Editorial: It’s My Money and I Want It Now!

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In today’s political climate, women’s compensation still weighs lower than a man’s, in a drastic way. For the same job, a woman in California makes 90 cents to a man’s dollar. This may not seem like much but the numbers add up and the paychecks don’t. Are men, supposedly, worth ten cents more than women? In comparison to other states in the U.S., California has it good. In Mississippi, women receive 75 cents to a man’s dollar. Regardless, the national average is 81 cents to a man’s dollar. Women are not treated like human beings in the same way that men are and this needs to change for the sake of single moms, women’s independence, disabled women, female minorities, and for gender equality.

According to the Institute For Women’s Policy Research, Caucasian women will not receive equal pay until 2059.

As for minorities, Study Director Chandra Childers , “Hispanic women will have to wait until 2224 and Black women will wait until 2119 for equal pay.”

Over 200 years to wait until all women receive equal pay for doing the same work as a man. Women obtained the right to vote less than 100 years ago and now, scientifically predicting, we will have to wait another 200 years to get the rights to what we should have been given in the first place.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a government-run team that helps inform people of their workers’ rights, states, “Title VII also makes it illegal to discriminate based on sex in pay and benefits. Therefore, someone who has an Equal Pay Act claim may also have a claim under Title VII.” Even though it’s funded through the government, women still make less money than a man.

In a workplace today, it is considered unacceptable to discriminate against someone’s race, religion, or gender and many businesses have such rules in their guidelines and requirements when hiring an employee. Typically, when one of these rules are broken, the offender is either fired or suspended. Isn’t improperly paying an employee due to their gender a form of discrimination?

“Most people don’t head to work consciously thinking they want to promote men over women or that they want to pay men more than their female counterparts, yet unconsciously they still have a bias in favor of men,” said Forbes magazine writer Kim Elsesser.

If this is something that we can help or something that we can prevent then we should. If men were singled out and earning 81% less than women, there would be a more aggressive race to fix it.

Unequal pay doesn’t just alter what an average paycheck should be, it also affects employment leave. For example, if a female employee were to take a year off from work to take care of a child, an ill family member, or to face some other form of long-term need, most of them would not receive paid leave and in that case, would end up almost completely broke by the end of the year.

“For those who took just one year off from work, women’s annual earnings were 39 percent lower than women who worked all 15 years between 2001 and 2015, a much higher cost than women faced in the time period beginning in 1968, when one year out of work resulted in a 12 percent cut in earnings,”said Stephen J. Rose from the Institute For Women’s Policy Research.

Women’s rights have long been ignored. We have thousands of women involved in the Women’s March and other activist groups, standing up for the rights they deserve. But there’s never too many participators. Women are not less than men, not even by a few cents, and so women shouldn’t be treated like they are, whether in paychecks or in behavior, women should be considered equal to men.

San Francisco is home to many different ideas which can take form in protests and marches. Resistance Calendar, a website put together to help organizations raise awareness for their events, is a good place to see where your next local protest is held. People should get involved and protest for women’s rights because no one can get change done alone.

By participating in the action, such as petitioning or protesting, women’s rights could finally be taken seriously. Then we won’t have to wait 200 years for our wallets to weigh the same as a man’s.