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

Friday, April 18, 2008

Mind the Gap

Blog for Fair Pay

Some stats I plucked from Feministing's Equal Pay Day post:

-Women are paid only 77 cents for every dollar paid to men.
-African-American women are paid 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men.
-Latinas are paid 52 cents for every dollar paid to white men.

This is one reason I get so frustrated when MRAs drone on and on about how girls get better grades in school than boys and how women are outnumbering men in college — they loudly attribute these trends to a non-need for feminism without paying any attention to the fact that womens' success in school has NOT closed glaring gaps in employment, wages, and power. Not even close. For the vast majority of women, for a huge variety of patriarchy-rooted reasons, educational success has not translated into matierial wealth equaling that of men. It just hasn't.

And for all the other wage-gap naysayers who like to dismiss the issue by claiming that womens' lack of equal wages is all their fault, because there are no longer any legal barries to equal pay? You would be wrong.

Equal pay isn't just about contacting our senators to make sure they vote to keep our rights to legal action against injustice intact (although that's very important). It's about women's health being given the same consideration as men's health. It's about sex education and reproductive rights. It's about access to maternity leave and childcare. It's about shattering the Glass Ceiling and cleaning the goo off the Sticky Floor. It's about raising girls to know they can succeed in careers that are stereotypically reserved for men. It's about raising girls to be assertive enough to ask for the raises they deserve (see Feministing's post for more on this). It's about training supervisors to not be turned off by female assertiveness. It's about challenging unrealistic beauty standards for women. It's about having more female role models in positions of power -- especially women of color. It's about ending sexual harrassment in the workplace and elsewhere. It's about lightening women's out-of-work responsibilities so that they are balanced with those of men. It's about a LOT of things.

It's about dismantling the fucking patriarchy.