There May Be a Quick Fix to the Gender Pay Gap, but Some of You Won’t Want to Hear It
As we learned last week from the World Economic Forum’s annual gender survey (and from a hilarious Sarah Silverman video on the “vagina tax”), although gains have been made to close the gender wage gap it’s projected that we still have the better part of a century to go before women can earn the same as their male counterparts. So what can we do today to address this imbalance? According to The Guardian’s Jessica Valenti, the solution may be as simple (but as radical) as “tipping the scales” in favor of women. In other words, let men take pay cuts for a while, and give a bit extra to women.
The recent outrage over a video of a woman being catcalled in New York proved that some men are definitely willing to defend women from sexual harassment, at the very least. Will these same men be willing to put their money where their mouths are?
Valenti expects the idea to receive more than a few groans for the male members of the species, but her response to these whiners is as bold as her plan: Tough luck. Or, in comedian Amy Poehler’s words (echoed by Valenti), “I don’t fucking care if you like it.”
Over the last few years, disparity between men and women’s pay – and workplace gender inequality more generally – has inspired all sorts of solutions that focus on how women can rise in the ranks and make more money: Ask for raises! Don’t leave before you leave. Count on karma?…what if the boldest solution for the wage gap isn’t about raising women’s salaries at all? What if we paid men less?
Over the weekend, former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson – fired in part, she says, over conversations about pay disparity – told a reporter that the best way for newsroom leaders with a limited budget to fix salary inequalities is to “bring the guys down to give a little more to the girls”.
“I did that at The Times. No one’s happy to get a cut, but too bad.” …Some men’s antipathy toward feminism comes from a fear that leveling the playing field will mean taking away from men’s existing power. And for a long time, feminists have been sensitive to that concern, insisting that equality is not a zero-sum game – that there’s enough money, jobs and justice to go around for everyone.
But sometimes there’s not enough…
—Posted by Natasha Hakimi ZapataYour support matters…
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