I said many times before that my primary identity is that of a feminist. I’m a feminist first and a professor, a scholar, a Ukrainian, a Jew, a Canadian, an autistic, a Hispanist, a blogger and everything else second. But I think that memes like the following one do nothing but hurt the cause of feminism because they appeal to cheap, meaningless outrage and not to facts and reason:
1%: The percentage of the world’s wealth held by women, despite the fact that they comprise 40% of the world’s workforce.
This just makes no sense at all whatsoever. All these men who hold 99% of world’s wealth, are they single? Or gay? Do none of them have wives? Daughters? Mothers? Sisters? Or do they all live in countries where women are legally precluded from owning the wealth of their male family members? This should mean that the Americans, the Canadians, the Western Europeans, the Australians, the New Zealanders, the Russians, etc. are all out. Who’s left then?
As to the percentage of the world’s workforce that women (or men) supposedly comprise, anybody with even a minimal knowledge of economics must surely realize that this figure is taken out of thin air. Many countries (such as the countries of the Former Soviet Union, for example) run on an unofficial employment market. There is simply no way to determine legitimately who does or does not work and what wealth they do or do not possess in such countries. Take, for example, the case of the former mayor of Moscow who, according to all paperwork, is nearly indigent because he put his billions in his wife’s name to avoid criminal prosecution. Have such people been taken into account when calculating the gender breakdown of wealth?
By all means, let’s be outraged by gender inequality. Let’s be as outraged as we possibly can. But for the love of all that’s holy, let’s be outraged about something that is worthy of outrage. Not something that is so patently silly.