So, alright…shout out to all of my white brothers and sisters. You know who you are and that I’ve got love for you individually. Forgive me in advance because there’s some very ugly business going on here that I need to address.
While doing a research paper on the War on Drugs, and looking at the latest data on income inequality between black and white people in the states, and seeing that it has been steadily getting worse over the past several decades with no overall improvement, I’ve got some uncomfortable questions to pose to the white collective in the United States. I mean…you would think that a black man obtaining a university degree would result in the gap in average salary between black and white men to decrease, right? As in, with a uni degree he’ll have a better shot at being paid a wage that’s closer to what a white man would be paid for the same professional role and workload. But that’s not what happened last year. The wage gap between black and white men with a university degree slightly increased. So not only does having a university degree not improve the overall likelihood of a black man being paid the same wage as that of his white counterpart for doing the same exact work in the same role…it actually works against the black man slightly. He’s slightly more likely to be paid less than the current rate of 70% of what a white man is paid for the same work, because he has a university degree. According to the data, racism hasn’t improved at all over the past 30-40 years, but supposedly racism is gone, right? “Because Obama.”
So here’s my real beef. The advancement of black women. I’m not even going to focus on us men because it’s very clear that we’re on our own, and I devoutly believe that if our sisters win they’ll swing the community back to the positive. I know so many black women who are so focused on winning that they’ve got no time for anything else. Grinding. The hustle of the black american woman is legendary. So why are they STILL at the bottom of the list of rates of average salary? I know more black women with an advanced degree than without one, but not only is the data not displaying a sharp climb in average salary as one would expect…the gap between average salaries of black women and white women has grown wider over the past 40 years as the average salary of white women steadily increased at a sharper rate than that of black women.
From 95% of a white woman’s wage in 1979 to 82% in 2016. I can actually look at the rise of white women’s salaries and identify the work of Feminist progress. Great on them. If they earned it, they earned it. But what’s not making sense to me is If Feminism in the U.S. has been working hard to advance the interests of ALL women to the point where ALL women enjoy the same rights, benefits, protection, and compensation as men under the same circumstances (as they have proudly claimed), why has the gap between the average salary of white women and black women been growing steadily wider over the past 35 years, preferentially for white women? Why have I never heard white Feminists complaining about the injustice of the unequal rate of rise in the respective salaries of black and white women? I’ve heard Feminists cite the fact that black woman are paid less than black men for the same work, but I’ve never heard Feminists that white women are paid more than both black women and black men for the same work. That’s been left out of the inequality rhetoric.
Since the average hourly wage of white women is higher than that of both black women AND black men, is this the part where white Feminists all over the country announce that they’ve achieved gender equality with men? No? Equality with black men doesn’t count? Probably not. I doubt they want the version of equality we live. That would be a downgrade. I wonder though…when Feminists see the data that I’m waxing on about, will they negotiate a reduction in their collective wages and distribute the surplus to everyone who makes less than a white woman in the same respective position? No? Doesn’t work that way? Are they waiting for white men to collectively decide to redistribute their privilege and wealth? I’m just going to assume that this ultimate goal of achieving equality with “men” isn’t using the rights, privileges, and average salaries of black men as the point of reference. Because white women are making more than black men on average and they’re still screaming about gender inequality and the gap in compensation between the sexes.
But what about their own gender’s equality? What about other women? Why aren’t they making damned sure that at least all women working in the same position are making just as much as white women are on average? If they haven’t even raised other women up to their level, how are women of color supposed to rise to the highest level, being equality with white men? Why are black women making only 82% of what white women are paid for the same work? I’m going to assume that when white women are yelling about “gender inequality”, sexism, and oppression by patriarchy, they’re strictly referring to “white male privilege” since that’s the one demographic that’s above white females in most categories reflecting privilege. I think U.S. American Feminists need to be more specific with their terminology because they’re clearly not aiming for gender equality in general. They’re aiming for “white male equality”. Keep it real.
But really, when data like this comes out that clearly shows the inequality between the genders and demographics, and the Feminist movement that’s mostly comprised of white women who demand and strive for “equality” find out that the inequality is actually working in their favor, do white Feminists pony up the cash and make sure equality happens? Or do they only want equality if it’s an upgrade of their benefits and privilege? I’m sitting here looking at what a century of Feminist progress looks like when it comes to dollar bills, and it looks like Feminism has kept white women rising at a steady peace while everyone else besides white men are either leveling off or sliding down the broke slope.
I’m trying to figure out how Feminism is helping women of color besides making them feel bitter and resentful toward men, convincing them that men and patriarchy are oppressing them, and convincing them that being an independent woman among the 70% of unmarried black women is a sign of strength. How can black women be oppressed by black men if black men have never had the authority to establish or enforce policies that applied to the rights, privileges, and freedoms of black women? How is “patriarchy” in general being blamed for the inequality and oppression if the only form of patriarchy that has had control over social policy has been white male patriarchy? Why aren’t feminists specific about that? Because black male patriarchy, prior to the War on Drugs destroying our communities in the ’80’s, was very, very different. Black women were valued, cherished, respected, and empowered under black patriarchy. She was a critical part of the black family and community, and she was treated by our men as such.
