An (Illegal) Feminist Bakesale

Some students at Reed College are planning a “Feminist Bake Sale for Pay Equity.”  Here are the details:

The bakesale will charge men and women proportionally, based on the amount of money they earn as published by the 2008 Census Bureau. Women, in equal jobs with equal education and experience as their male counterparts, make only 77 cents to the man’s dollar. This iniquity has resulted in, over the past 40 years, the real median earnings of women falling short by an estimated $700,000 to $2 million, depending on their education level (~$1.2 million for a college graduate!).

The Equal Pay Act has made steps in the direction of pay equity, but equality has been slow in coming. The wage gap has narrowed by less than half a percent a year, and the Equity Act does not include protections for minority rights. For black women, the wage disparity is so great that a black woman with a Bachelor’s, working full-time year-round, makes only $1,545 per year more than a white male who has only completed high school. These disparities have far-reaching effects: unequal income leads to a persistent wage gap that affects families’ ability to finance their children’s education, buy a home, pay for adequate health insurance, or save for retirement. The wealth disparity becomes more than the question of a single individual’s ability to make an income; it becomes a societal issue that needs to be resolved. Education is the first step in that process, so come to the bake sale Friday to ask questions and get more information (and baked goodies)!

See more (here) in the Reed College student paper.

Let’s hope the Reed students are aware of what happened after a similar student event in Maine in 2006.  The Student Women’s Association at the University of Maine was censured by the General Student Senate for violating state law and student government rules.  See here and here.

H/T Shira Tarrant and Susan Iverson.

-Bridget Crawford

image from (here)
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