And the Respect Beat Goes On

Aretha Franklin Respect 45 Record Image

Aretha Franklin “Respect” 45 record image

Are you familiar with the U.S. Council on Women and Girls?

In March 2009, President Barack Obama established the organization via Executive Order.  The purpose of the order was to, “establish a coordinated Federal response to issues that particularly impact the lives of women and girls and to ensure that Federal programs and policies address and take into account the distinctive concerns of women and girls, including women of color and those with disabilities.”

One such issue that has impacted the lives of women is the issue of equal pay in the historical and modern workplace.  For example, the 2009 Executive Order that established the Council on Women and Girls stated, “On average, American women continue to earn only about 78 cents for every dollar men make.”

If you are a woman, where do you stand when it comes to the concept of “equal pay for equal work,” and where do you think that concept should be applied?

For example, do you think the equal pay for equal work concept should be applied to women and men who are earning their livings playing professional sports?

If so, there is at least one modern professional sportsman who disagrees with you.

According to a, during the 2012 Wimbledon Championships, the 13th ranked men’s tennis player in the world at the time, Gilles Simon, criticized the tournament’s move to pay male and female players equally by stating, “We often speak of equal money, but I think it’s something that doesn’t work in sport.”

Does Simon’s opinion surprise you?  Should there be a different standard applied when it comes to equal pay when the work occurs on a tennis court or on a NASCAR track (I’d bet that Danica doesn’t think so)?

I’ve heard some women make statements such as, “if we want to be treated equally, then we need to stop creating councils for women and talking about ‘women’s issues’ and instead discuss issues that affect all of us – men and women alike.”

What do you think?

Both Simon’s statements last June and the fact that the U.S. Council on Women and Girls was created by an Executive Order as recently as 2009 make me question how far women have progressed in our society at large.

Aretha first sang about women’s desire for “Respect” in 1967, but I think that her woman cry for gender equality, without a doubt, still applies.

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