Between some troubling incidents I've personally witnessed recently, and several statutory changes enacted or put forward by misogynistic dinosaurs going around dressed like normal human men, I figured it was about time for another lecture. Now, this may piss a few of you guys off, but guess what? I don't care. If I can plant a seed in that moribund pile of mush you call a brain, it's worth the effort.
First of all, it's their body, not yours. They get to decide what level of intimacy will be achieved; how much of that body they want to share with you, as it were. And I don't care if you've been in a sexual relationship for twenty fricking years, each and every time, it's up to them to decide.
If you circumvent their personal liberty, whether via substance abuse or economic pressure or physical imtimidation or any other machinations, then you have graduated from being a lover to being a sexual predator. Period. If you're just not as close as you used to be, then figure out what's wrong and fix it, or get the hell out. You know all this stuff already, I just want to make sure you remember it.
Second, if you're a manager, and you're paying a female employee less than she is worth, that should bother you. You need to ask youself why. Because you can? Not a good enough answer. Being just one tiny cog in a huge fucked up wheel doesn't mitigate your bad behavior. A good manager would fix that regardless of how many other managers don't.
Also, if your management team or board of directors has decided you no longer have a personal assistant, that means you no longer have a personal assistant. You don't get to draft the next handy female employee and dump all that stuff on her shoulders. Aside from the fact that personal servitude is downright demeaning, worrying about things that you should be doing yourself will negatively impact the way she performs her real job, which brings me to my next point.
Even in the fairest of work environments, job performance evaluations are riddled with subjectivity. Ingrained sexism (and racism, for that matter), even at a low-level background hum, puts in place some preconceived notions about behavior and capabilities. To achieve "competency" in the eyes of many a male manager, females must over-perform, while their male counterparts can simply meet the written standards and be deemed competent.
This is the heart and soul of inequality; the often subliminal double-standard that forces some to swim upstream while others go with the flow.
If this was merely a philosophical question to be bandied about by Constitutional scholars, moot-court participants, or even know-it-all bloggers, it would be interesting. But it's not. It's a seemingly unshakable sickness that permeates our society, having a profound impact on the lives and futures of half of our population. And with all the single mothers out there, the percent of our population being negatively affected grows as each year passes.
There are a lot of rationalizations out there about the inequity in paychecks between men and women. But they're not valid points, they're symptoms of an illness. An illness that we have the power to cure, if we want to.