Or whatever the figure is.

Someone here took me to task on a recent writeup, and basically informed me that a woman wanting to retreat from all the pressures of trying to be a superwoman is purely because of male discrimination. I absolutely, 100% agree with this.

There's a whole, WHOLE host of bullshit surrounding the battle of the sexes, but I'm just going to center on one tinier aspect of it, the notion that women are paid less than men.

Women ARE, on the whole, paid less than men.

Almost immediately, the MRA crowd swarm like hornets when you say that, saying something to the effect that women ARE paid better than men if they play the game like men. They point to the Till book that says that women are paid less because they don't negotiate like men, they don't take the same jobs as men, and they tend to work fewer hours and avoid promotions. Then there's those babies. So women are paid the same as men, stop whining, all you have to do is act like a man.

There's only one itsy, bitsy, teeny weeny little problem with that: society doesn't generally allow women to get away with acting like men.

There's an old office joke that says something to the effect of, "He's assertive, she's a bitch. He likes a drink, she's an alcoholic." and so forth. 

And I've seen some stuff around the various offices I've worked in. It's always her rushing to get things done by 5 and out the door because the daycare puts children on the doorstep and locks the doors at six o'clock sharp, and he says he can't get away. I've seen women wrapping presents at work on Christmas Eve, because in between getting two jobs done, cleaning the house for visitors, making and shopping for food and getting the presents together for the family, there just weren't enough hours in the day to wrap them. And the disapproving manager with an upraised eyebrow suggesting that maybe she should manage her time better to not have outside stuff influence the workplace was never checked or challenged in any way.

Of course, if she skips the school play for a meeting, she's a real bitch, but if he skips it because of a meeting, well, you can't expect him to leave work at 2, right? A man who cares more about his job is "a good provider". And God forbid the judgment against her if they split up and they decide for whatever reason the kids are better with him, and she's single and dating with someone else housing the kids. We never seem to address that societal bias when we suggest women should "man up", right?

The advantages men have are based mostly on societal advantage and better socialization in some respects: the fact that men are raised to be aggressive, seek advancement at all costs, and generally assume they have some kind of maid or backstop in the background leads to them uprooting families, making decisions for the couple that suit him better, and not being judged for being mercenary in an interview about money. Of course she isn't going to go with a promotion that would reduce the quality of life of her or people around her.

And many places where the money is are also places where there's a certain amount of old boy network going on. Adria Richards may have handled her situation badly and over-reacted, but I can imagine that in microaggression after yet another double entendre joke, she'd had just about enough of people talking about their dongles, get it, know what I mean. Ellen Pao might have been a mercenary cow in many respects, but I don't remember people objecting to Donald Trump by Photoshopping his face onto a woman on her knees, naked, being ejaculated on by multiple people. There's a downright meanness to accusations against her, getting to a personal level you don't see in vitriol against men.

It seems that in every single case, we've managed to figure out a way to get "equality" or "parity" for women which is patronising ("wow, she managed to graduate with a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering despite the handicap of being born with a vagina!") or in a way which simply puts more burdens on women. Oh, you'd like to work outside the home? Feel free to be told you aren't equal to a man in that regard because you are dealing with a full-time job at home, as well. And we're not taking the baggage off you that if you do succeed, people will think that you either got some fast-track to it because political correctness, or you slept with someone to get there. Heck, even the request that some women had simply to make sure the man didn't use her as a Kleenex with breasts and try to ensure that her needs were met got turned into the expectation of her having an orgasm, and it being something she was expected to provide to bolster his ego.

And it seems any time any kind of actual fairness or parity gets asked for, the goalposts get moved. First it was "we can't pay you because you aren't a man", then it's "we can't pay you because you don't act like a man." 

True feminism actually technically benefits both men and women. It stops men from being straightjacketed into certain roles to be seen as succeeding, and it stops women from being judged by standards as equally unfair. In a real world that actually gave a shit about people, not only would the manager nod and say "by all means, get to your kid, it can wait" - but that men could be equally likely and welcome to make that decision to leave to rescue a child from daycare. Men could, and should, and would get equal access to paternity leave and not be judged for taking that leave. Not leapfrogged by someone who chose to have other people look after all his human needs and be a life support system.

So the next time you see the whole complaint that women make 80c on the dollar, don't stop and solve the problem from the "well, here's how you play a sick game and act in certain ways to get parity" - wonder why we even have these fucked up rules in the first place.

 

 

 

 

 

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