Change.org petition to Toys"R" Us

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by rjblue, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    According to the National Committee on Pay Equity, women earned 59% of what men did in 1979.

    Depending on whose stats you use for this year, women are now earning 77%-85% of what men earn. Studies that have adjusted for things like time taken off for maternity leave place the gap at around 9%.
  2. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I'd hope we have made a good bit of progress since 1979! Even if women do still buy pink razors.

    I do think there are still problems of discrimination against women in employment. I'm not quite ready to say its males who will be discriminated against in short order. But I'm not sure the connection with toys.
  3. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I don't think males will be discriminated against. Males simply aren't going to be competitive, at least not enough of them--in spite of playing with the "better" toys.

    The wage gap was stagnant for many years but started improving steadily right around 1994. Toys R Us opened its first store in 1994.

    Coincidence....or pink power at work? :COP:
  4. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I find that hard to believe. I know that males without college degrees are falling behind these days and that's a big problem. But I'm not sure women without college degrees are doing all that well either. Regardless of toys.
  5. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    They aren't. But women are going to college in much greater numbers than men--and to many other post-secondary schools as well. Women have been earning more bachelor's degrees than men for quite awhile, but now, women earn more advanced degrees than men and outnumber men in most professional schools. Engineering hasn't toppled yet, but it will. The trend is there. And it's not just school; men are also dropping out of the work force.

    The Coming American Matriarchy

    Income Gap Closing: Women On Pace To Outearn Men
  6. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    I think the jury is still out on the coming "matriarchy."
  7. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    When I was working in 1979, I was reading stats that put the gap as not that big. Don't make me look it up!!

    Yeah, predicting the future is precarious.

    What I am seeing is that my profession, that used to be white male dominated and pay really well is less white male dominated and also doesn't pay as well. If more women get into professional fields, I suspect those fields will start paying less well as well.
  8. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    So I flipped through a toys r us catalog that came with the Sunday paper with this thread in mind.

    I found that most toys were split by age and manufacturer (wooden trains and doll house next to each other), or deal (2 fir one action men, hello kitty stuff).

    Yes there was a burly pink princess section, and it was boys using the toy tool benches - but the fisher price kitchen was gender neutral, and there was a girl riding a black electric car, and she didn't even wear a pink jacket.
    Most of the girls had pink helmet for bikes/scooter pics, but there was a girl with a black skateboard style helmet finding a green scooter, and I couldn't decide if the medium long haired kid beside her was a boy or a girl.


    So, looking at the catalog, I really don't think it reinforces gender 'segregation' of toys for the most part.

    Relax, the human race will be OK. :)
    BlueRidge and (deleted member) like this.
  9. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    Perhaps, although the matriarchy refers not to wages but to the cultural elite. But the majority of men in high-paying jobs right now are baby boomers and there are fewer and fewer younger men coming through the pipeline, so who is going to take those jobs?

    The Great Jobs Mystery: Why Are So Many Men Dropping Out of the Workforce?

    Men have been gradually leaving the labor force since the 1960s, but the rate has accelerated sharply in the last decade. Young men aren't going to college. Old men are retiring.

    There is no doubt that men's participation in the labor force will improve as the economy improves--but while the economy is bad, it is women who are getting education and training, not men. And that means that it will have to be women, not men, who get the kind of jobs requiring education and training.

    What you look up or don't depends on whether you intend to dispute the stats or not, not on me.

    Here's the chart: http://www.pay-equity.org/info-time.html

    The cited source is: Census Bureau reports and data, Current Population Reports, Median Earning of Workers 15 Years Old and Over by Work Experience and Sex.

    I would assume that they use the worst figures available to make their point, but those figures are similar to some I've seen elsewhere.

    If the professional fields start paying less well, then who will be making good wages? And are we talking about "good" wages or the wages of men relative to women?

    I think computer software jobs pay less not because there are fewer white men doing the work, but because there are more immigrants doing the work. Traditionally, white immigrants have been paid less for the same work than native-born citizens as well, although the darker the skin, the lower the pay. Nevertheless, computer science is still one of the highest paying jobs anyone can get with a four-year degree.
  10. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Is this a US ad or one in Denmark? (I thought you lived in Denmark.) I think it makes a difference. They are going to cater to their market with their ads.

    Though I haven't looked at their web site or their ads (my kids are too old for Toys "R" Us), so I don't really know if the petition is justified. My arguments here aren't that Toys "R" Us is evil, but that all this stuff does make a difference and has an impact and we'd do well to examine that rather than just shrug it off and declare that it is no big deal. Marketing works and we don't live in a vacuum so marketing both reflects and shapes our world view.

