What Women Need

Women’s wage inequality is an issue that should not be on the rise.

Gender inequality in the work place is a sensitive issue that requires more attention from individuals and the media as a whole.

Although the feminist movement began in the mid-1960s, there is still a need for feminist’s to stand up for their gender, now more than ever. It is no secret that nationwide women make significantly less money (on average) for the exact same positions as men do.

Something about that does not sit well with the female and equal opportunity supporting community. Gender bias remains a cause for concern even after a quarter century of volume from feminists and activists.

The media often portrays the working woman in a seemingly accurate and respectful light. They are the mom’s on “pizza snack” commercials; they are the late guest at a birthday party. The way the media portrays the “working woman” is sexist.

What I get from these images is that a woman cannot be completely successful in all her endeavors when she is a dedicated career driven woman.

Something always has to be done half-assed.

This is usually advertised as family and relationships. As people, we are often influenced by the things we see and hear. In a interview, the interviewer may very well be affected subconsciously by this typical media representation of the “working woman”.

Although we’ve come a long way in the fight for women’s equal rights, there stands to be a sub-culture of people trying to drag them back to the kitchen. And this is expressed through television commercials, magazine articles, and in the actual work place.

According to the book, Men and Women’s Consciousness of inequality: Austria, West Germany, Great Britain, and the United States, a lot of our conditioning towards women in the workplace as a whole has a great deal to do with socio economic status, such as, race, education, and age.

Due to the centuries of gender bias conditioning, it is apparent that a certain level of discrimination towards women at work is taking place. Studies published as recently as last week indicate that a woman with the same educational background as a man will earn a lower wage.

Unfortunately, the issue of women making less money than men goes deeper. White women make more than women of a different ethnic background.

In 1996, a study was published in the book, Latina’s and African American Women in the U.S Labor Market, by Irene Browne. This study included the wages of men and women from different ethnicities from the year 1926-1996. According to this study, there has been little progress in the sixty years that it covers.

In 1989 a black women made about 21,890 for the same job that a white man made 37,456 for. And that was only 24 years ago. That is atrocious, and the only reason is the overbearing power white privilege in today’s society and the discrimination of ethnically diverse women.

With that information presented, it is increasingly hard to fully understand the reasoning for this difference in earnings from one gender and race to another.

Take into account that women have not been a part of the “work-force” for as long as men have, but as a gender we fought for that. The precision and diligence displayed by women in and of itself is a cause for equality. Yet still in present times, women experience this discrimination daily.

We are aware of the sexual pressure put on women in the professional world. It is no secret that in general, the more sexually attractive women receive more “respect”, in the workplace. Whether it is addressed or not, the issue stands that in the work place, women are sexually objectified.

In the fascinating and in depth article, Secretaries Talk: Sexuality, Power, and Work, women intimately share the details of how the have been treated in the office environments, and many of their personal stories are nearly unbelievable.

A woman getting a raise or promotion because a sexual encounter with a superior is a commonly used joke in sitcoms and the like, but in reality, as stated by many of the women in Secretaries Talk: Sexuality, Power, and Work, it is a reality that is not humorous and degrading.

“HE’S getting married. He’ll get more settled. SHE’S getting married. She’ll get pregnant and leave.” (Gardenswartz and Rowe, 1994).  That was just a part of the quote, but these thoughts are a reality.

When you see a commercial on television of a child needing something, the parent they ask for is the mother. This sort of advertising clings to the subconscious, and people are conditioned to perceive that as the norm.

When a couple starts a family together, the caretaker role is immediately assumed to be the female. In reaction to this, employers assume that when a female employee is pregnant, she will either become a liability for time off needed, or become another position that needs to be filled.

For as long as women are sexually objectified in the media, their worth will be measured on a scale of the same meter.

In today’s world women are expected to become educated and work, yet they are still treated as the people who should be raising children or wearing lingerie. That’s a harsh way to word it, but it’s an ugly truth.

These vastly different ideals for the average woman’s path in life are consistent variables for the difference in wage from men to women. Essentially, as long as ideas about gender roles prevail over equality, the inequality of our working women will remain a problem for individuals and families across the nation.

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