04
17

Equal Pay for Women: A Simple Matter of Fairness

by Lauren Eiten, NOW Field Intern

As a young woman who is still in school, I have not fully entered the workforce yet. This means I have not experienced the wage gap firsthand, and it is not something I look forward to. Twenty years of my life were spent learning about the golden rule, fairness and equality, but research on Equal Pay Day reveals that what I've learned doesn't always apply.

According to U.S. Census Bureau data for full-time, year-round workers, women are paid on average only 77 percent of what men are paid; for women of color, the gap is significantly wider. These wage gaps stubbornly remain despite passage of the Equal Pay Act in 1963, back when women only earned 59 cents to a man's dollar.

Equal Pay Day was first recognized in 1996. At that time data showed women earning 72 cents for every dollar paid to men. Since then, the wage gap has only improved by five cents -- in fact, we've been stuck between 70 and 80 cents for more than two decades!

The wage gap is even seen in occupations that are mainly dominated by women. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a report in 2010 showing that out of 111 occupations there were only four where women's weekly median earnings were higher than males, the top occupation being preparing and serving food, including fast food. Full-time workers in this field are paid on average $369 a week, which is barely enough to keep a family of three above the poverty line. On the other hand, the occupation with the biggest gap in men's favor is "personal financial advisor," which pays $1,381 a week on average.

When feminists talk about the wage gap, often the immediate response is that it is due to lifestyle choices made by women, not discrimination. Based on available research, I find that hard to believe. The American Association of University Women determined in a study that one year after graduating college -- a time when women and men should, absent discrimination, be on a level playing field -- women are paid on average only 80 percent of their male counterparts' wages.

It is time to practice what we preach. One of the first things we learn in school is to treat others like we would want to be treated ourselves, yet it seems to be the hardest principle to follow. I can't imagine anyone wanting to be paid less than someone performing their same job, so why is it acceptable to pay women less? Enough is enough. Let's end pay discrimination and eliminate the need to mark Equal Pay Day each year.

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Comment from: billywms [Visitor]
"The American Association of University Women determined in a study..."


Can i have a link to that study? -I'd like to check it out.


Thank You!
04/17/12 @ 16:25
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Comment from: twissb [Member] Email
Hurray for an article that gives attention to meaningful wording about differences between what is paid to (not "earned" by) men and women. Compare with Institute for Women Policy Studies (IWPR) report: " Men Earn More Than Women Within Nearly All the Most Common Occupations." The word "earn" implies merit. So women don't merit equal pay with men?

I disagree, however, with the subtitle describing equal pay for women as "A Simple Matter of Fairness." Pay discrimination is neither simple nor fair. It is a key element in the broadly sexist social system that pays off for men. To deplore discrimination as "unfair" gets us nowhere. Discrimination must be named up front and attacked for what it is and the harm to women it produces. As the Lily Ledbetter law piled atop Title 7 demonstrates, even civil rights law cannot remedy discrimination against women as long as it is not based on a strong constitutional foundation.
04/17/12 @ 18:49
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Comment from: cabaret voltaire [Visitor]
I see that NOW is advocating for the passage of The Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1493). This is an EXTREME law based on 'comparable worth' that would essentially destroy the free market and give the federal government complete control over wages. The premise behind the bill comes dangerously close to communism.

The American Association of University Women is a feminist special interest group who've been known to manipulate statistics. The Obama Administration and groups like NOW play the "hurt and rescue" game (invent a problem while simultaneously pretending to be the savior from the problem.) Its an effective tactic based on manipulation.

From The US Labor Department in 2009:

"There are observable differences in the attributes of men and women that account for most of the wage gap. Statistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that collectively account for between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent, and thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent."
....

"Research also suggests that differences not incorporated into the model due to data limitations may account for part of the remaining gap. Specifically, CONSAD’s model and much of the literature, including the Bureau of Labor Statistics Highlights of Women’s Earnings, focus on wages rather than total compensation. Research indicates that women may value non-wage benefits more than men do, and as a result prefer to take a greater portion of their compensation in the form of health insurance and other fringe benefits."
...

"Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers."

I also see NOW is advocating for the passage of The Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1493). This is an extreme law based on 'comparable worth' that would essentially destroy the free market and give the federal government complete control over wages. It comes dangerously close to communism.



04/18/12 @ 16:54
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Comment from: billywms [Visitor]
http://www.now.org/press/04-12/04-17.html

From the article,
"NOW calls for passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 1519/S. 797) and a stronger bill, the Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1493)."
04/18/12 @ 19:44
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Comment from: burntoffering [Member] Email
Women-Stop Short Changing Yourselves & Use Our Declaration of Independence.

The Declaration of Independence allows Women in our Nation A Just Cause as well as their Separate and Equal Right to Dissolve and/or Throw Off the Body of Government Men due to the following:

1) According to the KJV Holy Bible God made Man 1st and I believe that "all men are created equal". However, since God made Woman second I contend Women were created greater and better than Alpha males as females are Betas or the only humans on Earth who can give Birth.

2) History shows Men get Equal Credit for the Labor, Pains, Sacrifice and Time needed to produce a child or receive the Fruit that can only come from a female's Womb.

