Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Feminists United - Pay Equity Bake Sale!

The Feminists United club, here at Ramapo, employed some controversial pricing methods to their bake sale treats last Thursday, November 12th, in order to create a metaphor for the pay gap that exists in America today.

The flyers at the cookie, brownie, and cake covered table exclaimed “Pay for Your Privilege” and contained a pricing scale underneath that requested white males pay $1.00 for their treat of choice, while white females only paid $.76, men of color $.68, and women of color just $.62. This pricing represents 2005 government statistics that look into pay discrepancies that exist in the American workforce, simply based on a person’s gender and ethnicity; the statistics used were controlled for vacation time, education level, skill level and so on so that the only notable differences were gender and ethnicity.

Along with popular treats like brownies from catering services and cookie cake, members of Feminists United dispensed knowledge about the pay gap to their patrons through conversations and flyers that members had made up detailing statistics about the pay gap and actions that students and faculty could take to aid in the fight for fair pay.

Something interesting came to light about halfway through the bake sale when Zaneta Rago, Queer Peer Services Coordinator for the Women’s Center, stopped by the table with some statistics that showed how the pay-gap affected the Queer Community differently. While she had found that lesbian women actually make about the same as straight white males do, a new category had to be added onto the flyer in pen: gay men would be charged just $.77 for their treats, since statistics show they make just $.77, on average, to a straight man’s dollar.

The sale wound up staying open almost an hour later than members had originally planned; none of the members wanted to stop handing off baked goods and information. Feminists United Treasurer Becky Garrabrant finally helped to wrap the event up around four, stating that she hoped the event would “become a Feminists United tradition” in the semesters yet to come.

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