By: Nicole Lashomb*/Editor-in-Chief—
“Frankly, if Hillary Clinton were a man, I don’t think she’d get 5 percent of the vote,” said Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump in a speech on April 26 after winning 5 Republican primaries that night. “The only thing she’s got going is the woman’s card.”
I suppose that is the only way the Republican frontrunner can justify in his misogynistic mind that she has earned millions more votes than him, has out performed him intellectually and politically and certainly has the public in her favor when going head-to-head with Trump in a general election. There’s no doubt that Trump is terrified of losing, albeit his façade. He should be. However, stunts and grossly ignorant comments like the “woman card” one, won’t earn him points with the general public, a general public where at least in numbers, women are the majority. The bottom line is that Trump is scared of being trumped, and much more so by a woman.
As a proud woman card carrier, I have undoubtedly been awarded a myriad of privileges when compared to my male counterparts—at least according to Trump’s assertions. How asinine.
Women have had the “fortune” to pay more for personal hygiene products than men, earn less pay for equal work, and our bodies and reproductive rights are legislated against by a mostly male Congress. Comparably, on average, women are frequently overlooked for job promotions, even when it is deserved, leading to only 5 percent of women at the helm of major corporations. In hetero-normative homes, women still shoulder most of the burden when it comes to childrearing and household responsibilities, even when they work the same number of hours outside the home as their male partner.
Most victims of human trafficking, rape, molestation, female genital mutilation, domestic violence, brainwashing and sexual harassment are women. Likewise, more women live in poverty than men and retired women are twice as likely to live in poverty when compared to retired men. Even pertaining to televised, print and online media, men represent the majority of anchors, reporters, editors and publishers. Whose story are we telling anyway?
It is far more likely that if Donald Trump were a woman, he wouldn’t even get “5 percent of the vote,” nor would he be in the privileged place he finds himself today.
Statistics about gender inequality don’t lie.
According to the National Coalition Against Violence, every 9 seconds in the US, a woman is assaulted or beaten.
- 1 in 5 women have been raped in their lifetime
- 1 in 7 women have been stalked by an intimate partner during their lifetime to the point in which they felt very fearful or believed that they or someone close to them would be harmed or killed.
- 3 million women have been stalked in their lifetime.
According to the Pew Research Center, women that work in the U.S. still earn just 84 percent of what their male counterparts earn and worldwide, make only 77 percent paid to men, read a report authored by the United Nation’s International Labor Organization. Imagine this—Women of Color would have to work a minimum of 19 months to earn what a white male does in just 1 year or twelve months, found the National Women’s Law Center (NLWC).
And the staggering stats continue as described by the NLWC. Some of them are listed as follows:
- A study by labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn found that when you look at the combined effects of occupation, industry, work experience, union status, race and educational attainment, 41 percent of the wage gap remains unexplained. This indicates that discrimination plays a sizable role in the gender wage gap.
- A study by sociologists Shelley Correll, Stephan Benard, and In Paik found that, when comparing equally qualified women job candidates, women who were mothers were recommended for significantly lower starting salaries, perceived as less competent, and less likely to be recommended for hire than non-mothers. The effects for fathers in the study were the opposite: fathers were actually recommended for significantly higher pay and were perceived as more committed to their jobs than non-fathers.
- Hiring discrimination studies have also illustrated the influence of discrimination. Economists Claudia Goldin and Cecilia Rouse demonstrated that when orchestras implemented blind auditions the share of women hired skyrocketed – and the introduction of blind auditions accounted for between 30 and 55 percent of the increase in women hired from 1970 to 1996. Another study of hiring discrimination in restaurants found that when men and women with nearly identical resumes applied for jobs, men were more likely to be hired and this difference was particularly acute among high-end restaurants where the probability of a woman receiving a job offer was 40 percent lower than a man.
- Moreover, the reported cases of company-wide pay discrimination are evidence that discrimination contributes to the wage gap. For example in Velez v. Novartis, 5,600 women workers at Novartis brought pay and promotion discrimination claims and that settled for $175 million in damages following a jury verdict in their favor. In another recent case on claims of gender bias in pay and promotions, the court approved a $15.36 million settlement for the almost 5,300 women workers of Sanofi-Aventis in Bellifemine v. Sanofi-Aventis. Additionally, in Cronas v. Willis Group Holdings, more than 300 class members received an $11.5 million settlement for pay discrimination claims.
- Studies have shown that occupational segregation leads to lower wages for women. In fact, wages in occupations that are made up predominantly of women – “pink collar” occupations such as child care workers; family caregivers or servers pay low wages – precisely because women are the majority of workers in the occupation. One study that used the share of women in an occupation to predict wages in that job a decade later found that “women’s occupations” – those that were two-thirds or more female – had wages that were 6 percent to 10 percent lower a decade later than “mixed occupations.”
- Women still do most of the unpaid work caring for children and other family members, often on top of their paid jobs. The economic hit that women take for their roles in providing care to their families is reflected in the wage gap. In dual-income households with a mother and father present, it was found that mothers spend an hour and 43 minutes for every hour fathers spend on childcare.
And, this is just the beginning of the benefits you too can reap from being a carrier of the woman card. I have a feeling Trump won’t be signing up for one any time soon. A complete list of stats compiled by the National Women’s Law Center can be found here.
*Nicole Lashomb holds an MBA from Marylhurst University and a BM from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.