What am I doing with a blog?

Awww…heck. I dunno.

This is the response to inequality in the workplace?? April 4, 2007

Filed under: feminism — himbly @ 6:56 pm

For those of you who don’t know about Michieville, I’ve been commenting there regularly because there’s oh so much to talk about. One commenter in particular just can’t stand the site of my dirty, heathen, liberal ass.

Mark, baby. I was at your blog and came across your post on Women and Pay (you’ll have to scroll down to see it, I can’t get to the particular post separately…something’s effed up).

Oh, this is a treat! I’ll reference the good part:

Women generally earn less than men because they choose jobs that are more “fulfilling, flexible, and safe.” These jobs usually pay less. For example, the librarian with a graduate degree will earn less than a garbage collector who dropped out of high school. The same applies to the educated art historian working in a museum versus the uneducated coal miner working in a mine. The garbage collector and the coal miner get higher salaries because their work involves greater risk and less pleasant working conditions. Few workers are willing to accept the conditions in these blue-collar, male-oriented jobs — so employees willing to work in these fields are a more precious commodity than workers in lower-paying professions, including librarians and art historians. […] “pay is about giving up power to get the power of pay,” and that by choosing to make more money, women limit their options. They forfeit the quality of life they enjoyed when they worked less and in better, non-stressful working environments.

There’s so much to say…but my first response is: uh, wha?

You know, just the other day (true story) I was driving from that Moms and Tots event that I posted on awhile back. My friend and I (both grad students, she’s pursuing her PhD) passed by a road crew just as they were trying to maneuver this insanely heavy piece of concrete into the..umm…scoopy thing on the sorta bobcat-like machine. You know. Now, there is no doubt that these men are hard workers and I’m glad they’re doing that job…but I turned to my friend and said, ‘see that? that’s why I’m in school again. I don’t want to do that.’ Stupid me! I’m going about it ass-backwards, apparently.

Mark didn’t write that, by the way, it’s a book review that I’m too lazy to link again. However, he clearly agrees. So, I did a little bit of research.

According to the 2005 Alberta Wage and Salary survey,

Albertans in the Librarians occupational group working part-time or full-time earned from $11,900 to $66,300 a year. The average salary was $47,700 a year.

Albertans in the Public Works and Maintenance Labourers occupational group working part-time or full-time earned from $13,500 to $66,800 a year. The average salary was $34,200 a year.

Albertans in the Conservators and Curators occupational group working part-time or full-time earned from $15,000 to $67,100 a year. The average salary was $59,100 a year.

and sorry…I don’t know what ‘coal miner’ translates into nowadays.

Not to mention that the original story that caused Mark to post in the first place was about women earning up to 20% less than the men who held the same position as them.

So…ummm…yeah. It’s also kinda weird that apparently all women are librarians and art historians…while all the men who are lawyers and geologists (apparently women ~aren’t~ these things) are more willing to take on ‘risky’ and ‘dirty’ jobs…such as lawyers and geologists.

I’m not sure what else to say about it right now. I need to read the original article again. My thoughts about how wrong this all is are overwhelming me.

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23 Responses to “This is the response to inequality in the workplace??”

  1. The Mayor Says:

    And we love when you comment over at Mitchieville, the place isn’t the same when you’re not arond.

  2. himbly Says:

    You flatter me, Mayor. Don’t worry. I enjoy it, too.

  3. Reg Says:

    You and Mark have been taking it easy on each other this week. I hope its just the calm before the storm.

  4. himbly Says:

    Dude! the guy called me fat!

    At least I think he did. He’s not good at really nailing the jokes.

  5. Mark Says:

    I never called you fat. I nail jokes all the time. You just don’t get ’em. 😛

    Anyway, it would help if you had read the book from which that review was based. It basically says that in the U.S., women with the same education and career experience are paid nearly the same as men. (Sorry to burst your bubble there, lol.) Like 98% equal I believe. The disparities in pay begin to show in areas where there is a large supply of workers vs. lower supply. American women generally do not chose to take dangerous jobs, which is their right. Women tend to value jobs that do not require them to be away from family for long periods, which permit flexibility if they chose to start a family, etc. With less women willing to do dangerous work, men are bound to be paid more on average. Women value other things besides pay, and it is generally their decisions, not some male sexism, which have influenced their pay.

    To futher illustrate, in the U.S. something like 95% of job related deaths are MEN. (Does that bother you at all?) Knowing this, it’s not surprising that men are going to be paid higher in certain areas. Of course, because the deaths are men, the mainstream media totally ignores it.

