Wednesday, March 14, 2007

In a Man's Game, Women are Paying the Price

All I've had time to read so far today has been this one article in the Times about retired professional football players who are suffering profound dementia early in life, presumably as a result of their repeated head traumas on the field. Until now, it's been ridiculously difficult for these players (who seem to have the worst pension plan of any professional sport) to get disability payments out of the league; now, due to some serious lobbying on the part of one wife of a former player there's a new plan in place to provide these men with some reasonable reimbursement for cost of care.

Why should this be of any interest to a blog that seeks to be mostly about women and politics? Because it's yet another example of how the real cost of care (and by that I mean emotional as well as monetary) is paid almost exclusively by women... Don't know if you were able to catch the article on this topic in The Nation a few weeks back (again, I can't get you the full text online, but if you email me I can provide it), but it was a powerful look at how we women get left carrying the freight of caregiving with very little help from the government or anyone else--and usually without even the thought that the government should be helping. In any case, for some reason, this article about these two declining men and, most importantly, their wives, struck me as being somewhat in the same vein, if only subconsciously so.

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