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Thursday, April 10, 2014

Equal Pay Day Controversy

So, Tuesday was equal pay day. For those of you who somehow don't know about this, it represents the day women have to work up to before they've made as much as men made the previous year.

At 77 cents to the dollar, we have to work an extra 98 days.

Anyway, if you want more information about how this came about or what it actually measures, click on the link above, because what I'm doing in this post is taking on these two bullshit questions from this post over here.

Question 1:

Do women go into lower-paying sectors because they prefer them, or because employers discriminate against them? 

I don't know about you, but I don't know too many people in general who look at themselves and think, you know what I'm worth? Very little money.

There are more women in teaching and administrative work than men, and you know what, when asking many of them, they'd say they do enjoy the work. They are where they want to be. Great! Let's pay them more.

The women workforce also has a lot more part-time workers, which apparently messes up the average? They're working part time usually because they have a family at home, right? And daycare is incredibly expensive...more expensive than college.

And having families is something that people do, don't you know. And our society is still set up in such a way where the responsibility usually falls on the woman to care for the child, and if alternate care is used, the woman actually has to be making some money. However, since she only makes 77 cents to a man's dollar, she often saves money by not going to work.

Not to mention that we are constantly saying we need more women in science, yet to be in science you need a PhD and to get a PhD plus some experience, you need to not have kids until about your mid-30s.

In fact Freeman Dyson, the world-renowned mathematical physicist who helped found quantum electrodynamics thinks academia is bunk:

"I’m very proud of not having a Ph.D. I think the Ph.D. system is an abomination. It was invented as a system for educating German professors in the 19th century, and it works well under those conditions. It’s good for a very small number of people who are going to spend their lives being professors. But it has become now a kind of union card that you have to have in order to have a job, whether it’s being a professor or other things, and it’s quite inappropriate for that. It forces people to waste years and years of their lives sort of pretending to do research for which they’re not at all well-suited. In the end, they have this piece of paper which says they’re qualified, but it really doesn’t mean anything. The Ph.D. takes far too long and discourages women from becoming scientists, which I consider a great tragedy. So I have opposed it all my life without any success at all."

Question 2:

Do women stay home with the kids because of cultural norms, or because of the way parental leave policies are set up?

I don't understand this question. I mean, both? First of all, don't kid yourself, we don't have any  parental leave in this country so there is no "way it is set up" because it does not exist. Secondly, yeah, there are definitely cultural norms still in place that need to go away because they are annoying and they make people feel bad. Not to mention that they perpetuate stereotypes that women cannot hold positions of power because "they won't give as much to the company" or women "choose not to make as much" because they "chose to have children."

Okay, well, since we're the only ones who can have children, how about you help us out and not put us through those shitty choices.

The long and short of it is that women are still struggling to be seen as a serious force in the workplace because of outmoded ideas of family, cost of childcare, and doucheheads who think if a woman chose to birth a child, she decided she didn't want to work for a lot of money so she should shut up.

We need future people, right? And to get them to the adult stage, we need to feed them. And if we're going to feed them and teach them healthy things about the world, we deserve a livable wage for doing something we have been trained in.

And if a woman works as hard as a man in her profession, she should make as much money as he does. Period.

As my friend on Facebook said:

" If you are too much of a goddamn pithy simple-minded asshole to see the structural problem with putting a tax on working women of as much as $1000/month per child, there's nothing anyone can say to talk you to a place of reason.

I never want another person coming at me about the "personal choice" of mothers to take low-paying jobs who doesn't have a solution to this nightmare of a decision-making process we put women through."

Pay equity. Because we're effing worth it. And so are our kids.


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