Extra! Extra! More on the Wage Gap!

I earlier briefly discussed what the wage gap is. To contextualize it, i found a few political cartoons that help you understand it.

retrieved from http://leftycartoons.com/
retrieved from http://leftycartoons.com/

This first cartoon I enjoyed specifically because the problem of assertive women being considered a bitch isn’t just a problem in the work place. I find a huge problem with this double standard of men being expected to be assertive and sometimes argumentative. If women do they’re a bitch. The tradition idea of women is that they are submissive and don’t object to their male counterparts. It’s very unfortunate that because if you, as a woman, break out of that mold, if you are independent and stand up for yourself, it’s considered a bad thing.

retrieved from: http://leftycartoons.com/
retrieved from: http://leftycartoons.com/

This cartoon really sold it for me because it refers to the double edged sword women face when entering the workforce while having a family. Women are usually expected to care for the children when they’re sick (Not true in all cases, there are many dads who leave work to care for their children– kudos to them), women are expected to care for older relatives when they get old and need being cared for, and women give birth to little ones. Sadly the US is really behind on provided family and maternity leave to both men and women who are in the work force. And while men too are the victims to the lack of enforcement of the Family and Medical Leave Act, a lot of the burden falls on women to take the unpaid leave due to the expectation to follow gender role norms. So women who choose to have a career are forced to choose: be a career woman, leaving someone else to care for kids and relatives (and be perceived as a bad mother) or sacrifice your career to take care of those you love.

Recently today, in honor of Equal Pay Day, Obama signed an executive order that prohibited the pay discrimination of female federal contractor employees. While this is a good first step it does not go far enough– in order to have equal pay, we need enforcement of all government employees (state and federal) as well as all private sector employees to paid equally regardless of their gender.

What do you think?



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