Today is Equal Pay Day, the day that the average woman in America has now made as much as the average man did in 2012. With women earning about 78 percent of men, our fiscal year needs an extra three months to make up the difference.
However, some people continue to argue that we don't have a wage gap. Instead, the discrepancy in wages between white men and all other people in America is due to motherhood. But all sorts of statistics pin the blame on far more sinister foes than babies; looking at the hard numbers, it's undeniable that racism and sexism are a core part of American economics.
Check out these nine graphs showing how motherhood is not solely to blame for the wage gap.
There's been a lot of discussion about the gender pay gap. But there are some jobs that pay women many more pennies than 77 cents to the dollar. Among them: Shoe Shiner, Butler, Secretary, and Computer Repair Technician.
March 20 is Equal Pay Day in Belgium, and to draw attention to the country's 22% wage gap for women, zij-kant (a women's group organizing the equal pay efforts) has launched an awareness video and corresponding campaign starring porn actress Sasha Grey. It hinges on the fact that, according to the video, porn is one of the few industries where women are consistently paid more than their male counterparts. It is also a very strange and weirdly sad PSA that misses the point by making the equal pay issue all about porn, with a tone that is at once both slut-shaming and sensationalistic. (Also, it's NSFW.)
Set in 1968, Made in Dagenham fictionalizes a true story about a group of female sewing machinists employed by Ford who were tired of being classified as unskilled labor and went on strike for equal pay. Their efforts ultimately led to the Equal Pay Act of 1970. The women are led by Rita O’Grady (Sally Hawkins), a modest working-class woman who continues to surprise herself and others with her natural aptitude to organize, negotiate, and lead an important political cause that is still relevant.
Meet Barbara Gordon, librarian at the Gotham City Public Library by day, and crime-fightin' wonder Batgirl by night. Gordon was first introduced to the Batman comics and TV show in 1966, as an attempt to bring in female readers and viewers. While previous female characters (Batwoman and Bat-girl) were introduced in an attempt to dodge accusations of homosexuality between Batman and Robin, Batgirl wasn't there for romance as much as she was for ass-kicking. And did I mention that she was a librarian?
If Alice Paul had gotten her way, the United States Constitution would read:
Men and women shall have equal rights throughout the United States and every place subject to its jurisdiction.
Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.
This, her proposed text of the Equal Rights Amendment, has never come to pass. Drafted by Paul and introduced by two Republicans in 1923—one of whom was Susan B. Anthony's nephew—the ERA was introduced in every congressional session thereafter, until 1980. Nearly 60 years of finding a sponsor, and for all but three of those years, ERA died in committee. In those other three years, it either failed on a close vote in the Senate, or it passed, but with a rider that none of its supporters could stomach.
How do you keep female nurses working in low-playing jobs without improving their wages or conditions? Offer them breast implants, apparently. The New York Times reported on Sunday that hospitals in Prague lure nurses to renew their contracts by offering complimentary breast implants, liposuction and tummy tucks.
"I feel better when I look in the mirror," explains one nurse, Petra Kalivodova. "We were always taught that if a nurse is nice, intelligent, loves her work and looks attractive, then patients will recover faster."
It’s gross that the global nursing shortage has led to this end in Prague. Hospitals have trouble recruiting nurses because the mostly-female occupation has a bad rap: nurses in the country earn less than bus drivers and movies and other media have built up this idea that nurses must be sexy – that being attractive is actually an essential part of patients’ healing.
Nursing is one of the few careers in science and healthcare that’s dominated by women. And now hospitals are reinforcing retro sexy-nurse stereotypes by offering breast implants instead of wage increases?