Cleaning house physically, emotionally, and mentally.

Today is International Women’s Day. Let’s celebrate “the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future.”

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Back in the 70s, I fought against sexual discrimination. In college, I was only one of a few women who studied for a masters degree in Biology.

At one of my first big jobs after college, I struggled against sex discrimination in the workplace. At that time and place, equal pay was based on experience, education, and job responsibility. I filed a sex discrimination claim against a company that paid me less than the man who had the job before me. He got fired. I held the position longer than he did, had a higher education than he did, and had more job responsibility than he did. Yet when I tried to discuss this inequality of pay with upper management, I was fired.

I told management that act could be seen as retaliation. So they said I wasn’t fired, just laid off. I mentioned that that was basically the same thing. Management so did not want to deal with the issue, that they did a temporary shut down of the entire company. Obviously I left at that point. I later officially filed a legal sex discrimination claim–and won.

I was in another job where I was the only female, except for office staff. Thankfully, management was a bit more enlightened and I never felt any discrimination.

Statistics from 2013 show that women in the USA workforce are making $.78, while men make $1.00.
(illustration from Bloomberg.com)
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Really?? We are still fighting this same fricking battle some 40 years later??!!?

I fought so my daughter would not have to deal with this mindset. Who is at fault? Women for not putting their foot down? Men for continuing the caveman mentality? Companies that continue the good ole boy network because people (women) are afraid to say anything for fear of losing their job. Probably a mixture of all of the above.

This makes me sick. And I am too tired to fight again.

Equality for women.
Make it Happen!

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Comments on: "International Women’s Day" (5)

  1. I’ve almost always worked in male-dominated fields.
    In high school, I caused a HUGE ruckus when the local newspaper published 1st/2nd/3rd place swim stats for the boy’s team but only 1st for women (the male sports desk guy told me, “people aren’t interested”; asshole), causing me to refuse to provide stats. Somehow it turned into an issue of the paper refusing to take stats from anyone but me (trying to hardball me) so I simply refused to give any boys team stats beyond 1st place, to keep equality in place.
    I also got PE turned co-ed when girl’s were playing tennis and boys were swimming – cause I hated tennis and wanted to swim. And then I kicked the butt of every male swimmer (in that class).
    And my BFF was the first female to be on a high school water polo team.
    F inequality!!

    ps: super cool to read that you won that case!!

  2. It’s incredibly lonely to be the person at a company or institution who calls out an injustice and tries to fight back. You probably felt that when your former employer dismissed you; I’ve had my days where I had to hide in the women’s room and cry because my supervisor, ironically, a woman, threatened to fire me and insulted me after I pointed out she didn’t treat me the same way she treated my male coworkers.

    (And I think that’s another issue: back in the 70s, we thought giving women more power and access to executive offices would create a more egalitarian workplace. Unfortunately, a number of women bought right into the old-boy hierarchy and were even worse than some men in dealing with their female employees.)

    I do think women need to be more supportive of each other and work in solidarity on issues like pay discrepancy and sexism in the workplace. Fighting for gender equality seems to have gone on far too long—it’s the 21st century, people! We shouldn’t have to tell employers that women aren’t there to clean up after our male coworkers or that our skills are somehow less valuable than theirs. And it also makes me angry that our daughters still have to deal with this crap in this day and age.

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