The pay gap is insulting

// 15 December 2008

I can imagine some people will not like this, but I think it gets the point across really well about a basic inequality which is so ingrained, I think a lot of people don’t realise how messed up it is. Via Feministing

Comments From You

Maia // Posted 15 December 2008 at 10:58 pm

Brilliant. It certainly does get the point across.

Kath // Posted 15 December 2008 at 11:35 pm

I see what you mean. I do like it. The target would be people who would never verbally demean women in the way depicted but don’t have a problem with/haven’t thought about the pay gap. Obviously you can imagine some neanderthal types thinking this is really funny and laughing at the insults, but I’m guessing we’ve already lost them on this issue anyway.

Leigh // Posted 16 December 2008 at 9:29 am

Great find! You are a super-blogger and so is everyone else on the fword. :)

JENNIFER DREW // Posted 16 December 2008 at 12:36 pm

I’ve no doubt claims will be made this is insulting to men but truth is many men mentally view female work colleagues in sexually insulting terms. But of course they often do not express them directly to female colleagues.

The pay gap is sexually insulting to women because in essence women’s work is non-work compared to men’s work.

Will men and women understand the subtlety of this advertisement – no because they will focus on ‘feminists attacking poor men again.’

Sami // Posted 16 December 2008 at 5:45 pm

I am loving your website. I just graduated from university and watching this video makes me wonder how much harder i am going to have to fight to get paid equally. It shouldn’t matter what my gender is I should be treated equally. I really like how strong this video is! Great find, thanks for posting!

Anne Rayvals // Posted 17 December 2008 at 12:01 am

Pleased to be a part of this feminist approach

Lord CAG // Posted 22 December 2008 at 7:43 pm

Thats equallity see we will treat you like one of the boys I dont know about the pay thing I’ve never made more than any girl I’ve worked with so to me your point is moot.

Anna // Posted 22 December 2008 at 10:57 pm

That’s nice for you, “Lord CAG”. I suppose since you’ve never hit a woman (or so I assume) domestic violence isn’t a problem, and none of your female friends (have told you) have been raped, so that’s a non-issue too.

Nice. If you’ve that privelige.

Anna // Posted 22 December 2008 at 10:58 pm

Oh, and thanks but I don’t want to be treated like ‘one of the boys’, I’d rather be treated as a person to be respected in my own right, thanks. Just because I want parity with men does not mean I want to be a man.

Kez // Posted 23 December 2008 at 11:35 am

Lord CAG, I don’t know about the girls you work with (are there any women there?) but this link indicates that there is, indeed, still a pay gap:

So to me, your point is also moot.

The plural of anecdote is not evidence.

Lord CAG // Posted 23 December 2008 at 4:51 pm

Your right i have never harmed a female and will never its against my beliefs The strong should never abuse the weak and currently I work with only my brother its got good and bad points to it

also none of this should be a problem because all males should only hurt each other and no one should ever be raped period.

Aimee // Posted 25 December 2008 at 1:26 pm

… So, is it okay for a strong woman to hurt a weak man? The argument that ‘men shouldn’t hit women’ is a ridiculous one, because it makes a basic assumption about the relative strengths of men and women. How about we just say ‘Men and women shouldn’t hit ANYONE, unless absolutely necessary’ and leave it at that? Why does gender have to come into it at all? Because one day a really strong woman is going to be beating the crap out of you and your ‘oh I mustn’t hit girls’ mantra is going to be smacking you in the face. Literally.

Anne Onne // Posted 28 December 2008 at 4:38 pm

Aimee, except that the ‘never hit girls/ladies’ rule comes with the handy proviso: men get to choose who is a ‘lady’ and deserves to be ‘protected’. Funnily enough, there’s never really been an absence of men not hitting women, even with the ‘protect the weaker sex’ rule was at its peak.

I agree, humans should never hurt other humans unless it is unavoidable (read: self defense, not ‘they looked at me crooked’), but I don’t think the ‘men should never hit women’ idea has led to women somehow ruling over lots of cowering men because nobody will ever hit them back. There are no doubt men who are abused by partners because they are physically weaker, or are stronger but don’t want to hit their female partner. However, there are more women who are struck by men, who are abused or raped. The overall social trend is that women still don’t deserve the same rights as men. That society should be built around the desires or wishes of men, and that women should bend around that. That women who want life on their own terms are selfish. Rape victims still get blamed for rape, sexually liberated women get slut-shamed, and women are still expected to fulful certain roles. It’s less noticeable than it was 100 years ago, but in many ways, society still says to men ‘you decide what punishment women deserve’.

The ‘protection’ women traditionally get for being ‘weak’ only lasts as long as they act weak enough. There’s always been the assumption that if a woman doesn’t keep to her ‘place’, it’s her fault if she gets beaten or raped or whatever. Her ‘place’ of course is arbitrary and dependent on whatever society and her abuser thinks she should be like.

It’s neither as simple as ‘all women are weaker than men’ or ‘women and men are the same’. Women and men are loose categories to which many types of individuals belong, and overall whoever is stronger shouild be careful to control that strength, and understand why those weaker than them may feel vulnerable. Most women are weaker than most men, which doesn’t mean society should assume women incapable, since that means society is assuming men’s physical abilites are the default. It means that we need a a society that is built around realistically valuing all people’s abilities. Instead of assuming that most women are weak, because most men are stronger, why doesn’t society see most women as being the ‘average’, with some individuals just being particularly strong?

Why not a society that is designed to protect those who are at a disadvantage, with rules built around them not the privileged?

I agree overall, I’m just pointing out that the ‘don’t hit women’ rule only ever applied up to where it was convenient for individuals to apply it.

It’s an insulting rule in that it implies women are fragile, but it’s more insulting in that it assumes that it’s perfectly legitimate to beat up other men to a pulp for a trivial reason. The reality is that society places women in a vulnerable role, partly due to their often being physically smaller or weaker, but also by encouraging women to be dependent on men and not trust their own abilities.

It should be common sense for everyone not to beat anyone up, especially those weaker than yourself. It’s the assumption that men get to make the rules, and that everything must be on their terms that is problematic.

That ended up a bit rambling…Hope it makes sense…

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