Posted by Laurel
Is our society still biased against women? It’s no secret that more women go to college, a fact that is made even more obvious in graduate school enrollment (59% of students in graduate school are female). More than 60% of all women participate in the labor force, compared to only 32% of the female population in the workforce 50 years ago. Yet, why are women still denied equal pay? A 2009 study done by Marketwatch found that women earn only 75% of what men earn, at every level of education. There are many theories as to why this disparity exists, theories that, at the end of the day, are ridiculous. It’s time that someone took a stand.
Enter our modern-day David and Goliath. Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments concerning a class-action lawsuit filed by six brave women, claiming that they received lower wages and were discriminated against. The heinous oppressor? Wal-Mart. The largest private employer in the country, the multinational corporation; it doesn’t get much bigger than Wal-Mart… literally. If the Supreme Court decides to allow the six-plaintiff-suit to proceed to trial, it will be the largest class-action suit regarding employment in the nation’s history.
Seeing this story reminded me of another one that I read a couple of weeks ago about a female associate professor of psychology fired from the John F. Kennedy University in California after it was discovered that she was a performer at a burlesque nightclub. Allegedly, a male colleague of hers also performed at the same venue. Apparently, he invited students to the performance and discussed it with them (she did neither). He received no disciplinary action. An even more shocking example of gender bias at the university level was in the case of a male professor of psychology at Northwestern who organized for a live sex demonstration in class. By all accounts, he should have been kicked to the curb. In actuality, he just issued an apology and went back to the classroom.
As Americans in the 21st century, are we really going to let this policy of blatant discrimination against women in the workplace stand? Angela Merkel, Dilma Rousseff, and Cristina Kirchner lead some of the most powerful countries in the world. Plenty of women have served in the Cabinet and other high-ranking U.S. governmental positions. Amidst all of that progress, there lurks in the background the shadow of discrimination. It is absolutely absurd to me that stories like these still exist, and I believe the situation should be rectified. Dear Supreme Court Justices, please allow this class-action lawsuit to go to trial. Give David the chance to battle Goliath.