Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Susan Faludi, Backlash 6

I have two items for my write-up today on Susan Faludi's 1991 book, Backlash: The Undeclared War Against American Women:

1. On page 92, Faludi states: "Federal statistics that have compared the cost of employing men and women find no significant differences between the sexes; men and women take the same amount of sick days and leaves."

Conservatives have argued that women are paid less than men because women take more time off to take care of their kids, and because employers fear that women will leave their jobs at some point to be homemakers and mothers. Faludi counters this, however, when she argues that women are not seeking to leave the workplace in droves, and when she notes in the passage above that the cost of employing women is not more than the cost of employing men, since both take the same amount of sick days and leaves.

So why are women paid less than men? I remember reading conservative commentator Dennis Prager ask why, if women are paid less, employers do not simply hire more women to save themselves money! Would Faludi respond that women are paid less because the male employers are trying to get them out of the work place, since the male employers would prefer for those jobs to go to men, and for the women to stay at home?

2. Somewhere in my reading of Backlash, I read about a reporter who was badgering a professional woman to tears. The reporter was doing a story about how women are dissatisfied with the workplace because they want to be at home, taking care of a husband and a child. A professional woman was talking about her attempts to cope with loneliness, and she appeared to be satisfied pursuing a career. But the reporter badgered the professional woman to tears. That reminded me of my own attempts to cope with life, with its ups and downs. In the past, others have tried to make me feel bad because I'm not meeting their standards of what life is about (i.e., having an active social life, having a girlfriend, etc.). It's easier for me to cope with my own life, with its ups and downs, than it is to bring other people into the equation----for, then, I have to endure their judgmentalism, and I feel that I have to satisfy their standards for life.

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