Hi, I’m Sam. I’m what some may consider a rebel. I like to press the edges of reform when it comes to different social issues. I’m going to lay some tough information on you so bear with me. We all grow up hearing that America is the place of equal opportunity, where you can become what ever you want as long as you work for it. I’m sorry to burst the bubble of every starry eyed child, but it’s not true. There are institution and structural barriers that prevent everyone from having that “equal opportunity” and allow certain groups of people to become privileged within the system.
So I guess you’re wondering what does that have to do with this blog. Well, my goal is to share information on how women specifically are disadvantaged in American Political Culture. Most likely there will be references to other groups, such as racial and ethnic groups, the LGTB community, those with mental and/or physical disabilities, etc.
So to get us started off: let’s go back to the idea of how America the land of equal opportunity. Today I’m going to talk about one of the reasons women are at a disadvantage: the wage gap. Women are unable to get equal pay for equal work. Now sadly, many don’t believe that the wage gap exists. Studies shows the wage gap starts right after college. So female college students, now not only do you have to worry about a finding a job (in a terrible economy) but unfortunately you wont make as much as men with the same education and experience who are in the same position as you. Personally, as a woman who will have to face this it makes me upset that even if I’m as qualified as a man, I can’t make as much as him just because I have lady parts. This wage gap is also really detrimental for families where the women is the bread winner and makes the majority (if not all) the income for the household. The Equal Pay Act was signed into law by President Kennedy in 1963. While it did help with some of the pay gap it still is a problem. Earlier this year, the Paycheck Fairness Act was proposed and then killed in both the House and the Senate, being blocked by the GOP and those who don’t believe the wage gap exists; this is the second time the bill wasn’t passed (it was proposed in 2009 as well). This bill would have updated the 50 year old Equal Pay Act, getting rid of red tape and loopholes, help track unfair payment practices, increase penalties for payment violations and much more.
There are a couple of reasons I wanted to start off with this issue. First, I attend a school where there is disproportionately more females than males and I would hope that they are aware of this sort of issues that they will be facing in the next couple years and hopefully we can start doing something about it like start writing letters to our congressional representatives telling them we want this passed to better our future and to help those who are already at a disadvantage (which would probably be helpful since I go to school in a pretty conservative state). Second, this is an issue that affects more than just women. It affects the children of single mothers or homes where the mother is the primary source of income for whatever reason. It affects husbands or significant others who may have to find higher paying jobs that may not be as preferable in order to make up for loss income. It is a family issue. It also is an issue of fairness and equal opportunity. I thought this issue would be an easy introduction into the many issues that women have in today’s political culture. This blog is not about bashing males and whatever privilege they may have. My goal is to bring awareness to different issues that men and women both can advocate to change.
Thanks for reading,