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Chicken-Fried News: Almost worst

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INGVARD ASHBY
  • Ingvard Ashby

The countless web surfers who will surely ask Jeeves about Oklahoma after encountering our spiffy new “Imagine That” advertising campaign might uncover some less than flattering imaginative fodder.

For example, a recent study by financial advice site WalletHub rated Oklahoma the 47th best state for women, ranking it 44th in economic and social well-being and 50th in health and safety. The study considered factors including women’s life expectancy from birth (Oklahoma was ranked 48th) female uninsured rate (50th) and percentage of women who voted in the 2016 presidential election (47th).

But lest you think rampant systematic sexism is the state’s only issue, a recent study by career advice site Zippia named Oklahoma the eighth worst state to be a man based on suicide, imprisonment and unemployment rates, number of work fatalities and percentage of men with bachelor’s degrees. “In the Sooner State, men face a higher than average chance of imprisonment and lower than average chance of receiving a college education,” the study said.

Searches for best states to be nonbinary didn’t return a similar study, but somehow we don’t like Oklahoma’s odds in the power rankings there either. In 2015, the website Refinery29 did, however, rate Oklahoma’s livability for trans people as “unacceptable,” concluding, “Across the board, Oklahoma offers zero or next-to zero support for transgender individuals when it comes to seeking employment, housing, or access to education and health care.”

Of course all these studies are incredibly human-centric, and that’s not necessarily our state’s strong suit. If they were ranking the best states to be a pair of Bible-verse-inscribed truck nuts or a machine gun mounted on a riding lawnmower, the numbers might tell a far different story.

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