The Wage Gap is unfortunately still an unresolved issue in America; a reprehensible blemish that all of us as Americans and human beings should be striving to wipe away. It is against the very essence of democracy to limit someone’s potential and value based on gender, race, sexuality, religious beliefs, or any other variable pertaining to who they are.
The beauty of America is that we claim to be the land of opportunity; a country that boasts capitalism and freedom and provides every person an opportunity to reach limitless heights of value (monetarily, religiously, personally). One would think that a man who has used the liberty granted to us to achieve levels of wealth and success unfathomable to the other 98% of Americans would feel that everyone deserves limitless opportunity to achieve as he has; but alas Donald Trump seems to feel otherwise.
In Mika Brzezinski’s (co-host of MSNBCs Morning Joe) book Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth she interviewed the now leading candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, and asked Donald Trump his opinion on hiring working mothers. To this question Mr. Trump replied:
“She’s not giving me 100%. She’s giving me 84% and 16% is going towards taking care of children.”
To start, this blatant, outright gender bias that Donald Trump displays in this statement. Men are parents too, in fact he is one.
If this 84% work, 16% child rearing is a firm belief of his, why wouldn’t he attribute this fact to fathers alike? Is he that Neanderthalian that he believes parenting only falls on mothers? Is he implying that women just aren’t developed enough to manage separating work and home life, but men are capable of giving him 100% effort?
Frankly it’s offensive even if he isn’t trying to insult the professional integrity of mothers, even if in Mr. Trump’s own warped mind he believes he is complimenting the nurturing nature of women – which to be clear he never has claimed to be the reason for this comment; is he saying that mothers shouldn’t even strive to work because it takes away from their motherly value?
In 1883, Emma Lazarus wrote The New Colossus, a sonnet that would be engraved into the Statue of Liberty in 1903 due to it’s beautiful description of American Idealism. It describes the Statue as a mighty woman with a torch as she stands, gazing out toward the ocean saying:
“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
Just don’t give Donald Trump a mother looking for equal pay.
Knowing Your Value: Women, Money, and Getting What You’re Worth – Mika Brzezinski (Weinstein Books 2011)
The 100% Solution: Women still earn less than men. But equal pay will make us all richer – Rana Foroohar, 5-23-2011