What neither candidate (or the mainstream media) gets about women and equality

Obama:  We know about the struggles of our mothers and grandmothers.  We don’t need it reiterated.  Tell us how you will demolish that path.  Equal pay is great.  Equal hiring would be awesome.

Romney:  Our concern is not really go get home in time to make you dinner.  Fuck you.  That answer was insulting.

I’m watching Morning Joe, cause today is my late day at work/school, where I get to enjoy my coffee and my dog cuddles next to me.  This rejected ovary they invited on keeps insulting Mika for things she’s not even saying.  Mika is attempting to point out the fact that Romney shared a completely made up story about his hiring practices for women, the fact that an outside agency had to point out his lack of women and that is why he began to seek them out.  This sac is like “get over the binder thing!”  “Not all women have abortion at the forefront of their mind!”  I like Mika, but I wish she would raise her voice  a little more.  I constantly watch her seething while the others talk but rarely interrupts them the way they do to her.  Raise your voice Girl!  She did come back with an excellent response to a comment about women “needing” flex hours, “Well it’s great we can get a lower number of hours since we’re paid less.”  Oh shit!  And another killer one as I am typing.  Joe and the other sacs are clearly chastising her and she comes back with “you know, I have to go soon, I have to get home to make dinner.”  Rock it girl. (Just a little louder next time, these guys are lame as shit.)

When talking about equal pay, we are ignoring the lack of equal hiring.  Women are passed up for promotions, jobs, and such because it is assumed that they need to be home for their children (whether they have them or not, whether they are the primary caretakers or not).  A friend from school was applying to internships while she was visibly pregnant.  On every interview she was asked how she planned to balance these responsibilities.  I don’t know what she answered, she didn’t share.  But she did share that she wanted so badly to tell them their question was inappropriate and if they asked this to married men.  My school, and I’m sure others, has a history of putting women on Academic Development Plans (pretty much a scarlet letter on your transcript that most internships see and throw away your application without looking into) when they become pregnant.   Now, when you go on an ADP, you have to write and create a plan about “how did this happen” and “what is your plan to prevent this from happening again.  These things are written for people that like fail classes or display obvious lack of professionalism.   Becoming pregnant is not a failure or lack of professionalism.  It really has nothing to do with anything in your professional life if you don’t want it to.  It is so fucking unethical, and I’m pretty sure illegal to do something like this.

So what is wrong with women and work, in my opinion?  The fact that they are perceived so differently, that we assume their needs are so different.  We assume women have aspirations of parenthood.  We assume they will drop out of the workforce when they become parents.  Even further, we assume they WANT to drop out of the work force.  We assume they are the primary caregivers that need to be at home.

We have worked very hard to get away from the idea that women are less capable, less intelligent, less able, and less driven.  But, to my shock and disappointment, that has been replaced by the idea that women are “still just women,” who want and need to be mothers.   That women will always be caregivers at the heart.  Fuck that.  Some women are this way and more power to them.  Some men are fathers and caregivers at the heart, and more power to them.  We really have to get over this fucking idea that men are women are fundamentally different.  If so, I guess that makes me and boyfriend fucking mutants, what with our agreement that if kids happen he will be the primary caregiver and I will be the worker bee (after he learns to cook, lol).  At some point, the media, employers, and politicians, I can only hope, will get this point that both men and women can be equal at home and at work.  That they can share equal responsibilities.  If women “need” flex hours to fulfill their responsibilities at home, men do to.  If women are assumed to leave the workforce after becoming mothers, so should men when they become fathers.  Friends, this is equality.  I could put it in more positive terms, but people don’t seem to really recognize difference when it is put in positive terms.  When I hear this argument applied equally to men and women, I will believe it.


2 Responses to What neither candidate (or the mainstream media) gets about women and equality

  1. I remember the question: “What would you do about gender inequality in the workplace?”. I thought Pres. Obama’s answer was a solid answer. People are upset with Gov. Romney’s answer but you have to put things in perspective (although this does not justify what he said). Being a CEO of a company, like Gov. Romney, he probably never had to hire anybody to do any of these jobs. He hired a person to run a department to do all of this for him. So if you’re asking Romney about diversity and not the person that he hired, then he may have to pull out a binder or a file cabinet with all the applications and resumes on file.

    The binder full of women thing, women and everyone else, should get over that because Romney said something much worse if people actually listened. After the binder full of women comment, (and to paraphrase his core answer), he would deal with gender inequality in the workplace by making sure companies had enough money to hire the kind of people who would need flexible schedules. Think about that! I will fix gender inequality by making sure that your boss has enough money that he can afford to hire someone who will need special considerations. Women are upset about the binder full of women but if you watch the speech and “get over the binder full of women” comment, you will find something much worse in its stead.

    That’s what people didn’t get and I think that we have to be pragmatic in understanding that the plight of the woman is the plight of the marginalized American – anyone who would need to be kept in a “binder” until the right time to be called on. That binder full of women comment could have been a binder full of Blacks, Mexicans, Asians, Foreigners, Jews, Muslims, etc (and lets be realistic and note that these names would be much different). That could have been anyone and so its more important to address the issue of having money in order to “downgrade” and hire someone that is less than par even when this is not true.

    There is a shift here that white men are not able to really address and they are holding on to power however they can. Check out the guy who is starting the White Student Union in Townsend University (I believe). So I wouldn’t be too worried about the fact that Romney needed a binder or if one existed or not but whether or not we, “marginal” Americans, are considered worthy employment from the submission of an application or not.

  2. The binder comment was amusing, not so much offensive. I really don’t care where he keeps collections of resumes, everyone has binders/files of resumes they keep on hand. What is mildly more upsetting, is the image that he has them labeled “Women” “Blacks” “Mexicans” “Jews”…. I’m over the binder comment. I see and completely understand the more offensive and disgusting remarks he made, with the subtext being “you can work, just make sure my dinner is ready when I get home from the real job.”

    But also, this story came from when he was elected Gov. Not when he was in business.

    What’s infuriating is the assumption that women need those special considerations. They don’t. But the excuse for women’s lower wages is that they needs those special considerations. I do not think women have any “plight” in the sense that they have some internalized suffering. Their “plight” is ignorant hiring practices and that is what all minorities feel, that only “affirmative action” practices will land them jobs.

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