I learned today, April 12, that it is Equal Pay Day, a “non-holiday,” as the article I linked calls it. April 12 marks the day that white women have worked enough in 2015 and 2016 to earn as much money as white men earned in 2015. Of course, as the article explains, this is the worst case scenario. Equal Pay Day for mothers is June 4, for Native American women it’s September 13, for African American women it’s August 23, and for Latina women it’s November 1.
This may not be a happy holiday, but it’s important because it brings attention to the issue. Many companies that sell products for women are offering 21% off to account for the 21 cents women don’t get paid for each dollar a man does. This reminds me of bake sales that some people hold where men are charged $1 and women are charged roughly $.73.
I think Equal Pay Day is great, but it is a bit of white feminism. I’ve never heard of Equal Pay Day before today, but I doubt I’ll ever hear about Equal Pay Day for minority women. Those other Equal Pay Days should also be recognized.
This other article has some nice graphs that show some of the qualities that a woman might posses that would lead her to be payed less. This, of course, includes race among other things.
I think a huge struggle we face as feminists is getting people to believe that the battle we are fighting is real. I've seen a few posts about Equal Pay Day of various social media platforms. Reading through comments on those posts is disheartening. I would say that a majority of the comments are calling the pay gap fake or something feminists made up. Seeing how many people don't believe in something so horrible is discouraging. I feel like I'm part of a fight that can never be won because no one believes it exists. However, I saw a quote from Ellen Page the other day that helped a little. "But how could it be any more obvious that we still live in a patriarchal world when feminism is a bad word?"
There are people out there who hate the idea of a feminist. Our job is to convince those people to become feminist themselves. It's not an easy job, but if we don't do it we may never get anywhere.