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Is there such thing as "enough" equality? I'm still working on a reply to this query and wondered if anyone else here would care to take a crack at it at the source post.


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If there is true equality, I suspect it is enough. If you are asking about enough change in the relationship between the genders towards equality - not there yet and not even close (in my opinion!)!!!!!!
Wanda, I totally agree with you. When I think of equality it has nothing to do with going topless or even fighting a war. It is being paid the same as a man doing the same job and having a husband and/or partner who is willing to share duties. That means share all duties of rearing the kids. Taking off time to take them to the doctors when necessary. If men stood up and played an active role just as a mother does then the corporations would have to change their ways. The playing field would then be equal because now a man is requesting time off to take care of his parenting duties as well as a woman. I believe there are a lot more men out there that are definitely involved.
It is up to women to ask men to be involved and not sit back and accept things as status quo. Tell our sons and daughters to encourage equality in their homes.

The wage gap
Why women are still paid less than men
By Evelyn Murphy and E.J. Graff | October 9, 2005

If you are a woman working full time, you will lose between $700,000 and $2 million over your working lifetime -- just because of your sex. Is that fair? No. Can it be stopped? Absolutely.

In 1964, when Congress passed the Civil Rights Act that banned workplace discrimination based on race or sex, women working full time made 59 cents to a full-time working man's dollar. That made sense at the time: As a group, women had less education, less experience, and less opportunity, in part because they were flatly banned from a wide range of occupations. At the time, many people thought the wage gap would close on its own, as the education, experience, and opportunity gaps went away.

But today, 40 years later, the wage gap stands at 23 cents. Women working full time -- not part-time, not on maternity leave, not as consultants -- still earn only 77 cents to a full-time working man's dollar. That's an enormous gap, and it has been stalled in place for more than a decade. It's not closing on its own. It affects women at every economic level, from waitresses to lawyers, from cashiers to CEOs. Many women have a sneaking suspicion that they're unfairly overlooked and underpaid. But do they realize how underpaid?

Let's look at the economic losses a woman will suffer over her lifetime:

A high school graduate loses $700,000. A young woman who graduated from high school last spring and went straight to work would, over her lifetime, make $700,000 less than the young man who graduated next in line.

A college graduate loses $1.2 million. A young woman who graduated from college last spring and went right to work would, over her lifetime, make $1.2 million less than the young man who received his diploma next to her.

A professional school graduate loses $2 million. A young woman who got a degree in business, medicine, or law would, over her lifetime, make $2 million less than the young man at her side.

That graduate may be you. Or she may be your wife, daughter, niece, granddaughter, or friend. Whoever she is, the wage gap will take a heavy toll. That missing 23 cents is a personal loss: vacations not taken or dental work that's put off or health insurance that cannot be afforded.

Few women think this way about the wage gap. Women don't talk about what they should have earned, or how each year's missing lump of money -- whether $1,000, $10,000, or $50,000 -- would have added up over a lifetime. Have you ever heard a woman let herself add up how much she was deprived of overall or how much more her male coworker could afford that she could not?

Surely that attitude is personally sensible: No sane person wants to dwell on what she believes she can't have. But as a nation that believes in fairness, self-reliance, and rewards for hard work, Americans as a whole must consider what the wage gap means for working women's daily lives: the missing retirement fund, the nonexistent car, the precarious mortgage, the food budget that doesn't quite deliver enough fresh produce to the kids. Maybe an unexpected change in financial circumstances -- especially the loss of a husband's income through layoffs, divorce, or death -- cuts the shoestring on which a woman has been hanging financially, so that she and her children are faced with dire financial choices. Why should families be punished simply because the breadwinner is a woman?

Precisely because our nation believes so firmly in fairness and personal responsibility, many Americans assume that our workplaces do offer equal opportunities for all. And so, for the last 40 years, most theories about the wage gap have blamed women for underearning. Obviously, the older theory has had to be tossed out: Women earn as many degrees, have roughly as many years on the job, work as hard, and need money just as much as men do. So why do women still get paid less?

The most popular current theory is that women ''opt out" of the workforce to have children. Those nonworking moms' nonwages are supposed to bring down women's average wages. But that's not how the wage gap is figured. The wages of women who are staying home with the kids or working part time are not counted in that official Labor Department average: Only full-time workers' wages are added in.

A variant on that theory is that women work less hard once they get pregnant or have children. But is that really true, or are women unfairly penalized just because, for no good reason, their bosses and colleagues assume that female employees can't think both about daycare dropoffs and third-quarter deliverables? Men have children too, after all -- and they're rewarded for it, even if their productivity goes down during those early months of late-night feedings. Social scientists have documented a ''mommy penalty" and a ''daddy bonus" right after a child is born: Women's wages go down, and men's wages go up, simply because they have children. Do women choose a mommy track? Or are they ''mommy tracked" against their will -- or subtly coerced into accepting less pay while working just as hard?

