Friday, March 03, 2006

Not far enough, baby...
I went out on a limb and wrote about a more serious issue in my latest Skirt! essay. It's a good thing I have thick skin from years of rejection slips and criticism because the "Whodoyouthinkyouare?" and "Whatchootalkinbout?" letters have already started rolling in.

Before everyone who thinks the feminist revolution is over and done with gets in a big giant twist, let me say:
Yes, there are women out there who still think it is OK to bake for the office.
Yes, there are women who bake for the office and wonder why they aren't getting promoted.
Yes, there are women out there who have never asked for a raise.
Yes, there are still employers who pay female employees less and relegate them to lesser tasks simply because they are female.
Yes, women still earn about 3/4 of what a man makes for the same job, on the average.
Yes, there are still women who have never researched what they should be earning.

This goes for men and women, but especially for women: If you don't know what you're supposed to be earning, visit Salary.com or Pay-Equity.org and find out. Speak up about discriminatory or potentially disparate workplace policies. Stop fighting the stay-at-home-mom vs. working-mom fight. We all need to make sure quality childcare is available for female employees with children. Whether they want to or have to work is irrelevant.

I'm not making this up. Take a look at the most recent Fortune 500 list. Nine female CEOs. NINE out of FIVE-HUNDRED.

Who I think I am: Sick of excuses, sick of women who accept the status quo, and tired of being the only bitch in the room.

What I am talking about: Equal opportunity and fair wages. And getting your head out of your ass.

(...stepping down from soapbox now).

10 comments:

  1. I hear you cluckin' sister. Amen. (Oh wait, I'm not a strong black woman am I?) Well, anyway....please never stop being a bitch.

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  2. Nine out of 500? I am embarrassed to say that I had no idea it was so few. I don't understand it. I know many professional women and I am going to share your article with them.

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  3. Isn't "bitch" a derogation? It's only used to describe self-confident women. If a man is emphatic in the workplace, he isn't called a bitch; he's just assertive (which is always seen as a positive quality).

    Thanks for the essay and the energy. I am sick of watching my single mother marginalized in her place of work for no other reason than she does not have a penis.

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  4. CRay - you are a strong black woman in your heart.

    Matt - I love the term bitch and embrace it instead of taking offense. Stealing slurs has been a way for historically marginalized factions to take back their power. I wish more women were bitches. And thanks to you for the nice words...and for respecting your mom.

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  5. I was wondering how many of the letters you got are from women who are or have been in the work force? Are these working women who are CEOs and saying they haven't faced discrimination? Are they college students? Take it from a two income working mom who's been working full time for 15 years, it's out there for sure.
    -Thea

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  6. Not only are there just 9 women CEOs of Fortune 500s, but there were 6 in 1970--so in 36 years, we've just managed to add three more. That's pathetic.

    I'd also like to point out that in universities, where you'd like to think thoughtful policies would be carried out, the gender pay gap is huge--the higher up you go, the less women get paid compared to male colleagues. Women full professors make substantially less than men full professors. Not to mention that only about 17% of full professors nationwide are women.

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  7. THANK YOU!! And, I thought I was the only bitch in the room!

    It's nice to know there's at least one more out there...

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  8. Very well said. As a twenty four year old single female musician I've come across my share of inequality and misogyny and what scares me the most is that too many women of my age and below have a complacent attitude. Feminism is a dirty word to them and they're not prepared to face these issues. If there were more successful female role models I don't think they'd find it so hard to admit to themselves that they're not happy with what they've got and to realise that they have the ability to do something about it. So, let's get at it shall we ladies?

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  9. That's really inspiring. I'm going to check out the salary thing and see where I stand. thanks for the info.

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  10. kelly - have you seen north country with charlize theron (did i spell that right)? fantastic movie! i know...i'm a little late reading the blog, but better late than never, i guess...besides, i've been so busy running from bears that i've had no time on the internet of late :-)

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