This was in my Twitter feed today to remind me it’s Equal Pay Day: This is funny, + sadly, true. On average, ♀ r working 22% of the time 4 free. We need 2 fix this. https://t.co/c76v6hqeXC @GloriaFeldt — Sheryl L. Axelrod (@sher_lawyer) April 14, 2015 I don’t know about you, but I’m sooo tired…Read More
I raise this question because today I experienced the disorienting juxtaposition of Equal Pay Day with the retro notion that women’s growing economic power makes us want to be dominated during sex.
Equal Pay Day marks the day in April when women wear red to signify we’re in the red, earning (by 2011 calculations) but 77.4 cents to men’s $1. And for African-American and Hispanic women the differential is significantly more extreme.
This marker of financial non-power came just after Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker disappeared the state’s equal pay law. It also coincided with author and journalism professor Katie Roiphe’s implausible analysis of the S and M-loving novel Fifty Shades of Gray.
A paradox in her own mind, Roiphe opines:
“It is intriguing that huge numbers of women are eagerly consuming myriad and disparate fantasies of submission at a moment when women are ascendant in the workplace…when—in hard economic terms—women are less dependent or subjugated than before.
It is probably no coincidence that, as more books like The Richer Sex by Liza Mundy and Hanna Rosin’s forthcoming The End of Men appear, there is a renewed popular interest in the stylized theater of female powerlessness…We may then be especially drawn to this particular romanticized, erotically charged, semi-pornographic idea of female submission at a moment in history when male dominance is shakier than it has ever been.”
Really? And whose preferred narrative do we think this zero-sum “power-over” social model is?Read More
Check out the fair pay flash mob on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial:
Arkansas State Senator Paul Van Dalsem got a roaring laugh in 1963 at the then all-male Optimist Club when he railed at women from the American Association of University Women (AAUW) who were lobbying to improve educational opportunities. He said his home county’s solution would be to get an uppity woman an extra milk cow. “And if that’s not enough, we get her pregnant and keep her barefoot.”
Sounds quaint, doesn’t it? Not so much, though.
Fast forward please to April 11, 2011—the day designated as Equal Pay Day by the National committee on Pay Equity to call attention to the pay gap between men and women. Women currently make about 20% less than men even when the numbers are controlled for education and experience. In other words, the pay disparity does not stem from childbearing as is often assumed, but rather from deeper systemic biases that are reflected in women’s own lack of skills and confidence in negotiating for their pay and promotions.Read More
Pick a number between one and fifty-one
If you picked one, you’ve picked the District of Columbia, where the median earnings gap between all men and women over age 16, employed in full-time, year –round jobs is narrowest: women earn 88 cents to a man’s dollar. If you picked fifty-one, you’re in Wyoming, where women are paid just 64 cents to each smacker earned by a man.
If college education is factored in and you survey workers over 25, Wyoming leaps to first place at 88 cents, click image to take actionand Alaska slips to that 51st place at 64 cents for women to men’s dollar. Check out the AAUW’s information base on fair pay to find out where your state fits into the pecking order.Read More