Monday, October 13, 2014

The $29,811,746,430,000 Pay Gap






Whatever you think of Sarah Silverman's Equal Payback Project, there is no doubt that women throughout the world suffer from economic inequality.

"Despite the fact that it’s 2014 and you can shave your legs with lasers, the average working woman still makes only 78 cents to a man’s dollar.

Over the course of a career, that’s $435,049 lost to the wage gap.

With nearly 69 million women in the workplace, that’s a total loss of as much as 30 TRILLION FRICKIN DOLLARS.

Clearly, the policies in place don't go far enough. It's time we won the battle we've been fighting for fifty years. It's time we enlisted the Internet.

Ladies, we’re crowdfunding the wage gap."





What this project does not address is the additional money women lose over the course of their lifetime due to being the primary caregivers for children and adult family members, including the fact that they are unable to contribute to their own retirement during that time and lose a significant amount of compound interest.

Not to mention the fact that women's retirement income is also affected by the pay gap over the course of their lifetime. That 54-78 cents on the dollar women make (depending on their skin color) is only exacerbated over time.

When you factor all that in, this number nearly doubles. Hence, Karen Tate's statistic that Seventy percent of women retire in poverty.

Last week, I shared a bit about how this has affected me personally here on the
blog.

When my son was 8-years-old, I sat down with him and worked out the projected comparative economics of his and my daughter's lives. I realized something that day: the math is our map.

We set girls up to fail economically from Day-One and then minimize it, like it doesn’t count. When I did the math on the projected income disparity between him and his sister, they ended up more than a million dollars apart at the end of their lives. I asked my son how he would feel if he were in her shoes – and that I knew all that, and still did nothing to change it.

He started to cry. He said he would feel like I didn’t care about him at all.

I sat and watched him, not allowing myself to feel anything because I knew if I started crying it would go well beyond an acceptable lesson for an eight-year-old. He was crying over the million dollars – the sum at the end when it was all tidied up. Most of us can’t allow ourselves to feel the little dings along the way.

The math doesn’t tell you how it feels to be a single mom with less than a dollar in the bank. The math doesn’t tell you how badly it stings to lose your home without the luxury of tears. The math doesn’t tell you how much it sucks to have to deny your children while your ex-husband lives in a 3,800 square foot house and wears a different pair of Gucci shoes every time you see him.


Our systematic economic oppression underlies all other oppressions.

Now is the time that we must come together to change this. Now is the time that women must support each other. And men, please put in everything you can, whether it be through this project or supporting other feminist causes - including (first and foremost) the women and girls in your life. 
 

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