I like to reckon myself a rather imaginative lad. That’s why I’m taking great pride in a word I just designed.
Sadly, I’m sure someone, somewhere, has thought of it already and it would be presumptuous of me to stand on my podium and proclaim my trailblazing originality.
I was devising a warning / disclaimer which would preface tonight’s post. I started with something like “warning, you will be assaulted by gender-based generalizations in this post” but it seemed too long. If only I could shorten it…and that’s when the word popped into my head.
WARNING: TONIGHT’S POST CONTAINS GRATUITOUS GENDERALIZATIONS!
Genderalizations are just that. They are broad statements which purport to explain a diffused trait of the gender in question. It’s a genderalization to say men like football and women like tea parties. Could you argue with that? But if you “go out on a limb” and state it as a fact, you’ll be taken to task by everyone and his (or her) uncle (or aunt) because they happen to know so-and-so who actually hates football or hates tea parties. Human nature is such that it loves boasting of intimate and first-hand knowledge of exceptions in order to refute common sense.
All men like football and all women like tea parties. Throwing the word “all” into this sentence tends to subvert its authority. One is better off leaving the “all” out of the equation. It’s less arguable as such. Which brings me to a subject I’d like to chat about and in the process. probably rely on some genderalizations which some might find less than pleasing. But whatever. I’ve experienced many of these genderalizations first-hand, so I don’t feel guilty about resorting to them.
I was thinking about the magnificent, global Glass Ceiling.
The infamous Glass Ceiling, the discrepancy in men’s and women’s pay for similiar jobs.
First off, I’m not disputing the presence of a disparity in salary levels. I fully believe that it exists and is born out by real-world statistics.
Men make more than women for the same duties. Agreed.
I maintain however, that this is not the result of ulterior and rehearsed actions of maledom at large. I don’t believe groups of men meet behind closed doors while they puff on cigars or swill martinis and structure a far-ranging and pervasive strategy of putting dents in the pay rates of women (price fixing if you will). I don’t believe it’s quite so deliberate or consciously designed.
I think there is a reason women are paid less than men…I think it’s owing in large part to the failure of women, in genderal, to provide a viable and dependable workforce across its entire spectrum.
The business world, despite my cynicism (and antagonism) is largely a well-oiled and self-leveling machine. With millions of employees contained within the payrolls of companies, large and small, across the country, there is ultimately an equilibrium that is essentially attained as salaries are rewarded over the long haul. At that macro level perspective, there is very little conscious effort to be observed in the regulation of salary levels. Salaries are determined by the omnipotent and everpresent laws of supply and demand and other quirks of a free market system in which prices (salaries) find a suitable level without any help or deliberate meddling by any of the parties involved. Necessity and peformance ultimately provide a basis by which salaries rise or sink.
Yes, there is a glass ceiling.
No, it’s not fair…to women who work hard.
The Glass Ceiling is merely the free market concept’s allocation of salary resources based on an overall history of performance levels women have brought to the table…genderally.
Women are less likely to devote quality time to work.
This is a genderalization and I can point out several women I know first-hand who work just as hard as any man I know. They take their jobs seriously, and uncharacteristically, do not bring their personal lives to work. One of them is even punctual. She takes her work hours seriously and does not assume they are a fluid set of criteria which can bend at her capricious whims.
Genderally, however, women are less dependable workers than men.
For every woman I know who brings a masculine simple-minded work ethic to the job on a daily basis, there are 5 or 10 women who are
- consistently late
- consistently out sick
- consistently leaving early for family errands
- so wracked with PMS or other maladies that they are a waste of skin for the day but they still show up because they are tapped out on sick hours
- consistently on personal calls or texting at the desk all day long
- consistently in a fluctuating state of sourness thus devouring any sense of good will or team work
- consistently butting heads with anyone who intrudes upon her fragile sensibilities…thus creating a “walking on eggshells” atmosphere which also hampers productivity
- a bit less analytical and hardy than her male counterparts
- consistently cluttering the work day with family errands and using the desk as a home office
As promised. Genderalizations.
These are all worst-case female scenarios. The very worst embody these traits completely and should not even be allowed to have a social security number. On the other end of the spectrum there are very conscientious women who are able to devote most of their day to the job. Usually, these women are unmarried and unmothered. Odd how that works. It’s as if society is subtly dictating that even though women are still participating in the workforce, they are not able to participate on a man’s level due to motherly duties. Hence, she is treated, across the board, as a slightly part-time employee. With commensurate compensation.
The dynamics dictating salaries is under the strict guidance of market-driven logic which distills the performance and idiosyncratic nature of the female worker throughout history.
Millions of anecdotal exceptions don’t change or negate the widespread and genderal traits of women in the workplace. Added up, blended and shaken through the great impersonal sieve steered by the machinery of American business, a pool of cold computations is filtered out which spell out a group’s monetary worth in the mammoth scheme of things. And it tells us that women have proven over time to be less reliable workers. And money is society’s greatest symbol of human utility.