Midlife Crisis, a diary of being 40 something and a half in today’s world…
The problem with time is that is supposed to make stuff happen. The quiet, clock ticking quality of it, the spit-spot way it’s supposed to develop elements around us, be a healer, even, force life and all that’s in it to move on, make change, be something.
And so to today and the equal pay between genders. See Monday is Equal Pay Day, and I say this with heavy heart. Just the words, the size of their meaning makes me want to break down and fear for humanity, or at least my pay packet. Because I sit here, writing at my laptop, over the age of forty and I cannot quite fathom that still, in 2015 – that’s post second world war, people – we are fighting for equal pay for women. I went to see the Suffragette movie the other week and women were fighting for equal rights, yet now, even though in the western world women finally have the vote we still don’t have equal pay (fun fact! Switzerland only granted votes to females in 1971!)
What the actual f**k? I mean, sorry to go all potty mouthed here , but, seriously, what in the hell is going on? Did
organisations around the globe miss the memo that we are in 2015? It makes no sense. I have noticed people, from all walks of life, commenting on those who stand up, on the women that shout that we must be paid on the basis of our ability not our sex, that we should just be quiet, wait, deal with it, that we simply need to be patient. Yes, because forty years of equal pay legislation not actually working has not been long enough to wait at all, meaning that here I am, in my mid-life and the gender pay gap not only still exists, but displays no real signs of abating.
The Office of National Statistics calculated that the gender pay gap is currently at 14.2%, meaning that it would take 54 years to reach parity at current rates. To put it bluntly, this gap means that from 9th November 2015, women will effectively be working for free until the end of the year. Super! Pay is over rated anyway, right? At this point, I refer you here to my previous blasphemous reaction from above.
What will it take to sort this? I’m 42 now and, do you know what, I’ve had it with this gap business. I thought that by now things, life, heck society would be different, believe in equality, with a government that doesn’t just pay lip service to equality but acts on it too. To think that the Suffragette movie was pure fiction would be nice, and yet now, in 2015, where we are, the whole thing feeling like a scary reality. To not give women equal pay to men is to treat them as second class citizens.
We must act. All of us. Because, as it turns out, I can’t be doing with a divide, with a gap of any kind – so that means men and women joining together and insisting on equal pay for all, no matter what gender, colour, race or sexual preference. Because, like the t-shirts worn by the Suffragette cast above say, I’d rather be a rebel than a slave. Any day (Note: let’s all buy one of those t-shirts, wear them to the office, down the shops, in parliament…)
But, when those in retort say that women should just be quiet, should just go away, I leave them, not with my own words, but with the words of Cary Mulligan’s character in the Suffragette movie: ‘What are you going to do? Get rid of us? We’re in every bloody household in the country.’
What do you think? Post your thoughts below…