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The wage gap is taking over

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“Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive… No country in the world can yet say they have achieved gender equality.” Emma Watson remarks that inequality is a big deal and has been using her power and fame to advocate for one of the most important things for anyone, equal pay.

Is the gender wage gap more than just gender?

Today in America, job after job, hours after hours of hard work, protests after strikes; yet, women are still being paid less than men.

Even the highest paying jobs are considered unequal between of gender. Leaders all over the country find it difficult to admit that they are paying their employees unfairly based on gender.

Not only is gender interfering with workers being paid unevenly, but so is age as teenagers working even as babysitters. Girls are seen as more manipulative and aren’t pressured enough to be negotiable like boys from as young as 14 years old.

Mr. Chao, an eighth grade math teacher at the Dual Language Middle School, stated, “You see a lot of minorities getting jobs and leaving their lost money… you see in a lot of service industries where people of color are working for the minimum wage, where you see the clienteles who spurge their money”.

In fact, one in twelve sources knew how to negotiate from a young age, as Ariana DiPreta, an eighth grade teacher at Dual Language Middle School; “when I got a car, they would’ve tried to manipulate me to pay more” she recalled, “because the assumption is that females don’t know what’s going on.”

Not only does this disappoint many minorities that are trying to work at a young age, to possibly help their low income families, but this also doesn’t come to much of a shock as women only earn 81% of men earnings weekly.

Still, women and men from the different backgrounds like blacks or Hispanics earn dramatically less than whites and Asians.

Graph represents percentage differences between race and gender.

White females only earn 81.1% of men earnings and Asians earn 93.0% of a white man earnings.

However, blacks only earn 67.7% and at the lowest, Hispanics also only earn 62.1% of white men earnings.

Arlenys Rojas, a guidance counselor at Dual Language Middle school, believes that “we need to advocate for ourselves, at the end of the day, the color of my skin or my accent does not make me any less… I’m just as capable, just as brilliant and serving as a white male.”  

To be noted, the wage gap also impacts the LGBTQ community; people are told to keep their sexuality a secret if they want to work in specific fields like the military, or even as a performer which means that their career is to serve the public eye.

According to Time’s interview with Ellen DeGeneres in 1997, who came out as lesbian, “I don’t have to be fearful about something damaging my career.” Yet Ellen had earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

As a result, the wap gap can affect a person’s health, which may lead them to an endless cycle of depression and pay inequality.  

One cause for this is the moment our country’s unemployment rate shoots up, like during World War 1 or the Industrial Revolution when women began to work in fields of labor markets, and regained their confidence and strength to prove that they are just as capable as men.

As a supporter, Ms.Strassler, a history teacher thinks of “what you could do with the money. So if women made as much as their male counterparts, they could probably take care of their health”.

But these moments are quickly snatched after the mess is cleaned, women are either fired and replaced by men or they work extra hours for less money.

As an office assistant and now an accountant, Matilde Maldonado recalls, “So I guess I was an easy target to be underpaid and get easily pushed around.”

The history behind the wage gap.

The wage gap and discrimination against women isn’t new news. Women are being drastically paid less than men for the same amount of work hours.

Going back in time, in the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson made sure he gave pure rights to man under law, completely ignoring women.

Of course, after realizing their power, in the year 1920 when the 19th Amendment was set in place, white females were given the right to vote. Voting was once a right only given to men, and once given to women, people slowly began to realize that women were just as much as citizens and human beings just like men.

It has been nearly a century since 1923 when the National Women’s political party (NWP) first proposed equal payment and equal opportunities between genders. Congress did not believe women were up for the task when the act was first proposed.

The Equal Pay Act was a promise to give women equal pay and as many job opportunities men are given.

As white females began to gain their rights, racism was only getting worse. Finally, President Lincoln passed the the emancipation of slavery, blacks began their revolution.

Decades later, the Walter Act of 1952 was passed, which sparked the immigration wave of Asians, mostly Chinese, and allowed those who have lived for two years or more in the U.S. citizenship to America.

Lastly, the Mexican Revolution brought thousands of Mexicans to America; Mexicans are the largest immigration group for decades.

After hundreds of strikes, protests, and fights against inequality, it had lead to what was anticipated for years. In March of 1972, the EPA was approved via the U.S. Senate and appointed to the states.

Then, in the year 2013, the Equal Paycheck Fairness Act was put in place to improve and approve of women being paid equally considering the same job and the same amount of work hours to male coworkers.

It’s been five years since this act was passed, and disappointingly, women in the United States only earn 81.3 percent of men earnings.

This is only the beginning of the equality movement, so the start to fight for what is deserved began.

 Overall, the wage gap isn’t only between genders, it also intersects with race, ethnicity and even age. Decades have been full of sexism and inequality, as well as discrimination against race.

As a Mexican, Salvador Porfirio has concluded, “Being poor and in need, you’ll take any job offered for even the smallest amount of income, it’s what seems to be the only choice for many.”

This goes back to World War 1, when men were sent to fight in war and the females were left with their children to take care of. Since thousands of men fled to fight at war, unemployment in the U.S. shot up, making jobs available for women to participate in. Still, their wages were desperately low, not enough to raise their children, or have a roof on top of their heads and clothing to cover up their worries about their own well being.

Once men came back from war, they took over the jobs when women were on the verge of truly believing they were finally going to be treated the way they should’ve from the beginning.

