The scope of feminist issues is a constantly growing area. While most of our fight for equal rights generates a lot of thoughts like “Why is this something we even need to fight for?” the most questionable motion for change, to me, is the wage gap.
For those who don’t know, the wage gap is a percentage that shows the difference between male and females earnings. It is calculated by dividing the median annual earnings for women by the median annual earnings for men. You may be thinking “Well this is probably looking at different jobs, not men and women who work the same job.” WRONG.
The gender pay gap help distinguish pay of men and women who work at THE SAME COMPANY doing THE SAME JOB. Women currently make 78 cents for every dollar that men make. That means that women are making 22 cents less than men (for those of you who struggle with math), and for women of color, that gap is much wider. For every dollar a white man makes, a black women makes 64 cents and Latinas make 56 cents.
I have never been able to wrap my brain around why this issue hasn’t been solved. What sense does this have? Because I am biologically different than you that means you are superior to me? IfI am working the same position as a man and doing the same amount and quality of work, where is there room for superiority?
At the risk of sounding childish, I have to say that this isn’t fair in any way. Not only is this degrading to women and doesn’t show much logicality behind it, but it also has a larger effect on a woman’s life. There are single moms out there who need to support their families. 22 cents may not seem like that much, but it adds up. It makes the difference between five- and six-figure annual incomes. And really any mom, single or not, has both a need and a right to support her family just as much as a husband does.
According to the Census Bureau, women’s pay has risen 1.5 cents since 2012 (from 76.5 cents to the current 78 cents). But this isn’t enough. A few things women can do:
- Recognize the pay gap, not just when looking at gender but when looking at race, too.
- Start a conversation with your community, local legislators, and maybe even at work. The best way to solve a problem is to talk about it in the first place.
- Ask for more money. Don’t be afraid to talk to your boss about this. There are a lot of resources out there that aim to educate women on how to go about asking for more money, like Levo’s #Ask4More campaign.
You would think that we Americans would have our shit together by 2015, but unfortunately we still have a lot of work to do. I have to say that there are a lot of things I look forward to in my future, but unequal pay is definitely not one of them.