Pay parity…

…or unfair disparity?

Poor, poor men.  Honestly, I have no idea how they manage to live through conversation upon conversation about pay parity.  It has to be tedious and frustrating, listening to us shrill women moan about the measly cents on the dollar we earn.  It is so very gracious of the men to listen and provide broad shoulders for support.  From my perspective, nothing soothes me more than a man telling me to relax about this grievous injustice.  Wait.  That’s not true.  Ideally, I would be most pacified by a broad shouldered man telling me to relax about the 77 cents on the dollar I earn while pushing my head towards his dick so I may fellate him.  Yes.  That’s the good stuff, indeed.

Oh?  You mean you’re tired of this dialogue?  You think it’s been done to death, do you?  Are you intimating that I’m beating a dead horse?  Really?  I agree that I have written about this very subject before.  I agree that it is most unfortunate that I’m writing about it again, four years later, with zero movement towards eliminating this inequity.  It must be tough having to go through life dealing with this verbal pollution when you’re trying to enjoy mindless entertainment such as The Oscars and you’re confronted with the harsh reality of what those of us with internal plumbing deal with on a daily basis.  Genuinely tough.  I should have more compassion but as it stands, I can only offer up 77% of the full 100%.  After all, that’s the disparity in my paycheck.  You pay me a 1:1, I’ll consider giving you a 1:1 but only after the same amount of time has passed.  You need to appreciate my struggle.

From my vantage point, the most frustrating thing about pay disparity is my output – my final product.  After many years of toiling away in procurement, I transitioned to consulting (I’m sooooo talented, I get paid to tell people how to do their jobs).  Now, instead of logging hours in an office and interfacing with suppliers and clinical staff, I hide in my house, interacting with Excel, three cats, one dog and a fish.  My product is an Excel monument to Rube Goldberg detailing the numerous ways hospitals can reduce spend via cost savings and utilization measures.  If you removed any traces of my name from my work and either printed it or forwarded it via email – the end user would have no idea if it had been slapped together by a man or a woman, let alone a human being.  It could have very well been calculated by those million monkeys (they are everywhere these days) and their pesky typewriters (although, those monkeys would have to be pretty fucking smart and the typewriters certainly wouldn’t cut it in the modern era).  Nonetheless, there is no way of knowing which gender did the work.

So, if there is no way of knowing which gender did the work – how and why would there be a difference in how the employee is compensated?  Yet, the probability for disparity is there.  Oh hell, it’s not a probability.  It’s definite.

Now, I’m not saying this is the case with my organization.  I’m certainly not saying this to be a sycophant, either.  After you spend x-many years in the workforce and acquire a skillset along with some wisdom, you do have certain luxuries extended to you.  If you’re not in a particular hurry to land a job, you do have the good fortune of being selective about what sort of organization you choose to work for.  I’m considerably persnickety in this regard.  Look for an organization that values diversity and you’re less likely to be on the 77:100 end of the scale.  That said, it’s not necessarily a guarantee that you’ll be 100:100, though.

As I said earlier, women haven’t made much progress with pay parity.  For some fucked up reason, no one seems to have a sense of urgency about this issue.  Bills are being rejected.  Women go to the polls each election cycle and continue to vote against their own interests again and again and again.  Younger women are so far removed from the struggle for equality that they think Affirmative Action is largely unnecessary.  Telling them that I’m older than Title IX barely resonates because they have no fucking idea what Title IX even is.  As you find yourself continuing the fight, you end up spending half the time educating the next generation about the need for the battle in the first place. Herding cats yields a better outcome.

During The Oscars, Patricia Arquette decided to use her acceptance speech for a different cause.  She felt it was important to remind us that things are still very much wrong; that women are still very much getting the short end of the stick.  And, instead of being on the receiving end of “Can I get an Amen, Sista!” people are doing what people do best:  they are taking her to the toolshed.  How dare she ruin a mental night off from reality?  How dare she challenge people with the truth?  How dare she put fancy ideas in our lady brains?  It’s bad enough that we left the kitchen and stopped making sammiches and babies.  Now, we women are being reminded that we’re not paid equally and :gasps: heaven forbid we actually do something about that!  The gall!

The issue isn’t a woman using her acceptance speech at an awards ceremony to push a political issue.  The issue certainly isn’t about a “Hollywood Liberal” telling Middle-America how to live.  The issue is what it has always been – disparate pay for equivalent output.  No individual with outdoor plumbing would tolerate that shit.  Why should we?  And to those who think this is an acceptable practice because we choose different career paths, take time off to breed or are less skilled at negotiating, I should like to ask you, in the most courteous manner possible, to go fuck yourself as uncomfortably as you possibly can.  Alternatively, go fuck yourself but only allow yourself to climax at a 77:100.

5 thoughts on “Pay parity…

  1. Absolutely love the last sentence, putting it in terms men can understand.
    I must say, Sweden doesn’t get everything right, it’s by no means perfect, and has a way to go itself with pay equity. However, I really have begun to get a kick out of seeing so many fathers out with infants and toddlers, dads hanging out, etc., etc. It actually begins to feel normal after awhile.

  2. It’s unfortunate that humans must endure suffering or unfairness in order to understand it – as opposed to simply being empathetic and rational thinkers. So, if it takes reducing a man’s pleasure to force change, so be it. Hit ’em where it hurts (or where it would be noticed most).

    As for pappaledighet… the Nordic countries do a stellar job of shaming the rest of the world. Why shouldn’t fathers have a right to paternity leave? Why shouldn’t we allow them bond with their children? Parenting isn’t solely the job of the mother. I just love telling Americans what happens elsewhere and watching the expressions form on faces. Yes, my fellow countryfolk, you should be angry.

    Hopefully, there will come a time when the plumbing is no longer an issue and we’re all treated equally horrendously. I’m far too much the realist to think that we would be treated fairly.

  3. “Editor’s” note: There is a comment in the Akismet queue. I have yet to research the IP address to determine if it’s spam or ham. Once I have a moment to verify the source, I’ll release or delete.


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