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Degrading Women in the Workplace

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Degrading Women in the Workplace

I am a woman. It is something that I cannot change. In "The Gravity of Pink," Eden Abigail Trooboff writes that women struggle to find an identity in the world. She describes her own experiences, which she encountered as a woman. I also have my own share of experiences.

Over the past several decades, women have succeeded in conquering some of the barriers in the workplace. Equal pay has been the law since l963, but women are still paid less then men, even when they have similar education, skills, and experience. In 1998, women were only earning 73 cents for every dollar earned by men. Over a lifetime, this can add up to a loss of thousands of dollars. (www.aflcio.org/women/equalpay.htm)

Even though I am only eighteen, I have already experienced such limitations in my life. An example of this would be during my senior year of high school where I worked part-time at a convenience store. Among the high school students working there, two were female and three were males. Although my boss was a woman, she still favored the males, even though the female workers were more reliable and hard working. The women did more than their share of the work while the males were allowed to slack off and lacked dependability.

My boss's attitude toward the female workers angered me, but I remained quiet. Trooboff states "Women are bound together psychologically...I find my femininity wrapped in vulnerability." I also felt I was in a very vulnerable position. I was afraid to speak out for fear I would lose my job or would not be given a favorable reference when I resigned at the end of the summer.

One year after being employed at the store, I was still receiving minimum wage and was not expecting a raise. My boss was hiring new employees and, of course, the first one she hired was a male.

At the time, I was being paid $5.25 per hour, but the new male employee was given $5.35 per hour and had no previous experience. My fellow female employee and I were outraged. We wrote our boss a letter explaining our feelings and spoke with her personally about the discrepancy in wages. However, she refused to change the pay scale

and we continued to work at a lesser rate, even though we had been employed for a full year.

Three out of four women are now employed

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