Friday, July 29, 2005
Oil & Oprah
I sat and watched some TV today for the first time in awhile. The "Oprah" show caught my eye because it was about women in their 30s in 17 different countries and how they viewed life and how they viewed America. The women that were actually in the studio came from Qatar, Mexico, Iraq & Rwanda.
As you can imagine, the outlook from the women in Qatar & Mexico was much brighter than the women from Iraq & Rwanda.
The woman from Qatar spoke of how good the women and the people of the country had it. The country pays no taxes and has the best free health care. They also receive a gift of approximately $12,000 for every wedding, however, they must marry a cousin. College is also free for all in Quatar.
The woman from Mexico also focused on her riches and how a woman in Mexico must dress in order to keep a mate because infidelity is so high. A Mexican woman can also be blamed for causing the mate to stray and if a divorce comes about, she may not receive any support if she is found to be the "cause" for the infidelity. Yet, she was still very happy.
Then there was a spot on a woman living in war torn Iraq and how she stated the women were less free than ever before, and how many are addicted to Valium or other drugs to numb the horrors of what has happened to their lives. Her father and brother were both killed. She hoisted a gun of which she never thought she'd ever have to learn how to use. She spoke of not having enough electricity or any other form of power as commonplace. Women can no longer go out in freedom, and frequently they now have to stay inside for days on end.
Finally, there was a hearbreaking story about a woman from Rwanda. She was around 20 or so during the genocides that occured and she witnessed her family being murdered and she was raped continuously until the killers were so exhausted they left her there miraculously. She now has a child from that incident and takes care of him and two other orphans from the massacre.
What does all of this have to do with oil, you ask? Maybe you've already figured out what led me to think about oil. Although, Iraq is oil-rich, it is not in full swing and the country is in shambles since America invaded. But there IS oil in Qatar and also in Mexico. These women live in oil producing countries. I wonder what would happen to their lifestyles if oil declined exponentially over about 30 years? Of course, the Qatar woman probably has enough money to last her a lot of lifetimes because I've read that the most wealthy people in the world (top 10) are in the middle east.
I also saw the facial expressions of the advantaged women when listening to the Iraqi and Rwandan women when they were sitting with Oprah talking about their experiences. It was like the extremely wealthy meeting up with the extremely poor face-to-face. Seemed like such a large contrast. Energy vs. no energy.
Not one of the women understood American women. They tried to be nice about it but you could tell they did not have a favorable opinion in many ways. They all loved Oprah though!
The show just brought up in me some emotions I haven't experienced in awhile. I really fear for how women will be treated as energy declines. Most often, as these situations show, women do not benefit in a society that is in decline or anarchy (not the political meaning but in the literal sense!). The only hope for the positive future of women is for renewable energy to rise up and fill the gap!
p.s. I think the woman in Qatar would just take a crap if the kingdom was taken over over or the whole world switched to renewables!