Wednesday, June 7, 2017

expect to be treated equally

...or better. Because, let's face it, when you keep a sex (or a race--

(Just note the early scene in 9 to 5 with the mailroom attendant Eddie Smith, a black man, who is upset by the new hire Judy (Jane Fonda) because he wants to be promoted out of the mailroom; the film acknowledges right away the problem is far bigger than just sex.)

--or any group really) down systematically for, well, ever, it's going to take a little more than equality to make it right. Equal treatment isn't going to lift someone up enough--like Judy or Violet or Doralee here--that they would be anywhere near you if you've been lifted up since centuries or millennia before you were born. That is, lift up too unequal parties the same, they will still be unequal. Rich get richer and poor get poorer and all that. Men stay on top, women stay on the bottom, and the system runs as it has always run.

Getting stuff like the changes the three leads make here at Consolidated Companies--job sharing, on-site daycare, flex time, equal pay for equal work--as Leigh Kolb at Bitch Flicks points out, are still a fantasy. The film ends with Violet proclaiming, "Hey, we've come this far, haven't we? This is just the beginning." That beginning, Kolb argues, "sure has lasted a long time."

The pay gap, for example--that was getting better gradually after being roughly the same in 1980 as in 1960, but stalled in the 90s. The oft quoted estimate is American women will have equal pay to men around 2059. Of course, under President Trump, the number is probably not going anywhere good. As Tara Murtha at Rolling Stone points out:

This is the only advanced nation in the world that doesn't provide paid parental leave. The annual cost of putting a baby in daycare typically costs more than a year's tuition in state college, one of many factors driving women out of the workforce.

That daycare stat there--that comes from a Fact Sheet from American Progress. That Fact Sheet includes this sobering description:

The danger of losing a job or missing a promotion because of illness, pregnancy, or taking care of loved ones when so many companies are focused solely on the bottom line leaves too many moms and dads having to choose between their jobs and there families.






A couple useful details before I continue: 1) I saw this movie the first time when I was four. The satire and the drugs certainly went over my head. I assume I didn't even know what a promotion was. 2) I intend to spend a couple days with this movie, as seems to be the new usual, and that's a good thing because on the one hand, there is a whole lot worth talking about, in the movie and beyond it. Also, I realize, I don't know much of the details about stuff like this. I understand the stats when they're presented, but don't retain them much. It was that way with many a topic back in my collegiate debate days, too. I could look up the facts, scribble them down, and argue the crap out of them. But, damned if I would ever remember the specifics.

That being said...

It's the "bottom line" that has Trump and Republicans in congress pulling us out of Obamacare. Twenty-three million without insurance, because the cost is too much. It's the "bottom line" that has Trump announcing that we're out of the Paris Accord on climate change. It's the "bottom line" that drives far too much, and that has driven far too much for far too long. Including the need to hold women down. To hold people of color down. To hold foreigners down...






And, I'm just sitting here enjoying the movie rather than get into a rant. I'll keep it short. That kind of capitalist bullshit disgusts me. Too much for words, sometimes. I mean, denouncing the poor because of circumstance out of their control, denouncing minorities for the same, denouncing women because, well, because they're women...

The imperialist white supremacist heteronormative patriarchy needs to get the fuck over itself.

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