These days, feminism is ‘cool.’ In fact, it feels like no matter where you go, there are billboards, T-shirts, phone cases — you name it — clad with feminist sayings and imagery. More than ever, celebrities are publicly identifying as feminists, speaking out against misogyny and sexism, and generally jumping on the feminist bandwagon. And though the aforementioned things are arguably positive, these trends do beg the question: What are we getting out of it?
While a lot of feminist issues can be a bit abstract, some are more easily measured. One such issue is pay disparity. And, despite feminism’s trendiness, an unpleasant fact remains: Women are still getting paid much less than men — and the gap isn’t shrinking fast enough. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau’s The Simple Truth about the Gender Pay Gap, white women in the U.S. are still paid 20% less than men. This gap is much larger for women of color, with Black women and Latinas still being paid 38% and 46% less than white men, respectively. In fact, in 2018, the pay gap for Black women actually increased from last year.
The video is tongue-and-cheek, with the lead character lamenting over how pop culture’s feminist movement spreads empowering messaging that don’t directly translate into measurable change. “I see so many lovely gestures telling women we’re strong,” our heroine sings. “But paying us a fair wage is what we’ve wanted all along.” Simply put: We’d rather get paid.
This video comes at a time when inequality is at the forefront of many global conversations, but it takes a fun approach to the issue, highlighting the hypocrisy of many pseudo-feminist narratives. “It was cool, during the march to see guys in attendance. But moral support is not financial independence,” sings the lead in the video. Still, despite the light-hearted approach, the film does tackle some big issues.
“While the commercial is fun, it points to something very serious: Women aren’t expected to reach pay parity until 2059, and we obviously can’t wait that long, ” Ladies Get Paid Founder Claire Wasserman told Refinery29. “If Secret’s campaign inspires women to finally ask for that raise they deserve (which in itself is a service to all women), or if it compels companies to reconsider their compensation benefits practices, that will be a step in the right direction.”
With this in mind, Ladies Get Paid is partnering with Secret beyond this music video to help give more women the tools to fight wage inequality. On the Ladies Get Paid website, there is now a free toolkit with resources for women, and, over the next few weeks, Secret and Ladies Get Paid will hold workshops at several locations of The Wing teaching women how to advocate for fair pay, negotiate raises, and ace interviews.
“Secret’s ‘I’d Rather Get Paid’ campaign and our partnership with them is not just about encouraging individual women to ask for a raise (though that’s part of it!),” Wasserman concluded. “[It’s] about banding together to raise the bar on what we collectively will or won’t accept, and ultimately inspire change at the organizational level.”
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