According to Google, the definition of feminism is, “ The advocacy of women’s rights on the grounds of political, social, and economic inequality to men.” Another definition was coined by Su, at the 1996 anthology DIY Feminism Festival. She said, “[Feminists are] just women who don’t want to be treated like shit.” After having read different stories, and looking at what determines class based on information from People Like Us and The Center for Working Class Studies(CWCS), I have determined that economic inequality is a feminist issue. It is a feminist issue based upon three things which include statistics, social class, stereotypes, and dependency.
To start off, statistically speaking women are more likely to be have a lower income. According to the 2012 statistical abstract under the Expenditures, Poverty, and Wealth section from U.S. Census Bureau women are more likely to make less money than men whether a women had an education or not. On Table 702. Money Income of people, of all the males ( 117,728) their median income is $32,184, whereas of all the females(124,440) their median income is $20,957. To make matters worse, even when women have attained a higher level of education there is still a disproportion of wealth between men and women. The median income annual of men with a bachelor’s degrees or higher is $92,815, whereas the median income of women with a bachelors degree or higher is $62,198. That is a difference of more than $30,000, despite women having equivalent education. This economic difference is important to note because income is an important determinant of class because it contributes to where you live, your lifestyle, the schools your children attend, and even the food you eat.
Secondly, as I already mentioned before, class is determined by a number of different factors. According CWCS, determining your class status is hard because there is often a large bracket for what a middle class income looks like. For instance people who make between $28,000 and $90,000 may consider themselves middle class despite the large difference in lifestyles. So to get a better predictor of class you have to look at the type of job you have, the people you work with, your social or economic power, your education, as well as race, gender, and culture according to CWCS. In single parent homes women tend to make less than men and as a result will have less social power, less education, work with others who are similar to themselves, and will have jobs that are considered a ‘women’s job’(cleaning toilets at a Burger King). This is important to remember because the discrepancy of income has a far reaching effects on the inequality of treatment to women, as a whole.
Finally, after I read some of the stories in People Like Us I came to realize that there are more derogatory terms for women in low income situations. Some of the stories that stood out the most, were about women working and trying to make a living, without government assistance. As a result they had less income and had to manage living with three or more kids to feed. Despite the economic difficulties they face, they are often seen as ‘trashy’ by the people around them and their own kids. When the man who came from the rich family left his family in pursuit of a lower income lifestyle, he didn't face an income problem but a problem associated to honor. Which in itself is associated to stereotypes because if a women is working hard she is seen as ‘trashy’, but if a man is working hard it is seen as ‘honest work’. These differences perpetuate male dominance and women inequality, by also encouraging women that women don’t have to suffer and getting married as a way out, shows how society expects women to depend on men.
I think I’ve said enough, but to recap women are economically at a disadvantage, which helps determine their social status, and as a result, women are treated unequally because of the stereotypes used to get women to conform to male dominance and dependency. As you can see, this is absolutely a feminist issue because everything I mentioned tied to the definition I mentioned which a women’s political, social, and economic inequality to men. With the differences between men and women I have already mentioned, it breeds unequal rights in different sectors of our culture for women.
Comments: I think it's a real shame that there is such a large difference in salaries/income between men and women. Most of the time being that women have the same education as their male counterparts, yet they still get paid less. To make matters worse everyone as young children are told that they can achieve anything if they put their mind to it, instead they should say, " If your a man, white, of an upper middle class backgrounds, with families that have legacies at Harvard, then yes, you become president." And yes I know there is a African American as president, and yes there are billionaire African American Females, But honestly how many of them do you know?