Sex & Gender

old white men have no business making rules about women’s health

March 24, 2017

Old white men are great at a lot of things. Buying stocks. Subsequently destroying the stock market and the economy. Not going to jail for it. Not going to jail for anything. Electing racists and sexists. Colonizing lands. Genocide. Creating little future old white men who do all of those things even better.

One thing they are not too good at is understanding women’s health. Hell, they’re not even that great at understanding their own, what to speak of women’s. Which is why when Vice President Mike Pence tweeted this picture Thursday of a bunch of old white men meeting at the White House to discuss women’s coverage for pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care, it should be clear that there’s no way in hell it will end well.

By Hari Ziyad*, AFROPUNK Contributor

As Vox reports, “The White House meeting was broadly about the American Health Care Act, the Republican bill meant to repeal and replace Obamacare. But it was focused on whether the bill should include a repeal of 10 ‘essential health benefits’ that insurers in the individual marketplace must cover. Among those benefits is pregnancy, maternity, and newborn care.”

Now, I’m not one to believe a person’s identity completely prevents them from thinking about anyone else’s in an empathetic way. But I also know that people who are content to make decisions about another group without considering their even minimal input probably don’t have the best intentions, and certainly won’t have the best results.

The Trump administration has made it clear since the campaign that protecting women wasn’t priority. Unfortunately, we now get to see what that means in terms of policy.

*Hari Ziyad is a New York based storyteller and writer for AFROPUNK. They are also the editor-in-chief of RaceBaitR, deputy editor of Black Youth Project, and assistant editor of Vinyl Poetry & Prose. You can follow them on Twitter @hariziyad.