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.