3) Considering the fact men cannot go for more than 3 minutes without thinking about sex, are often caught using the wrong head to do their jobs and allowed such evils to exist and became too accustomed getting sex that now they are unable to Right themselves.

4) Our nation's motto is "In God We Trust" and all of my life I was promised "One nation under God, with liberty and justice for all". But when it come to the 1st Amendment "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."But since Women were not allowed to vote, given a choice or the decent respect of being asked their opinions on religion, or denied by the word "No" my separate and equal right to have "Law Respecting An Establishment of Religion" already sworn.

5) I just think Women need an Extra Ordinary Writ from the US Supreme Court asking for Man Damn Us Relief and Prohibition of the War Against Women due to their pledge of allegiance to Grover Norquist and they obviously Sold their Souls to a Dont Tread On Me Flag pole.

6) Men need to be taught Lady Justice is Not Deaf, Dumb, Blind or even a Blond. However Her Gender has been severely handicapped and retarded by the blindfold put upon her by masonic brothers. So, the only way We the People will get to see a New Heaven, New Earth, Rebirth of Freedom or Birth is through a Woman which is why the bible says the Lioness of Judah is the fiercest of best in the protection of Her Children.

7) I don't believe God Will Bless America more and that God could be more like a Woman scorned and in charge of heaven, hell and earth all along. What if We the People have been waiting for a Fat Lady to Sing who decided instead to send Her Boney Daughter instead & Government Job to collect Her son's Rent aka "every single penny or cent that has "In God We Trust" put on it.
04/19/12 @ 12:51
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Comment from: cabaret voltaire [Visitor]
@ burntoffering -

??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
04/19/12 @ 13:28
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Comment from: Su [Member]
ABC TV HAS A NEW SHOW SERIES ENTITLED "DON'T TRUST THE B---- IN APARTMENT 23"
IT AIRS DURING PRIMETIME. THIS TITLE IS SO INCREDIBLE.

THIS IS MY RESPONSE TO ABC REGARDING THEIR USE OF THE B WORD, AND ITS MESSAGE THAT WOMEN ARE SECOND CLASS WHICH ENCOURAGES SECOND CLASS WAGES.

"I WAS SO SHOCKED TO SEE THIS SEXIST MISOGYNISTIC TITLE ON ABC TV SHOW.
DON'T YOU GET IT? WOMEN ARE ADULTS, NOT FEMALE DOGS. AND IF ITS OK TO USE THE B WORD, WHY DONT YOU SPELL IT OUT?
COMPARE WITH HAVING A SHOW CALLED, "DONT TRUST THE N----- IN APT 24" !
ARE YOU SO DESPERATE FOR SHOCK VALUE TO USE SUCH A HATEFUL, DEROGATORY WORD FOR WOMEN?
USING THE N WORD IS AN ILLEGAL HATE CRIME. WHAT IS THE USE OF THE B WORD, AGAINST THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IN US AND WORLD--OUR MOTHERS, SISTERS, DAUGHTERS?"
USING THE B WORD WORKS TO KEEP WOMEN
DOWN, SO CORPORATIONS CAN CONTINUE PAYING INFERIOR WAGES TO WOMEN.
USING THE B WORD TELLS WOMEN AND GIRLS THAT THEY ARE LESS THAN HUMAN WHICH HELPS THE MALE SUPREMACISTS CONTINUE TO TREAT WOMEN AS SECOND CLASS.

PLEASE PASS THIS INFORMATION ON, SO OTHERS ARE AWARE OF THIS MISOGYNY.
ALSO WHY DO SOME ACCEPT THE B WORD, WHILE RIGHTFULLY PROTESTING THE USE OF THE NUMEROUS OTHER WORDS USED TO PUT DOWN WOMEN?
04/19/12 @ 14:58
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Comment from: billywms [Visitor]
What????
04/19/12 @ 19:03
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Comment from: cabaret voltaire [Visitor]
@ 'Member'

Using the N-word is not against the law. If it was, there would be thousands of hip-hop artists in jail.
04/20/12 @ 15:00
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Comment from: hollycarr [Member] Email
The best defense for unequal wages is for women to pursue positions of leadership,
not asking the government to step in. I work in financial services, a field dominated by men. Women make up only 10% of our occupation. Our pay is determined by personal performance and results, not a boss. I am in the top 5% of my company in earnings.

Women owned businesses have been the fastest growing segment of business owners over the last decade. These are women who are in a position to determine pay scale.

Our focus should be encouraging women to seek higher level positions, take risks such as working in commission oriented or entrepreneurial opportunities, and to develop leadership skills.

I started my career in the early 1980s when women's entry level position for business was secretary. I decided not to accept that and to go for a bigger vision. It's time for us to take action and stop playing the victim.
05/06/12 @ 13:49
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Comment from: hollycarr [Member] Email
It's also interesting how much TV projects men as incompetent idiots. My husband originally pointed this out to me. Think Ray from Everybody Loves Raymond, or Ray's Dad. There are two perspectives here.
05/06/12 @ 13:52
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Comment from: Lisa Bennett, NOW Communications Director [Member] Email
@hollycarr -- I think it is very important to encourage women to pursure higher positions in the workplace and to start their own businesses when they are able. Congratulations on your success.

