How to succeed like a man.

All true things this Pay Equity Day.

Author: has written 5251 posts for this blog.

Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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13 Responses

  1. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin April 12, 2011 at 3:23 pm |

    It’s good to see these sorts of limiting factors spelled out. But I would like to see the author propose a solution along with an articulate summation of the problem. What she has written is one step. The next involves ways that women can band together in that oft-cited word “solidarity” to bring an end to the pay gap.

    The article reads like one huge zero-sum game. And right now, maybe it is, but passion aside, it also reads like a cautionary tale. If I knew how to pen an article entitled “Ways for Male Allies to Ensure Equal Pay for Woman”, I’d surely do it. I would love to be enlightened.

  2. Comrade Kevin
    Comrade Kevin April 12, 2011 at 6:32 pm |

    for Women, rather.

  3. La Lubu
    La Lubu April 12, 2011 at 8:10 pm |

    Thankfully, I only had to work until December 31 to be paid the same as the men—I belong to a labor union. Unionization is one way of getting pay equity—but mainstream feminism’s focus on individuality rather than collective action (and dare I say “anti-labor bias”) insures this solution gets ignored.

  4. Tony
    Tony April 12, 2011 at 10:37 pm |

    The thought of how liberalism can survive the collapse of private sector unionism is frightful to ponder.

  5. Tori
    Tori April 12, 2011 at 11:00 pm |

    It’s funny how, since I failed to heed the first item of advice, the rest of the list ceases to matter. I could be a cutthroat nurturing stripper getting an advanced degree on the golf course, and I still wouldn’t be able to negotiate a higher salary.

  6. April
    April April 13, 2011 at 4:01 am |

    La Lubu:
    Thankfully, I only had to work until December 31 to be paid the same as the men—I belong to a labor union. Unionization is one way of getting pay equity—but mainstream feminism’s focus on individuality rather than collective action (and dare I say “anti-labor bias”) insures this solution gets ignored.

    QFT.

  7. April
    April April 13, 2011 at 4:06 am |

    Tony:
    The thought of how liberalism can survive the collapse of private sector unionism is frightful to ponder.

    Let’s hope we can keep the momentum going so it doesn’t have to come to that. If anything will unite us all, it’s our similar economic fate. That people are starting to really realize that, collectively, is giving me hope.

  8. April
    April April 13, 2011 at 4:07 am |

    Blockquote fail. The first paragraph is quoting Tony, and the second paragraph is my response to him.

  9. Women's Voices for Change
    Women's Voices for Change April 13, 2011 at 10:48 am |

    Happy Equal Pay Day – as US women still make 77 cents for each dollar that men earn, it was great to see the lobbying and flash mobs of yesterday. We brought a video pick of Lilly Ledbetter, from an Equal Pay Day two years ago, talking about how her fight against Goodyear Tire Co. taught her that we still need to fight.

  10. Clairese
    Clairese April 13, 2011 at 10:57 am |

    1. When you compare job for job, seniority to seniority, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, women are paid as well or better than men.

    2. The Press often quotes a disparity in “average” annual earnings. This is a meaningless figure, since it ignores the part-time workers, of which women often choose to be among, and temporary workers, again, where many women choose to work. The fact is that there is very little gender based pay discrimination in America, however…

    We still have a competitive workplace to a limited extent, and employers are free to reward tangible aspects of job performance, including longevity, loyalty to the firm, and ability to work and play well with others, in addition to simply getting the job done every day.

    This idea of a collective, or a law that mandates pay equity is communist, and is as un-American as one can get.

    3. What should be the priority of any “movement” should be for a MERIT based society, where competition in the workplace is the basis for selection and promotion, in addition to a guarantee for those who own businesses to retain their right to hire and fire anyone, based on their own preferences. It is their business, after all.

    If we move forward away from quotas and to a MERIT based society, America will quickly regain its competitive edge in the world.

