Treat her right

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, February 16th, 2017 - 34 comments
Categories: discrimination, Economy, employment, equality, jobs - Tags:

The Equal Pay Act was passed in 1972. It’s now 2017 and it’s never been enforced. It’s time to ‘Treat Her Right’. Add your voice in support for equal pay here.

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34 comments on “Treat her right”

  1. Antoine 1

    In case it helps, the text of the Act is here: http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1972/0118/latest/DLM407770.html.

    Note that the Act can be highly effective without ever having been enforced (i.e. because parties comply with it so as to avoid being taken to court).

    The debate now seems to focus on some female dominated professions being paid less than some male dominated professions (rather than women being paid less than men within the same profession).

    A.

  2. BG 2

    …as soon as someone explains to me why its ok for women to live much longer than men.

    [lprent: Stupid misogynist troll plays with his teeny genitals. Banned for 2 weeks while you investigate why men don’t live as long as women.

    I’ll give you a hint. Women who live with men don’t live as long as those who don’t. Probably because of simple dickheads like you who are incapable of taking care of yourself and too irresponsible to listen to the caregivers who’d actually give the sense you so clearly lack. ]

    • Lara 2.1

      How about men take responsibility for dying younger?’

      See how this works? Gets us absolutely nowhere.

      And WTF has life span got to do with equal pay anyway? Way to go to try and avoid the issue.

    • Who said that was okay? Or are you just a sad little troll who wants to divert attention from important issues?

  3. rhinocrates 3

    Could go on the ‘Identarian” thread, but pertinent here on the Left’s attitude to women’s rights and Labour parachuting a rape apologist into their list.

    http://werewolf.co.nz/2017/02/anne-russell-on-the-misogyny-at-the-daily-blog/

    Friedrich Engels, who wrote in 1884 that: “The first class opposition that appears in history coincides with the development of the antagonism between man and woman in monogamous marriage, and the first class oppression coincides with that of the female sex by the male.”

    […]

    In the 21st century, how are we to successfully fight fascism when many men who claim to be our comrades are, when it comes to gender, barely distinguishable from Trump? By sidelining women, these men are dividing the Left and setting us up for failure and irrelevance.

    I like the turnaround there – feminism isn’t a divisive ‘special issue’ catering to the fringe and alienating supporters, misogyny is.

  4. McFlock 4

    Almost didn’t see the petition link 🙂

  5. red-blooded 5

    Thanks for posting this.

    Of course, it’s a complex set of issues. Yes, it’s about the difference in pay between female-dominated and male-dominated types of work, but it’s also about things like high-quality, accessible, affordable childcare and giving both men and women paid parental leave (not just having the woman’s career interrupted). Plus, it’s about men stepping up and doing more in the home, so women aren’t doing most of the unpaid work. Women tend to have less access to promotion, partly because of breaks in their paid working lives and partly because of things like part-time status (fitting around unpaid work). And, frankly, there is still discrimination against capable women in the workplace.

    It’s well past time to treat her right!

  6. Richard@Downsouth 6

    I agree with treat her right… I also contend than unionised work places tend to stop unscrupulous employers to pay staff different rates for the same job, because of gender/colour/marital status/religious belief, etc

  7. I wouldn’t sign this, not without some definitions of the terms. Average pay being lower for women than for men isn’t the same thing as “Women earn less than men.” They sure don’t where I work, for a start.

    There are a lot of reasons why that average is lower, many of which aren’t things that government legislation can do anything about. If there are specific things that can be dealt with via legislation, make that explicit. Blanket statements that women are paid less than men don’t inspire me to political action, they just set off my bullshit detector.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 7.1

      Report after report informs us that the pay gap has widened since 2008 (cf: “the bonfire of right wing politics”). Your bullshit detector just registered a false positive.

      • Antoine 7.1.1

        > the pay gap has widened since 2008

        I don’t necessarily have a problem with that, depending on how it came about. I suspect PM would feel the same.

        A.

      • Psycho Milt 7.1.2

        Exactly. It matters how it came about.

        If it came about because employers are finding ways to weasel of out of their Equal Pay Act obligations, fuck yes the government needs to do something about that, preferably including making very public examples of a few of the worst perpetrators.

        On the other hand, if it came about because even more women are making arrangements to work fewer hours, or avoiding promotion because they could do without the responsibility, or always on starting salaries because they move when their husband’s career requires him to move, or not taking better jobs because it would require moving and their husband’s job comes first, or taking even more years off to raise children, then no, there’s nothing the government can or should do about that.

        Personally, my money’s on it being a mixture of all of the above, but picking out the employer-weaselry component can’t be done by looking at an average figure and shouting “Those damn employers!”

        • Antoine 7.1.2.1

          > the government needs to do something about that

          Surely, rather, it’s a matter for the disadvantaged party to raise in the courts?

          A.

          • Psycho Milt 7.1.2.1.1

            This isn’t the USA. If evidence did turn up of large-scale employer avoidance of their Equal Pay Act obligations, most of us would want the government to do something about it, not shrug their shoulders and say “Nothing a few tens of thousands of court cases won’t fix.”

            • Antoine 7.1.2.1.1.1

              Legislate presumably, but I don’t see naming and shaming as a useful part of that process

              • One Anonymous Bloke

                Oh dear. How sad. Never mind. Will you be ok?

