This week’s reading was very interesting and ironic. It seems as if caring has only been kept for certain people, not everyone. Why not? It’s not something to selfishly possess, it needs to be distributed equally to everyone, regardless of race, religion, political beliefs, etc. Gabriela Saldanha’s The Post Pandemic University and the Caring Gap really emphasized on how much of a difference there is between paid “professional” work and unpaid “caring” work. It doesn’t seem to be just a gap, it seems to be a never-ending dark abyss that is taking ages to close in on itself.
Saldanha starts off her article by introducing famous supposed “world-changing” men who were able to come out of a plague with pride and achievement. But the point is, they were men. Were they taking care of twins as a single parent like Saldanha was? Helping the children with their education while juggling working full-time? Probably not, so Newton and Shakespeare, while they should be remembered, do not represent everyone. The vast difference in a man’s world and a woman’s world is what has formed the “gender pay gap”- also known as the gap between carers and non-carers. Why? Because the majority of men get paid for their work as professionals, while most women (who are often assumed to be homemakers) don’t get paid for their labor because they are doing their duty to care for others. Both forms of work should be recognized and should stop being taken for granted. But this unfortunate mentality has been given birth by generations of communities who promoted this kind of cultured behaviors, where man was acknowledged and women were “doing what they should be doing.”
But is it society’s fault? According to society itself, nope. Instead it’s the woman’s fault for not self-promoting herself, for not putting herself out there to be noticed and have others hear her voice. It turns out that self-promotion makes or breaks the carer pay gap. And who determines this? Supposedly, the men themselves. They feel that women need to change, not them, not anyone else. But maybe they are right…if enough women do speak up for themselves, it won’t leave any choice for the men and the so-called society but to succumb to those voices. That will allow for culture change, and although it will take many years, better late than never.
No matter whether you are a feminist professor who calls for schedules that match the self’s schedule (completely going against the idea of equality) or a man/woman who tries their very best to balance all aspects of their life from professional to familial, the number one thing that everyone must remember is that before anything else, they are human. But don’t be human by name, show it. And to start off, care. Not just for yourself, for everyone around you. Share the care, don’t spare the care.