No Fair September 11, 2016
“No Fair!!” ::stamps feet like a toddler::
Anyone who tells you life is fair is trying to sell you something. This is not news to me, or anyone else who has spent more than, say, four years on planet Earth. But still, it’s a human need to fight injustice wherever we see it. We may not be able to balance the scales, but by God we can do our best to quit from tipping them over.
I’ll be the 4,261,366th person on the internet today that will say that one of the greatest causes of cries of “no fair” is gender. Boys earn a dollar for every 75 cents a girl earns. Studies show that boys get more attention in school. Boys can become professional athletes, or even get jobs commenting on other boys who are professional athletes. Girls? Occasionally. Not so much. I mean, go ahead, name a rich, professional female athlete that ISN’T Venus or Serena Williams. I dare you.
It costs more to dry clean a woman’s shirt. Shampoo in a pink bottle is more expensive.
Men can unzip and relieve themselves more or less anywhere in a matter of seconds. Women have to wait on line in order to lock themselves in a tiny, unsanitary room and then undress themselves by undoing complicated undergarments and then packing it all back together.
I could go on. And others have.
But seriously? The whole of life’s unfairness came crashing down on me this morning when I took my son to the dermatologist to get Accutane. Accutane is a drug that you take for about six months, and once you take it, you never have acne again. They don’t dispense it like Pez in middle school cafeterias because it really is a dangerous drug. It can wreak havoc on your liver, so you have to get your liver enzymes tested monthly. It can cause mental health issues. And it can cause birth defects like nobody’s business.
But it only messes with the reproductive systems of girls. It is the kind of medication that comes with a book – not a booklet – and a million paragraphs you have to initial that basically say that if you are on Accutane and you get within 100 yards of a woman who might become pregnant some time within the next five years, that woman will birth a swamp creature.
There’s a flowchart in the book. One side is for girls who might get pregnant one day. The other side is for boys and girls who can’t get pregnant. The boys’ side says to get your meds every thirty days and don’t donate blood. The girls side has four times the words, and may as well just say, “Abandon Hope All Ye Who Take This Medication.”
Seriously. Look at this:
It’s ok if you can’t read all the words. The point is not the words themselves, but the number of words. Life is simpler on the boys’ side.
If this isn’t an analogy for everything that is wrong with the structure of the universe, I don’t know what is. Because it isn’t sexist. Boys and girls simply have different parts that play different roles in the reproductive system. There is nothing any shift in attitude or change in legislation can do to make there be an equal number of words in each column. This is biology, baby. It’s science. It’s true whether or not you believe in it.
And believe me. It is NOT FAIR.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.