On this past Tuesday afternoon, Feminists United held a bake sale and clothing swap in Friends Hall. The event was co-sponsored by the Women’s Center.
“We’ve done both equal pay bake sales and clothing swaps together. We did the bake sale around Valentine’s Day, and clothing swaps before I was involved with the organization,” said senior Diana Atalla, president of Feminists United. “Today, April 9, is Equal Pay Day.”
The club wanted to raise awareness on campus about not only the 50th anniversary of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, but also about how pay disparity in America continues to be a problem.
Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy helped enact and sign this piece of legislation to end sex discrimination in the workplace. However, equal pay still has not been achieved in our country.
Even in 2013, according to recent data collected by the United States Census Bureau, “women are paid just 77 cents for every dollar paid to men on average.” Women of African-American and Latino heritage particularly, on average, earn less than 70 cents to the man’s dollar.
The bake sale served as a way to explain and portray this issue. For instance, a white male would pay a dollar for a baked good, while a white female would pay 82 cents; a black male would pay 76 cents, while a black female would pay 70 cents; a Latino man would pay 66 cents, while a Latino woman would pay 61 cents.
The only exception to the ratio was those of Asian-American decent, since men traditionally earn $1.13 and women 88 cents, both of which are above the average earnings of white men and women.
These statistics, which were compiled by Feminists United and on display at the event, impacted sophomore Erica Nilsen.
“I found out about this event by email. I came for the clothing swap, but didn’t know about the bake sale,” Nilsen said. “I didn’t know it was Equal Pay Day either, but now I do. It was interesting to see my gender and race would pay the least for the baked goods, since I’m a Hispanic female. I wonder what this means for Latino females across the United States.”
“I was walking by the poster in the Student Center and saw the clothing swap being advertised. I wanted to stop by and check it out, since we had similar clothing and book swaps at my high school,” said sophomore Mariel Montana. “I also like thrift shopping.”
All the leftover clothing will be donated to charity. The Women’s Center will be accepting clothing until tomorrow.