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.