Courtney Brooks: I’ll pay my own way, thanks.

aThe gender pay gap, as defined by the European Commission, is the average difference between men’s and women’s aggregate hourly earnings. While on a professional level, the effects of the gender pay gap are apparent, as women earn about 76 cents for every male dollar made, on a personal level I have yet to feel this phenomenon.

As a young millennial not yet thrust into the real world and working an “adult” job, I earn my keep by waitressing at a small restaurant in my town. All the talk of the GPG led me to research among fellow waiters and waitresses on a Friday night shift, and the results were unanimous. The female waitresses earned significantly more tips than do male waiters.

This can be attributed to many reasons, including the fact that men can be dogs and are willing to pay higher tips to a female they consider attractive. Also, in a family restaurant, mothers are more open to taking meal suggestions from female waitresses, who can suggest bigger plates and in turn get higher tips.

Waitressing might not be a career path that tops any Forbes’ list, but realizing that in one profession women still have the upper hand felt like a small victory.

bSurprisingly, not all women are eager to close the gender pay gap. A study conducted by Reach Advisors in New York City found that on average, a single woman living in New York City in her 20s makes a 17 percent higher salary than her male counterparts.

To 24-year-old account executive Cecilia Hughes, this isn’t cause for celebration, because now instead of being wined and dined, she has to front the bill because she is making more than most men she is dating. While feminists wage the war to close the gap, there are also many Cecilia Hughes out there who are reluctant to upset the status quo.

Personally, I would much prefer to pay my own way on a date and close the gender pay gap than I would like to depend on a man to pay for my dinner, and I think many of my fellow females would agree! If the dollar amount itself isn’t enough to convince you to support pay equality, then look at the message behind that figure. The gender pay gap is a clear-cut way to say to all women that we are not as useful as men, that we are not as competent as men, that we are not as important as men, and most importantly that we are not equal to men.

Let’s prove them wrong!



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