Deja vu all over again

Australia
August 1, 2012 3:37am CST
In my early 20s, back in the 1960s, I was a typical young male, socialised to believe in the gendered division of labour and that women were put here for our use. Then I became aware that a woman, doing precisely the same job as a man, got paid significantly less and missed out on many benefits, such as superannuation. Now I was born with an over-developed sense of justice, and this infuriated me, so I started listening to the other things feminists were saying and ended up a firm supporter of the Women's Movement. Yesterday, some 45 years after that awakening, I heard a radio panel show discussing the fact that women in the same jobs here in some areas of endeavour are still paid 75% of men's wages for the same work. What has changed? I am once again infuriated. Has the women's movement really had any significant effect, other than some window dressing like female ordination, on the way society treats women? What can and should be done now about it? Lash
3 people like this
10 responses
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
1 Aug 12
Sadly this is true. There are some exceptions like the Gina Reinhardt's of this world, but most women do not get equal treatment in the world today. We in Australia and most other Western countries are better than most of the Eastern and Middle Eastern countries though so at least that is something, but it is still not good enough. Where it really stands out as being visible is in sports. Mens sports attract far bigger corporate dollars so male athletes get to be paid a lot more than female sports do. It is visible for all to see in sports, but the same mentality sadly flows right through society. I have no idea how to fix this. It would most likely take generations for the mindset to change, but as you say, we have had generations and have still not progressed far enough. Maybe good old Julia can fix it!
1 person likes this
• Australia
1 Aug 12
If she survives the probably sexist knife attacks from the men in her own party. Lash
@RawBill1 (8542)
• Gold Coast, Australia
1 Aug 12
Sexism in politics? No, that would never happen!
• Australia
1 Aug 12
Joan Kirner, Carmen Laurence, and Cheryll Kernot might not appreciate the irony, Bill. It's one thing to watch Neanderthal Tony having a go, but half her own cabinet has it in for Julia, and as for that troglodyte Laurie Oakes ...... Lash
1 person likes this
@vandana7 (67540)
• India
1 Aug 12
Hello grandpa_lash..:) Nice thought. Out here too it is the same. There may have been some logic to that sir.. I mean initially nobody must have thought of single mothers, divorcees. So when women got less pay it was because they use it for clothes and cosmetics rather than family, unlike the men who paid for kids eductaion, and running home, and mortgages and insurances, etc. Agreed such logics no longer hold water, but there are ample women who need not earn but earn for the sake of earning and ambition when that job could go to somebody else who genuinely needs it. Unlike them, men cannot evade the responsibilities of their families. I think there should be a limit..I mean..we need only so much for our food, clothing, shelter, medicines, and travel. Beyond that, it is just bank balance and baubles. Right? Or may be I am frugal variety..and a content one. :)
@AidaLily (1450)
• United States
1 Aug 12
It depends on what or where you are looking at. I live in the U.S. for example... Men can evade the responsibilities of their families should they so choose. It is also assuming that women who work today do not need the money should they be married or in a stable relationship with a dominate working partner. My husband works and I tend to save money and literally hate spending it on myself. However, I plan to work and there are many other factors involved. It is not just "frivolous" spending as one may think it is though I am sure that many people do just throw away money as I like to believe. I look at it as empowerment and some women hate being housewives. If you have children though, both parents working and can help to pay for more opportunities for the children. I have two children and that is how I see it. If women made as much as men in some places then it might be easier. Not everyone is going to marry someone with a fantastic job. In America... there are only select places where women do make more than men but there are still a lot of gaps in pay for much of the same work.
