Congratulations, women have equal rights. Now they have just as many heart attacks and cancer problems as men used to have in the work force. The good news is, by the same token, men are getting healthier. As they’re out of work, and not in college, the stress of their lives has allowed men to live healthier, although poorer lives.

This is changing the definition of what is “men’s work.” Every time I ask a woman what’s “women’s work,” I’ am greeted with hostility, although I’ve never heard hostility from a man when I ask that type of question. Why is that? If you know the answer to that, please respond to this column at the www.smdp.com website under “columns” and “Hiding in the Open,” or e-mail it to me because I’d really love to hear your definitions of what you think are men’s and women’s work.

It’s ironic that, as the workforce has given women more than equal rights, men are unemployed now four to one when compared to women. Of course we all heard about the fact women under the age of 35 are making 17 percent more than men the same age. Various organizations have cried foul because when women begin to drop out of the workforce to have children, they suddenly see their wages and long-term earnings drop. Unfortunately, that goes for men as well.

We’re now seeing that when a man or a woman drops out of the workforce for more than two years, they aren’t able to get a similar job later, making the same money doing the same activity, due to the fact that their skills have fallen behind. They also find they’ve lost seniority, as well as the political contacts that they require in order to get ahead. Women are expecting unequal rights, and it will be interesting how this will play out in our society.

Divorce law is a great example of some of the unequal rights women are granted as fallout from the male dominated 1950s. Attorney David Pisarra has a regular column in this paper that clearly demonstrates this point. As a result, all these happy, successful women, who’re now making 17 percent more than then their male peers, are finding it hard to find a man who has a college degree or earns more than they do.

Oprah is a great example of the trend of successful women who keep a long-term boy toy, while running around with their gal pals. When Jessica Simpson married her husband, and insisted on not getting a pre-nuptial agreement, she learned that her husband had the right to her hard-earned money. You see the law treated her husband like any 1950s housewife who stayed home while she made a great deal of money. Granted, he made a couple of million dollars a year, but she made many times that amount. Still, he was entitled to half of the difference in their income for half of the term of their marriage.

Jessica Simpson said in 2004: “If anything were to happen to me and Nick, I’ve had a great life with him, and he’d deserve half of everything I have.” What surprised everyone is she’s now changed her mind on that once she began earning the kind of money that will make her a billionaire this year. Ms. Simpson dates and marries a successful person, who helps her start a career, but once she’s successful, she dumps the dude? Her ex-husband, being a stand-up guy, thinks it’s wrong to steal money from his ex-wife, and instead of asking for hundreds of millions of dollars like Tiger Woods’ wife did, he requested $8 million, since he was actively involved in some of their businesses. It’s embarrassing that she’s contesting that now as well.

Pandora’s box has been opened, and we’re facing a brave new world together. We’ve changed the rules against men to such a degree that they’re now outnumbered in universities by a factor of almost two to one. As a result, they’re now out-earned by 17 percent, and the numbers will rapidly get worse as women work through the corporate ranks and men retire. So please stop quoting me 1970 statistics and look around, women are offered the same compensation plan or better. The great recession has proven that women are more competitive in the workforce than men by a large degree, and the question we’ll have to ask is: What do men do?

Men make up less than 25 percent of all the teachers in public schools. Every study has shown that women and men learn more when taught by someone of the same sex. This means that, from the start, women are getting better educated. Based on the results of the last four years of high school, these better-educated women score higher on test results and get better grades by a large margin. They then go on to earn 63 percent of the seats in the universities, and go out into the workforce better prepared than their male competitors.

We, as a society, will have to face these problems. It makes no sense to cure the lack of equality for women at the expense of men. Since it’s a zero sum game, then we, as a society, will all lose.

David Alsabery is working hard for the woman. He can be reached at alsbery@gmail.com.

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