Obama Champions Right to Equal Pay

February 4, 2009

Upon signing the bill, Obama said:
"I sign this bill for my daughters, and all those who will come after us, because I want them to grow up in a nation that values their contributions, where there are no limits to their dreams and they have opportunities their mothers and grandmothers never could have imagined."
I found the reference to his daughters particularly moving since black women are one of the lowest paid demographics in the United States, second only to Latino women -- which just emphasizes the point that this new law isn't singularly a flashpoint in women's history, but a stepping stone for all minority groups in this country. 



 Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

I don't mean to underplay the significance of gender, however. After all, Asian Americans may be the highest paid demographic in the United States (and that's across occupations, not just in math and science, people), but Asian American women still earn significantly less than their male counterparts -- a fact that I have a hard time rationalizing, considering that, for the last 20 years, more women than men having been earning college degrees.  
I guess even model minority status doesn't trump patriarchy.
In any event, I'm finding myself getting incrementally less pessimistic about the state of the world every day that Obama is in office. Let's hope that he keeps this up, and continues making our country a safe place for people of all demographics.


Catherine A Traywick

Managing Editor

Catherine is the managing editor at Hyphen. Her work has appeared in TIME, the Bay Citizen, Ms. magazine, he Huffington Post, as well as broadcasted on CBS radio. She is a master's student at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.



Good article, I did not realize Asians are the only minority that makes more than Whites, yet the disparity between male and felame Asian workers is the largest, while African American and Latinos are comparitively close to each other.
Interesting demographics, I had no idea Asians earned more than white people! I wonder why?
"I'm finding myself getting incrementally less pessimistic about the state of the world every day that Obama is in office." i'm feelin' you on that one! the world IS a better place. & even as a canadian, i no longer hold the same negative views of america as i did when bush was prez.