As usual, today's edition of the Guardian flopped into my inbox. One of the stories is an issue that makes me furious.
Gender pay gap amongst executives.
On a side note, it always amazes me how these stories pop up in the media so often. People seem to react as if it's a big surprise and how can this be happening with the Equal Pay Act in force? The excuses given in the article are pathetic. "There are more female executives in some sectors." And your point is? Just because you are a woman doesn't mean you should be getting paid less than a male counterpart for the same job. Again, one of the downfalls of living in a patriarchal, capitalist society.
Still on topic, I went to a talk at the Edinburgh Book Festival. It was a discussion about feminism and the panel consisted of Lynn Segal and Laura Kipnis. The former a British academic who was part of second wave feminism in the 70s, the later an American academic who seems to equate sexual identity with gender. It was a lively discussion but seemed to be dominated by audience members asking questions about child rearing and so on. For me, the subject of children is a battle ground for heterosexual couples, less so with same-gender couples.
The decision to have a child ultimately lies with the woman, this cannot be a truly equal decision made between the biological parents. The female can decide to remain pregnant or make decisions to remove that feature. Legislation caters more to females remaining the care giver after the child has left her body. Paternity leave for a father is, on average, two weeks whilst the mother is entitled, with recent legislation, up to nine months. Why should one assume the mother wants to remain the primary care giver? But, as Lynn Segal at the above talk argued, being a mother only lasts proximately 20 years of an estimated 60-80 year life span. It can be easier for the male to walk away. After all, he doesn't have it growing inside him. In the first 9 months of development, the mother suffers and this suffering is continued through to the birthing process. Talking to friends who have given birth, it sounds like a humiliating experience. Your body is no longer your own property, it is given over to midwives and nurses to stretch and tear and rip and pull and force. No orifice is safe, the body expels some matter through every one. Then there's dangers of your entire body going into shock after the birth which can lead to death. Meanwhile, the father struts around the waiting room, wondering if handing out cigars is a little ironic. And please let it be a boy so they can do worthwhile bonding activities like attend sporting events and learn it's not masculine to show your emotions.
Both genders suffer in this life but I feel that women are paid less, treated badly and generally fucked over because they had the rudeness to come into this life missing balls. And that's partly why I'm a feminist. Rant over.