Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Road Yet to be Travelled

For some reason, they don't have an Ikea catalogue at the hairdresser's, so I am forced to read their celeb mags. Well, alright, if you twisted my arm I'd have to confess I'm not forced to, since I have the two books I am reading in my bag. But I do anyway.

I haven't honestly heard of most of the celebs, although some of them I know from GoFugYourself, my guilty online reading site where I chortle, often aloud, at some of the bizarre outfits they wear. From here I know of Lady Gaga and Bai Ling, although I have no clue what their purpose in life is.

So, flicking through said mags today, I discover a couple of people I am familiar with.
Kelly Osborne - it always seemed unfair to me that neither of the Osborn children got their mother's looks, but in fact, the picture of Kelly was quite flattering, and it turns out that she does favour Sharon.

Then there was Dexter and his sister. So, Dexter, or rather, whatever the actor's name is, whom we first met on Six Feet Under, as the gayer than springtime brother. Quite clearly no acting needed there.
And Dexter's sister, whose Adam's apple we keep trying to catch a glimpse of.
Only it turns out that neither of them are gay, au contraire, although they both set our gaydar screaming, they are in fact married - to each other. What?!? I know!

Speaking of women who wear trousers - which of course we all do - Bozo wondered whether I was considering mentioning the Sudanese woman who has been sent to gaol for wearing trousers. And a very good question. I have been following this case and greatly admire the courage of this woman. She could have wriggled out of the charges because she was working for the UN, but she didn't, she resigned, she could have just paid a fine, but she wouldn't because she wanted to challenge the actual law. She could have been flogged, she risked that. She has drawn international support for the cause, which fundamentally is about human rights, but it's no picnic making the sort of stand she has done. We take for granted what our grandmothers' generation did to get us the vote - even the most weak-minded would be horrified to lose that now, but blood was shed to get us that equality, just as much blood was shed to put Obambi in the White House. It's complacency that is the most dangerous thing now.

Because it leads to, or at best masks, situations like the gender pay gap in the Financial sector in Britain. Across the board, the gender pay gap is 28%, in the financial industry, where 51% of employees are women, the gap is 47% in annual average earnings. Women get 80% less in performance related pay. Surely, you might argue, this means that women in the industry are underperforming?
Firstly, 86% of women start on a lower salary than men. Ok, ok, but get to the bonuses.
Those bonuses are earned as a result of higher status tasks and networking. The research showed that the lads culture reigns supreme, so that men are encouraged and women discouraged and thus, ultimately end up doing less prestigious tasks, which then become known as women's work and so the spiral continues downwards.
The networking often takes place in establishments on the margins of the sex industry, such as lap-dancing clubs, strip bars and hostess bars, places that in any case, are inappropriate venues for work and by their very nature, exclude women.
It's shameful, but constant shaking of the head, like constant weighing of the pig, doesn't improve matters.
When politicians like Harriet Harman attempt to even the score, they are derided and harassed.
There is a way to go yet.


Kevin said...

It's remarkable (and confusing) to me that there was no further note in the article point out that the person responsible for:

… a senior director female who had had two periods of pregnancy, the first period of pregnancy when she came back, someone extremely senior within a global banking institution shouted across the room she should shut her legs and make sure she had no more babies …

was not sacked as a result.

Schneewittchen said...

Most likely he denied it and would have been backed up by his male colleagues all of whom would have been believed over the undervalued woman.
But very fair point.