In the end, sexism plays a huge role on inequality between genders and it is taught to as young as toddlers. Boys are shown masculinity is superior to femininity. Women are seen as more emotional, while males have to be more reasonable and muscular.

Issue all over the world

Over time, the wage gap differences have lowered all over the world. Countries have either taken action regarding the wage gap or some countries are unfortunately ignorant about sexism.

America is known to be best at many things, but surprisingly, we are behind in catching up with the fact that women have just as much potential as men.

For example, America is known for accomplishing so much. Even after the Equal Pay act, Iceland is the first to make an actual change towards the wage gap by introducing their new law: The Equal Pay Standard, which orders agencies to show their workers that they are being paid fairly despite their gender.

Not only does this mean that women in Iceland are being treated equally to men, but they also take America to the bottom. Meanwhile in the United States, Arkansas is the most sexist state in America, while New Hampshire is to be the least sexist state.

The wage gap takes over the world, in some cases, drastic measures are taken to prove that men will always be superior like physical abuse. America has come to fail to keep their promise of equal pay.

Politically, Democrats are for equal pay; Hillary Clinton has been politically and publicly a feminist. But Donald Trump has come to ‘joke’ around about women not being able to work just as well as men.

Movements and acts have all been created one after the other without truly changing inequality; For one, Jodie Whittaker had found out that she wasn’t being paid equal to her male co worker from the show, ‘Dr. Who’. Their salaries were unequal by thousands of dollars.

After filing a lawsuit, Whittaker won in court against her unequal payment and influenced many others to take stand. Multiple actresses and actors dressed in black to support  equal pay and no wage gap to red carpet events.

Former Chinese editor of news network BBC, Carrie Gracie has filed a lawsuit so that the news source can come to admit that they paid her unequal by hundreds to her male coworker.

So, when Carrie Gracie fought for her money back from the unequal pay, which was hundreds of dollars, she was openly donated and funded for causes that help the ones in need.

Eventually, prior to age, young kids are doing labor all over the world because of their economic status; their parents who grew up working in the field under the burning hot sun, while cutting wheat and hunting for animals is a hard job. Moreover, kids are simple doing hard labor just to contribute to a family meal.

As Salvador Porfirio has come to conclude, “as a teenager working at the age of fourteen, I was definitely taken advantage of my rights. I needed to make money to help my parents and siblings, as well as care for myself without causing any abruptions to my older brothers who took care of me.”

As well as for Silvia Valdez, who had stated, “out of all the jobs I’ve ever done, starting from by teenage years, I know for a fact that my rights were abused of as I worked in a factory with an angry strict boss. He would only hire immigrants who were young and females. He knew that we were vulnerable and he took as much advantage as he could, I won’t blame him. History has marked Americans to be taught to behave this way, especially for white privilege males in textbooks.”

The Wage Gap being put under control, slowly…

Not many bosses want to admit that their companies are paying their workers unequally based on gender. Even the best companies with high salaries are paying their workers unfairly.

However, some will come to the realization that today in the modern world, feminism is taking a whole new turn for fighting for equality. CEO’s have come forward and say that it isn’t as easy as it sounds to make sure that both genders are being paid equally, it takes responsibility and leadership to a whole new level.

It takes time, almost too much time to get adjusted to using millions of dollars to keep the equal pay constant and accepting for both genders.

As an example, Silvia Valdez works at two different jobs and has experienced being judged by her gender. She reminds that “women are just as capable to do the same job, to have the same GPA on the dot as males, and to be just as muscular as men are told to be. My coworker had been so genuinely shocked that I was doing the cleaning and washing the dishes all in less than an hour. He told me ‘I’ve never seen such a women who can actually work, all I see are lazy mothers having children’.”.

Even if it is a slow process, things are getting done.  As Ms. Strassler has put in her words, “Our country was biased against women and people of color having the best highest paying jobs for hundreds, so if we elect private businesses to make up for hundreds of years of prejudice, it’s going to take too long”.

How does the wage gap affect you?

Many people are being blindsided of the inequality between male and female and their salaries. From as young as 14 to as old as 65, from white to Hispanic, or from educated to disabled, everyone worldwide is affected and gender is only one of the factors.

At a young age, kids are told that boys are stronger than girls, which means girls are weak. Enrique, a business manager, has recalled, growing up  I would hear that boys would  be the ones to work and have a good paying job, on the other hand girls would learn how to cook and would take care of the house.” Then, they grow up to only learn that men are given the feeling of superiority without even realizing it.

According to iSchool principal Ms. Bailey, “Our society is set up to reward a certain behavior and not the other.”

Generally speaking, women of color like blacks and Latinas are even more discriminated.

There will always be some sort of discrimination, whether it will be racism, sexism, heterosexism and so much more; like discrimination against age, disability, religion and culture.

People will always have to put up with some sort of prejudice, however, it is very unlikely for white males to go through any form of discrimination, especially in America where they are considered at the highest level of being advantage and privileged. They are the ones who are offered multiple jobs because of their physical traits.

For a long time, women were always considered inferior to men. Not only are women being paid less than man, and not only are gays and transgenders not offered the same job opportunities to every other American, but minorities are being taken advantage of.

Letting the battle of inequality come in between your days is a struggle, it takes time and effort to push yourselves to stand up in your beliefs. Gender, sexuality, age or background shouldn’t be a factor on unequal pay.

Gladys Porfirio, Investigative Journalist

As a freshman at the iSchool, not only can she dance, but she's also bilingual. Gladys is known for her creativity and determination to get things done...

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The wage gap is taking over