Recently, the University of Queensland decided to hold a bake sale that would exemplify the gender wage gap, i.e., in Australia, the pay gap between men and women for the same work is 17.3%, so the amount one would pay at the bake sale table would be reflective of one’s typical pay in their profession based on their gender (and it seems, on race as well). You can read about it here: Backlash to university’s gender pay gap bake sale highlights ‘trend of online behaviour towards women’
I am sure that since this took place during the campus’s Feminist Week, the misogynist trolls were already out in force, but regardless, the response to this clever demonstration of what a gender pay gap looks like was rape and death threats against the organizers. Really? Rape and death threats for bringing to light the inequalities that exist in the current system? *sigh*
We have heard this as a consistent theme that anytime a woman stands her ground on a feminist issue, the misogynists have to launch their insecure blather and dangerous commentary onto the scene. We know that not all men feel this way, nor are most men so insecure that they have to threaten any woman who might potentially stand in the way of the smidgen of power they think they gain by threatening women anonymously. But I would hope that most men and women see this behavior and respond accordingly, in support of women who are now being threatened with their lives for doing nothing more than pointing out the inequalities that actually exist in the system.
I don’t know if the creeps who do this are already somewhat marginalized, and I don’t know what effect marginalizing them further would have. However, I would hope that the more and more this behavior is pointed out as socially unacceptable, and the more pressure the trolls feel to NOT be anonymous, that action can be taken against them, up to and including criminal charges.
At the moment, I don’t even deal with comments on this blog because of the tediousness of weeding through the misogyny and threats that will automatically come through the minute something like this gets posted and noticed (believe me, already been down that road). No doubt, I am missing out on valuable dialogue as well, but that is something I take part in on other forums. Here, I just want to provide a resource for those who wonder why we might still need feminism. I guess being able to safely host a bake sale that requires men to pay 17.3 cents more for a cookie, just for the principle of the thing, is reason enough.