Not the magazine, the holiday. That’s right, homechickens, 8 March is International Women’s Day, and it also happens to be blog against sexism day! In honor of both these occasions, Candy over at Smart Bitches Who Love Trashy Books (which is a cause I can get behind), has initiated a Googlebomb for a man who is a friend to all the ladies: Bill Napoli. In case anyone missed the dripping sarcasm there, Bill Napoli is a Republican asshat–er senator–from South Dakota, who doesn’t think that women should exercise control over their own bodies, and isn’t afraid to say so.
Now I know all of my readers have a lot of trouble even imagining that sexism exists in the United States, given that I never ever talk about it. And I’m sure all of you are also aware that the patriarchy has been defeated, there is a park on every block, and kittens stay kittens forever. So forgive me for a moment while I reminisce about the dark days when women were proto-humans and men ruled the earth.
I’d like to talk with you for a moment about the wage gap. The bureau of labor is very helpful about maintaining damning statistics–I appreciate it immensely.
Women with doctorate degrees make 75%, on average, of the wage their male counterparts do.
Women working sixty hours or more per week earn 21.7% less than males with comparable workweeks.
An African American woman earns sixty five cents for every dollar a white man makes.
Hispanic women earn even less–fifty two cents for every white male dollar.
A female physician earns 62.5% of the median weekly wage for a male physician.
Women construction workers earn approximately seventy five cents for every dollar their male coworkers do.
Women are less likely to be senior faculty, less likely to be CEOs, less likely to be managers.
The wage gap is a glaring example of the sexism that exists unchallenged in American society. Numerous justifications exist for the wage gap, and none of them are reasonable, especially when you consider studies which compare people in comparable work situations. Women and men who work the same hours for the same company, and have been employees for the same amount of time, for example.
Some people say women aren’t motivated in the work place, that they really just want to settle down and have kids. Numerous successful professional women with children give the lie to that statement–and many childfree professionals also flourish in varied workplaces. Stay at home fathers might also argue that childcare issues are not always a concern for working women.
People say women don’t have the strength and stamina men do. Numerous studies have clearly shown this to be false–women work just as hard, smart, and long as their male counterparts do, and they deal with sexism in the workplace to boot.
Women started entering the workforce in large numbers during the Second World War, when healthy male labor was in a shortage. Women farmed, built aircraft, laid train tracks, and participated in every level of the American wartime economy. These same women were thrown out of the workplace and into the kitchen when the war ended, though they managed the country just as well as the men had.
There seems to be a big attitude on the part of the patriarchy that women are helpless beings who need to be supported. The attitude explains the anger working women are met with, because they are actively working against the establishment. It certainly accounts for the frustrations female managers encounter when trying to exert authority over male coworkers.
It’s time for the department of labour to get serious about sexism in the workplace, and enforce wage laws. It’s time for women at all levels of the workplace to fight back against unfair wage discrimination. It’s embarrassing that a nation in the “civilized world” is so complacent about such a basic tenet of human rights–that people engaged in the same labour should receive the same compensation. Fundamentally, there is no difference between men and women in terms of fitness for the workforce, and there should be no reason for women to earn less than men.
The wage gap should not exist.
Fight it, ladies. Fight it!
[blog against sexism day]