Friday, March 13, 2009

until we’ve recovered

"Look, despite the mutterings of disgruntled troglodytes or airbrushed, hymenoplastied Palin supporters, women have not achieved anything even close to equity. We still make, on average, seventy-six cents on a man’s dollar, and yet there are people who fight over whether that figure should be two or three cents higher, as if that would make it all dandy, as if close is as good as the cigar."

--Regina Barreca, In Defense of the F Word, 2009


John Radcliffe said...

It's a funny old world, isn't it?

I seem to remember that, when Margaret Thatcher became British Prime Minister, many people were heard to say that it would be a great step forward for women in Britain generally.

I think what actually happened was that some people thought, "Right, we've has a woman PM so everything's sorted. Job done", other reacted negatively ("We don't want that again"), and in the event things went on just as they had before (or even lost some ground). (Indeed, if I remember correctly, I think she had fewer female cabinet members than her predecessors, but I could be wrong.)

So ironically, perhaps American women have actually had a lucky escape. (Just why, for example, didn't we hear about how much the other candidates spent on their wardrobes?)

So, Yes: we've still got a long way to go; but I for one thank God that we've come as far as we have. I wouldn't want to go back to how things were even a few years ago.

J. K. Gayle said...

Thank you John for your comments here, and for reading Barreca's essay to allude to it. There has been progress made to celebrate. If my wife and I understand that, my daughters (and theirs) rightly care as much, still, that our societies in even the Western world of progress persist in paying men substantially more for the same work women do. This runs deeper than money, I know. But where your treasure is, a wiser man once said, there your heart will be also. So again I'm looking forward to more engaging conversation with you, my friend.