Gender Wage Gap and Modern Media (4/10)

Despite the drastic decrease in the Gender Wage Gap during the 1980’s, women today still experience pay differentials. By examining various pop culture references, we come to a better understanding of the way that the general public views the issue today.


The first video clip that we will discuss is from a Secret Deodorant Commercial. This commercial quickly addresses the women’s struggle to receive equal wages, calling it a “stress test” for women to stand up for themselves. To watch this video, click here. This video is a fantastic introduction to the issues that women face today. In this short commercial, the woman is faced with confronting her boss on her pay. This Secret Commercial is a great representation of the women who are fighting against their unequal pay. And the “stress test” of confronting your boss is a great example of how women can approach the gender wage gap.


Buzz Feed, a popular millennial digital media group, produces culture and news through entertaining media. The company claims to connect with people on a massive scale and create a highly engaged audience. From one of their videos, they present the problem in the gender wage gap. To what the video, click here. This film presents a comical approach to fighting the wage gap. In this video, the woman starts only doing part of her work instead of putting in 100%. She represents the thousands, if not millions, of women who face unequal wages every paycheck. And though the video is meant to be funny, it does address a serious issue. This tactic promotes the idea of doing the work you are paid for, in her case, only about 78% of what she is asked to do.


The last clip comes from Jimmy Kimmel. Kimmel does a series called, “Kids Explain…” and in this clip, he asked children why they thought women were paid less than men. To watch this video, click here. The majority of the children talked about how women were often doing things they weren’t supposed to. However, some of the children claimed that women could do more. The last child exclaimed,  “I don’t know. The world is just a messed up place.” This clip shows how mainstream culture views the issue of the women’s wage gap. Though this clip is also presented in a comical light, it is also addressing a serious issue. And in the end, the major argument that Kimmel presents is that women should be paid equally.

In truth, these video clips are great examples of how modern culture views the issue of the gender wage gap. In general, these clips suggest that the gender wage gap, though serious, should be approached in a comical manner. And perhaps this reflects on society at large. Is it possible that people today know that the women’s wage gap exists, but truly view it as a more comical issue than an issue that requires direct and immediate action? Rather than discounting the issue, from my experience it appears that many issues surrounding women’s rights are typically addressed in a comical manner. Perhaps Americans feel that the types of issues women face would be too intimidating to take seriously. The ‘funny’ nature of the approach suggests that the issue shouldn’t be taken seriously. It is a way to diffuse responsibility and minimize the issue. If we are to close the wage gap sooner than its current trend, society will need to start taking the issue more seriously.



7 thoughts on “Gender Wage Gap and Modern Media (4/10)

  1. I love the kid who stated, “The worlds just a messed up place!” In reality this kid stated social issues women have been dealing with for decades. There is no reason why women should be paid less then men, men and women should be paid based on merit, dedication, handwork, and skill. NOT GENDER.


  2. I loved the commentary on these three video clips and how by discussing these types of issues surrounding women in a funny manner, it (in a way) discounts them. Really, by only joking about this, nothing will ever be done. I’d like to offer an additional perspective on the humor surrounding this topic: to me, it’s almost laughable that it’s still an issue. We live in a world that champions the idea of equality, and yet, women are still not being paid as much as men. This is so ridiculous it’s funny! Hence why it may be so easy for the media to make light of these things. I do think, though, that changing perspectives and helping all to see this as a serious issue would enable more progress to be made.


  3. I love that comedy is used to help people realize that there actually is a problem, but I think that there also needs to be serious discuss in the media if we ever want society to change. The comedy can draw people in and introduce them to the situation, but people also need to know the numbers and statistics concerning the subject.


  4. It is frustrating that this issue is often discussed in such a comical light. From my experience, many people still view the wage gap as a myth created by distorted statistics. When I watched children explain why they think women get paid less than men, many expressed that “girls don’t work as hard as boys” which often reflects a larger societal view of women in general.


  5. I always have mixed feelings about using comedy to address important issues, such as the wage gap. While comedy is useful tool in drawing attention to a subject, it can also cause the subject to lose legitimacy. In the case of equal pay, I think we need to see more serious discussion in order to make improvements.


  6. Comedy and humor have always helped make issues easier for people to understand and talk about without causing people to go on the defensive. The Jimmy Kimmel clip also shows how easy it is for kids to understand this is wrong. Why can’t many adults?


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