As the Father of a Daughter, It Upsets Me That Women Don’t Get Paid as Much as Men, Because Who Will Support Me in My Old Age?
I worked for fifteen years before I had my daughter. I’d never thought much of the women I worked with—why were they always complaining about their salaries? My wife, she didn’t work. I preferred it that way. We lived happily together, and everything was fine. I didn’t need to support equal pay for women, because not doing so had no discernible negative impact on my life.
Everything changed when I had a daughter. From the moment she came tumbling out of the womb (I wasn’t in the room, but I assume it was something like a Slip ’N Slide), I felt differently about women. Later, as I gazed into the eyes of my newborn baby girl, I realized something—women do deserve to be paid as much as men. Because who else is going to support me in my old age?
My little girl—she’s really something. She’s so precocious and smart, I have total faith that she’s going to be successful someday. Yes, my daughter will make a lot of money, just as long as we fight for the necessary societal changes. At least, I really hope she’s going to make a lot of money, because I took out two mortgages on this house and I was thinking maybe she’d be able to pay them off for me by the time she’s twenty-five.
Just the other day, my darling girl built a sandcastle so beautiful I could see her future as an incredible architect. And it’s important to me that we insure that architecture, as a field, lets in more women and pays them equally! I posted a Facebook status about this because I’m a feminist and posting to my fourteen followers is the best way that I know to make change. Also, her sandcastle reminded me that I’ve always wanted a beach house in Martha’s Vineyard, and hopefully she’ll buy me one, ideally before paying off my mortgages.
I feel like I get more and more progressive with each passing day thanks to my little girl. Not only do I believe that women should get paid as much as men, I think even children should get paid as much as men! And by children, I mean my daughter in particular, because I’d love to retire as soon as possible. I know that my daughter wants a job, too, because she’s always saying adorable things to me, like, “Daddy, when can I open up a 401(k) for you?” and “Daddy, I don’t even want an allowance, I’d rather earn it myself as a day trader and then give it to you to pay off your debt, because you definitely needed to buy that boat.” Precious, right? She gets it from her mother. (Her allowance, that is.)
In fact, as the father of a daughter, I have progressive views on all sorts of female issues. I entirely support my daughter’s right to choose, because a baby might end up taking away some of her hard-earned cash that could be better spent on me. And I’m newly against sexual harassment in the workplace because it might inhibit my daughter’s career growth, and I need her to be a C.E.O. by age twenty-six. I’m getting so liberal that I might just run for President in 2020!
When Matt Damon linked his disapproval of Harvey Weinstein with the existence of his own four daughters, I thought that was absurd. Four daughters! Who needs that much money? One is enough for me since my little girl is so amazing and laser-focussed on fiscal success. So let’s keep fighting the good fight and insure that women make as much money as men in twenty years! As for my daughter, I’d like her to earn ten times the median salary, and I will make this known to her repeatedly for the remainder of her childhood. Because, as the father of a daughter, I respect women’s right to give me money.
From “Toxic Femininity in the Workplace: Office Gender Politics Are a Battlefield” by Ginny Hogan, to be published by Morrow Gift.
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