Yesterday was Equal Pay Day because it was “how far into 2011 women would have to work for their 2010 pay to finally catch up to men’s, according to the National Committee for Pay Equity.” Cool. Very cool. Feminism is over, is it? Not necessary anymore? Hm.
I feel very conflicted about the equal pay issue. Here is a really helpful article that lays out all the facts (it’s where the above quote comes from). Of course my knee jerk reaction is that it’s unfair and horrible and I hate it. But then I think about the children issue. I’m hardly breaking down any barriers or through any glass ceilings by getting married and being super domestic and baking all the time (get excited – there’s a baking post coming up!) and thinking that it is very likely, at some point in the future, that I will stop working for awhile to raise some babies. But I firmly believe that one of the greatest strengths and achievements of the Feminist movement is that each woman is allowed to make those decisions for herself. If we want to stay home with children we can. It’s not forced upon us, but it can be an option if we want it to be. Fine. The real problem I have with it is this little detail:
Women, on average, make 80% of what their male counterparts make ONE YEAR OUT OF COLLEGE. “‘The gap between men’s and women’s salaries begins immediately upon entering the workforce,’ says Sarah Green in the Harvard Business Review.” That article it links to goes on to say that when you control for industry, type of job, experience, etc, the gap closes to 95%. So okay. But still. BUT STILL! There should be no gap!
But then again, I am conflicted. Equality is hugely important, of course. But you know what’s not hugely important to me? Making a bajillion dollars. I don’t care about money that much, I guess. I’ve been poor for a number of years and I’m fine with being poor. So I think that if this is something that I get too upset about it implies that it’s because I care about the money issue. But it’s not about the money. In the end, it’s about equal pay for equal work. It’s just really easy to see inequality when it’s expressed in numbers.