Binders of Women, the early years.

22Oct12

The debate season is in overdrive, and the last ditch efforts to curry favor with the undoubtedly tuned-out populace of the land of plenty has resulted in some interesting pastimes for some would-be voters. The most recent presidential debate, which was on the 16th, was town-hall style. This seems to be a recipe for all kinds of awkward interrupting and infinitely quotable lines. The reigning champion was definitely Romney’s “binders of women,” which was clearly a well-intentioned response to an audience member’s question about what he was going to do to bridge the pay and equality divide between women and men in the workplace. According to a recent article published in the Guardian, woman receive on 77 cents to every man’s 1 dollar in for the same work.  Apparently, women with university degrees will max out their earning potential at $60,000 at age 39, whereas men will reach their ceiling at 48 and clock $95,000.

Source: NYT

It is baffling to me, that we can afford to send multiple missions to the Moon, and there was actually congressional hullabaloo about french fries, but women still are paid less for the same work. Here is a handy map to illustrate the disparity, which even extends to women of color.

According to the National Women’s Law Center

Perhaps the argument against women is we are not a good investment. We will get married, get pregnant, and stay at home to raise out kids. The maternity leave in America is paltry in comparison to what you can get in Canada. However, such an argument is pointless. While some women choose to leave, just as many are willing to go the extra mile. There is far more hanging in the balance for women. I think many of us should we want a family, yet wish to make any headway, we have to weight factors such as age and a sense that we have to give something up in order to become successful in our careers. Men just do not have this dilemma. We should not be punished for biology.

Romney’s statement, about having “binder’s of women” was meant to illustrate that he was attempting to place women in a position over men. Of course this highlights an entirely new set of issues. Now he is showing a gender preference, shouldn’t he also have “binders of people of color,” etc. That may sound very un-PC, but it is an issue. Ideally, the hiring process should be entirely blind. A candidate is measured on their experience and ability (initially), not on race, gender, creed, or color. Obviously this model would run into huge snags during the interview process, where it is virtually impossible to eliminate personal bias.

Regardless, equal pay is a must. It is inexcusable that we are being punished because we just happened to be born a different sex.

On a much lighter note. I was inspired by the tumblr, which sprung up during the debate (how keen were those people?), by this image:

I very good play on the Bayeux Tapestry. Check out this site to learn more about this fantastic piece of history.

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