The only version of widespread male oppression and exploitation that has given rise to the need for Feminism is that of the white patriarch…the perpetrator of the genocide of the Native Americans, originator of the most sadistic version of long term enslavement of human beings that the world has ever known, the developer of the largest prison slave population in the history of the world, the innovator of Jim Crow laws that converted slavery from plantations to prisons, the propagator of the War on Drugs that results in exponentially more arrests and convictions of men of color than their white compatriots, the launcher of the War on Terror and invader of the Middle East…THIS is the author and maintainer of the oppression that white women rose up against and are still battling against. The WHITE patriarch. And yet still, he certainly hasn’t been nearly as oppressive to white women as he has historically been to black women. According to the data, the bank accounts of white women seem to be coping with the “oppression” of patriarchy and wage inequality better than any other demographic of female in this country. But maybe I’m not giving them enough credit. Maybe they’re just harder working than women of other races, work longer hours, bring more value to the same position, are more educated and experienced coming into the same role…maybe white women have legitimately earned this 18% positive difference in salary. That would be worthwhile consideration to explore, if only the data didn’t have this category called “unexplained” that describes the largest factor that influences the black/white salary gap.
Are there any American feminists who can make sense of this for me? Especially black female feminists? I sincerely don’t understand black female feminists because the only men who are enjoying male privilege with little consequence in this country are white men, and the only demographic of women who are getting closer to enjoying equal privileges as them are white women according to the data. Riddle me this; if the primary reason why white males have far more privileges and benefits on average is due to their inheritance of the legacy and perpetuation of slavery, systemic racism, and incarcerating tens of millions of people of color over hundreds of years, I’d like to understand why black female feminists are going along with this pursuit of “gender equality” a.k.a. white male equality. Because pursuing equality with the privileges that white males enjoy is essentially pursuing an equal share of the profits of black oppression and exploitation.
I would like to understand how feminism in America is going to get all women the same benefits currently enjoyed by white men without those benefits originating from the same sources. Has anyone in Feminist camp actually done the math surrounding what equal access to the white-male level of privilege for ALL women would amount to? If white men had to oppress, discriminate against, intimidate, threaten, rob, murder, torture, lynch, tar & feather, quarter, hang, shoot and enslave people of color on a nationwide scale for centuries to amass their looted wealth and establish their position of supremacy over the course of many generations, how are 80 million+ women going to get equal amounts of what white men currently have without oppressing people of color more? Where’s all of that freshly minted equality going to come from? Who’s footing the bill for all that equally shared benefit and privilege that’s been promised to every lady in the country? Boats, cars, land, vacation property? Where’s all of this stuff going to come from?
Is this why the salaries of white men and women are steadily rising while the gap in average salary between black and white people is getting wider? Are white employers tucking away the tens of thousands of dollars they’re saving on each black salary into a collective “Privilege” savings account so that they can later pay for all of that expensive equality that Feminism is promising everyone? It’s like Oprah’s back. “You’ve got equality! YOU’VE got equality! EVERYBODY’S GOT EQUALITYYYY!!!” Well alright. That would cover a fraction of the cost. But nowhere near the amount of money and assets that’ll be required for all women to be on par with the average level of privilege and wealth as white men. Or is someone expecting privileged white men to surrender their privilege en masse? I wouldn’t hold my breath for that. Or…if we look at the data, it looks like Feminists haven’t been working on getting ALL women to the level of equality with white men. According to the numbers, white women are the only demographic of female that’s been on a continuous rise for the past few decades and enjoying the gap that’s widening between them and minorities. Looks like Feminism is looking out for who it always has from day one…the interests of white women. The original Suffragette Feminists were as racist as the KKK and damned proud of it. It appears that their legacy has endured. But I’m reserving the benefit of the doubt. There might be a sensible explanation to these numbers.
Help me out, white feminists. Somebody. Anybody. Why is the pursuit of Feminism not benefiting the economic interests of black women in the U.S., despite all of the rhetoric about representing the interests of all women equally? How are you striving for equality between the sexes if you’re blowing past black women and now quietly passing black men up? Doesn’t look all that equal to me. Looks like a private party. If I’m going to bite my tongue when I hear a black woman proclaiming herself as a Feminist, then she’d better be enjoying some profound benefit from it. Because the only economic beneficiary of Feminism that I see right now is Caucasian.
Why is the average salary of black women moving backward while yours is moving steadily forward if they’ve been working their asses off to obtain higher education, and if you’ve supposedly been working just as hard on their behalf? Is this a fluke? Coincidence? How does 100 years of Feminism result in the continuous advancement of the interests of white women while at the same time the interests of black women creep along or slide backward in decline? Besides being the vanguard of gentrification in historically black neighborhoods, how have you improved the rate of advancement of black women in a tangible way that cannot be attributed to the black civil rights movement, crumbs off your political plate, or sweat off her own brow?
– M.J. Verdun