    There you go being all logical again. ;) Though you then provide the stats for me so I don't have to spend a lazy Sunday morning looking them up so perhaps my ploy worked after all. :lol:

    Plumbers?

    But actually what I see happening is that the middle class is vanishing. So the CEOs and top execs will make good wages (and those seem predominately men because of the glass ceiling) and everyone else will continue to drop in wages so that there becomes this big gap with hardly anyone straddling it. I think that women having more degrees will contribute to that.

    And also what gender you are. Which is why I don't see women entering traditionally male fields as necessarily impacting the wage gap in a straightforward way. I see that, as women enter a profession in larger and larger numbers, the perception of that profession changes and wages drop relative to what they have been.

    If you look at the chart you provided, you can see that the gap hovered around 60% for decades and then start rising at a certain rate starting around the early to mid 80s. But soon after, while the rate is still going up, the rate of growth has slowed. There's nothing to say that the rate of growth will hold steady. It could slow down or stop or it could accelerate but I vote for it leveling off at some point. I don't believe it will ever close, at least not in the near future. (And I also think predicting past 10-20 years is fruitless. I'm a bundle of optimism today.)

    I also don't think it's fair to "correct" for taking time off for maternity leave because again that's something that our culture and economy dictates that women do not something that women have to do. In other countries, parents often share that burden because there is family leave that's equal for both men and women. Also, in families where the woman makes more than guy, that puts pressure on the guy to stay home with the kids over the woman.

    So who makes more money contribute to who stays home and correcting your figures for it is just smoothing over the issues.
  11. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    Maat is Danish but she lives in the US right now (for work, I think.) She's out there on the west coast with you. :)
  12. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

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    :confused: You lie, woman! I remember drooling over the Toys R Us circulars in the 70s AND I went to Toys R Us after seeing "The Muppet Movie" (the first one) in the theater and I bought a Duncan Butterfly yoyo. The movie theater is long gone but that Toys R Us is still there.
  13. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    Well that probably explains the reasonably balance ad then. We granola types eat up that gender neutral shite. :lol:

    P.S. stores under the Toys R Us came about in the late 50s according to their web site. The first store with a different name was started in 1948.
  14. Alex Forrest

    Alex Forrest Banned Member

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    Did you mean 1974? I remember the Toys R Us commercials in the 70s and early 80s "I don't wanna grow up, I'm a Toys R Us kid, they have a million toys at Toys R Us that I can play with. I don't wanna grow up because maybe if I did, I couldn't be a Toys R Us kid". What an effective commercial considering I can still repeat it after 30 years.

    Here's an 80s commercial: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJJ-ZLdrTwY

    ETA: Oops I see it was corrected. But does any kid from the 70s and 80s remember these commercials?
  15. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    uh yeah :confused: dang Toys R us was there when I was growing up though I actually never was in one as a kid! But this made me wiki it and find a piece of info particularly interesting to me and not necessarily anyone else

    Neighborhood history! The wiki entry seems to indicate that it became Toys R Us in 1957.
  16. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    I'd rather go to Madam's Organ Blues Bar than Toys R Us. :shuffle:
  17. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    :lol: I probably would too, although I've never been there either, despite it being 2 blocks from my house. Mostly I'd rather not go to either.

    ETA: actually Madam's Organ (for those not in the know about DC its a play on the name of the neighborhood, Adams Morgan) belongs in this thread as its painted logo outside the bar has been the object of feminist ire as being demeaning to women:

    Madam's Organ Madam and her madams...
  18. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    A very good year!

    Seriously? Now THAT is making a big deal about nothing.
  19. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    My Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner, a gay man, was quite intense about it in fact. This is quite a few years ago now.
  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

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    What is an Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner? Sounds vaguely Soviet. :lol:
  21. BlueRidge

    BlueRidge AYS's snark-sponge

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    It does, don't tell the Tea Party about it. ;)

    Its actually a good little institution we have in D.C. We have Advisory Neighborhood Commissions with unpaid but elected commissioners that hold meetings that provide an opportunity for citizen input into all manner of local issues from parking to rats to business to public transportation and so on and so forth.
  22. maatTheViking

    maatTheViking Well-Known Member

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    Correct, this was a Seattle area catalog. I'm sure they are different by region.


    I find this interesting. I am. Software engineer, which is definely middle class, and I not see those wages dropping. In fact, it is still hard for companies like Microsoft and Google to hire skilled engineers.
    What I seen are larger number of visa holders (like me and my husband - however it wa his job we moved for, and his green card application)

    I find this very interesting. Is it that ingrained to value women's work less?
    There has been changes. My grandmother was a 3 language correspondent (German, French and English and she spoke Danish too), an earned less than her less qualified male co workers. I think the wage differences are more subtle today.

