As a man, here’s my opinion about women’s discrimination claims

That grab your attention? Welcome to headlines in this age of news. I titled this article with that because I’m sure if you’re a woman reading it, your knee jerk reaction would be to think, “Who the hell are you as a man to give your opinion about that issue?” and frankly, you’d be right. As a man, I’ve never experienced what it’s like to be a woman in the workplace, so even though I may have an opinion on it, we both know that it wouldn’t carry as much weight as a woman who has actually gone through it.

Such is my opinion when it comes to this lockdown and not being able to work or receive a paycheck. Yes, this is has been very hard on everyone. Yes, it’s stressful and being cooped all day can cause depression and numerous other issues we’d all rather not think about, but if you can work from home and still receive any kind of income you’re simply in a different place from many of us. You can pick whatever side you want as far as reopening the economy, but if you still have a job, I honestly don’t value your opinion right now… at all. Not in the slightest. You need to simply shut up and sit this one out and just be thankful you have a job. Whatever issues you are going through, someone else is also…without a job. “But it could be dangerous!” True. Then stay home and continue to work… and get a check. That’s not an option for many people. “But people could spread the virus further!” Also true, and again stay home and continue to collect your check.

As a comedian, the last time I performed was Purim day March 10th. It was already getting bad in NY, and I had flown in from LA to do a series of shows over the holiday and some before it started. My shows were in Queens, the Bronx, and I even made it to a cousin’s Bat Mitzvah in Long Island. Things were just starting to get bad and cancellations were beginning, but not full scale. I was a little surprised that my last show was still scheduled and honestly, I was also relieved. I needed the money. I had a pretty good string of shows lined up over the next couple of months but I had a feeling they were going to be cancelled, and of course they all were.

I took the subway and had to stop at Yankee Stadium and switch trains. As a loyal Astros fan (we can trash talk sports later) I of course took a picture of me flipping off the sign and posted it to Facebook. People immediately started posting, “You shouldn’t be down there. You might get sick!” “Stay off the subways!” etc. I understand the concern and appreciated it. I had to ask myself, was going to a show worth me possibly getting sick? What if they are right? Well, guess what, they were.

I got back to Los Angeles and within about a week, I had every sign of the virus except the breathing issues, thank God. It kicked me in the ass for a few days and then I felt better. I later went to a lab and after being tested, found out I luckily had the antibody. I have since given plasma and am going to do it again shortly. I’m not pointing this out to toot my own horn. I’m just saying that in an odd way, it’s good that I actually got it. I have a normal immune system and because I recovered, I am now able to hopefully help someone who may really struggle with this virus.

Is making a living worth the risk of possibly getting sick? Everyone is going to have their own answer for that, but for many, especially those being brutalized by not having an income now, the answer is yes. And if you disagree with them and you feel they may be endangering others as well, that is a legitimate opinion, but not if you currently are receiving a check. Sorry! You simply don’t know what it’s like. I know it’s raw deal, but those are the breaks. Remember, getting sick, is not dying, it’s getting sick. And for many people, the ninety-five plus percent chances that you will recover is worth the risk of not having your entire life devastated. You may disagree, and if you are currently staring no income in the face for the next possible year and half of your life, I’d honestly like to hear your opinion. But if you have a job, even from home, honestly sit this one out. Otherwise, the next time you hear a few people talking about what it’s like to lose their home in a flood (growing up in Houston I’m using that example) walk right up and go, “I’ve never lost my house in a flood, and probably never will, but I can totally relate!” I’m sure they’d love to hear what you have to say about it.

About the Author
Avi Liberman is a stand-up comic who was born in Israel, raised in Texas and now lives in Los Angeles. Avi founded Comedy for Koby, a bi-annual tour of Israel featuring some of America's top stand-up comedians.
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