    Incidentally, the author used to be a member of the National Organization for/of Women. (Then he got smart apparently and got the hell outta there.)

    Sorry if this puts a damper on the “men are keeping us down” schtick, but basic economics explains away yet another myth.

  6. himbly Says:

    Don’t blame me if you’re not funny. You still won’t tell me, if you weren’t calling me a 474 jumbo jet, how I compared to anything in that statement. Not that I really care at this point, but it’s funny how you won’t allow yourself to back up your own statement.

    Okay..once again, you didn’t get it. Though, I will admit, I didn’t make it clear that I thought my female friends with jobs that require education and ~aren’t~ librarians or art historians were making pretty good coin. Because they work at least as hard as men, make the same sacrifices…blah blah blah.

    This was not a ‘men are keeping us down’ post. In fact, that’s really not what feminism is about…you should read up. So…I don’t actually care who the author of the book review was a member of.

    Now…to the issue at hand. It was YOUR post that related a story of women who were making 20% less than men in the same job. And it was YOUR reply to that post that included probably the dumbest paragraph from that book review. My point was that the facts are wrong. If you check my stats…librarians and curators make more than garbage collectors.

    “With less women willing to do dangerous work, men are bound to be paid more on average. Women value other things besides pay, and it is generally their decisions, not some male sexism, which have influenced their pay.”

    Again…it was you who used this argument against a post about a woman who was complaining about getting less pay than men who did the same job. You do see how this is apples and oranges?

    You can probably put money down that I”m not going to waste my time reading that book. When I actually have time to read for pleasure again, then it won’t be some douchbag who spouts off erroneous “facts”. I can tell by the ridiculous statements that are made that it’s not worth my time.

    You need to stop judging people by stereotypes, Mark. It’ll make your arguments stronger if you stop fighting the strawman that isn’t me.

  7. himbly Says:

    Oh…and something I just realized.

    If you can’t get decent stats on how much a librarian, art historian, and a garbage collector makes (though it took me all of 30 seconds), why on earth should I believe you when you say:

    “It basically says that in the U.S., women with the same education and career experience are paid nearly the same as men. (Sorry to burst your bubble there, lol.) Like 98% equal I believe.”

    I suspect that it’s not the ~entire~ truth, but a/ I don’t have my own stats at the moment and I’m to lazy to go find them and b/ inequality in the workplace has a lot to do with treatment of workers rather than the money they’re getting paid.

  8. Joey Says:

    Himbly, have you listened to the March 13 Savage Love podcast yet? Where Dan tears a new asshole (in his uniquely Dan way) into “America’s Dumbest Misogynistic Faggot”?

    Aside from being entertaining, it lead me on an interesting trail of learning about pre-1980’s gay misogyny that I had *NO* idea existed.

    Anyway….the whole reason I brought it up is that Dan defends women in that podcast in an extremely entertaining and endearing way.

    I love that faggot.

  9. himbly Says:

    I love Dan Savage, too. I need to listen to that one!

  10. Reg Says:

    I don’t remember Mark calling you “fat”. I’m going back to Mville and re-read the thread.

    I’ll be back!

  11. himbly Says:

    hehe…Reg. He said ‘don’t talk about himbly that way’ in response to a post about a 747 jet and a hot date. I just decided to ride him about calling me fat (747) but I actually have no idea what he meant.

  12. Reg Says:

    After re-reading the post, and then re-re-reading the post I can say this: Patrick wrote about taking a date on a 747 and joining the mile high club. Mark then implied that Patrick take you on that flight. Sorry my Polish sister, I can’t see where he called or implied that you were fat. His ‘nailed’ comment above backs this up.

  13. himbly Says:

    oh..probably. I dunno. So, then, what ~is~ he calling me?

  14. Mark Says:

    I’m so misunderstood.

    I could provide the easy explanation to my comment, but what fun would that be? 😛

  15. Mark Says:

    himbly wrote:

    “Not to mention that the original story that caused Mark to post in the first place was about women earning up to 20% less than the men who held the same position as them. [emphasis hers]

    The article, however, says

    She recently found out that she and her sole female colleague make about 20% less than the men, even though both women are highly productive “stars.”

    The only thing that sentence hints at is that they’re both “highly productive.” It doesn’t say anything about what their jobs are, what jobs the men have, what stresses they have to deal with, etc. Perhaps the men were smart enough (or dumb enough, depending on your view) to negotiate for a higher salary during their interview. Personally, I have never done this because my focus is on getting the job first.

