Another day, another dollar.
Well, if you're a woman, that's not quite true. It's more like another day, another 77 cents. Doesn't quite have the same ring to it, does it?
This is the day we celebrate (?) the fact that today, in America, land of gender equality and opportunities for all, women continue to make 77 to a man's dollar. Today isn't an arbitrary day though, we choose this day because it takes until this day for a woman to earn what a man earned by the end of the prior year. How clever, eh?
So today I try to think about all the things that I could have accomplished between January 1 and today. What all the women in this country could have collectively accomplished if we hadn't been so busy working just to break even. Sometimes it makes me furious. Most times, it just makes me sad.
I spent some time today feeling my baby boy do somersalts in my belly. I thought of how when I found out he was a he, I spent some time mourning the loss of pink hairbows and purple ruffles. But I also admit that I felt a sense of relief for all the obstacles he wouldn't have to face, just on account of being a he. And then I felt guilty for even thinking that way.
Today, on Equal Pay Day 2011, I felt my baby boy wiggle and poke, and I hoped that he wouldn't have those advantages. I wished that he would be challenged by his female peers, compensated equally for work well done. That he would grow up with values of equality and fairness, that he would be a proud part of change that was a long time coming.
That someday I will tell him about all the long days I worked while I carried him, making 77 cents to his father's dollar, and that it will seem so long ago, and so silly, that we'll laugh at how far we've all come since then.