Thursday, March 7, 2013

Kids & the Violence Against Women Act

Sitting on a plane today, I had the pleasure of overhearing the following story between two strangers and it left me with a refreshed sense of faith in humanity. 

Q: Do you have kids or anything like that? 
A: Ahhh sure. My oldest is 20, but I've also got an 11-year-old back at home. 
Q: Are they both from the same wife?
A: Good god no. (Both men start laughing.) 

What the hell?

Here's what I like imagine. 

Q: Do you have kids or anything? 
A: Ahhh sure. I've got three kids. Two in college and one in diapers. But more importantly, I ate sushi last night. It gave me a bit of gas, but it was worth it. The point is, sushi is a lot like kids. Good sushi is difficult to come by and even when you do, it's not something you want every day. 
Q: Are they all three your real kids? 
A: Good god no. I don't have kids or anything like that. (No laughing.) 

Of course, I'm being sarcastic. What choice do I have? Since when is it okay to ask a stranger if their children are all from the same woman? Exactly what is it that you are implying about men's choices, the value of a woman (or a mom for that matter) and the longevity of a male-female relationship? Maybe it's neither good nor bad, but it was extremely uncomfortable to witness. 

In other news, there has been some good news today. My American Airlines flight was rescheduled after what the pilot described as a "rather large electrical problem" knocked the first plane dead on the tarmac. It only took a little over an hour to empty the entire plane, redirect us all over to another terminal and load us all up nice and tight. It was the quickest clean up that I've ever experienced and unfortunately I have experienced more than my fair share of unfortunate air experiences. 

But the best news is that President Obama signed the expanded Violence Against Women Act. With a staggering statistic like 1 in every 5 women being raped during their lifetime, it's about time that our legislation drive cultural change wherever necessary and culture drive innovative government, if possible. It's a good day, but let's face it, it's not a great day. We needed the law in the first place. We have victims to protect and families to respect. It's a gender equity issue that requires legislative action until the imbalance is undone.

Obama said it best when he announced that it's not just about changing the rules, but it's also about changing the culture. 

I vote to start with those two jackals on the plane, giggling like children while belittling the role of a female; and not just any old female, but the mother(s) of his children. Such lucky mothers.