For the first time in my life, I am right in the mix of the news.
Too bad it isn't good news.
I opened up the paper yesterday to read that, according to a new study by the American Association of University Women, women out of college make 80 percent less than their male colleagues. Ten years later, they earn only 69 percent of what men make.
This doesn't even make sense although it isn't really news to me; I mean, I experience that reality every time I open my paycheck.
What are we to make of this?
Is my mortgage 69 percent less than a man's?
Do I pay 69 percent less to fill up my car with gas?
Do I put in 69 percent less in the coin box on the express bus?
Is my Peet's latte 69 percent cheaper?
Is my Safeway food bill 69 percent less than the man's in front of me? (and, you know, I hate it when your groceries are all rung up and the little ATM machine asks you if $115.73 is OK. No, it's not OK; I'd like to get the same amount of food for a lot less, if you don't mind!)
Where is the justice in this?
So here's what I propose � women, give 69 percent back (or, what apears to be our fair share).
Your boss asks you to take on that new client? Do 69 percent of the work.
Got an eight-hour workday? After 69 percent of the day is done, go home.
Have a school-age daughter? Tell her to do only 69 percent of her homework.
Husband expects you to keep a clean house, cook a nice meal and take the kids to and fro the doctor, orthodontist, soccer practice, guitar lessons, tutoring and school events? Well, you do the math. That might mean you will only be able take little Johnny to the dentist and only halfway home � if he complains, you can always tell him to suck it up, just like on the baseball diamond.
And when it gets to the real 69
in the bedroom, give your man just 69 percent of your body (and you pick the parts), focus, lovemaking skills ... and his pleasure. Wonder how he'll like that.
I am not an uber-feminist. I love men. I want them as equal partners in creating a society that offers opportunities to all, and respects and nurtures everyone, regardless of age, gender, race, religion.
But I am trying to support and take care of my little family, my community and my world 100 percent. Don't I deserve the same courtesy. Kat Wilder's My So-Called Midlife