Response to ‘The ‘F’ Word’

Just about everyone supports equality, but what exactly does it mean?

Brett Harris

This letter is in response to âÄúThe âÄòFâÄô wordâÄù letter published in The Minnesota Daily on March 10 âÄî I am sure I will catch some guff for it. First of all, there are men and there are women, fundamentally making us different. With these differences, it makes it harder to fight for equal rights, because if you really were fighting for equal rights, then there would need to be changes on both sides. I donâÄôt think women will ever be paid the same as men, because it is a risk to hire women due to pregnancy, which is accounted for in their salary. Let me offer a quick anecdote. One high school teacher of mine had four children during my high school career, which limited her actual teaching time to a mere two months. She was paid for working the entire time. Maybe we should have both parents get time off to effectively raise their children? It has been shown that a fatherâÄôs influence on a child carries just as much weight as the motherâÄôs. That is equal rights. As a child of divorce, in court, it was assumed that my mother would be the best caretaker, which was not at all the case. My dad ended up having to pay child support, even though my mom made more money. It effectively bankrupted my father. At 22, I have still yet to see a dime of that child support money put toward me or my sister, while my mom drives around a Mercedes. The same thing happened to my uncle, except he doesnâÄôt get to see his children anymore. How fair is that? Ever heard of the pedophile Mary Kay Letourneau? She had a love child with her 13-year-old student and was sentenced to only six months in prison. Because Letourneau had the baby, her prison sentence was suspended. What do you think would have happened if Letourneau had been male? He would still be locked up. I have often heard from many women that they dress to impress other women. Therefore, I find it unfair to be blamed for womenâÄôs self-esteem issues and ideas of beauty when I am really not the one influencing it. Do I really care where you got your outfit from? No. To me, and I think I speak for most men, women are deemed beautiful if they are healthy and confident, which has been the criteria for ages. We men are generally judged first by our looks, then our status as a provider and then maybe, if we pass, by our personality. So before you think the grass is greener, we have equal but differing pressures when it comes to our attractiveness to the opposite sex that also causes self-esteem issues. Although there is no draft anymore, did you have to sign up for selective service when you were 18 and be harassed by military recruiters? Will you pay for my dinner? Will you go check and see what that weird noise was in the middle of the night? Obviously, there are exceptions to everything I have said, but all I really am trying to do here is raise the awareness that fighting for equal rights is tough because perks and pitfalls exist with both sides. Equality is not as black and white as you or I might want it to be. Despite what you might think, I also fight for equal rights. Brett Harris University undergraduate student