Singer Essay 1

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Feathers and Fur

Equality and Its Implications

In the article Equality and Its Implications, Peter Singer discusses that males have a greater visual-spatial ability than do women. Given that ability, men are apt to make better engineers than women. Women have better verbal skills, and would make for better journalists over their male counterparts. Not surprisingly, there are more male engineers than female, but surprisingly, there are not as many female journalists as there are male journalists.

It is not surprising that women still feel a chokehold on advancement even in fields for which they may have a natural tendency to excel. I work amidst hundreds of engineers, structural, civil and electrical. Not one of those engineers is a woman. However, the oversight of my entire department of 300 is charged to a female general manager. Typically, women in my department have a difficult time working in what is considered a "man's world." Also interesting, is that all of the departments combined (16) only six are headed by females. The sixteen departments comprise roughly 2200 employees and are under the direction of a female city manager. The city manager reports to nine-member council of which only one is a female.

Gender discrimination seems to crossover all lines of class discrimination, in that it seems to be based solely on basis of gender giving no regard for race, IQ, or age. Gender discrimination seems to exist equally across all lines. We need to look at people as individuals without regard for gender, age, race, etc. If we can accomplish that in the workforce, we could grow by milestones in our acceptance of the different cultures that make up our world.

This type of acceptance would break the barriers that exist even in the medical arena when it comes to male/female care. In a 1998 article in Forbes, several high profile women who had experienced heart attacks related their experience leading up to the correct diagnosis. One woman was told to relax, have a glass of wine and not work so hard. Two weeks later, she required open-heart surgery, another was told she had a bad case of indigestion, while a third was not even examined! In addition, the article went on to say that a heart attack in a man would be likened to a badge of honor, and would have sent the doctors into a whirlwind of activity running test after test to determine the cause. A Whereas a heart attack in a woman would probably cause her to lose her high paying job. One of the women only participated in the survey on the proviso that her identity be kept anonymous stating that she feared for her job.

Perhaps it is the very act of childbirth that has been the cause of women in the United States being held back. In other cultures, however, that does not stop the women. In certain horticultural tribes, women simply strap their young to their back and hit the fields to forage for food while the men typically go off in search of large game. Some cultures defer to the matriarchal source of subsistence. The women often are the ones who go to market and haggle over the price of yams. Those societies seem oblivious to gender discrimination that is prevalent in the United States.

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