Just this past Tuesday, March 8th, marked the 100th International Woman’s Day. And instead of posting a largely symbolic bunch of words declaring my solidarity with all the day represents, I chose not to post. I didn’t have anything relevant to add. That was then. This is now.
Yesterday, while sitting on my throne I was listening to CBCs The Current, and their reading of their listeners mail specifically, when they featured responces (at 8 minutes and 30 seconds) to a piece, Women’s Work & the State of Feminism, that The Current aired on Tuesday.
When it hit me! Before I get into it, to be fair, it wasn’t so much anything that was raised yesterday, but rather a culmination of opinions I’ve heard spoken this past Tuesday, yes, but previously on the CBC, as well…
The opinions for which I’m talking about are when individuals try to make excuses for the discrepancies in pay between women and men, those discrepancies being lower, and declare reasons for that difference is explicable because women take time off to rear children. The law of averages may start to explain those differences but I think that argument is flawed from the start. It’s an excuse.
Say if, on one hand a disabled individual is provided “access” to everything they should need in a working environment despite their situation, shouldn’t a woman be provided the same respect, on the other? Now I’m not equating the “disabled” and women, with regard to each of their roles in society, as a “less than” situation. I’m merely speaking existentially.
The fact a woman can bear children is part of the human experience. Thus it’s her human right. Just as access to anywhere I might want to go should be mine (I’m looking right at you University of Toronto). Whether any woman chooses to have a child or not is irrelevant. So, I feel, all these arguments toward a woman receiving less pay based on the fact she can have children are disingenuous.
It’s a choice they claim. A woman becoming pregnant isn’t always according to plan. In fact I have more than a few friends who have intimate knowledge with exactly what this involves. Point being I had a choice to climb into that car before something happened I wasn’t counting on happening. Nothing is fool proof. Accidents happen. Such is life.
Penalizing a woman for being able to bear children is one thing (the wrong thing), but using it as an excuse to be compensate women differently than their male counterparts is quite another…