Friday, October 19, 2012

Some Links

A few links for ya:

Myth Busting the Gender Pay Gap - if one more person tries to tell me it's because "women have children and then work fewer hours so it makes sense that they'd earn less", then Imma Get Violent.

It reminds me of a discussion with a local friend that someone related to me once: she (the local friend) was earning about 20% less than her male colleagues for the same work at some company in Taoyuan. Not only was she not a mother, she was single. My friend (a foreigner) asked if there was anything she could do about that, or if she might complain or work to change things.

"No, I can't. I'd get fired, and then they could go and tell the other companies not to hire me," she said (in short - blacklisting). "There's nothing I can do, that's just the way it is."

Schools Blasted Over Sexist Uniform Policy - apparently, some schools were trying to force girls who wanted to wear pants to provide proof of gender identity disorder. Leaving aside the aesthetic qualities of most school uniforms, especially in Asia, it's ridiculous to decide that a girl who wants to wear pants (because, hey, pants are more comfortable) must provide medical proof of a "disorder". That's not only ignorant toward those who are dealing with gender identity issues, but toward the simple fact that it's not weird for a girl to want to wear pants.

In Chinese: Taiwanese Woman Must Go to India to Wed Her Indian Fiance - aaaaaaannnddd apparently India is an "extremely high risk country" when it comes to international marriages, so Taiwanese who wish to marry Indians must, if this is taken as precedent, go to India to do so. First, why is India an extremely high-risk country in terms of marriage? Sure, it's not as developed as Taiwan, or even China (although, to be honest, I enjoyed my time in India far more than China and while it was pure chaos in India, the process of how things worked wasn't so maddening. I didn't find China to be that much cleaner than India, either, but I lived in rural China). But I don't exactly see massive numbers of Indians trying to marry their way into Taiwan for a better life, so what gives? I realize that around the world there are problems of "marriage for a visa" and "mail order marriage" - the second one being a tricky and complex issue in Taiwan - but come on. Secondly, this exposes a problem worldwide - in a sometimes-overzealous attempt to crack down on bride-buying and marriage-for-visas, a lot of couples who love each other and just want to get married have to jump through a lot of labyrinthine and migraine-inducing paperwork, go to some very expensive lengths (often including periods where one person can't work in the country in which they live, or one has to go abroad for awhile regardless of whether they can afford it), and at the end, risk being denied the right to marry. Any country can do this - it's not just a problem in Taiwan. Shame on you, Taiwanese government, but also shame on you, too, governments of the world.

 Amazon reviews for "binders" (full of women).

I realize that the actual phrase R-Money used was just as poorly stated as Obama's "You didn't build that" and he was trying to say he was interested in hiring more qualified women to his cabinet. I'm not hating on the idea that he tried to source qualified women because he didn't know where to find them already. The problem is, he didn't - he didn't ask for those binders, they were given to him, and his admittedly not bad stats on appointments of women after he was elected governor didn't stick around - they slid to levels lower than when he initially took office.

In the end, though, trying to have a conversation and effect real change in how women are treated, how bad the pay gap really is, and how underrepresented we are in the higher, more influential levels of business and politics has done nothing. As the Department of Labor blog notes, it's been 50 years since the first push for equal pay, and we still don't have equal pay. It's not working, or at least not well enough.'s time to get snarky. Maybe then people will wake up and realize what we're trying to say.


And finally - apparently Next Media is outta here. Sad. For all their occasionally ridiculous coverage, I liked 'em. Does this mean no more hilarious cartoons on international news topics?


blobOfNeurons said...

Your binders link is actually a duplicate of the wedding in India link.

Jenna Cody said...

Thx, will fix when back in TPE

Mike Fagan said...

"...she (the local friend) was earning about 20% less than her male colleagues for the same work at some company in Taoyuan. Not only was she not a mother, she was single."

So why doesn't someone just start a company, employ only women and pocket that 20% margin? I mean, if this 20% pay gap is generalizable across industries and not merely the odd isolated case, then surely loads of company bosses could make a killing by having a women-only employment policy, no?