I keep my opinions out of this blog to a large extent, but women's equality is the one issue that resonates so strongly for me that I can't help but take up the standard.
You may have seen the news recently that U.S. women are now, on average, making only 75.5 cents for every dollar that men make. Yvonne DiVita of Lip-Sticking covered this last week. As Yvonne says, what a disappointment.
I come from a family in which the women have worked outside the home since before it was a common thing to do. My grandmother often told me about her experiences as a newspaper reporter, a job she loved. One day she discovered that the male reporter with whom she shared an office earned significantly more money than she did. She complained to the paper's managing editor who said, "Your husband works, doesn't he?"
I had rather innocently hoped that anti-discrimination laws had made that kind of attitude extinct, but the news about the pending class action suit against Wal-Mart contained many similar stories, some worded almost exactly the same way.
I refuse to believe that there's anything radical about political, economic and social equality for women. These days a lot of women are distancing themselves from the "f" word, "feminism." I'll never forget how shocked I was the first time I heard a conservative preacher use the word "feminist" as though it were an epithet. There are many social issues in this world with a lot of grey areas, but "equal pay for equal work" sounds like simple, playground-level fairness to me.
Yesterday I wore my favorite new t-shirt that says, "This is what a feminist looks like." I would love to see a whole roomful of different and varied women, all wearing that shirt. That should address any lingering sterotypes in one fell swoop!
The days of coasting on this issue have ended. If you can think of a way to make even a small difference, now's the time to get started.