  11. IrishUp
    IrishUp April 13, 2011 at 11:47 am |

    Claiese, I call bullshit!
    Here is the most recent BLS report on women in the workforce:
    http://www.bls.gov/spotlight/2011/women/

    From the report: the only jobs women earn more than men on average, are LOW PAYING & generally require less secondary education: food service, billing/account collectors, stock clerks/order fillers. So some woman is earning $3.50/hr rather than $3.35/hr at her hash-slinging job since she’s been there longer than the college kids. Big effen woop. Once you get to the jobs that compensate at or above the median income level (since you are adverse to means) – IT, advanced educators, lawyers, insurance agents – women’s earnings are 65-80% of men’s. At the highest levels of compensation it’s an even worse ratio.

    Please note also that the majority of women spend ~20hr/wk on unrecompensated work – housework, child/parent care, etc. They have to because these social services are not provided by the US. But caring for our young and elderly in an equitable way rather than leaving it to mothers, sisters, and daughters would be totes commie-pinko, no doubt.

    Finally, there is the charming statistic that women are ~2x more likely to be fataly assaulted in the workplace than men.

    But clearly this is all because women fail at tangible aspects of their work and do not get along well with others, amirite?

  12. Alara Rogers
    Alara Rogers April 13, 2011 at 2:02 pm |

    This idea of a collective, or a law that mandates pay equity is communist, and is as un-American as one can get.

    Uh, actually the government already does this.

    If you have a government job, your salary is publically posted — not yours in particular, but the salary that your job title comes with. So if you are a Records Clerk IV, maybe you make $35,000 (I’m making this up), and when you are promoted to Records Clerk V, you get $39,000. It is impossible for two people who are both Records Clerk IV to have different pay rates, and it is public knowledge what any given person’s job title is, so you can *see*, with your own eyes, whether men are being paid more and promoted over the heads of women with more experience, or not.

    Actually, this would probably be a good solution to the problem. Rather than mandating absolute equal pay, mandate that all employers must post what everyone’s compensation is. No more secrecy about money. It’s not shameful to be poor, or to be rich! And if a company wants to pay Mr. X more than Ms. Y because Mr. X demanded it on the grounds that he brought a big client list with him when he changed jobs, then when Ms. Y sees the pay discrepancy, she’ll have the information she needs to ask, and the company shouldn’t be ashamed to tell her. And then Ms. Y knows that what she needs to do is quit and bring her client list to a competitor. :-)

    At the very least, require that the mean, median and range of all salaries for all departments be posted, broken out by gender, race, seniority, and then combinations (for instance, the gender/race table would tell you if black women are less common in IT than you’d guess from the prevalance of black men and white women; the gender/seniority table would tell you if men are being promoted over women with more experience; the gender/race/seniority table would show you the correlations between time at the company and pay rate, but with variation by gender and race shown as well.)

    Then, companies would have the right to pay anyone anything they wanted to, and anyone who wanted better pay would be able to say “You pay Bob more than me, and Bob is a slacker who stands at the water cooler all day chatting,” and then they could say “But Bob has a wife who takes care of his kids, and he’s a family man who needs the money; you’re often out because your kids are sick,” and then you can say “I’m a family woman who needs the money, and when I’m out for my sick kids, I still get the job done, and look at these productivity metrics that show that I get twice as much work done as Bob does, because when I’m in the office I’m actually working and he socializes all day,” and then they either give you a raise to match Bob, or they have to come up with some bullshit rationalization why they didn’t and at that point you quit and you tell your next employer “Yeah, I quit because they paid a man who stood around at the water cooler all day more money than me; I work hard, and I believe that hard work should be rewarded,” and then they are impressed and they hire you for $10,000 more than Bob was making, because that’s what you asked for.

    The main reason employers get away with discrimination is that no one has hard figures to prove it’s happening *while* it’s happening. You can *know* it’s happening, but without knowing what your co-workers make, you have no proof. Forcing companies to post their pay schedules, by seniority, department, job title, and gender and race, would make it instantly obvious if there’s a systematic problem or if they’re just picking on you personally.

  13. GallingGalla
    GallingGalla April 13, 2011 at 7:30 pm |

    Clairese: This idea of a collective, or a law that mandates pay equity is communist,

    You betcha!

    Clairese: and is as un-American as one can get.

    Then it’s time to make it as American as one can get. It’s time to make sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, wars of colonialism, etc, un-American.

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