Monday, September 7, 2009

Labor Day Realities for U.S. Women

If you listen to the mainstream media, women today have it made! While men have been suffering a “mancession,” women have been taking over as breadwinners. Soon they’ll outnumber men in the workplace – even at the nightly news anchor desks!

You can just hear the experts erasing that pesky gender problem from their lists.

Too bad pesky reality keeps getting in the way.

Consider these tidbits:

Yes, more men than women have been laid off in this recession. But single mothers face an unemployment rate twice as high as married men (

The jobs women dominate tend to be low-wage and lacking in benefits.

Women overall may have experienced fewer job cuts, but they’re disproportionately affected by cuts in hours.

Women working full-time, year-round still bring home only 78 percent of what men earn.

Oh, and those top jobs? Women are a whopping 2.6 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs, 6 percent of top earners, 17 percent of Congress. Women of color barely show up in these lists.

As for the media, women hold only 3 percent of the “clout” jobs ( White men in that field are paid 29 percent more than white women and 46 percent more than women of color.

Yes, women aim for full equality, but not by virtue of lost jobs or pay among men -- most of whom, after all, have wives or daughters who are affected by those losses.

As the protagonist in the movie “Salt of the Earth” put it nearly six decades ago, “Women want to rise up, and bring everyone up with us.”