"There is difference and there is power. And who holds the power decides the meaning of the difference." --June Jordan

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

TV Characters and the Wage Gap

MSN Careers has just put out an article for couch potatoes who wonder whether their favorite television characters' occupations would provide the income required for the lifestyles they maintain in the fictional worlds they inhabit. Although it is obvious that the article wasn't intended to be a critique of gender politics in employment, its profile of nine different characters (six of whom are women) beautifully illustrates the Wage Gap. Of the three male characters listed, all three of them have titles that grant them higher salaries than any of the featured women, and it is telling in that, in real life, the lowest paid male character in the group (Jim, from "According to Jim") would make $23,000 more a year as a construction project manager than the highest paid female on the list (Lynette Scavo of 'Desperate Housewives") would make as an advertising executive. Sometimes, art does reflect life. Even in the media.