Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Compensation Inequity + UnMarried Status + Kids = Poverty

Blog for Fair Pay 2009
For all the women whose lives are the exception to this, count yourselves fortunate! This is for the woman who finds herself in a bind because her alimony or child support hasn't come through or is non-existent, who may not have a six-figure income and who may be relying on some sort of assistance from a county agency or not have a job. Today is blogging for Equal Pay and this has been an ongoing fight for women to be properly compensated. Women of Color are paid 1/3 less for doing similar work as a white male.

Here are some points of intersectionality:
  • sick leave
  • paid time off
  • commute time (whether you have a vehicle or are relying on public transportation)
  • women being paid less for similar work or steered into certain professions
  • child-care costing so much
  • health coverage
  • unemployment compensation 
  • racism
  • sexism
  • disability
  • gender status or expression
All of the provisions being set aside for the un(der)emplyed are very important right now. Quite a few states that have male Republican Governors are refusing stimulus funds and leaving the most vulnerable residents twisting in the wind. There's a nice warm spot in Hell awaiting for ya for it too! The United Nations Development Fund for Women seeks to address gender inequalities and give women tools of empowerment they can use.

We cannot ignore the vast increase of out of wedlock births. More mouths to feed means less resources. Some women choose motherhood without seeking a permanent partner. Aside from the need for children to have positive influence of both genders, there are many different types of families. Black women are going to be adversely affected by their choices more than other groups of women. It's a racist world and far too many of our self-appointed leaders have squandered all political gains made post-Civil Rights for their own interests.

The opportunities afforded by being in a particular class status would do much to alleviate day to day concerns. If we all had more money than we needed and adequate resources our lives would be much easier obviously. Not to say people can't survive obstacles but that certainly doesn't make it a life ripe for coasting with ease either. Why struggle when you don't have to? 

Patriarchy is a tricky thing. Some of us choose not to marry and procreate. Whether it's an empowered choice from fully exercising all options or an excuse we give to make ourselves feel better is open for debate. To pretend that marriage isn't desirable though is being facetious. LGBTs wouldn't be fighting so hard for it if it had little value. It's something straights take for granted totally. Why people have so much disdain for marriage today is not an example of progress I'd celebrate. Bad marriages are not the goal here. 

We can now talk about things much more openly and evaluate people better. Unless you're a person of means or famous or lucky you are not the exception and dreaming about eating caviar on melba toast everyday won't change that. With the economy doing so poorly, this conversation can be one of semantics, pipe dreams and shoulda/woulda/coulda or it can be one that accurately reflects the lives of those who are underserved, overworked and in situations that we would not want if we could wave a magic wand to change them.

The differences along race, social class and ethnicity can be further broken down by residency status. When I lived in the UK I had a work permit but I didn't get the hourly rate my skill set would have afforded me because I had a time limit on how long I was allowed to stay in the country. Still my compensation wasn't that bad and I found a position in three days. After I was hired my employer had decided to pay me an additional 1 pound per hour. I didn't ask why either. Considering I took a position mid-November and received full pay when the office was closed for two weeks between Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year's I was more than satisfied.

I had scheduled it so that I wouldn't go over a certain dollar amount before the end of the tax year. Now I was able to extend my permit to Ireland for an additional four months. As easy as my UK experience had been, Ireland was problematic. Getting temporary employment, the rate of pay and housing were all far more challenging than they'd been in the UK. They still owe me more than 300 Euros because they overtaxed me and the government takes the money out immediately and you have to apply to get it back. It's a beautiful country but when employers refuse to hire you even with a legal permit they need to reevaluate their work schemes.

I can't imagine how difficult it would be to come here to live. With the exception of a few I'm sure it's anything but a breeze. The US offers a green card lottery though where your name could be conceivably picked out of a hat. The devastation of other world economies drives many to seek shelter here illegally though which will lead to a consistent sharecropper population. Since the US government doesn't enforce its laws regarding illegal immigration and the corruption that surrounds it there is a criminal network hard to dismantle now. On top of that the corporations that employ such a workforce is also in violation of other laws and safety practices. It's no coincidence the outbreaks of food poisoning and poor food processing has occurred and will continue. On the other hand if US citizens could apply for open lotteries to live and work in the UK - or Canada - I'm sure many of us would consider relocating if we had the opportunity.

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B.G. Sanford said...

I have worked all of my adult life. I never got a penny from my government, I never collected food or any other kind of assistance.I am one of those women who never stood there with their hand out. Truth is, the world does owe you a living, you just have to work for it. With that off my chest, I'd like to promote my new book that deals with this subject matter to a degree. "Beth:Love Along The Way...by B.G.Sanford," and just released by Eloquent Books. It's the story of one woman who overcame all odds, and two bad divorces to find true Love.......Along The Way. It's an amazing story you won't soon forget. If so inclined, you can order it off the internet or have your local bookstore order it for you.
All my best,

Faith at Acts of Faith Blog said...

Hello BG: Your comment wasn't really on the topic at hand but I let it pass through moderation in case your book may be of some assistance. It might be better if you have a link to a preview page so we could get a sense of your writing. Feel free to visit but I'd prefer that you have other things to add to the conversation than self-promotion since you haven't contributed anything before.