Born Equal

21 Dec

“For the first time in my life, I got people respecting me. Please, don’t ask me to give it up.” – Erin Brockovich

So, recently on the news on Radio 1 (well it was about a month or so ago) I heard that car insurance was rising and could no longer be put in favour of women, because it’s seen as gender discriminative to men…

Now, I know you’d assume I would be p*ssed off at this but surprisingly I’m not. I’ve always thought it was unfair to presume all boys are boy racers and that all women are careful drivers, because we are definitely not (speaking from personal experience!) it is unfair to make younger male drivers pay more than women; we should all pay the same. It is completely stereotypical to judge all young male drivers this way. So yes it’s great something’s being done about it to ensure all genders are treated equally…right?

Don’t get me wrong, it is great that changes are being made, but what about the endless acts of gender discrimination we women face on a daily basis that don’t seem to be changing any time soon?

Take yearly salaries for example: how is it fair for a woman, whose job role is superior to a man in the same company, to be paid £10,000 less a year because she might get pregnant and have to go on maternity leave? First of all it’s unethical to presume all women want, or are even able to have children. Secondly, last time I checked a baby belongs to two parents, whether that is a man or another woman, yet it’s only women who are discriminated…for a change. It’s completely unjustified and unfair for the birth mother to be subject to discrimination. I’m not saying that she should have special treatment but don’t underpay someone because they are female. If she gets pregnant then make some sort of financial deduction in wages for her throughout the 9 months of pregnancy to cover her through her maternity leave, kind of like a pension scheme I guess. She should not be paid a smaller wage throughout her career.

Another thing, which actually made me write this entry, are the issues that single women may face. I was chatting to a girl in work (same one as last week!) and she said when she was single and looking to buy a house. When applying for a mortgage, she was considered a high risk because she wasn’t married therefore, I’m assuming, doesn’t have the financial support of another. Yet, single men are able to get mortgages because they can support themselves! So why are women still being stereotypically viewed as dependent, when we do just fine on our own? Remember Erin Brockovich people!!! Clearly we are a collectively strong and intelligent bunch!

Going back to the difference in male vs. female salary, I have just had a heated discussion with my mother over it. She was adamant it was equal and that this doesn’t happen in Britain. So I just researched into it and found on The Guardian website that on average female doctors earn £15,000 less than male doctors a year. I revealed this to her and she said “oh”. That’s exactly the point I’m trying to make; we are oblivious to this kind of gender discrimination because it’s hushed and accepted as normal. It’s wrong! If there are two doctors of the same skill then they should be paid the same wage; gender is irrelevant.

Now, I’m not for one second stating that this is all companies and all job roles. I am not generalising in the slightest, I’m just pointing out that this happens whether we are aware of it or not. I believe all genders should be treated equally and car insurance is being modified so when are the rest of the issues going to be solved?

Some people view feminism as butch women who want superiority over men. That’s crap. Speaking personally, I am only striving for equality, not superiority because then we will just be the same as everything we fight against.

What do you guys think about average male vs. female salaries? Did you think women were being paid the same as men? We’d love to hear your opinions. Join in the debate!

About the writer: Melody has just finished a degree in Journalism, Film and Media with a 2:1. She aspires to work with vulnerable women and children subject to domestic, and or other forms of abuse. She is an animal lover and has a small obsession with Fearne Cotton. She is a constant joker and can be found on Twitter.

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