I just heard the news. Hurricanes named for women are deadlier than hurricanes with male names. Apparently, feminine named hurricanes are perceived as less threatening than masculine named storms.
“People may be dying as a result of the femininity of a hurricane (name),” says Sharon Shavitt, a professor of marketing at Illinois and a co-author of the study, which appears in the peer-reviewed journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Let me suggest Prof. Shavitt and her colleagues are missing a larger point with their peer reviewed data. People aren’t dying because we’re naming storms after women. People are dying because our society refuses to acknowledge the full humanity and flourishing of women.
If women were respected and valued fully in American culture, we’d listen to what they have to say—whether that’s a hurricane warning or a woman saying “no” when a man wants to have sex.
If we don’t leave town because “Hurricane Alexa” is headed our way, even if we’re told the storm is class 5 and dangerous, are we really going to listen to an actual woman, similarly named, when she speaks?
Rather than changing the names of hurricanes to “Alexa, the Destroyer of Worlds”, how about we start listening to women when they speak?
When they say “no, I don’t want to have sex with you”. Conservative columnist George Will said this today: “Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape.” Umm…I’m sorry, Mr. Will. Since when has “protecting” men from being found guilty been the point? If a woman says no, whether she is drunk, sober, in your bed, or at a bar, SHE MEANS NO.
When they say, “I’ve run the numbers and this is a bad business deal”.
When they say, “I’ve weighed my options and I think going on birth control is the best choice for me right now, no matter what your personal religious beliefs may be, Mr. Hobby Lobby.”
When they say, “I’m sorry if my clothing choice distracts you, but if the sight of a clothed human body keeps you from doing Algebra, you’ve got other issues”.
Just today, a reporter in Ogden, Utah was barred from entering a courtroom because her shoulders were exposed. That happened to me, once. In Damascus, Syria. When traveling in the Middle East, women have to dress modestly, even though it is very hot.
Here’s a picture of the offending reporter and her scandalous outfit that kept her from doing her job, today, in the United States of America, until she found a parka to wear and was allowed in the courtroom:
Until our society trusts women to make their own clothing choices, you’ll have a hard time convincing me we live in an equal society.
Hurricanes don’t kill more people because we name them after women. Female named hurricanes kill more people because we refuse to listen to women or trust them to make their own decisions. Are you listening now?