In June 2013, 50 years following the enactment of the Equal Pay Act, the Labor Department found women made 77 cents for every dollar earned by their male counterparts. The exact figures may be disputed, but the wage gap itself undeniably exists, and to one Brooklyn-based bar, that is "some shameful sh*t." In an email promoting just about the coolest women's rights protest ever, the Way Station announced it will be charging women 77 cents on the dollar for their drinks on July 7, DNA info reported. That sounds like a guaranteed fun night, and New York women will get a small win as the Way Station serves up both discounted margaritas and, frankly, some sweet shots of justice.
The "Doctor Who"-themed bar's clever owners didn't pick the date of the event for no reason — Tuesday happens to be July 7 (think about it: 7/7, 77 cents on the dollar...). The Way Station regularly features live music, and that night, it will also celebrate women's right to equal pay by hosting its first "acoustic soul night" with performances from four local artists. "Let's level the playing field, even if it is just for one night," said the bar's email, which was posted by DNAinfo. "Women deserve better. Recognizing this discrepancy is just a start."
Ever since the Treasury Department announced the $10 bill would be redesigned to feature a woman, many activists, writers, and critics quickly pointed out that having a woman on the bill, as great as it would be, didn't fully address the very real problem of this country's gender wage gap. Representation is important, and it's always a key step in inspiring change. Yes, putting an accomplished woman on the $10 bill could definitely inspire generations of girls. But what good does it mean if women are only making 77 percent of that cash compared with men?
In theory, offering women discounted drinks for one night might not change much either, but like representation, awareness and recognition are important steps in making change. Often when we hear about the gender wage gap, it's through some feminist celebrity's inspiring speech or a New York Times article full of graphs and numbers that most of us probably skim through. It's rare that a real, relatable discussion on this issue casually appears in our day-to-day lives, and in Brooklyn's popular Prospect Heights area, this small statement on the gender wage gap will hopefully bring both men and women together for drinks.
Feminism isn't about disadvantaging one group over another; it's about equality, and so I hope men will attend the event too. Because men who aren't aware of the gender wage gap (or even worse, men who don't even recognize their male privilege) might just change their minds when they pay full price at the bar.
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