Equal Pay Day Is Nothing To Celebrate

By Victoria Brownworth
April 13, 2016

It’s not a holiday. It’s a day to note that 53 years after President John F. Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act in 1963, women are still being paid unfairly–less for the same labor as men.

We’ve heard this from various quarters, notably Hollywood, when actresses like Jennifer Lawrence spoke out about how much less she was paid than her male co-stars, despite being an Oscar-winner. Serena Williams, arguably the best tennis player in the world, is paid less than her male counterparts: $495,000 to Roger Federer’s $790,000. On March 31 the U.S. women’s soccer team–Olympic Gold medalists–filed a wage discrimination suit, because they had had enough.

The U.S. women’s national soccer team (long led by out lesbian Abby Wambach, who holds the world record for goals among both men and women) has been a leader in the sport, garnering win after win. Wambach alone has been a six-time winner of the Soccer Athlete of the Year Award, is a two-time Olympic Gold medalist and a FIFA Women’s World Cup champion. In 2015 she was listed among the Time 100 as among the most influential people in the world. Yet she’s paid 40 percent less than the worst male soccer player.

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