Dear Madame L,
I have a wife and two daughters who are victims to a complex set of employment biases - and this has bothered me for a long time.
What makes it worse is that some people (generally so-called conservatives) keep saying there's no employment gap at all.
What's your opinion?
Concerned Husband and Father
Dear Faithful Husband and Father,
You're right. Women still experience inequality in employment. AND some men, and women, are still claiming that isn't true.
For example, Rachel Maddow got into an argument on Meet the Press last Sunday when Alex Castellanos kept interrupting her, she said:
"It's weird that you're interrupting me and not letting me make my point, because we get along so well, so let me make my point. But the interruption is important, I think, because now we know, at least from both of your perspective, that women are not faring worse than men in the economy, that women are not getting paid less for equal work. I think that's a serious difference in factual understanding in the world, but given that, some of us believe that women are being paid less than men."
When Castellanos had to admit that she was right with the numbers, he tried to make excuses ('give reasons") for the disparity in pay for women and men.
When Rachel pointed out that those were just excuses, he condescended, in much the same way many women have experienced men (fathers, brothers, teachers, coaches, etc.) condescending to them from the time they were little girls to even after they are grown up: He said, essentially, "You're so cute when you're angry."
Those weren't his exact words, of course. His exact words were, "I I love how passionate you are. I wish you were as right about what you're saying as you are passionate about it. I really do."
Rachel's reply was perfect: "That's really condescending.," Maddow said. "This is a stylistic issue. My passion on this issue is actually me making a factual argument."
Madame L is glad you only asked for her opinion, because she can't do anything about this issue except express her opinion when asked. But she hopes that you will do everything in your power to change this employment inequality. If you have any hiring power where you work, are you trying to get qualified women hired? Are you writing to your Members of Congress to express your opinions? And are you standing up for women in other situations? Of course you are! And Madame L commends you for it!