advice, feminism, feminist, gender, Ireland, misogyny, personal, sexism, strenght, Uncategorized, women

Happy Equal Pay Day, I Suppose?

A little over a month ago, we were all celebrating “Happy International Women’s Day” or some variation of that sentiment. Today, though, I doubt you’ll hear anyone exclaiming “Happy Equal Pay Day.”

Pretty obvious why, yeah?

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Just to make the point abundantly clear: equal pay still does not exist between the sexes.

Despite three decades (or thereabouts) since the Second Wave filtered down and despite two decades of the statement “Feminism is Dead” and no longer relevant, women – I reiterate – are still not receiving equal pay to men.

Indeed, many third world countries, women and children are utilized as cheap labour accumulating pitiful wages alongside their male counterparts. Those so-called first world countries, many Western capitalist states, employ this slave/sweat shop labour abroad while denying women within their borders equal opportunity or wage. The National Organisation for Women estimates that even today women continue to earn only 79C to ever man’s dollar: and maybe us feminists are knitpicking over 21C difference when so many women suffer unbearable hours, horrendous conditions and loose change as a paycheck – but maybe it’s time to consider women everywhere as equally valuable as their male counterparts – as deserving of the same respect, wage, and opportunities.

This conversation, at this late stage in feminism’s history, in this so-called enlightened era for humanity, feels like flogging a corpse. There is nothing new that I can add to this conversation, there is no shocking revelation behind the facts that we know, that we’ve known for years now: and yet we still await that ultimate change in our society. The fact that a day has been laid aside for this sentiment – for it is, only a sentiment, and not an actuality – is nothing short of a smack in the face for women everywhere: for women of colour balancing two jobs and two children at minimum wage, for the college waitress living off of tips, for the sweatshop labourer slouched over in her cage. For women everywhere.

Happy Equal Pay Day, indeed.

 

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feminism, feminist, gender, Uncategorized, women

International WORKING Women’s Day and Why that Extra Word is so Important

A want to take a brief moment to wish everyone a Happy International Women’s Day!

It’s important, today of all days, to give voices and lend ears to marginalized and invisible classes of women – be they lower on the economic scale, Latino, Black, biracial, transgendered, lesbian, bisexual or in any other position of struggle.

After all, International Women’s Day began it’s brief existence as International Working Women’s Day. Notice the important distinction there?

This celebration of women began as a celebration, specifically, of the working classes who are so frequently denied a vocal position and who are marginalized and excluded from participating in the bourgeois socio-political hierarchy of capitalist patriarchal culture (wow, that was a mouthful…).

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March 8, historically, has been a date of strike and protest for working women: in 1985 women working in a NYC textile factory protested for better pay and working conditions and their basic human rights as workers – better pay was, as is usually for women strikers a core element of this protest – in 1908 women in a similar industry went on strike in honor of their foresister’s – once again fighting for the same rights.

 

It was in 1910 that Clara Zetkin proclaimed March 8th the day for working women to celebrate their histories and continue to struggle for improved working conditions, pay and basic human rights.

 

The fact is, these women are so marginalized they have been marginalized – once again! – from their own movement.

So today, I celebrate working women everywhere.

 

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feminism, feminist, gender, misogyny, race, racism, sexism, strenght, women

Can We Have a #FairFutureNow Already?

Who doesn’t enjoy one of President Obama’s enigmatic tweets? I, certainly, do; and especially when they involve the promise of equal pay for both men and women.

Obama’s most recent (from the 8th of April) tweet backed an equal pay program on his own site Organizing for Action and calls for people to support the cause by boasting the #FairFutureNow hashtag.

Women, on average in America, earn 77 cent for every man’s dollar despite doing the same work. This discrimination has been highlighted consistently and yet no change has actually been implemented to better the situation of women.

The US Bureau of Labour Statistics (found here http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpswom2012.pdf) recorded that:

In 2012, women who were full-time wage and salary  workers had median usual weekly earnings of $691. On
average in 2012, women made about 81 percent of the  median earnings of male full-time wage and salary workers  ($854)

The report also detail the wage gaps which exist between differing race and ethnic groups in the US, highlighting that Asian women ($770 per week) and men earned more than Black (599 per week), Hispanic and Latino ($521 per week), and White ($710 per week) counterparts in 2012; while White men ($879 per week) earned 83 per cent as much as Asian ($1,055 per week).

The statistics are telling, and President Obama’s support for equal pay and an end to the wage gap is inspiring in such a prominent world figure, but the questions remains; why can’t that future be now? Why, as the images suggest, must we wait for our children for the wage gap to close and equality become an actuality.

Surely, it can’t be that hard to imagine that future now. #FairPresentNowMaybe?

 

advice, feminism, feminist, sexism, strenght, Uncategorized, writer

Beyoncé: “Gender Equality is a Myth”

Beyoncé’s music has always had a feminist quality to it; and now we’re being treated to a magazine article written by Queen B herself.

Writing as part of the Shriver Report, Beyoncé states:

We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet.

Beyoncé, moreover, calls for both men and women to strive for gender and sexual equality.

Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender.

[…]

Humanity requires both men and women, and we are equally important and need one another. So why are we viewed as less than equal? These old attitudes are drilled into us from the very beginning. We have to teach our boys the rules of equality and respect, so that as they grow up, gender equality becomes a natural way of life. And we have to teach our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible.

Read the whole of Beyoncé’s work here: http://shriverreport.org/gender-equality-is-a-myth-beyonce/

 

race, strenght

Nelson Mandela dies aged 95

Nelson Mandela, a great and inspiring world figure, a constant advocate of unity and peace, and a hero of our era, has passed away aged 95 after several years of .

The former South African president passed on peacefully in hospital, following a summer of recurring health issues and hospital visits.

This huge loss, undoubtedly, is already being felt and mourned across the world, with current president Jacob Zuma stating:

Our nation has lost its greatest son. Our people have lost a father.

“What made Nelson Mandela great was precisely what made him human. We saw in him what we seek in ourselves.”

World leaders, and peace and equality advocates alike today mourn this great loss and, I can only hope, will continue to look back on his life, practices, and beliefs as mantras worth repeating throughout the course of human history.