    I also find it personally interesting, as more and more women are doing software engineering, but minor large numbers. I don't see demand drop, though.
  23. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I find that strange because it's just a picture of a beautiful women with some cleavage.

    This is my take on it:

    With the economy the way it is, companies can be picky. So they have gotten so picky they can't find anyone. The other factor is that they want to hire the cheapest labor they can get away with. So they are interviewing young grads, immigrants, persons of color and women mostly.

    It's not that qualifie dpeople aren't out there no matter how much they whine and moan about not being able to get qualified people. The end result is that wages have frozen. I haven't gotten a real raise in years, for example, and now I have to take this contract job because the cool places to work want young grads and not people within 10 years of retirement.

    I think it is ingrained. I remember when my mom was involved with hiring people at a university where they assigned everyone points for their prior work and then hired the person with the most poinst. If you were a fly on the wall in those committees with any kind of social awareness, you'd have been appalled.

    For example, a guy candidate is a part-time HS music teacher for 10 years. He gets 7 points for teaching experience (more than half of the 10 he would have gotten if he'd been a full-time teacher). The woman candidate for the same job has been teaching piano for 25 years out of her home. She gets 0 points beause "that's not real teaching." Then they hire the guy and say "we want to hire women but there just aren't any qualified ones out there." It used make my mom tear her hair out.

    I don't know if they are so blatant today with this sort of practice but I do think that the tendency is still there.
  24. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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    Part of that might be because the woman worked in her home rather than in a school, or even going to students' home. I work out of my home, and it's amazing the number of otherwise intelligent people who think that I'm sitting around watching soaps all day because it's not a real job, when in fact I do actually work full time. I'm sorry about your mom's experience, but in my case people can think whatever they want - I'm laughing all the way to the bank.
  25. Prancer

    Prancer Ray Chill Staff Member

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    I see that as a separate issue. If wages drop all around, then everyone makes less, men and women.

    Again, the men in the high-paying jobs are retiring and younger men are not coming along behind them. There are very few men who will have the skills to be CEOs and top execs.

    It seems highly unlikely to me that every profession will become "less" because women enter in greater numbers--unless wages drop across the board. And that's a different issue. But as women continue to move into the top slots, it will be women deciding how much women make.

    That is, obviously, no guarantee that women across the board will make more.

    I guess we will all see how it unfolds.

    Yes? They are measuring the wages earned by women in the US. What is done in other countries is irrelevant, as is what is done if men are the ones to stay home. Women who don't take time off earn more and are, on average, wthin nine percentage points of men. Women who do take off earn less and suffer a higher wage gap. No one is smoothing anything over; if anything, it is pointing out the rather glaring problem of maternity and flex-time policies in US companies.

    Even better. We've come a long way, baby. Bring on the pink aisle!

    My husband is also a software engineer and he makes very good money, and always has. But he's a white male, so I would guess he's not a good example.

    ITA. I got the same thing when I worked at home. And I can easily understand why people wouldn't consider teaching piano lessons at home the same as teaching in a school. For him to teach in a school, he has to be degreed and licensed, and he has been assessed as a teacher for all those years. The woman? Yes, she's been teaching for 25 years. Does she have a degree? Is she licensed? Is she a good teacher? How do you know? Can she teach anything besides piano? Just based on what was posted, we are not talking about an apple and an apple. I'd give him more credit, too, unless there is a lot more to this example.
  26. MacMadame

    MacMadame Internet Beyotch

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    I would give him more credit per year but I wouldn't give her ZERO credit. That's just silly. She's been teaching for 25 years and get NO credit for it. If she got even 25% credit, she'd only get 6.25 points but it will still be more than 0.
  27. agalisgv

    agalisgv Well-Known Member

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    Came across this article that spoke to many arguments made thus far regarding men and women in the workforce. Some of its key points are despite women outnumbering men in higher education for over a decade or two now, the same employment patterns prevail--women and men are hired at equal rates, but women drop out by 10 years out. Why? Women want more time to have babies/families. It also argues that flextime and generous maternity benefits may give rise to women falling behind at the upper echelons rather than aiding them. Some of the ways women transform certain professions is to make them more family-friendly, but less profitable (and thus, pay less). It concludes that men will likely remain at the top of corporations/academia/start-up companies for the foreseeable future because women prioritize families over career moreso than men.
    http://www.city-journal.org/2012/22_4_alpha-female.html

    Interesting food for thought...
  28. Angelskates

    Angelskates Active Member

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    Welcome back, agalisgv! :cheer2: Nice to see you posting again! :)
  29. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

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