Men discrimination

23Mar10

Just a little rant on after reading some “independent woman” posts on couchsurfing, a discussion with my girlfriend on the topic and some experiences with getting all kinds of insurance. Before starting off however I have to mention that I love women and think that there are still a lot of discrimination/differences between the two sexes. It is true that in general men earn more then women on the same job; it is true that we’re not yet equal and that we still have a long way to go. I support that cause. Then again I’m also against all forms of discrimination that don’t follow plain simple (Stijn) logics.

Just some examples. I’m currently in the process of buying a house and therefore I want to have an insurance to make sure that if I die; my relatives don’t have to pay for what I own to the bank. (not sure what the English name for that is). Thanks to the wonders of internet you can easily do some simulations and, as a little joke to myself, I checked how much I would have to pay if I were a woman. I guessed (and hoped) it would all be the same. We’re living in a world where discrimination of any kind should be part of the past. Where all pigs are equal. To my surprise men and woman are not as equal as we think we are. As a man, I have to pay +/-600€/year for the insurance. As a woman that’s the full 200€ less. The explanation of the insurance company is simple but to me not satisfying: woman become older then men. It’s a truth. However, if the average age of a man is 72 and that of woman 76years and we assume that we pay that insurance until we die. At the current rates I will have payed 19 200€ (32years*600)  over a periode of 32years. As a woman that would be 14 400€ (36years*400€) . That is still a difference of 4800€. So there’s already a little discrimination. Now, we have assumed we both pay until we die at the average age. This however is not true. We both pay for the period of the loan which in our case is 30years. This results in 600*30= 18 000€ as a man and 12 000€ as a woman. That’s 6000€ difference just because I have something hanging between my legs.
Okay, you say. You’ve mentioned before that in general men earn more then woman to do the same job. For Europe that an average of 15%difference. So you would be able to say that it’s okay for them to pay 15% less. Okay, let’s assume they should pay 15%less . That’s 18 000€ * 0.15 equals 2 700€. Still a gap of 3 300€. So, in my opinion discrimination towards men.

It also works the other way around I’m sure. Health insurance is more expensive for women then for men which obviously is also wrong. I currently don’t have any numbers on that but might look into it later.

Stepping away from the sexes discrimination, there are some other forms of discrimination that start to bother me quiet a lot. As a smoker, I also get discriminated in several forms. I’m not talking about the fact that I can’t smoke my cigarette in a restaurant anymore. I actually love it for several reasons, one of it being that my food tastes better and that standing outside in the cold is great to do some bonding with other “exiles”. I’m talking about the plans and regulations that start to pop-up here and there like the smoking ban in shopping streets in Berkely, CA I heard of; the law in Oregon where it is no longer allowed to smoke outside, in the back of a cafe under a small roof even if the only reason for you to be there is to smoke a cigarette and as a non-smoker you shouldn’t even be there; the fact that in some places you should cross the street if you’re smoking a cigarette and a young child might cross your path; the fact that you have to stay away a good 10m from an entrance of a building for a smoke etc etc… Okay, I can understand some logic behind it. Non-smokers might smell something when crossing the fumes. They might inhale some of it even and I’m not going to deny that smoking is not healthy. BUT let’s be honest, you’re in the open air so the concentration of it is pretty low. You might be in a city with normal or dense car traffic where exhaust fumes of your lovely car are all around you. You’ve probably been standing in a traffic jam for an hour, sitting in your comfy car by yourself, airco on, windows closed. Where do you think the air comes from… Yep, from the guy in front of you driving his SUV polluting your air. Does he also have to keep his distance, get off the road, stop his engine when nearing a school? Do you turn off your engine when driving past a young mother with her child. The child that also hasn’t chosen to inhale your toxic gasses. Now, tell me. Is it such a big difference between the two? Not in my opinion but anyway.
Back to the smoking. If governments are really serious about banning that evil tobacco they should take real measures. Why raise the price of cigarettes with just a couple of cents each 6months? Do you want the smokers to get used to the higher price or do you want to make them stop smoking? If you’re really serious about helping/forcing people to stop smoking then double or triple the price of cigarettes. Show you’re serious about it but don’t come nagging afterwards that the government has a lower budget because so much tax money was lost because of all the quitters. True, it used to be so that smokers were a bigger cost to society then non-smokers and that the tax gained from the cigarettes was not enough to cover the extra costs to society but that has changed with the current prices. And still, there’s another reason to ban cigarettes or help/force people to quit smoking: we’re more expensive then non-smokers. So my proposal: OR stop annoying and exiling smokers and be happy with the money they provide your government OR show balls and go against the tobacco lobby and stop selling cigarettes…

Oh and coming back to the sexes discrimination. I think it’s a discrimination that there are more beautiful women then beautiful men ;).

Some links:

http://www.coeffic.demon.co.uk/descrim.htm
MO Magazine

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