Let's look at a few other popular theories: Women ''choose" lower-paying jobs, because they don't want to do the dirty work that makes more money. But is that true-- or are women tracked, without their agreement, into being waitresses or cashiers, and refused interviews for those higher-paying slots as journeyman plumber or as bank manager?

Here's another theory: Women don't negotiate as well as men. But are all men born knowing how to negotiate, or do they sweat bullets while they learn?

Here's unsubstantiated theory number four: Women aren't as ambitious as men, and prefer more balanced lives. But who said all men were ambitious? Sure, some women don't want to work 60 or 80 hours a week, and would rather put in their time, do a good job, get paid and promoted fairly, and go home. But that's also true for many men. Meanwhile, plenty of men and women are ambitious, talented, and driven enough to reach the top -- but up there, men have an unfair advantage.

Here's the real reason women get paid an enormous percentage less than men: because they're women. In other words, because of sex discrimination.

Sex discrimination isn't necessarily intentional; much of it happens through mindless bias and careless stereotyping. But however it happens, it's unfair, illegal, and widespread.

Take a look at sex discrimination cases, never before collected, which you can now find at www.wageproject.org. You'll be shocked if you look at how much employers have to pay out each year in sex discrimination cases, through awards or settlements -- not 10 or 20 years ago, but in 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005. These cases show how deeply entrenched discrimination is in every region of the country and every sector of the economy.

Each year, American employers are paying out hundreds of millions of dollars -- in 2002, alone, more than $263 million -- every year, year after year, for treating women with extraordinary unfairness. Employers still flatly refuse to hire fully qualified women into a wide variety of jobs: forklift drivers, firefighters, salespeople, electricians, regional managers, stockbrokers, senior executives. Or they hire women, but refuse to promote them -- as happens to grocery clerks, police officers, university professors, and management analysts.

Think that kind of behavior is impossible in the 21st century United States? Think again. A look at the case files shows that even when men and women have equal experience, responsibilities, and qualifications, employers refuse to pay women equally: as janitors, skilled woodworkers, truck dispatchers, municipal managers, senior scientists. Or they demote or fire women who get pregnant -- waitresses, shuttle drivers, sales clerks, executive secretaries, lab researchers, corporate lawyers -- even before those women go on maternity leave. Or they refuse to do anything about it when women -- nurses, factory workers, Air Force cadets, television producers, bank managers, police officers, deputy attorneys general -- are being groped, grabbed, sexually taunted, or assaulted on the job. (While most of us think of sexual harassment as personally repulsive, the reason it's illegal is that sexual harassment damages women's ability to earn a fair day's pay.)

Every single day, women are being outrageously discriminated against, at every level of the American workforce. Unfair discrimination happens in tiny dentists' offices and in factories that are several city blocks long. It happens in manufacturing, retail, nonprofits, government, finance, education, media, medicine, and law. Unless you look through the WAGE Project database, it's hard to believe how many women are being treated so unfairly that they're driven to sue, even though they know that by doing so they're endangering their paychecks and their careers.

Unfair pay means all women lose. All women -- rich and poor, whatever their race or color or native language -- are being cheated by wage inequity. Sex discrimination is far more entrenched in the American economy than most people realize. And it won't stop unless, with the help of each other and of sympathetic men, women act. We must prove to American employers that we will not accept the depth and breadth of wage discrimination within our own workplaces.By chipping away at one deeply embedded form of discrimination, we can also tear down bigotry and bias based on race, religion, sexual orientation, age, and physical ability. We can transform America into a society of people who genuinely value and respect one another.

It's been more than a quarter-century since the women's movement brought women fully into the workforce. The time is right for the next step: getting even.

Evelyn Murphy, a former lieutenant governor of Massachusetts, is the author of ''Getting Even: Why Women Still Don't Get Paid Like Men--And What To Do About It," on which writer E.J. Graff collaborated.

© Copyright 2006 Globe Newspaper Company.


You have to fight for your own equality. When I was married, with four small children, I put the kids in 'teams' of two each, and everyone other week my ex and I changed teams. If a child was sick, the team leader had to take the day off, take the child to the doctor, deal with the other children (that meant dad didn't get a baby sitter to stay with the other kids so he could take one to the doctor - they all went, just like when mom was the team leader. lol) The team leader helped with chores on the weekend, baths and homework, last minute runs to KMart to get something for school, and the team leader had to find someone to take care of (his) two children if (s)he wanted to play baseball or go bowling. (lmfao)

If I had it to do over again, I would do it the same way, but with fewer children (and a different dad), because four is a lot. But I digress, as usual.






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