The Sexist Response To This Equal Pay Lemonade

by Cate Carrejo

In honor of Equal Pay Day, DNC Women opened a lemonade stand right across from the RNC Headquarters in Washington, D.C. Tuesday morning. As people buzzed about on their way to work, they could pick up a cool glass of lemonade on First Street for just 79 cents — as long as they were a woman. To demonstrate the unfairness of the national wage gap, which costs women on average 21 cents per dollar as compared to what a white man earns, women could purchase the lemonade for a lower price which reflected their lost earning potential.

"Because all of the Republican presidential candidates stand against legislation that ensure equal pay, DNC women are opening a lemonade stand across the street from the RNC, where women pay 79 cents per cup and men pay $1 per cup, to highlight the wage gap," the organization said in a press release. While the idea was to raise awareness for the wage gap that effects almost all American women, the response was, sadly and unsurprisingly, pretty sexist.

Journalist Anita Kumar broke the story on Monday afternoon, and it wasn't long before dozens of users had hopped on Twitter to disparage the event. "Often-debunked statistic on pay gap appears again. This is sloppy. Makes it very easy to dismiss stunt," said Twitter user @gabrielmalor. "DNC will then tax lemonade stand into oblivion after forcing DNC women to pay all employees $15/hr," responded another user, @Cosmo_Seriously.

An article on Twitchy aggregated the tweets, and while it was meant to be a warning to the DNC Women about the possible negative ramifications of the event, it mostly just showed how little cohesive argument there is behind the anti-equal-pay movement. Few Twitter users offered actual constructive criticism against the event, and most resorted to sexist or transmisogynistic arguments to attempt to prove a point.

"What if the men identify as women? #checkmate," said user @Anewhomestar. "Careful, DNC...too much of this, and you'll learn how supply and demand work," said user @derrickjohnson.

Sadly, it seems that these hateful and misinformed attitudes still persist, even in 2016. But as the shrinking pay gap proves, progress is being made slowly but surely across the nation. Events like the DNC Women's lemonade stand and Equal Pay Day are reaching more people and changing minds, building toward a country where all people have equal opportunities, no matter their gender.