Through their dominance of western entertainment and the nation’s immense wealth, the United States of America holds itself as the epitome of civilization. Unfortunately, I’ve learned that for the women living there, the lies and propaganda can only go so far.
The United States is rife with problems, including ingrained racism, ignorance towards global warming, nationalism, its medical system, obesity, corruption, and a great deal of sexism.
Now, I already knew that the USA is a rather sexist place to live despite holding itself in such high esteem. If the presidential race between Hilary Clinton and Donald Trump didn’t prove it, the Harvey Weinstein case and #MeToo movement certainly did. Of course, these are just a couple of the most recent, high-profile examples, but what took me by surprise in a study published last year is that women in the USA can’t escape the influence of sexism.
The study by Charles, Guryan, and Pan (2018) sought to explore sexism in the USA. Not only was it found that sexist attitudes are most prevalent in Alabama, Arkansas, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia, but that the levels of sexism in the state where a woman is born will influence their lifelong earnings and amount of work, even if they move to a different state.
I now know that the study caught some headlines later in 2018 closer to its publication, which I missed, but that doesn’t make its stark revelations any less shocking. Worse still, the treatment of the rights of women and girls has also come under scrutiny by the Human Rights Watch under the Trump regime.
As a feminist and someone who seeks progression in the world, reading the stats and facts of what is happening in this large and wealthy nation is infuriating. My anger rises knowing that I can do nothing to help this problem on my own and that there’s very little being done at the highest level in the country to amend these flaws. After these reads, I just needed to cool down; after all, I have a life to lead.
Many women will have this feeling of helplessness and rage in their lifetimes when considering similar issues, and while it is important to spread the word, it’s also important that you don’t let it affect your everyday life to the extent that it ruins your enjoyment of the day. I like to turn to gaming to alleviate my worries and bring me back down to a more balanced and happy level.
On this occasion, I thought of switching on the PlayStation and continuing my quests in Horizon Zero Dawn’s expansion The Frozen Wilds, but I was at a point where getting to another nice stop would likely take hours that I didn’t have, so I turned to my guilty pleasure of playing some online slots. First, I had a few spins of Starburst to see if I could land any of the wilds to reel in a nice win. After a few minutes of play, I found myself up, so I decided to roll my luck and see if I could land the big one on another of my favorite games.
Much like with the lottery, you’ll hear all the time that someone has won the mega jackpot of the game Mega Moolah, which is what certainly earns it my attention from time to time. When I booted up the progressive slot, the mega jackpot was ticking past the ten million mark. In the end, I came out on top thanks to some timely lions and elephants landing along the paylines but didn’t make it to the jackpot spin – this time.
After some easy going play on the slots, I had cooled down a bit, but knowing the findings of the Charles, Guryan, and Pan (2018) study has given me a more realistic insight into the daily struggles of women in the USA that I cannot shake. Hopefully seeing the problems that have come with voting in someone like Donald Trump and the campaigning of the #MeToo movement will help the evolve the nation into a more progressive place to live.