Happy Equal Pay Day! Today is equal pay day in America. That means that from April 12 going forward, women will make the same amount as men for the rest of the year. The previous four months and 11 days women have been essentially working for free compared to their male counterparts. For every dollar a man makes, a woman on average makes 79¢ doing the same work. There is even more disparity when race comes into the equation. http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2016/04/12/equal-pay-day-inequality-women-gender/82913078/
Since I employ nobody in the world, there isn’t much I can do except bring awareness to this issue. I should also note that as a dude, I have awful negotiating skills for my own self interest and have probably been underpaid for work many times. Equal pay for equal work is a no-brainer. It’s good for everybody: you, me, her and him.
In similar news, yesterday I saw an amazing body of research that confirms what everybody knows about movies, that they skew towards men’s roles. But I had no idea how lopsided it was until Hanah Anderson and Matt Daniels analyzed 2000 screenplays and came up with this amazing and shocking data set: http://polygraph.cool/films/
In today’s world it seems that facts don’t matter to a lot of people, just spout of an opinion with conviction and people might believe it’s true. Research takes time and effort. Anderson and Daniels sifted through those scripts tagging male and female lines and getting a word count for everybody. While they admit that movies change on the set with improvisation and last minute changes or scenes are cut in the editing room, scripts still represent most of what goes on the screen. Here is the breakdown.
I knew the numbers would be skewed towards men, especially with war and prison movies in the mix, but not 1500+ out of 2000. I could go on, but seriously look at the site: http://polygraph.cool/films/
So this leads me to my point above where I said I can’t do anything about women’s equality in pay. I don’t write or direct major motion pictures, but what I do in my not-day job is write fiction. Crime fiction primarily. Although I haven’t analyzed my works very deeply, it’s safe to safe say most of my work is male centric. Not all, but a majority. (Over the past couple of years I’ve been more inclusive including a story coming out on April 15 in Yellow Mama and another later this winter with female protagonists.)
So I asked myself why. It’s too easy to say I’m a male and I know men better. That might have been the case, but I write fictional characters, so they can be who I want them to be. It could be that most of my stories have violence in them. Perhaps I don’t want to hurt a woman on the page or I think women are smarter than men and wouldn’t let situations escalate to guns or fists or whatever implement of destruction are used in the plot. Regardless, it is something for me think about as I continue to write.
Anything that you think is missing your works?