Waging a War Against the Wage Gap
A 17-year-old girl's perspective on the injustice that is the wage gap.
11 November 2016
Dear Future President,
Equality in the United States of America has been a major theme recently in news and media sources. The most recent Black Lives Matter movement has gained a following of thousands of people, but there is another movement much larger in size yet less well known that is hurting Americans of every race. This problem is rooted in the wage gap between men and women. The ABA Journal wrote on this injustice, saying that women are currently making around 80 cents compared to men making a dollar. I have researched the wage gap and have discovered harrowing details that should come to light in this country. The wage gap is a huge abuse to half the population in the United States, and this issue should be quickly addressed through education of the subject and action from our future president.
Many elitists have discounted this unfortunate subject, refuting its actuality and all the facts that are readily presented. One opposing idea is that the whole situation is a scam and that women are actually paid the same as men. Another states that women don’t choose the correct jobs to make as much money as men. Yet another says that paying women as much as men would cost women, the workforce, and the economy considerable amounts of money. All of these ideas are completely wrong, however, and can be disproved by calculations made by the ABA Journal. They commented on the first saying that women lose up to 2 million dollars of their salary to the wage gap in their lifetime. On the second idea, they took studies with all relevant information concerning jobs, yet women still came up short compared to men. They even refuted the third, saying that equal pay will not only benefit our economy, but also help many impoverished families gain financial security. Fixing the wage gap alone could feed the starving mouths of poor children and their hard working parents who struggle to get food on the table. All of these facts clearly present the case that women are being treated wrongly for no evident reason.
The wage gap is a ginormous shock to any justice-seeking people. I remember when this predicament first came into my thoughts and troubled my young mind. I was gaining information on certain jobs that I felt particularly interested in. While researching ophthalmologists, I came upon a statistic that angered me. According to a Medscape survey, male ophthalmologists make about fifty-thousand dollars more than female ophthalmologists. I questioned my parents about this with great persistence and curiosity. Don’t all ophthalmologists do the same job? Why would someone get paid less just because of their gender? These inquiries came with no certain answer because what appeared common sense was not what actually happened. I felt cheated and confused. The equality that is stated in our constitution is not actually carried out. There is still struggle in this great country to create fairness in all aspects, especially in the work place. A change in these facets could mean many great things to not only one gender but to the whole country. Equality in pay could help single impoverished mothers make their way to a stable salary and a comfortable life. Equality in pay could even cut the US’s poverty rate in half, says an economist Marianne Hill. Not only is closing the wage gap a duty for equality, but it is also a way to help those most in need in our country.
Many people have tried to fix this disastrous injustice; even President John F. Kennedy instated an Equal Pay Act in 1963 trying to fix this predicament. In the 60s, women were earning about 60 cents compared to a man’s dollar. This average has changed, but only about 20 cents. This is nothing. I, nor anyone who respects women, will not rest until both genders are equally paid. I beg you to listen, to educate, and to advance our society for the better by changing those statistics for the better of our country and changing US citizens’ lives forever. As the president, it is your duty to do what is right for our country and its citizens, so take a stand and make a difference.
Bellows, Laura. "Dollar for Dollar." ABA Journal, vol. 99, no. 6, June 2013, p. 8. Academic Search Complete, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=87975301&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Monti, Lisa. "Women & the Wage Gap: Recession, Occupational Options Have Slowed Progress since Women's Movement of the 1970s." Mississippi Business Journal, vol. 35, no. 12, 22 Mar. 2013, p. 19. General OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=ITOF&sw=w&u=lafa43079&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA327449673&it=r&asid=1f266362aa8b53a50d54d1f5f38b080e. Accessed 10 Nov. 2016.
Siniscalco, Gary, et al. "The Pay Gap, the Glass Ceiling, and Pay Bias: Moving Forward Fifty Years after the Equal Pay Act." ABA Journal of Labor and Employment Law, vol. 29, no. 3, Spring 2014, p. 395. Academic OneFile, go.galegroup.com/ps/i.do?p=AONE&sw=w&u=lafa43079&v=2.1&id=GALE%7CA435002571&it=r&asid=6a63a2100a1c7529066c392919fd9949. Accessed 11 Nov. 2016.
Wiltz, Teresa. "States Attack the Pay Gap Between Women and Men." Stateline.org [Washington D.C.], 28 Sept. 2015. Newspaper Source, search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=nfh&AN=2W63371994830&site=ehost-live&scope=site. Accessed 11 Nov. 2016.