Every time I hear the latest news of pay disparity between women and men, I’m reminded how many times I’ve heard this before. Yada yada, same old same old. Is that a broken record playing?
The latest figures come from the UK, and they have to do not with rank-and-file workers but – what a shock – executives at top companies and firms. Men’s annual pay exceeds women’s by more than £10,000 (about $15,000) and at the rate of increase, allowing for blips like depressions and wars, that inequity will not be eliminated until the year 2109. When we’ll all presumably be flying our personal flotation devices, learning new languages and skills by means of brain-implanted software, and having sex with lifelike robots that cannot spread disease.
By 2036 – twenty-five years from now – then, the disparity between executive salaries in Britain will have been reduced to three-quarters of its current level. Male executives will on average be paid only £7,500 more than their sisters.
But at least their sisters will have jobs, unlike their counterparts in Asia.
By 2036, because of past, current and future abortion of female fetuses, the number of single men in China will have reached 34 million. Thirty-four million. That’s more than four times the 2010 census count of New York City, all boroughs. Try to imagine the population of four Big Apples, all male, all under the age of fifty. That’s a lot of macho, and too many cojones.
When a group reaches power, whether through numbers or superior weaponry or social terrorism (think the US antebellum South, where enslaved black people greatly outnumbered free whites but were kept from power by laws and custom), what’s the first thing it does? It takes advantage of that power. It gathers what it can, and changes the legal system to benefit the puissant group.
In China and India, that means huge numbers of young men will demand women’s jobs as theirs by right. Not the textile home industries, perhaps, the hand-knitting and -embroidering that decorates even Western high fashion, but the visible jobs, the ones with heftier pay packets and more prestige. Business and manufacturing, of course, and public relations. Hospital work and call centers. Work for the government and the press and advertising. Even flight attendants will carry XY chromosomes. In every facet of Chinese and Indian work, men will not just dominate – they will devour.
And Asian women? Excuse me, who? Asian what? Oh, you mean in 2036 those people kept under guard or in extended family harems, people so rare they’ll often be shared by brothers, cousins or friends? Those kept perpetually pregnant, living enclosed lives? The ones fearing kidnap, male anger and inadequate obstetric care from ill-trained practitioners?
Yada yada. Same old same old. We’ve seen this in other, earlier societies, and it’s not far off the current situation in Afghanistan. Another blog.