It’s a click-baity title, but I’m being dead serious.
Women should get paid more than men, for doing the same jobs.
There are some people who will never agree with me about this. You’re not one of them. You’re going to follow my logic here and be convinced. This claim relies on my having already made two major assumptions about you:
- You’re not racist/sexist/any other ist or phobe
You recognize the fact that certain groups of people historically and currently have a raw deal and you would be in favor of changing that so as to make everyone not an immediate target for execution, rape, imprisonment, indentured servitude and such. You want your country to be a better place that way.
- You believe in capitalism
Meaning that, given the right set of circumstances, you can envision a system that monetarily incentivizes the use of valuable skills, and that uses group competition, doing more good than harm in society.
I’m talking about affirmative action. I’m just talking about it in a different than standard way.
The standard narrative goes something like: Hey, it’s not fair that individuals in marginalized groups with the same skills as non-minorities get passed up and paid less for the same jobs. Let’s move marginalized peeps to the front of the line, so when we’re looking for skills anyone can do, we can’t miss ‘em. Facets of affirmative action also can be characterized by slogans like, ‘equal work for equal pay’. This narrative applied to fixing shit fails us, however, because:
1) It caters to the racist/sexist/allphobes. It assumes no united American desire to create a less racist/sexist/phobic system, and because of that, it assumes that affirmative action is properly used to benefit minority individuals. But I’m not talking to a racist sexist allphobe. I’m talking to you, a person who is invested in fixing the phobic system. Fixing the system is what affirmative action is for. Not for giving a leg up to individuals who need help. It’s not about those individuals. Fuck those individuals, even. It’s fine to be selfish about it. This is all about you, and what you want to happen in your nation.
2) It compromises capitalist values out of fear that capitalism is incompatible with fixing shit. If you weren’t a believer in capitalism, I could say to you, “Equal pay for equal work is a crap idea,” and you’d totally call me a sexist/racist/whateverphobe. But you DO believe in capitalism, so I know you get it. We don’t give two shits how hard you work. All the blood, sweat and tears you pour into your job is your own dang business. What capitalism cares about are RESULTS, babe. “Equal pay for equal product” – now that makes some sense. But it’s still kind of crap. Because capitalism is not about equality. It’s about winning. “Equal to” does not make you a fucking winner. Winning requires standing out, doing things better, and being different. “Better pay for better product” is what a capitalist would say.
Now we have a system that, for example, fills its public offices and police forces with mainly white dudes, and its educational systems with mainly white ladies. The positions of power within each institution are by and large given to white men, who think like white men and see the world like white men. The system looks like them, and it benefits them, because they’re the ones in charge. Since you’re a non-phobe who believes in capitalism, you want to see more women, racial, gender, physical and (non)religious minorities in charge.
NOT because you feel bad for minorities who don’t get to be in charge. You want a black deaf lesbian running things, because you want to live in a system that respects black deaf lesbians. It’s a better product.
So a woman with the same exact skills as a man doesn’t have the same exact skills as a man. She has the additional skill of being able to see the world as a woman. (She lacks the skill of being able to see the world as a man.) Where institutions are dominated by men, a woman’s ability to see the world as a woman is a valuable asset. It’s worth a lot, to you and to me, and it’s good capitalist sense to incentivize her participation accordingly.
Basically, we can’t hold a white dude responsible for caring equally about non-white dudes. It’s beyond his natural skill set. The vested interest a black woman has in a non-racist, non-sexist way of doing things is of premium value to everyone who wants shit to get fixed. We need her to win this for us. We need to pay her for it.