Mobster and human smuggler Bill Bedini was back in Albania after jumping bail in Texas.
“This [is] payback to your Uncle Edmond for when I was in the United States,” he said as he beat two young women, nieces of the Albanian man who testified against him in the U.S. A human weed, Bedini kidnapped the young women, ages 19 and 21, and forced them into prostitution in Italy.
Retaliation against family members is an age-old horror in the old world and the new. It’s also normal for female family members to bear the brunt of the danger and degradation. Women are fair game. Just ask the warring African ganglords who rape as a matter of policy.
And in the U.S.
Women got a lucky break in the United States this month. New federal guidelines require insurance companies to cover birth control without co-pay costs. It’s a big victory yet big budget cuts demanded to cut the deficit threaten female citizens.
The deal negotiated by the White House and Congress could impose a trillion dollars in cuts on programs that serve and employ mostly women: programs such as family planning clinics, food stamps, college tuition assistance and childcare.
Women are impacted in two ways: they use these services more than men do; more women are employed in clinics and social services offices. Now it appears they’re first in line to lose their jobs. According to the National Women’s Law Center, women already have 281,000 fewer jobs than they did two years ago. Men, however, have gained 805,000 jobs.
What will happen in November when the “super committee” proposes even more cuts? According to NOW President Terry O’Neill that committee is structured to look at Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, programs women disproportionately rely on “because they don’t have savings to fall back on in tough economic times.”
Women don’t have those savings, O’Neill says, because of the gender wage gap: Women earn 77 cents for every dollar a man is paid. Then there’s the race-based gap: African American women are paid 69 cents on the dollar and Latinas just 59 cents.
“You can’t save with that, so you rely much more heavily on Social Security and on Medicare to get by,” O’Neill asserts.
Here come more old men
But that could change. Men—at least old ones—might be in the same sinking boat as women. A recent New York Times article noted the number of men age 65 and older increased 21 percent between 2000 and 2010. The growth rate for women in that age group was 11.2 percent.
Some demographers say a rapid rise in the number of men could cost society more in retirement costs, since they earned more than women and would collect more. Besides Social Security costs they’ll strain Medicare and Medicaid.
Ironically, this could be key to women’s survival. Things will change. Men won’t allow themselves to be pawns in the game.