• Australia
2 Aug 12
vandana, my take on feminism is that it is about a woman's right to make her own choices, and that includes the choice to be a traditional houswife without getting dumped on by the Sisterhood. But those who do not choose this, as a matter of natural justice should be given equal opportunity, equal pay, and equal consideration. Lash
@vandana7 (67540)
• India
2 Aug 12
I am fine with empowerment, equal earnings. But when equal opportunities are concerned, I think the person who needs that job more - male or female - gets priority in my eyes. I know of college students here who use the so called lists supplied by charitable institutions to collect donations for old age homes and orphanages. Their cut is 20 percent of that. It gets spent on pubs and perfumes. It hurts when money given by us flows in a direction it should not. Likewise, I know of many women who can sit at home and not feel the pinch for food, clothing, shelter, medicines, and travel. Still they work because they need time pass. There are million different ways to do time pass. How about some social work? Oh no, the time pass should be monetarily rewarding so that they can use the monies to buy some gold or spend it in gambling or on lavish parties and functions. I am not communist by nature..dont get me wrong. I just feel that when unemployment rates are high, and there are people who are struggling to make the two ends meet, then women who dont really need that job should let go of them and be true women. They may resume their careers if they so wish after recessions cease, or their partner stops earning or they are facing any financial problems. People I know have wealth that will last two generations! And such people pay paltry sums to maids too, instead of letting the monies they earn percolate. Women get addicted to making money and hoarding it or spending it on "frivolous" stuff..lol. Men dont exhibit similar tendencies and so what they spend on really moves the economy, creates employment. @grandpa_lash..somewhere god gave us different set of duties na. I mean women need maternity leave and all that. Men are not entitled to such things, isn't it? So where is the equality anyway? Even by nature we are different. A woman resuming the duty after the child's birth is likely to show lower level of concentration in her work because of inadequate rest and worry about the child. That wont happen in the case of men. Some professions are hard for women. In short, my call is, women should work only if necessary otherwise they may not be doing their best, and I am fine with slightly lower pay because I accept that I will have my failings due to other duties interfering with my official performance. If we work as good or better than men, then and then only, we should get equal pay. That, incidentally, in my 25 odd years of regular service, was very very rare..women are sincere but not as fast or as efficient as men. Output is generally lower. I am just being honest grandpa_lash. :)
@thezone (9451)
• Ireland
1 Aug 12
I guess you are not watching the women's volleyball
• Australia
1 Aug 12
Is that significant in the liberation of women? Lash
• Mexico
2 Aug 12
Happens everyday here in Mexico. Nothing has changed since my dad was alittle one here. Most of the world is the same I guess.
@thezone (9451)
• Ireland
2 Aug 12
I am sure it is and thanks stowyk
@celticeagle (119823)
• Boise, Idaho
2 Aug 12
I think I have an over developed sense of justice also. I am female by the way. Not much has changed in the financial arena for women. The women's movement has helped alittle. We did get the vote and we do get leave to have our babies. Afew things like that which has helped. I think that what should be done about this is to continue fighting and showing men that we can do the job and have the intelligence and fortitude to do what needs to be done in the work place. There are women in high places and that never would have happened back at the turn of the last century. This last century turn saw some change and that is good it just needs to keep on happening.
• Australia
2 Aug 12
It seems to be mainly window-dressing, and a few exceptional women get to be tokens for the others to emulate. It's a bit like the idea that everyone can get rich in America, but I don't see any rush of billionaires happening. Lash
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (119823)
• Boise, Idaho
2 Aug 12
Emulating someone great isn't a bad thing. There are afew women who are billionaires. I was just watching a murder mystery doc lastnight about a guy who was working as a research writer for Forbes in Russia. He was murdered for knowing too much and one of the people they thought might have done it was a female billionaire. So it does happen. Just not always here in the US.
