7 Easy Steps to End Gender Wage Gap

The Gender Wage Gap exists. Truly, it does. And you can’t just write it off (like Romney tried to) by saying women make different choices–they stay home with the kids and lose a few years of experience, or they drop out of school to start a family, or they take part time work so they can be home when school lets out. Economists have controlled for everything there is to control for–sex, age, education, majors, hours worked, full time or part time, experience, race–and women still come up about 77 cents to the dollar. (In Utah its 55 cents to the dollar. [But you know, all those wive’s incomes for one family really add up in Utah.]) So to fix this, here are 7 easy-peasy steps to end the wage gap and increase equality in the workforce.

1. End Salary Secrecy

Ever have a job where the boss tells you not to talk about your salary to other workers? Yeah, that’s because he doesn’t want you to find out that he’s paying you less than the dude next to you. If people can’t discuss what they’re paid, how will they ever know if they’re being cheated? It’s the perfect plan.

2. Raise Minimum Wage

2/3 of all people making minimum wage are female. [See Step 5]

3. Fix the Broken Career Pipeline

Get rid of the glass ceilings (women not being promoted), the glass elevators (men rocketing up the career pipeline when in a female-dominated occupation (teachers, nurses, caretakers, etc.), the sticky floors (keeping women on lower levels of jobs. Like the glass ceiling), and the glass cliff (if women do break through the glass ceiling and get promoted, that position is precarious. Such as the first pregnant women CEO–Marissa Mayer of Yahoo. Yahoo is failing, which is why she was promoted there).

4. Pass Family Leave Policies

Paid leave for things like maternity leave/paternity leave/family emergency leave

5. Increase Child Care Support

How can mothers both be in charge of the children and work all day long? It’s impossible! If only there was some sort of place that would care for other people’s kids during the day. You might even call it… Daycare! Problem is the average fee for full-time childcare for an infant exceeds 10,000 dollars a year in 16 states. The minimum wage right now of 7.25 an hour, for 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year with no vacation equals 15,080 dollars a year. Do we see the problem in math here?  [See Step 2]

6. Encourage Unionization

Jobs that are unionized offer better pay, better benefits, generally more family leave policies, have more flexibility in schedules, paths to negotiate, etc. The United States today is becoming increasingly de-unionized.

7. End occupational segregation

Still today, in 2012, there is occupational segregation. Women are still teachers, nurses, caretakers, while men are doctors, lawyers, CEO’s, politicians, etc.

There you have it. 7 simple-as-pie steps to end the wage gap between men and women and increase equality and fairness for all in the 21st century. Let’s get cracking.

Hurricane Sandy: God’s Punishment for Homosexuals

Christian religious leader John McTernan has already claimed that Hurricane Sandy is proof that “God is systematically destroying America” as political judgement on America’s “homosexual agenda”. (You know, because only America has gays. Or perhaps God only hates American gays?) But Hurricane Sandy isn’t the only homophobic storm. He claims Hurricanes Katrina and Isaac are as well.

His proof? Hurricane Isaac hit exactly seven years after Katrina, both hitting during the week of Southern Decadence in New Orleans (a gay event). But not only that, Hurricane Sandy is hitting 21 years after the “Perfect Storm,” because 21 breaks down into 7 and 3, both “perfect” numbers when relating to God (for some reason? And then when you multiply them together it makes 21 even more perfect? Don’t worry, you’re not the only lost one here.)

This isn’t the first time religious spokespeople have connected natural disasters with the LGBT community. Pat Robertson, a TV preacher, has long believed that tolerance and acceptance of gays would result in hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, terrorist bombs (really?), and “possibly a meteor.”

And I think he’s right. After all, it is a well-known fact that the meteor hit Earth during the annual T-Rex Gay Parade, and Mount
Vesuvius exploded because the Pompeiians were having an Allies Training session. Dude, this all makes sense now! Global Warming is in on it too. It’s the Earth heating up, like how a human body has a fever to kill a cold, to kill off all the infecting gays!

Doesn’t this all sound a little… Oh, what’s the word I’m looking for…. It’s not pagan, because there’s nothing wrong with that… It’s not witchery, because I wouldn’t want to insult the Sanderson Sisters…. Oh, that’s right: crazy. All of this just sounds way too crazy. I got nothing against religion, but this is too much like the Salem witch hunts, or Noah flooding the world. And god forbid we bring any actual science, like say meteorology, into this.

It’s definitely God, and definitely the homosexual agenda–due to Obama being pro-gay and everything. Because God never misses an election day.

But what an evil thing to say, especially since a lot of good people are getting hurt during this storm, gay and straight, men and women, black, orange, gray, and white people. People are struggling for their livelihoods and homes, friends and families, and this Yahoo McTernan thinks God did it to punish a select few in a wide range of people. If He were going to attack a place, why wouldn’t he attack Salt Lake City, the gayest city in the U.S.! (Yes, it’s true. More gays than Chicago, LA, or New York.) And prior hub to Governor Romney (because he doesn’t like Romney either). It seems so much more likely since Salt Lake is sitting on a fault line and everything. It wouldn’t take very much to start a damn good earthquake. But no, clearly hurricane is the way to go.

Binders Full of Women for Everyone!

To those who don’t know what Romney said during the presidential debate, here is the video with his exact words just for you. It’s only two and a half minutes long: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX_AN4w3da8

When the woman asked what the president was going to do about inequality in the workplace, the continuing problem of Equal Pay for Equal Work, Obama gave a pretty decent answer in my opinion. Romney, however, well… we all know how that went down.

Problem number one: he didn’t answer the question. He used the entire time allotted to talk about how he was such a great guy and went around collecting binders full of women candidates for the job opening when he didn’t have to, when it was inconvenient for him. 

Thank you, Romney. You’re such a saint.

I completely support recognizing the gap between the sexes during promotion and hiring time. And if every business man was a gender-conscious as Romney claims himself to be, then people and businesses across America would profit greatly.

But the words he used made it sound as if he was single-handedly responsible for giving all these women the chance of their life. Oh, how socially-aware he is. How kind. How elevated.

The problem with Romney’s plan to increase equality in the workplace is that he has no plan. No plan at all. Romney’s exact words are:

“We’re going to have to have employers in the new economy, in the economy I’m going to bring into play, that are going to be so anxious to get good workers they’re going to be anxious to hire women.”

He’s going to increase business, and the business owners will be so happy and so busy that they’ll just magically hire women? Really? Because that happens all the time, right? Maybe we should all have binders full of women to carry around and be enlightened.

What’s more, he generalized women workers to be working mothers. Women need flexible schedules because they have young children. Because they need to be there when they come home. Because their husband/partner obviously can’t take on the traditional mother role and cook dinner for the entire family and she needs to be there. 

And while a lot of women do need flexible hours because the traditional role of mother still falls onto women to be there when the kids get home and to cook dinner, even if Romney’s magical business plan to boost the economy works (which it probably won’t because he thinks trickle down economics are a good idea), even if businesses suddenly boom and grow and need new workers, there’s no plan in place to stop discrimination against women/mothers in the workplace. There’s no plan in place to enforce Equal Pay for Equal Work. There’s no fire under anyone’s butt to make employers allow flexible hours for mothers who do need to be home when the kids come home from school.