The Inequality is Real

It’s a sad reality that gender equality is still the cause for controversy in our society. A Utah news station covered the story of a young girl, Kari Schott, and the club she is in, the Young Democrats Club at Jordan High School, as they ran a bake sale to bring awareness to gender inequality. The group sold cookies and based on their statistics, for every one dollar a man makes, a woman will make seventy-seven cents hence why they sold cookies to the boys of Jordan High School for one dollar, and sold cookies to girls for seventy-seven cents. Students of varying genders and races were interviewed and asked how they felt about the initiative. Most agreed with the cause, but there were still some disagreements. Karri states, “on social media, on Facebook people got really mad, like they came up and talked to me. They were really mad about it. They didn’t think it was fair and I said yeah, it’s not fair. That’s why we’re doing it” (Carlisle). One student states in their interview that they simply believe the group’s statistics are incorrect. The bake sales raises awareness to gender inequality, which is definitely a good thing! It was interesting that the new station didn’t do any of their own research or provide any actual facts other than what was said by the students. Thank goodness for Google because with one quick Google search one can find that it is true; In the USA, woman make 78% of what men make (Hill). Another thing that was missing from this report was the pay gap for those who identify as transgender (when someone does not identify with their assigned biological sex) or gay (those who are attracted to others of the same sex). In researching this, you can find things like the fact that gay or bisexual men earn 10-29 percent less than heterosexual men, or that “the earnings of female transgender workers fell by nearly one-third following their gender transitions” (Burns). One last thing that this article still doesn’t touch on is the intersection of this with race. People of color who identify as female make only 68% of what white men make (Hill). Looking into the comments of this article we see why this is a systemic issue with comments like, “It is obvious that women are not as strong as men and therefore, cannot complete the same tasks.” This idea of emphasized femininity (the system of femininity set up and policed by patriarchal expectations) just reinforces the binary thinking of our society; binary thinking being the act of thinking of things as “black and white”, not considering there might be alternatives. It’s concerning to think that people still think this way, but that is the reality of this world. Woman are truly seen as lesser than men. I sometimes wonder how some of this came about, who decided one day that women are not equal to men? Probably the same person who decided black people are less important than white people. The social constructions we’ve come to accept in our society sound so absurd when said aloud but because a social construction is something you are raised to understand as simply “how the world works” it can be difficult to not accept these. The issue of the gender pay gap is one of many that effect woman in our society today. Karri and the Young Democrats Club are making a great step by bringing to light the inequalities that woman are forced to face every day. I hope that efforts like these continue seeing as some people still do not see where the issue is with the gender pay gap. It’s crazy for me to think that my single mother will, at this point in our society, never make as much as a man in the same position as her. How can socially constructed issues like this not seem blatantly wrong to those in charge? I guess it will take the generation of gender studies students to step into power for change to really begin.

  • No Speak Africano

Work Cited Burns, Crosby. “The Gay and Transgender Wage Gap.” Center For American Progress. 16 Apr. 2012. Web. 9 Apr. 2015 <https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/lgbt/news/2012/04/16/11494/the-gay-and-transgender-wage-gap/&gt;. Carlisle, Randall. “Gender Equality Bake Sale Causes Stir at Utah High School.” Good4Utah. 17 Mar. 2015. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <http://www.good4utah.com/story/d/story/gender-equality-bake-sale         -causes-stir-at-utah-high/10246/0gE6cCkPA0mvNkLZEjyO4Q>. Hill, Catherine. “The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap (Spring 2015).” AAUW: Empowering Women Since 1881. 3 Apr. 2014. Web. 9 Apr. 2015. <http://www.aauw.org/research/the-simple-truth-about-the-gender-pay-gap/&gt;.

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4 thoughts on “The Inequality is Real

  1. I really appreciate your personal view in this blog; you can really hear your voice! I also really like how you questioned where this inequality came from in the very first place. That is something I have never thought about. It is also great that you look at how this pay gap affects members of the LGBTQ community, and non-white people. I think it is also important to think about why this pay gap exists? Is it really that a women is paid less than a man, even while holding the same position? Or is this more of a societal and culture issue in which other factors are forcing women to receive less, and maybe those factors need to be combated first? These are all just other aspects of this incredibly complex issue.
    -rayofsunshine

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  2. What I enjoyed the most about your review was that your voice was entirely apparent throughout the piece and that I could clearly see your personal opinion on the matter of the wage gap, making this an interesting read for more than just the statistical content. You brought up a great point about the news station not including any background information about the actual issue of the wage gap, as it seems that it would have been appropriate for them to have done so in order to provide readers with some context. I definitely see that as contributing to the problem of the wage gap and how the invisibility of the issue in the media contributes to it being placed on the back burner and being deemed an issue that requires less immediate action. Also, I definitely enjoyed that you looked at the impact the gap has on the LGBTQ community because it seems as though in movements to eradicate the wage gap entire minority groups are being overlooked.
    Lastly, I can totally resonate with your statement about being baffled that your mother will never get paid the equal amount as a man in her same position because it truly is confusing to think that someone you know as strong and independent and worthy being treated as lesser simply because of their gender, or any other aspects of them that cause them to differ from the dominant group in society. It’s a shitty realization to make, but remaining hopeful is one of the best things we can do when placed in situations like this that make us question our surroundings and society as a whole.
    Nice job!!

    – MasalaCHICKen

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  3. I really like that you make your review very personal and intimate, it helps make your arguments and points more meaningful. It’s great that you mention the LGBTQ community as they are often forgotten when someone brings up the wage, as we tend to focus on women (who are most of the times white). Also I think that discussing the societal construction and binary thinking is a wonderful way to explain how these gender beliefs start and what leads into gender inequality. The news station lack of effort put into explaining or addressing the issue makes it seem less important and shows how important the media is in spreading societal norms.It’s a horrible realization for a women that even if you work your hardest and very best you’ll never be paid as much as a man but it’s with the help from people like Kari that can help change that.
    -Secretlybatman

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  4. One of the points that you brought up that I liked is how there is also a gap in wage for trans people. It just shows that this issue is not only affecting men and women but also members of the LGBTQ community. I also like the stat that you added about how these members make 10-29% less than heterosexual men. I think it’s important to look at the bigger picture here. Excellent job on this post!
    -Mejicanluis

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