• United States
2 Aug 12
i like how the title is a Yogi Bear quote
• Australia
2 Aug 12
Who? Lash
@deazil (4547)
• United States
1 Aug 12
Back in the 60's (late) I was part of that Women's Movement. Gloria Steinem was my idol. Our anthem was the song "I Am Woman" co-written and sung by Helen Reddy. Do you remember that song? We did get something from it. Possibly not nearly enough. Women now get paid maternity leave. Isn't that -special-? But on the other hand, some things may have gone too far. I have a friend who has been yelled at for holding a door for a woman. But he lives in the liberal heartland of America - Northampton, Ma. There are still injustices being done, the difference is that now everybody wants to jump on the bandwagon and scream "Me too! Me too!" There are so many different groups claiming how unfairly they're being treated that the women's issues kind of got lost in the shuffle. But, grandpa, thanks for trying to help. :-). I can respect a man who is concerned about women's issues. Frankly, too many men (and even some women) just don't give a damn. Uh, can I say that in here? Disclaimer: I am in NO WAY trying to minimize injustices being done to any other group or individual person. There are many more now than in the 60's and maybe rightly so. I do not dispute that. I'm merely making a point. And I am not male bashing.
• Australia
1 Aug 12
Being an Aussie of that generation, I'd be drummed out of the polity if I didn't remember Ms Reddy and her song lol. And for years I lusted after Germaine, although I suspect she'd have eaten me for breakfast, her intellect is intimidating. But for an issue that's been around now for over 150 years, the progress seems very slow. We Aussies were among the first to give women the franchise, and yet we are still as far behind as any other Western country. J. S. Mill would be turning in his grave. Ms Pankhurst would probably just be girding up her loins. Lash
• United States
25 Aug 12
I'm on the other side to a point. I say if you change the title of the job , they can pay less. Back in the day they were firemen not firefighters. So I would say if a woman wanted to be a fireman , she should get the same pay as the guys. But now they all are firefighters so they All should get paid the same. Let's face it the only two professions a woman gets paid more than a man are Model and call girl. Why? There are more women in the industry. maybe this will end when there is more women than men. Who knows!
• United States
7 Aug 12
As I mentioned in a previous response, I don't think that there will be true equality until both men and women view both genders as equals. I see and hear all too often women that state that women cannot do this and that because they are physically weaker than men or do not think in the same way as men or are more emotional and not as logical as men. I find it appalling when I hear men say these things, but I find it far more offensive when I hear women say them, because it is just reinforcing that stereo-type and supporting the inequality. I also think that lowering standards to allow women to compete in things (sports, jobs, etc.) is offensive, because it is again perpetuating the idea that women are less than men. If only one woman can pass the physical tests and other requirements necessary to be a firefighter, for example, then she should be hired as long as her qualifications are the same as her male counterparts. If fifty women can pass, then they all should be considered for employment just as all the males that pass - there should not be a lower standard just to allow more women to be hired for a job.
@JenInTN (27565)
• United States
3 Aug 12
That glass ceiling does seem to remain pretty strong. I think that there have been significant improvements, but the issue is still far from fixed within the very culture of our existence. There are still huge gender divisions and it continues to be supported in every thing we are exposed to from birth. The thing is that there is confusion within the roles of woman now and it includes a new..well..not so new...compounded role. It's a role that includes all the past gender expectations plus the ones that have been "allowed" us. There has been no changing or replacing..it has been additions. As far as the pay..yes. We did this market value thing at work to even out the performance/raise/title. It splits the level of pay you are in to 4 percentiles. I have been doing this for a while and have been quite successful; been with the company for 14 years. I am in the 1st percentile, nowhere near market value. It is the highest paying company in the area. I don't know what it is going to take to overcome it. Changing culture is an almost impossible challenge.
@sid556 (31005)
• United States
1 Aug 12
Hi Grandpa, I honestly don't know how much has really really changed. I was about 11 when the Women's movement was in full swing. My father was very much for it. he strongly believed in women's equality and also respect for women. Back then, women were expected to stay home and raise the kids, keep up with the house etc. The roles were very clearly defined. Suddenly, women did become less subservant to men and more women than ever were in the workforce and demanding equal pay. I do think that in most job places, women do get that. I'm sad to hear that there are still problems in that area. I also have seen the men's role change drastically from those days. Some is good and some not so good. With the Womens movement, a lot changes both good and bad have happened.