The Equal Pay Battle by Yu Pan

Nowadays, society develops quickly. Although there were social justice movements, people did not pay as much attention in the past, but more and more the present age people begin to stress feminine equality and justice. However, it is very difficult to achieve the real meaning of equality between men and women. Facts proved that it is still unequal between the pay of the men and women work force. In her speech, Diana DeGette, who is a member of the Democratic Party, said that full-time working women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns on average (DeGette). This is not a simple number that comes from the statistic, but it can greatly affect women’s lives. Women are a very important part of the workforce; however, they get less money doing the same job. It means they get far less money than males during their whole life. In the unequal world, women need to fight for equality. There is a piece of artwork which is posted and advertised on the website of the White House. It uses visual and verbal messages to show the unequal payments for the equal work.

Actually, the problem of unequal treatment has existed for a long time. There were plenty of great movements in American woman’s history. Douglass explains, for example, in July 1848, the first women’s rights convention of USA was held in Seneca Falls, New York (Douglass). On March 23rd 2010, president Obama signed the Patient Production and Affordable Care Act. He changed the rules that insurance companies ban insurance of woman more than men for the same coverage (“About the Law”). People have fought for the unequal treatment for such a long time from 1848 until now. The time is passing, but the process of fighting for the equal treatment has never stopped. Once people are living in an equal environment, women will have more enthusiasm for their works. Then, society can develop quickly. The equal society is very important. Therefore, after such a long time, the government is still concerned about the unequal problem.

The U.S. government uses a whole website of the White House to propagandize the unequal social phenomenon. Specifically, there is a wonderful artwork which shows the topic clearly. In the painting, there is one man and one woman which stand closely. The man wears a formal suit and tie, and the woman wears a smart dress. They are smiling with a positive attitude to their lives. The woman in the picture is trying to get closer to the man. However, there is a big gap on the floor between them. More specifically, on the top of the picture, there is a sentence emphasized with a red background: “The gender wage gap puts women at a career-long disadvantage” (the White House). On the bottom of the picture, the author also writes, “In 2011, a typical 25-year-old woman working full time all year earned $5,000 less than a typical 25-year-old man” (the White House). The artwork shows there is still a gap of paying for equal work between women and men, which is difficult to eliminate. People can send the colorful electrical cards with the picture to their friends or families by some social media tools.

When you look at the artwork, the big words “equal pay” in capital letters can easily come into your eyes first. It is like the logos of the image, which can make you know the topic clearly and think about it at the first time. Additionally, the sentence which is written in red color on the bottom of the image makes the comparison of the payment data between the same age of full-time working woman and man in 2011. The red color is used for warning in our lives. It makes the sentence emphasize the main idea obviously. In smaller sized words, there is another sentence below the last one said that, “In ten years, her cumulative lost wages will reach $34,000. According to U.S. Census data, by age 65, the average woman will have lost $431,000 over her working lifetime as a result of the earning gap” (the White House). The specific statistical data makes the idea of the picture be credible and clear. Women are doing the same work with lower salary than men. The differences of the monthly wage may not be very significant. But after a long period of time, they will lose a huge amount of money due to the social phenomenon of the unequal pay. Apart from the big words “equal pay”, the sentences on the picture are the logos of the picture as well. They show us the main idea of the picture that there is a big gap between the payment of women and men.

Meanwhile, as the pathos of the picture, the real big amount of money of the wage gap can also make audiences be surprised and notice the problem seriously. Apart from the credible data of extensive research and calculations, the author also uses some contrasts to make the audiences have emotion to support the thesis of equal pay in the picture. For example, the people in the picture are smiling. The sunny smile makes us see that they have very positive attitudes toward their jobs and lives. However, the big gap makes them be treated differently. It can make the working women audience be very sad about the truth. Because they are doing the same work, but they get less money, they will feel underappreciated. The sharp contrast between the positive attitudes and the unequal treatment as the pathos of the painting can make audiences feel pressed to support the topic of equal pay and improve the problem.

The image is posted on the website of the White House. It is a very powerful influential website that can show any big social problems to all people in U.S.. With no doubt, the author of the image is the government of the U.S.. They make the topic of equal pay as one discussion page on their website. It is positive proof that the government has a very serious attitude to this problem. As the ethos of the picture, the author government makes audience trust the data easier, and shows the importance to solve the unequal social phenomenon. All people, especially women, are their audience. The government hopes the problem of equal pay can attract more and more attention by this way and be solved. It needs all of working women to try their best to fight for their equal treatment. Meanwhile, the government also hopes the problem can be noticed by employers, and will make them redistribute the wages of people for making the treatment be equal.

When I looked at the picture the first time, I was shocked with the author’s originality. The composition of the image is very simple, and there are also not too many colors. With the big words “EQUAL PAY” on the top, I can understand the meaning of the equal pay between women and men very quickly and clearly. The gap on the floor shows the main idea of the image vividly. The dress of the characters in picture reflects the topic of work accurately as well. I think the image and the logic words are very strong and effective to support the thesis of equal pay. However, there is also a weak part in the picture. There are two whole long sentences on the bottom. The size of the words is also very small. It is difficult and boring for audiences to read all of them carefully. In my opinion, it is better to emphasize the statistics in the sentences instead of putting the whole sentences on the picture. I think it is effective to show the creditability of the picture, but is negative to the picture’s attractiveness.

The battle of equal rights between women and men from 1848 to now have continued for really a long time. However, as the artwork shows, the wage gap between women and men as one of the unequal rights’ problems still exists. The battle for the women’s equal treatment never stops. Meanwhile, there are more and more documents established for women to get the equal rights. Without doubts, we still need to fight for it. The equal right battle is necessary not only for women, but also for the development of the whole society. Only once people get the equal treatment can they try their best to do their works. Although it is very difficult, I believe that the unequal pay problem will be solved.

Works Cited

DeGette, Diana. “Democratic National Convention speech.” Charlotte. 5th Sep 2012. Speech.

Douglass, Rochester Frederick. National Park service. U.S. Department of the interior. Report of the Woman’s Rights Convention. John Dick at the North Star Office: , 1848. Print.

The White House. Your right to equal pay. N.d. Picture. the White House, Washington, DC.. Web. 27 Feb 2014.

U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Health care. About the Law. Washington, D.C., Web.