  16. himbly Says:

    “Dear Annie: My sister, who is in her late 30s (as am I), is a super-successful salesperson, one of only two women on an 18-person sales staff. She recently found out that she and her sole female colleague make about 20% less than the men, even though both women are highly productive “stars.” I think she owes it to herself to talk to her boss about this, but she says she’s satisfied with her current pay and doesn’t want to “rock the boat.” Should I butt out and mind my own business? What do you think? – Just Cathy”

    Okay…allow me to get a little technical on you. Firstly, pragmatically, you can safely assume that since she is talking about making a percentage less…that the percentage less will be in a set of people who do similar things. Secondly, semantically, she says “the men”…”the” is a determiner used on nouns to identify that which is familiar or unique.

    Actually…I think that’s both semantics…either way…my point is right.

    Use your head. why on earth would you say that someone made 20% less than a large and varied population? or an undetermined population? that’s like saying “cats have 20% less fur than animals”.

    As for the comment…you’re only making yourself seem as though you know your intentions with that comment were of a ‘personal attack’ nature and offside and you’re being coy to get around it.

  17. himbly Says:

    “successful salesperson, one of only two women on an 18-person sales staff. She recently found out that she and her sole female colleague make about 20% less than the men, even though both women are highly productive “stars.””

    I would think that this says that they are salespeople…the women and the men. All 18 sales staff, in fact (of which there are two women and 16 men). It’s pretty clear.

  18. himbly Says:

    re: your comment about the jet and the hot date. I’m guessing that if you’re having trouble with the ‘salesperson’ story, that maybe you reread your own comment and misunderstood what you meant?

  19. Mark Says:

    “the percentage less will be in a set of people who do similar things.

    What part of that quote says that they do similar things? Stop inserting meaning into it that is not there. It’s irritating having to correct your (lack of) reading comprehension.

    “Secondly, semantically, she says “the men”…”the” is a determiner used on nouns to identify that which is familiar or unique.

    Thanks, Chomsky. I knew that. I don’t know what the writer’s intent was when using “THE” men.

    why on earth would you say that someone made 20% less than a large and varied population? or an undetermined population? that’s like saying “cats have 20% less fur than animals”.

    Good question! Feminists have been doing THIS EXACT THING for decades: comparing what the average woman makes to the average man without taking into account any other mitigating factors.

    Go complain to them.

  20. Mark Says:

    maybe you reread your own comment and misunderstood what you meant?

    Maybe you’re the one lacking the wits to comprehend it? Just forget it. It was funny when I first typed it, but you seized it, tortured it, killed it and barbecued it.

  21. himbly Says:

    Mark.

    You read the passage wrong. I can’t explain it more clearly than I already have.

    “Good question! Feminists have been doing THIS EXACT THING for decades: comparing what the average woman makes to the average man without taking into account any other mitigating factors.”

    Uh…no. That’s wrong, too.

  22. himbly Says:

    “Maybe you’re the one lacking the wits to comprehend it? Just forget it. It was funny when I first typed it, but you seized it, tortured it, killed it and barbecued it.”

    I disagree. I don’t think it was ever funny…because it didn’t make sense. You just don’t like that I called you on it.

    Sorry…I feel like being more precise in my answer above:

    “What part of that quote says that they do similar things? Stop inserting meaning into it that is not there. It’s irritating having to correct your (lack of) reading comprehension.”

    Honestly…I can’t tell if you really don’t get what the writer said (though it’s very plain) or if you are just holding a position at all costs.

    “Thanks, Chomsky. I knew that. I don’t know what the writer’s intent was when using “THE” men.”

    How many intents do you think the writer could have other than ‘the men’ who perform the same job? She has already established that there were 18 salespeople and that two were women. “The men” were the other 16 salespeople.

    “Good question! Feminists have been doing THIS EXACT THING for decades: comparing what the average woman makes to the average man without taking into account any other mitigating factors.”

    Decades, hey? You mean the decades where women WERE making less than men? Do you mean the decades that women weren’t allowed to vote? Do you mean the decades where women were expected to get married and push out babies at the expense of her own future? Those decades? Where those pesky feminists were fighting for equality because there was none?

    I realize that it’s less ~obvious~ right now, but the fight is not yet over…I will, however, put current situations aside because you’re having trouble understanding that DECADES ago women WERE second class citizens and continue to be so in some cultures all over the world.

  23. himbly Says:

    Oh wait…those decades were the same decades that women often wouldn’t even be considered for the same position as a man. My mistake.


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