Today’s Fractional Worth of Women

Last week marked Equal Pay Day.  I was too busy to write anything up then, but I want to rectify that now.  The National Women’s Law Center has a great breakdown on this year’s statistics, so go ahead and see how much progress (if any) has been made in your own state.  Let’s start with the current national average of what women across the board are paid versus the gold standard white male.  For every dollar that a white man earns, American women get noticeably less.

77% National Women's Wage Gap

So that’s the national average for women without breakdown by class or ethnicity.  Let’s look at the comparable data for Utah.

69% Average Gap for Utah Women

Well, that’s not very encouraging.  I guess it’s time to move onward to more depressing breakdowns of statistics, first non-latina White women:

66% Non-Latina White Women's Gap

And worse, Latinas in Utah:

49% Latina Wage Gap

Ugh.  African American women?

48% African American Wage Gap

Fucking hell.  Are we all depressed yet?  Let’s start looking at breakdowns by educational level.  First, women with a high school diploma versus men with a high school diploma.

61% High School Diploma Gap

What about men and women with a bachelor’s degree?

59% Bachelor's Degree Gap

In 2011, women made up two thirds of all those paid minimum wage or less.  Although unemployment figures overall have decreased, women’s unemployment rates have actually increased from 2007 to 2011.  And although women rely much more heavily on assistance to get higher education in an attempt to earn living wages, budgetary issues have led to across the board cuts to programs they rely on.  A degree certainly isn’t a guarantee of achieving greater pay parity, but it certainly can help women and families out of poverty.

In fact, the typical Utah woman who has received an associate’s degree or completes some college still isn’t paid as much as the typical Utah man who only graduated from high school.

In a time when conservative politicians tell us there is no war on women, these numbers are a striking slap in the face.  We are told that we imagine hostility to controlling our sexuality and reproduction without social and financial penalty, that we imagine injustice and should look instead at all those women who priotitize families over careers or who don’t ask for raises.  The de-facto nominee for the Republican party won’t tell us whether he supports the tools afforded women by the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, and wants us to ignore that all those clamoring to tell us he supports equal pay actually voted against the measure before it became law.

I will not be silent.  And I am not worth less.

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