              • The threat of it could be a very useful part of that process. If you’re dealing with a head of department who declares it “coincidence” that his male staff are uniformly being paid more than his female staff, the prospect of the CEO being dragged through the courts and pilloried in the media as poster boy for sexism in the workplace might prove to be a lot more persuasive than exhortations to do the right thing.

  8. rhinocrates 8

    Excellent post by Stephanie here:

    https://bootstheory.wordpress.com/2017/02/17/werewolf-on-leftwing-misogyny/

    The articles she links to are well worth reading. Those paleoleftists who rail about “identity politics” as being a distraction or outright sabotage are really saying “Shut up and get back in the kitchen while the men deal with the real issues.”

    Equal pay is one of those real issues… and it goes beyond pay equality on paper to pay equality in practice. I’ve worked many years in the so-called ‘progressive’ tertiary education sector that is in practice hostile to women and their careers (both lecturers and students – for example a tiny, underfunded creche that had to be booked a year in advance), particularly those with children to care for.

  9. Brutus Iscariot 9

    I’ve always been puzzled by the “men don’t do enough housework and thus contribute to inequality” argument. When someone writes that, do they mean men in their household, or other men? If it’s the former, why do they not simply exercise change in their own household? If it’s the latter, what’s the government supposed to do about it? Mandatory “re-education programmes”? Government inspectors?

    What impact does the way another couple allocates housework have on the lives of the rest of us? In essence the distribution of domestic duties is just one of many relationship choices – it’s entirely up to the individual couple. You can’t just simply take the average and demand collective action from above. If there’s inequality in domestic duties, it’s up to women and men to negotiate change in their personal lives.

    It’s no different to a man complaining about a lack of married sex. It’s an individual problem relating to their specific circumstances, not a societal issue.

    • McFlock 9.1

      OK, first of all it’s not about specific men, in the speaker’s household or elsewhere. It’s a systemic issue. It might or might not apply to any man or household, in the same way men commit more sexual assaults than women but that doesn’t mean we’re talking about any specific man when we say that.

      Secondly, describing a problem does not demand a specific solution at that time. For a systemic cultural problem, the intial response of a normal person would be to consider to what degree they contribute to it in their own household, and whether they are oblivious to evidence of it. In your house, does shit just magically get done? How have you fallen into that pattern?

      Thirdly, “negotiating” change in personal lives is beside the point. If one person is working a full day and then doing all the dishes and vacuuming and laundry, maybe they do that because it’s just easier than trying to “negotiate” change. But if the other partner takes a while to think about it and be more considerate, say after it’s pointed out that the additional time and energy demands could well be why the homemaker gets paid less at work, then they can simply think about how they can improve the situation for someone they theoretically love.

      Fourthly, “how does it affect the rest of us” is simply a dick question to ask.

      Fifthly: if it’s a problem that affects so many individuals that it quite clearly skews societal statistics, then it is a societal issue.

      • Brutus Iscariot 9.1.1

        Not if the statistics are simply the collective expression of a set of preferences. Unless you’re implying that women in general are compelled to do more housework by men. Maybe it’s that they have generally higher cleanliness standards and want to raise the baseline above what a male would consider acceptable?

        Replying to your “fourthly”, comparing how my neighbours allocate their domestic housework is about as relevant to me as collecting data on their sex lives. They’re both expressions of private lives. It’s their business not mine, providing there is no degree of coercion.

        • McFlock 9.1.1.1

          Even if women were cleaner than men on average, why does that mean that they should do so much of the household chores that they end up being paid 13% less than men on average?

          Again, nobody’s asking you to peek on your neighbours. But if someone has it tough, it’s just a dick move to say that you don’t care because it’s none of your business and it doesn’t directly affect you.

          But I guess grass gonna grow and dicks gonna dick.

          • Brutus Iscariot 9.1.1.1.1

            I’m not saying they should do more of the housework. But it’s a personal, domestic issue (again provided no element of coercion is involved).

            Most of the argument seems to be taking a set of individual domestic preferences/arrangements, collating data across the whole nation, then using them to construct bogus arguments about discrimination.

            The mythical 13% difference number is also thrown around with no reference to the fact that studies have shown that most of the difference is explained by factors like different employment participation patterns.

            https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-04-12/new-gender-pay-gap-studies-are-challenging-conventional-wisdom

            http://women.govt.nz/sites/public_files/Pay%20Inequality%20between%20Men%20and%20Women%20in%20New%20Zealand%2C%20by%20Sylvia%20Dixon.pdf

            • McFlock 9.1.1.1.1.1

              Why is it that women get lumped with the housework?
              Why is it that women are usually the ones who have to put their careers on hold for longer because of kids?
              Why is our society set up this way?
              Why does “most of the difference” justify ignoring the issue entirely?

              Why do none of these questions occur to you?

              • Brutus Iscariot

                They’re personal questions, not political ones.

                • McFlock

                  Wow. The world is just made up of millions of distinct and tiny silos to you, isn’t it?

                  You really think “why is our society set up this way” is a purely personal question?

            • Psycho Milt 9.1.1.1.1.2

              Most of the argument seems to be taking a set of individual domestic preferences/arrangements, collating data across the whole nation, then using them to construct bogus arguments about discrimination.

              How is it bogus? If a discriminatory individual arrangement occurs often enough in a population to be statistically significant, it’s highly unlikely to be a matter of individual choices and much more likely to be a reflection of social factors. Statistics and Sociology have been around long enough as disciplines that that ought to be uncontroversial.

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