Featured Image by Startup Stock Photos
In the great United States of America, roughly 43 million people live their lives below the poverty line each and every day , according to the United States Census Bureau. But poverty isn’t the topic for discussion today, it’s women. So let’s bring women into the equation, shall we?
In every state of the United States of America, women are more likely to live in poverty than men. But that can’t be right…Can it? Not a single state that is an exception?
According to the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation’s research on Adult Poverty Rate by Gender, the percentage of men below the poverty line compared women below the poverty line can differ by as large as 7%. (step up your game, Mississippi!) To truly understand this, I think we need to make the numbers more reasonable. Nearly 1 in 3 single mothers say they struggle to find the means to feed their children, and more than 1 in 7 say that at least one of their family members goes hungry each day. Do you understand how this is not just about numbers, but about real lives?
Why Is This Happening?
One reason; women are not typically paid as much as men.
Is it because women are uneducated?
For many years, fingers have been pointed at the women for lack of pay, calling them uneducated. That is astoundingly untrue. Really, every single report from current times show that women are more likely to have a college degree than men. Women have become less dependent on men, and more dependent on themselves. Many women have given up love and marriage and future families for their jobs and education. Don’t get the wrong idea here, because I am definitely not saying men have not given up anything for future plans. But with women, it’s become a new trend, a new idea or choice that was not given to them for a very long time.
Image by Startup Stock Photos
So… What’s Wrong with the Pay Right Now?
As of now, women make up roughly 46% of the workforce, so women workers are not exactly some sort of rare occurrence in America. But up in the extensively educated section of the workforce (i.e. Surgeons, Physicians, ect.), women have to work harder to get a job. Studies seem to show that as the education required to obtain a job grows, so does the level of difficulty in a women’s attempt to get that job.
Well isn’t that just something?
Women are earning on average 79% of what a man would make. Putting this into better terms, women make about 79 cents in comparison to a man’s dollar, or $79 to a man’s $100. That is a total wage gap of 21%. And according to AAUW’s research in The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, that percentage of gap only increases as a woman gets older.
Take a look at this website to see details on how many jobs where women are paid unfairly in contrast to men, it is truly eye-opening.
What is the Main Reason Behind Gap?
Well, the big factor is the cold hard truth of sexism.
Starting at birth, children of both genders are separated by colors- pink and blue. A single color that will live on in toys, clothing, and basic accessories throughout a persons life. This color will define them and their ideas for years to come. As children grow up, they absorb more and more information taught to them by their parents.
“Sit like a lady”
“Well, boy will be boys!”
“He’s just mean to you because he likes you”
Gender does not define a human being. It does not define the way we sit, dress, act, or simply live. Why would you teach boys that being a boy means fighting each other and harassing girls? Why would you teach a young girl that she is allowed to hit boys and get away with it for just being female? Gender equality is a two way street, that is true. But when one side has been stuck in traffic for the last 5 hours and the other side has cars zooming down the road at 70 Mph, don’t you think there would be some complaints?
Image by Startup Stock Photos
As life continues into adulthood, those phrases turn into something more along the lines of;
“It must be her time of the month”
“Come on, man up!”
“You play like a girl!”
Why is it so bad to be compared to a woman? Why is being referred to as female an insult? Last time I looked, women aren’t so weak as society likes to see them as. Powerful women are not rare. The list of these women can range from actresses like Emma Watson to Supreme Court Justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg to someone as close to you as your mother or grandmother.
Now, there are other reasons for lower pay other than plain old sexism. There are things to take into account like personal preference, maternity leave, and family life. But even still, all of these reasons are ants compared to the colossal height of sexism.
Ending on a fortunate note, that enormous gap in pay between genders is finally beginning to close. It is predicted that by 2059, there will be total equal pay. That’s good… right? Only another 43 years left to go!