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“It’s our time to have wage equality”

One of the biggest struggles women still face in today’s society is adversity in the workplace. To be a feminist is not just to be a stereotype, but  to follow a way of life and have a strong belief that women and men should have complete equality. 
Women have fought for years to attain the same rights as men when it comes to equal wage, promotions and benefits through their jobs. It is disgraceful for two people with the same knowledge and capabilities who perform at the same level to be unequal based on gender.
Gender discrimination in the workplace occurs in many different forms. Women are often stereotyped as the weaker beings. Men make excuses about women; Such as, women are too emotional because of their cycles, women receive “better” benefits because by law they’re granted maternity leave or women could never be as qualified as men. All these statements stem from fear that women can succeed over men. It is time for women to make the stand and abolish wage discrimination.
The American Association of University Women’s website offers powerful statistics concerning wage gaps among genders, and race of genders. AAUW also gives state-by-state information on which states have the largest pay gap between men and women. Backed by the U.S. Census Bureau in September of 2014, Tennessee has the 12th lowest pay gap out of the states. Women have a median salary that is 83 percent of the median salary of a man with the exact same experience.
According to AAUW, “Median earnings for men in Tennessee were $41,493 compared to women’s median earnings of $34,301.” The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1963 to prevent wage discrimination. More than 50 years sinse the passing of this law, it seems redundant that wages continually fluctuate when it was passed so long ago. A change needs to be made. Women and men deserve equality.
APSU President Alicia White expressed her feelings towards wage discrimination. “I cannot think of any situation in which an employee’s salary should be based on his or her gender,” White said.
Regardless of positions male or females hold, if they are equally qualified, wage should be  equal.
Being a woman in our society means that there are many prejudices to face, but women also have many voices to advocate for them. The 21st century has been the time when woman have come together to improve what many women did before us. Those who fought from the 1840s to present have shaped and brought women far from the extreme inequality they faced. 
Women, such as Barbara Walters, Oprah Winfrey and Hilary Clinton, who hold high positions in male-driven environments have struggled, but also flourished in their careers. These women demand equal pay and have even surpassed their male counterparts in some aspects of their careers. 
Patricia Arquette’s acceptance speech at the Academy Awards Oscar ceremony made many feminists jump for joy. “To every woman who gave birth, to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s equal rights. Its our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America,” said Arquette. Hilary Clinton supported Arquette saying to Time,  “I think we all cheered at Arquette’s speech at the Oscars, because she’s right: Its time to have wage equality.” With voices like this, women will surely gain the equality they deserve sooner rather than later. 
Not only does the women’s rights cause have female supporters, but also males. Barack Obama, a supporter of equal pay, made the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act a law in 2009. The law allows women to file lawsuit against employers for up to six months after receiving an unfair paycheck. “Too often women can’t access the information they need to fight the pay discrimination,” Obama said. “Women can’t wait for equal pay. And I won’t stop fighting to address this inequality.” 
Women need the backing of fellow males to support the cause. Without male involvement the problem will exist indefinitely. “I believe that if a man and a woman have the same position they should both should be paid equally despite their gender,” said senior broadcasting major, Mickey Springer.
Male and female feminists need to band together and fight for one another. Research and awareness are the weapons all feminists can carry in their arsenal to become better activists. Choosing to stand for wage equality helps women all over the world. This is the time to stand up and demand equal payment in the workplace.

About Courtney Diggs, Features Editor

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3 comments

  1. Completely agree its time for gender equality in the workplace. In practical terms is hard to do much about it but there’s a company review site where women can anonymously review their employers: https://fairygodboss.com. If enough women tell it like it is about their office work environments, the best (and worst) companies will be forced to acknowledge /change.

  2. Six months after I, a man, was hired into a company in the mid-1960s, in the “Mad Men” era, another man was hired to do the exact same thing — at a higher salary than mine at the time.

    The company had a policy of salary confidentiality. (When the boss is away, some workers discuss their salaries despite the policy.) The policy’s purpose was to enable employers to woo from other companies prospective employees who the company thought would be star performers.

    Benefits, too, can vary in the same company. In the early ’70s, when I had a road job, I overheard a co-worker, who held the exact same position I held, say he’d received a bump in his gas allowance. I asked, “How come I didn’t get it?” “You have to ask for it,” he said. I did, and I got it.

    What women will find out, if salary secrecy is banned, is that they make more than some men, and some men make less than some other men — all doing the exact same work right next to each other, elbow to elbow.

    Women also need to be aware of such non-gender-based disparities as this: “Professors are also looking for more pay equity, Boone said, noting new hires are often paid more than their veteran peers.” http://www.fresnobee.com/2014/10/08/4167844/fresno-state-professors-call-for.html#storylink=cpy

    Here’s what women’s advocates don’t want anyone to know about women, men, and the wage gap:

    In general, women not only live longer and enjoy better health than men, who die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death, they also control most of consumer spending and most of the nation’s wealth. Soon they will control even more.

    “Over the next decade, women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.” -http://www.she-conomy.com/facts-on-women

    Does this sound like the oppressed group — the longer-living, healthier, wealthier group — that Obama and the Democrats would have you believe women are?

    Regarding women’s “77 cents to men’s dollar for the same work,” I suspect that many if not most of pay-equity advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who’d hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it. Or who’d move their business to a cheap-labor country to save money. Or replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason. So why do these same advocates think employers would NOT hire only women if, as they say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?

    Here’s one of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less while getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:

    “In 2011, 22% of male physicians and 44% of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7% of men and 29% of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.” ama-assn.org/amednews/2012/03/26/bil10326.htm

    A thousand laws won’t close that gap.

    See why in: “Why the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Hasn’t Helped Women” http://malemattersusa.wordpress.com/2011/12/03/will-the-ledbetter-fair-pay-act-help-women/

  3. Too lazy, didn’t read