Monday, April 30, 2007

Outrage of the Week

No “Girls” Left Behind

What on earth is wrong with me? How could I not like an editorial titled “Women Deserve Equity?” Similar to the flawed law with the beautiful name, No Child Left Behind, the editorial espouses great things in its name. But, as with everything, the devil really is in the details. Published in the New London Day last week, the article cannot be linked. Rest assured, I’ll be judicious in my synopsis and dish out the good and the bad.

The editorial is about research recently released regarding the gap in pay earned by women and men, currently 77 cents to the dollar. The opinion piece is both informative and clear, stating that the disparity (and the rate of improvement) is “insulting… disappointment… and unfair.” One would think this is the honorable position to take; it is.

What bothers me is the short-sighted solution offered by the editorial. On my first reading, I was outraged at the end of the article. I looked forward to the subsequent days that would surely bring the barrage of women that take issue with the piece in the Letters to the Editor. Saturday. Sunday. Monday. Not one letter. Anyone besides me outraged? Nope.

So I did the fair thing; I revisited the text. After all, we women can be irrational, right? I read it three times. Still outraged. However, I guess no one else seemed to mind this "solution" offered by the editorial staff of my local paper:

A two-prong attack on the problem is warranted.
Women should be encouraged to move into male-dominated professions, such as engineering and finance. And women must learn to negotiate for better positions and salaries.
But there is only so much that women can do. Men who hold the reins of power in business and industry need to be cognizant of the disparity, and move to erase it. Equal pay for equal work is a necessity.
- The New London Day, 4/27/07

Oh- that’s all? How wise- how all-knowing- and especially, how good of you to help us. Thanks so much for solving the problem.

Can we honestly assume that the problem can be sufficiently addressed with such a simplistic “two-pronged” attack? Are we supposed to believe that there are a plethora of female dominated professions for women to run from? Poor negotiating tactics are our most pressing flaw? And yes, like the deus ex machina in a Greek tragedy, the all powerful MEN will be our “cognizant” and benevolent saviors? As I said, thanks so much for solving (and explaining) the problem.

I guess I didn’t understand it all when the conductor of the career train pointed me to the girls’ platform and punched my ticket for the Mommy Track. When I do go back into the workforce, I’ll be sure to negotiate my way into an engineering position and click my little red heels while I wait for the “men who hold the reins of power” to save me because, after all, "there is only so much that women can do."

This is when I think that even if she is not my favorite candidate, Hillary better beat the pants off of her opponents so the paradigm in this country starts to shift. Remember, no one (besides me) was apparently bothered by this article. Run Hill, Run!



AA said...

The Day is notorious for their take on women. Like that idiot columnist who focused on why she doesn't like women breastfeeding in public. So what are nursing mothers to do, ditch into a closet, crawl into the backs of cars, sit in a stall?

Anonymous said...

Sing it sister!

The arrows and barbs I endured from so-called friends for daring to be a stay-at-home mom until both of my kids were in school full-time and then haveing the audacity to go back to work in a new field.

I now get (as I told you) the "you need to get remarried" routine from the same or similar folks because I have been divorced for "too long" and I need a man to validate who I am. Excuse me!?!?! Did we drfit back to the days or corsets and button up boots?

I agree with you re: Hillary on both points. She is not my fave and never has been. However, I applaud her as she is showing the men folk how it is done and bringing to light something other countries have already found out - a woman can indeed run a country as well, if not better, than a man.

Femme Fatale