However, it is going to take a multi-pronged approach to achieve full equality for women in the workplace. Individual women cannot fix everything on their own. Sexism is an institutional and cultural problem, and we have to work together to turn things around.

We need to change people's attitudes, and our government needs to implement and enforces laws against wage discrimination and the various practices that allow it to continue.

Not every woman will be able to climb the corporate ladder; not every woman has access to the capital needed to start her own business; and even the most successful woman has to start somewhere, which is often in a position that holds little power. That's why we need to make sure that all women are treated fairly.

Regarding TV -- I think it's pretty common in TV shows for characters in general to be exaggerations and caricatures. I used to watch Ray, and while his character was kind of loveably doofy, he was also a successful sportswriter, so he was hardly a terrible role model for men. If we had to battle it out over who gets stereotyped most negatively on TV (or is most overlooked), I'm pretty sure it would be women, people of color, people with disabilities, etc -- not white men. But, I do have to add that in my opinion, it's far worse for women in the movies than on TV. Just look at the poster for The Avengers -- six men and one woman!
05/08/12 @ 10:49
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Comment from: maxxum [Visitor]
@hollycarr

N.O.W. believes that you can create success by enacting more laws and regulations. It amazes me that people can ignore reality so completely. Reminds me of King Arnulf (Terry Jones) in Eric the Viking when he denied his island was sinking into the ocean.

Laws have never created success - ever. All you can do is provide a set of rules, try to enforce them and hope people will rise to the occasion. There are already hundreds of laws and regulations on work and hiring practices. It is illegal to discriminate against women, so what is N.O.W. purposing?

We’ve been learning a lot about women’s salaries since Democrats have started beating the inequality drums again (yea, it’s voting season again). Recent study’s seem to point to women making less than men, but when it was dissected we found out that single women with no children in their 20’s were actually making more than men in the same age category. We also found out once women were in their thirties with children that pay disparity fell dramatically to about even. Other facts surfaced like women chose to work less hours to be with their children, women take leaves of absence more than men and men work more hours than women. Women are actually doing very well despite what N.O.W. is decrying.

One sticking point though, I thought black people were the fastest growing segment in business.

As far as TV, well, most of what’s on is crap. I bet you cannot name 5 men on prime time TV that are strong, wholesome, responsible, family men that are treated with respect by their peers and family. In the 80’s there were tons of examples, but not today. Now we have incompetent, often moronic or bumbling male’s on TV that seldom get respect from their families. Worse, women are often shown as bitches with an ax to grind that more often than not, down other women. Go ahead, watch some TV. And don’t get me started on music. Half of what girls listen and dance to is catchy, but its filled with sex, drugs, abuse and glorifying women as sex objects. Of course, most of that was there in earlier music, but it was obfuscated by code and obscure references. Not so today. Today musicians just call women ho’s and girls seem to like that. Girls are being sexualized now in their preteens where once it was mid to late teens. We are just sinking lower and lower.

What N.O.W. refuses to see or acknowledge is that it’s all starting in the home. If boys don’t have good role models, how are they going to know how to treat women? If parents let TV and music raise their children how can we hope to keep girls from allowing themselves to be treated like sex objects? Absolutely EVERYTHING N.O.W. is trying to prevent is starting in the home, and they are doing almost NOTHING to stop it. In fact, they are helping create some of the very problems they are fighting against.

Boys and girls just have no clue what healthy relationships consist of anymore.

For all women’s accomplishments, are they any happier for it? Nope.

For all the billions of dollars spent on the “War on Poverty”, are there less people on welfare? Nope.

Are children better off since women have gained more power in this society? Nope.

With women now in so many positions of power today, are girls feeling better about themselves? Nope.

Are girls suffering less from depression today? Nope.

Has body image improved for girls? Nope.

Are single mothers better off than women in marriage? Nope.

Have the enactment of laws dramatically shrunken poverty levels in the US? Nope.

Has the lowered numbers of people that rely on religion for support helped us in the US? Nope.

I could go on and on and on, but it will fall on def ears at N.O.W.. They will never focus on the real problems. They’ll just keep beating that drum of new laws and regulations. Even when those laws and regulations haven’t helped women much.
05/09/12 @ 19:04
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Comment from: cabaret voltaire [Visitor]
@ Lisa Bennett --

Every watch CSI or Law and Order? Every criminal is a sexually or physically abusive white male. Women are portrayed as sex symbols and men are portrayed as idiotic abusers. I'm concerned about how both girls and boys react to such depictions. Unfortunately groups like NOW really aren't concerned about boys, unless of coarse is to remind everyone 1 and 4 of them will abuse a woman sometime during their life time.

I remember seeing a PSA in England about dating violence. They re-enacted the Rihanna Chris Brown incident but because of political correctness, they used a white guy to play Chris Brown.


05/14/12 @ 13:59
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Comment from: holly [Member] Email
test
05/20/12 @ 13:49
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