I DM’d her with “Hi, I did a liberal arts degree and currently am trying to monetise the millionth fashion blog in between Netflix binges, and I’m angry because I saw both a CEO and an off-shore oil rigger are earning more than me. I am angry, and want to be heard” – but she didn’t take the bait.
The shrieking that HuffPo, its idiot sisters and social media conduct around the gender pay gap and its conjuring up of images of repressed women not fashionably seated on a swan futon at parties is really doing nothing to help women in general – on pay, or in life.
The constantly moving quoted “gap” involves the manipulation of statistics and elimination of contrary data or distinguishing variables that would do sitting government PR departments proud. With the anecdotes ludicrously isolated and contrary tales ignored, the media is keen to keep the fun going, because much like including the words “Trump” with anything negaitve in your headline, 50% of the population will be predisposed to click on any “Gender Pay Gap” bait.
While only directly stated most of the time, the universal conclusion of the GPG movement is that it the only feasible reason for any doctored gap is a deliberate effort by men to deny women the same money for the same work or results – despite all evidence showing that any individual man actually hates all but 5-10 men on the planet at any given time, and demonstrate no desire to help them in any way.
These meetings to decide on how to save 7% by paying women less in really specific situations are probably held at events like The Presidents Club, staffed with female staff by a female-owned agency, where the attendees then roll into the office the next day and announce to payroll that forthwith the entire firm’s female lawyers will be paid £5,000 less than the men. The conspiracy is so deep that despite it being a hot button issue and illegal for decades, we somehow have no successful class action lawsuits or convictions. Get Sherlock Holmes’ looking glass out, sharpish.
Leaving aside the clickbait agenda accompanied with the assigning of nonsense motivations, here’s why blathering on about it in such an asinine fashion isn’t helping women: it doesn’t provide the few genuinely aggrieved with anything approaching an action point.
Run-of-the-mill, like-for-like production jobs aren’t paid differently: there are no HuffPo tales of the bank teller earning less than her male colleague on Till 6. When these jobs are bundled up and show a variance, no-one reads the footnotes where it’s explained that when they sum the numbers up, where women make less money in the same building, its because, statistically and collectively, they work less hours, less overtime, take more vacation time, change jobs more often, take easier jobs which consequently pay less, and/or retire earlier.
“Entertainment” pay isn’t the problem either – women and men are paid wildly different amounts, but its not remotely based on gender: it’s based on commercial viability. The worst actor on the planet outside of Mark Wahlberg, The Rock, just got paid $20 million for Jumanji, which promptly used him to rake in $900 million worldwide. HIs pay’s going up. Ellen gets over $20 million for a TV show that no heterosexual man will ever watch. The Kardashians rake in tens of millions a year talking gibberish on TV because reality shows are a female audience. Actresses make millions pushing fragrances, clothes and makeup. Paris Hilton has sold over a billion dollars in licensed perfume. Women should be more worried that the prices of their consumer products are being buttressed by the endorsement payment to idiots who are dumb as rocks. Or why it works on them.
So forget those two sets of cases. That leaves two areas women can action if money is what the gender collectively wants at the expense of all other things.
The first is, I’m sure, completely unpalatable to some: invest in a boring but high-paying trade, pick up some risky manual labour, or take a job where you are abused on the phone all day. Spoiler alert: expressive arts and sociology courses don’t lead to big paying careers. Nor does “HuffPo Blogger”.
The second area is this. Men, over many generations, have realised that they will be getting nothing for free at any point in their lives. For a long time, they were the only providers in the family environment. As a result, more of them, in business, have a greater tendency to be more competitive, more aggressive, and more willing to be complete assholes in both public and commercial settings than women. Those who do, do not see bargaining or exploiting opponents’ commercial or personality weaknesses as a negative. Its how that gender survived and financially thrived in the capitalist economy.
Lots of men won’t play that game, and collectively, they get paid less than men who do. Plenty of women play that game successfully. But more men play that game than women.
That game isn’t going to change, even if you force Mark Wahlberg to give back his $1.5 million payment for helping erase “I choose to live life as a gay man” Kevin Spacey from a movie.
I hope this has been insightful, Jessica, and you now know what you need to do.