached, Hispanic women earn just over 50% of what White men earn when comparing their average annual incomes. This compares to Asian women, that earn almost 90% of what men earn when comparing their average annual incomes.

This baffles me, as I was already alarmed when I fist learned how little white women earn compared to men. When I found out the statistics regarding other races, I saw the gender gap as that much more severe. 

Poverty Rates

Image result for poverty rates 1990 to present

I found this graph to be very interesting. Illustrating the poverty rate in the United States since 1990, there seems to have been a few high points and low points that correlate with various economic depressions or surpluses. As much as these numbers may spike and drop significantly, the poverty rate in the United States never deviates greater than 4% in the last 28 years. In addition, it should be noted that the lowest and highest levels of poverty existed in 2000  and 1993. Following the surplus left by President Bill Clinton, the country saw a dip in unemployment down to 11.3% percent. After a steady rise following 9/11 however, the unemployment rate sky rockets to just over 15% when the economic recession of 2008 hits. For most of President Barack Obama’s second term, these numbers remained pretty consistent. From the end of 2014, to present day our poverty rate nationwide has been dropping pretty consistently and at quicker margins. I would like to point out however, that these graph only focuses on the overall poverty statistics. As it is, the U.S. Census Bureau states that African Americans make up over 20% of impoverished people throughout the United States. So despite these poverty rates decreasing overall, I would be interested to see a more thorough break down of poverty rates by demographic as well as races within that demographic, in order to see if these graphs and statistics are truly accurate and not misleading.

The correlation between race/wealth & higher education

In my AP Gov class I took a few years ago, we did extensive research on the correlation between wealth and race and higher education. We studied if what your race and annual income was had an effect on your level of education. My classmates and I found that there was in fact a direct correlation between the two things, and I have found a few charts to help visualize it.

It comes as no surprise that the higher salary one makes, the further along they’re going to go in their schooling. Compare an upperclass, white family in New England to a lower class, African American family in Baltimore. There is a much higher chance that the children in New England are going to receive a high level of education. And what’s the correlation? There are many factors that play into these outcomes, but the more financially stable a home is, the more time they have to focus on getting their kids to school, and the better areas they can live in with better school systems. A lot of the time, lower income families do not have the drive to send their children to school because they have too many other financial responsibilities to worry about, or they just do not live in an area with effective school systems/schools at all.

I watched a documentary called “Step” that follows a few girls throughout high school in Baltimore. Though the children may have had the motivation to do well in school, some of them weren’t being pushed or supported by their families because they didn’t have the time or money. Going to school should be a human right, but unfortunately, at least today, it is a privilege. Not enough kids have access to higher education, let alone education at all.