Angry About the Wage Gap? Blame Societal Prejudices and Internalized Misogyny

by Lex Ellenthal

Yesterday I was on Facebook, just scrolling through my news feed, when I happened upon an image that made me want to pump my fist and go ‘Yeah!’…but then irked me because I realized it wasn’t entirely accurate. 

This doesn’t tell the full story.

The wage gap is obviously still a real problem; a white woman makes, on average, 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. However, single, childless white women earn closer to 90 cents per dollar. According to Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti, the so-called ‘Mommy Wage Gap’ is very real. It comes as no surprise that for women who are minorities, this wage gap increases significantly, “with 64 cents on the dollar for African American women and 56 cents for Hispanic women.”

Many misogynists have suggested that the wage gap exists because women are less assertive and will not negotiate their salary the way a man would. To an extent, they’re right. Women in our society are, on the whole, less aggressive – because we are trained to be. Our society values ‘good’ girls, who do as they’re told without question. We teach girls all sorts of harmful things without realizing it, like that girls are disposable. If you think you’re replaceable how likely are you to argue for that extra 5K a year, when you know they’ll just find someone who will do it for less? 

This trend of career misogyny is even apparent in Hollywood; in interviews male celebrities are asked things related to their work, while female celebrities left with invasive and shallow questions about their diets, teaching girls that conforming to beauty norms is more important than, you know, developing a career. 

So, when you’re considering someone for a job, stop and ask yourself: if they were a white guy, what would you offer them? And ladies, particularly women of color, if you’ve got the guts, ask potential employers what they’d offer you if you were a straight, single, childless, white man. If you’re thinking that this is a load of crap, consider this: married women used to be disallowed from being teachers. All I’m saying is that attitude is not entirely eradicated. And it’s hurting us.

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