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8 Things That Would Be Different If Women Were In Charge

8 Things That Would Be Different If Women Were In Charge

8 Things That Would Be Different If Women Were In Charge

Who run the world?

Last month the nation celebrated Women's Equality Day by posting about it on Facebook and Twitter and then going about their lives and not really doing much for women's equality.  It was National Dog Day on the same day and I'm pretty sure that got much more screen time.  August 26th marked ninety-four years since the passing of the 19th Amendment, giving women the right to vote, and spearheading the women's rights movement. Ninety-four years of fighting for women in every aspect of life, labor, and love.  Even though we have come a long way, on a real world basis we still have, in the words of Robert Frost "miles to go before [we] sleep."  As the Huffington Post explains, there are eight things women can now do that we used to be banned from, but still six major inequalities that exist.  We can vote, get an abortion, not get fired for being pregnant, and even marry another woman in some states--but all of these with the sole exception of voting are constantly under fire from people who think it's their life's purpose to police everything a woman does from birth to death.  

But current issues aside, I wonder what the world would look like if women were running shit.  What would change and be ubiquitous in society, taken for granted even, if girls were on top?  Or even how the world would be if there were—dare I say—true equality between the sexes.  Which is the ideal situation; I'm not advocating for a lesbian takeover, despite what the crazies think.  Guys are wonderful and necessary, but it's time for some balance.  Here are my theories as to what would change:

1.  Mandatory cervical cancer vaccinations for children of both sexes.

Along with the fact that this entire country has gone batshit crazy and stopped vaccinating its children based on a now-debunked theory that vaccines lead to autism (thanks Jenny McCarthy), we are dismally behind in terms of women's sexual healthcare.  Giving girls and boys the Gardasil vaccine along with the standard childhood shots would take the rates of HPV and cervical cancer down to nothing.  And this whole nonsense about vaccines making women more sexually promiscuous is just that--nonsense.  We've already proven that the states that teach abstinence-only education have the highest teen pregnancy rates, so it turns out that not educating women or protecting women when it comes to their sex lives is actually BAD, go figure.  And we must inoculate boys as well, because throat cancer is a thing, and gay or bi guys aside, straight men have thus far managed to spread this sneaky virus through basically the entire population.  Easy solution for a preventable problem.


2.  No anti-topless or nursing laws.

I am guessing that if women were in charge of things, we would see a lot more boobs in public.  Because even though they're awesome, at the end of the day they're just boobs, and guys shouldn't be the only people who get to take their shirts off at whim.  Europe has already figured this out, why so square, America?  And if you gotta nurse your baby in public, go right ahead sister.  Did I mention that boobs are awesome?


3.  No more period shame.  Tampons for everyone!  Tampons everywhere!

I envision paid sick days for particularly bad menstrual months, tampons being passed around on the street like cigarettes, and workplaces with private rooms where women can go chill out for a bit when things get particularly unpleasant.  There would be tampon dispensers in gas pumps and amusement park lines and changing rooms.  Tampons would be served with your airplane meal and be put in the check presenter at restaurants.  And aside from tampons, there would be a huge array of devices offered in normal drugstores, from menstrual cups to sponges, and no girl would feel the need to be embarrassed or hide and conceal her period.  It's a normal part of life, y'all and it's time we stop acting like it's some shameful disease.


4. Rock solid maternity leave.

There would be no fear of being fired or not hired if you were pregnant, and maternity leave would be fully paid and accessible to everyone, regardless of what industry you work in and what income level you have.  Because being pregnant is not the easiest thing in the world, so I've been told, and let's not make it any harder, mmkay?

5.  Religion, reorganized.

It's not a coincidence that most of the world's wars have been started over one culture with a male, monotheistic god attacking another culture with a different (yet strikingly similar) male, monotheistic god.  I imagine a world that is pre-Abrahamic in a post-monotheistic society where women sit in positions of spiritual and/or political power, people operate under a matriarchal structure, and there are many gods and goddesses (or none at all).  Women wouldn't have to feel responsible for all the sins of mankind, or unclean because they have periods, or cover every last inch of their bodies.  I don't consider myself a religious person, nor do I consider myself an atheist, and I'm not about to wade into this incredibly murky and convoluted debate.  I'm also not trying to disrespect anyone's religion.  But when religious leaders and texts blatantly disrespect women, I feel like something should be said.  I think we can all agree that if women had more say in things, the world's major religions would be based on a much more peaceful model than their current iterations and perhaps wouldn't be trying to out-populate and kill each other so often. (And for that matter, all the ancient religions that valued human sacrifice and blood feuds would be caput as well). 


6.  Gay is Okay.

I once read this fascinating book called From Disgust to Humanity: Sexual Orientation and Constitutional Law by a woman named Martha Nussbaum.  She lays out the history of the US explaining how straight men's aversion to gay male sex has underscored every single piece of legislation against the LGBT community that has been written in this country—the "politics of disgust" as it were.  In the book, she demonstrates that there is a pervasive, deep revulsion in some straight men against the idea of being penetrated, which is why they're so icked out by gay boy sex.  It operates on two levels: 1) they see the person being penetrated as "unclean" because they are receiving sperm, etc. so it's like being defiled and 2) it is a submissive and therefore weak (read: feminine) position to be in.  Sure, there are plenty of straight guys who are really comfortable with themselves and not homophobic at all, but enough men feel this way that we have put some really fucked up laws on the books that have taken years to undo.  And there are of course really homophobic straight women out there, but I would still bet money on the fact that any form of gender or sexual variance would be much more readily accepted in a society run by women. Women are pretty comfortable with the idea of being penetrated, given that we have vaginas and all, so I think overall, women are probably a lot less put off by the idea of two guys screwing.  And there's no fear of being made to feel feminine since we are already women…so..yeah.  Granted, given that this is a fantasy list and we still live in the real world, I would like to see some gay equality happening while men are still in charge, but I don't think the issue of homophobia would be nearly what it is today if the tables were turned.

7.  Movies, TV shows, and books telling women's stories would be the rule, not the exception.

After devouring the second season of Orange is the New Black in two consecutive all-night Netflix binges, I was left with a strong yearning for season three, but then had a moment of disappointment when I thought about how rare a show like this is and how most everything we see on TV and in the movie theaters are still dudes fighting other dudes and hanging with their boys and living their interesting man lives and then maybe there's a girl in there for them to fall in love with and maybe not, and maybe she has a line or two but that's about it, and at the end of the day it's all stories about guys.  And stories about guys are cool!  I loved Guardians of the Galaxy, I loved Saving Private Ryan, I loved Horrible Bosses (and I have very eclectic movie tastes, apparently), but I would also love to see some well-written and well-directed films and shows about women to balance this all out.  I think we are starting to see a shift towards this, but the numbers and stats are still abysmal when it comes to women being represented onscreen and having powerful roles in Hollywood.


8. Beyoncé. 

My friend wanted me to add this to the list with no further explanation.  But I will say this: she probably would be the queen of this hypothetical society.  Who run the world??







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Katie Boyden