After reading Elizabeth Blackney's sobering post on real wars on women that occur in places like DR Congo, and seeing yesterday's report of Islamists poisoning the drinking water of Afghan schoolgirls, this post at Jezebel, which has been making the rounds among my Facebook crowd, seems farcical in comparison. Entitled "The Ten Scariest Places to Have Ladyparts in America," the piece offers a countdown of the most hostile cities and states in the U.S. toward women. As you might guess, the criteria used to determine which locales make for the worst places to be a woman include such considerations as whether parental consent before a minor can obtain an abortion is required, whether the state provides funding for Planned Parenthood, whether ultrasounds before abortions are performed, whether the state has laws that permit employers to opt out of covering the cost of contraception on religious or moral grounds, etc etc etc. To be fair, the author also considers rape statistics, which certainly should count in a definition of a hostile environment for women. But the list generally reads as a sanctimonious condemnation of the most pro-life cities and states. The list:
10. Kingsville, Texas
9. Memphis, Tennessee
8. Pocatello, Idaho
7. "The Breakfast Counties," Georgia (i.e. Coffee, Bacon, and Crisp Counties)
6. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
5. West Memphis, Arkansas
4. Cleveland, Ohio
3. Any hospital in Kansas
2. Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
1. The entire state of Mississippi.
If I were to compile such a list, I'd certainly consider rape statistics. But I'd also look at the murder rate of women, women's unemployment rates, the incidence of single motherhood, and the divorce rate. And I haven't yet done the research, but my guess is that a place like Detroit would earn top billing.