What a time to be alive, ammirite ladies? There’s not enough formula to feed our babies, there’s not enough affordable and quality childcare to look after our children and there aren’t enough tampons to stop our bleeding bodies. Speaking of bodies, you’re no longer in control of yours! Oh, let’s not forget about the lack of affordable healthcare and gun control laws. Yes m’am, being a woman in America today is something else.
But look, even though it may feel like we’re living in Gilead, it’s not all bad. There are plenty of things that are in abundance! Here, just a small sampling of items that are not in shortage.
1. Beer, aftershave and Viagra. Phew! Thankfully, workforce shortfalls and manufacturing hold ups have not affected these vital industries.
2. Government officials deciding the fate of women’s bodies. Here’s a fun fact: Did you know that white men are 30 percent of the US population but 62 percent of its officeholders?
3. Impossible demands on working mothers. The US is the only modern, industrialized nation without guaranteed paid family leave. But guess what? The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends moms breastfeed for TWO years. So, don’t take any time off to establish breastfeeding but do breastfeed for two years. Easy!
4. Even more impossible demands on working mothers. While the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, GOP Senators blocked the PUMP Act, a bill that would have protected the right to pump breastmilk at work to millions of mothers. But remember, do your best to breastfeed for two years, OK?
5. Unrealistic beauty standards. Just look at the countless beauty products aimed at women promising to stop time whereas men are seemingly allowed to age gracefully. Or look to Hollywood, where unless your name is Meryl Streep, you likely won’t be seen on the big screen after the age of 50.
6. Sexual harrasment. Nationwide, 81 percent of women and 43 percent of men reported experiencing some form of sexual harassment and/or assault in their lifetime.
7. The mental load. Women are still carrying the brunt of emotional labor of running a household. In fact, they’re doing it even more—ever heard of the triple burden of motherhood?
8. The pay gap. Currently at 83 percent, in case you were wondering. Meaning, women earn 83 cents to every dollar earned by men.
9. Fear. Fear of violence. Fear that something bad will happen to our children. Fear that the data on period trackers could be used by prosecutors to track and prosecute women. (We don’t like to talk about it, since, well, it’s kind of a bummer, but we are afraid, like, all the time.)
10. Systems and practices that create and maintain racial inequality. Women of color are more likely to experience workplace harassment, not to mention held to a much higher standard than their white and male peers and less likely to receive support from their managers. Black women are three times more likely to die from a pregnancy-related cause than White women. Meanwhile at school, Black girls face both racial and gender bias leading them to be held to higher standards and disciplined more frequently.
And this, of course, is an incomplete list. But here’s the thing: There is also no shortage of women taking to the polls, organizing groups, protesting and fighting for change. So if you’re feeling fired up after reading the above, here are just a few things you can do: