We Can Do It!

Just last night we were talking about gender equality with our kids. (Because we do that when we're not singing the Diarrhea Song.) We were talking about what women get paid compared to men. Gomer announced, "Adolpha, when we're older I'll make more money than you, because I'm a boy."

My little feminist, Adolpha, was highly offended. "You will not! I will make as much money as you, Gomer!"

"Nope. Mom told me. Ladies make less than men even when they do the same job. It sucks, but that's the way it is."

"Hold on, Gomer," I said. "I did tell you that and I did say it sucked, but I also said we have to try and fix it. Do you remember that part?"

"Oh yeah," Gomer said. "I forgot."

"You forgot, because it doesn't affect you - yet. It will when you have a wife and a daughter who want to earn as much money as a man."

"Yeah, Gomer!" Adolpha said. "We want as much money as you."

"You keep telling me you're going to own your own company some day, Gomer. You better make sure you pay your female employees as much as you pay your male employees for the same job."

"I will," he said. But I could tell he didn't mean it. That kid is going to require some more work before he really understands.

Maybe these numbers could help him:

For the fourth year in a row 4.4% of Fortune 500 CEOs were female. (Source: Catalyst.org, 2014)

Women earn an average of 77 cents on the dollar compared to men - unless they have a master's, then it's even less. (Source: MSNBC, 2014)

Imagine my surprise this morning when I woke up and found that Beyonce had released an essay over night talking about the same thing!  She's part of The Shriver Report and you can download the whole book for free (which I just did).

I've been known to give Beyonce a little crap here and there on this blog, but today is all about praise. She had me as soon she wrote "We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn't a reality yet." I love this essay so much. I love that she's using her super powers for good and helping to spread the word so that her little Blue Ivy and my Adolpha will have the same opportunities as Gomer someday.

I hope that by the time my kids are grown the gender equality gap will be narrowing. However, I'm not sure it will make a lot of difference in what my kids earn at their jobs. After all, Gomer has plans to go to Harvard and start his own business, while Adolpha dreams of being a professional dog walker. Now I must convince Adolpha to turn that dog walking business into a Fortune 500 company and add one more female CEO to the list and we're all set. I have a lot of work to do if I don't want that girl living in my basement for the rest of my life!

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Anonymous said...

Actually, if Adolpha to turn that dog walking business into a Fortune 500 company, I would suggest you take up a room in HER basement. Early retirement and a life of leisure, perhaps?

And if she's hiring, please let me know.

Until then I will continue to petition Beyonce and Jay-Z to adopt me as their own while slaving away at my desk. I'm even willing to switch my name to "Green Moss" or "Violet Vine" to fit in with Blue Ivy.

Anonymous said...

TYPO: "if Adolpha TURNS..."

(I'm putting myself in time out. Carry on.)

Unknown said...

Great post and I totally agree. One thing to add...I think gender equality at home has to be discussed as much as gender equality at the workplace. If a woman is still expected to do a job and do the majority of child rearing and home care, it's no wonder they can't, or choose not to, put as much into their job. I am very lucky to have a husband whom I'm able to split home duties and child care with relatively 50/50 - but I know if it wasn't like this that there is no way I'd be where I am in my career right now.

Tazi Kat said...

So true...it seems that people in general (including women) don't care about gender inequality until it affects them. In today's Providence (RI) Journal there is a commentary on Title IX...and on FB the boys are bitching that women are taking from them unfairly. Funny how they did not complain when things were unfair towards women!

Jenna said...

There's another side to this gender equality issue that Gomer needs to realize (and other men, too). That is that while women are paid less than men for the same job they are favored for getting those jobs. Companies would rather pay less to the woman than to hire a man with the same qualifications and pay him more. Put a man and a woman with the same qualifications in the same race for a job and see who gets it. I've watched this for years as my husband has gone job hunting. They'll hire me before him and he's the better worker.

LA Botchar said...

I fear it's my son that will still be living in my basement. My girls seem to have all the drive and ambition. The two of them could probably rule the world - it's scary really. Then they'd probably hire their brother to be the janitor at their Fortune 500 company.

and, I'm not really all that upset about this. hhhmmm....

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