I wanted to address the definition of feminism but I have been hearing a lot of discussion about equal pay lately and now with the Miss USA Pagent, and Miss Utah’s Q&A portion going viral… well the topic is at the forefront of my mind.
I think the first thing that should be acknowledged is that this year is the 50th anniversary of the passing of the Equal Pay Act. Cheers to that! However, in 1963 when the act was passed women made 56 cents to every man’s dollar and today women are still only making 77 cents. One of my favorite jokes is by Bo Burnham in which he says that’s not right, it isnt fair… the man’s only left with 30 cents!
“Mind the Gap” goes feminist. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
But in all seriousness I have recieved a few responses that women don’t see the issue here. For various reasons, on woman said that she didnt really care about money. “If I can make enough money to support myself, why should it matter whether I make as much as a man?” And I think that is a good question. If you don’t feel like you should care than I guess you shouldn’t. But I would challenge you to think of the message. The message that is sent when a woman with the exact same experience and qualifications is offered less money for a position than a man is that time old standard that WOMEN ARE INFERIOR TO MEN> and in most cases it isn’t true. Why should I spend 30% more of my time working to make the same amount as someone else… I could spend that time doing something else!
Another female friend of mine stated that she thought women have come far enough and that we “shouldn’t be greedy”… I had to hold back my feminist friends from instantly attacking! And I see where she is coming from. Especially when you work in a lower level service job, it is hard to see the payment gap. And I am sorry to say that also comes with a lack of education. And time and time again I hear the same excuse or disclaimer when I ask a question about feminism: “well I havent really learned that much about it…but” or “This is an un-educated opinion…but”
WHY LADIES? Stop thinking that this doesnt concern you because it does. The fact that you are allowed the choice to learn about feminism and make a choice about feminist issues is BECAUSE of feminism. Because of that little right to vote that we take for granted.
Miss utah (Photo credit: beratus)
When it comes to Miss Utah, I think that Powell needs to be given a little bit of slack because she was on national television in front of thousands in a live audience and that shit is SCURRY. And lesbian-est she is not the first pageant girl to mess up a question, and she won’t be the last… However, her winning smile did not hide the fact that she was CLEARLY uneducated on the issue and had no opinion on it. And as a woman I think that is unacceptable. Especially in a world where women are typecast and judged for their looks, the Q&A is the most important part. And that question is something every woman should have an answer to.
If you don’t care about equal pay, if you don’t care about feminism you should know WHY. You should make an informed decision as to why you think that this issue does or does not matter and take the time to learn what feminism IS beyond that of the flannel wearing, man hating stereotype of the “Riot Grrl” movement, that even most strident feminists don’t believe in.
I will post the pageant video below and you can decide for yourself. And while you are in your thinking box, let me know: Do YOU think equal pay still matters. Is it the money or the principal…
Here is the video link. She may have disgraced feminism a tiny bit… as well as proper grammar, but I can’t curl my extensions that way so I think we both have a few things to learn… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDcn6zIHzQg