One of our symbols is that of Baphomet, and regardless of its origin or significance to other religions, it is a satanic symbol. An icon of contrasts, both sexes, light and dark, man and animal meant to symbolize conflicting forces that have to be in balance to make true light or wisdom. To me this has further implications that as Satanists issues of balance and equality are of paramount importance. Issues of gender equality affect us all and even as men we have a moral impetus to act to towards goals of equality for women. Now most will shutter at the use of the word feminism as it is much like socialist or Satanist in social circles that draws revulsion, distain or any number of derogatory remarks from people. The definition is simply the advocacy of women’s rights for equality, so can I be a feminist as a man? Yes, we can and as Satanists it is almost a moral precept, that we should stand on.
Many people seem to think it is odd that a guy can be a feminist, particularly because it takes a lot of wind out of their primary objections to feminism (the uppity women part). Misogyny lacks its teeth when used against other guys for some reason. I don’t speak for women or presume to understand their struggle, but similar to my support for LGBT Equality I don’t think I have to be a member of a community to support their fight for equality. My premise for this article is dealing with the pay gap between men and women and particularly in Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM). Now much of this was prompted by a social media post, as usual. There were the usual arguments cited, but particular was the conservative propaganda that there is no wage gap. As usual in my writings and interactions I am often surprised by the absolute lack of reality people seem to be living in. Or that people have their heads so far up their own asses or up Trumps that they lack the ability to discern basic reality and basic science. Science is what I do, I read science, I write science I work as a scientist, I teach science, so one of the primary tenets I believe strongly in is obviously not to distort science for our own beliefs. This conversation on Facebook was also my first interaction with an individual who had some deep seated malignant misogyny that I assume he was an INCEL, (involuntary celibate). And wow you want to talk about a hateful mother fucker, just think Westboro Baptist except they hate women.
First I will dispense with the conservative propaganda that there is no wage gap or the hilarious arguments that women get paid less for the same job because their job descriptions are different. When a job puts out a position description (PD) there isn’t one for men and one for women, it’s the same description and in the science field most of us have very similar academic backgrounds when you start getting into the ‘Scientist’ area. We all have Masters degrees and PhD or variations on those. The jobs we do are not physically demanding that make some separation of sexes important or give benefit to one over the other; boiling it down to its purest form of simply academic and intellectual capacity. To also be very clear, there is a wage gap difference and no amount of conservative bullshit propaganda is or can make that not abundantly clear. Women do not take a lower wage than men, they get paid a lower wage than men, in many fields they are not doing less or have less credentials. If you strip jobs down to simply job type or even just look across the board in a holistic comparison even a moron can see the clear difference.
(Bureau of Labor Statistics, Median weekly Earning 2004-2014)
But hey maybe that one simple source isn’t good enough for people. I understand it can take some convincing to see the facts that are almost sitting on your face. In the United States women face a 21% lower income than men, which is an improvement over the 37% it used to be in the 1970s (Bacolod, 2017). No matter how you slice it, from a scientific perspective there is zero literature that supports any notion that there is no wage gap, nor that men are more qualified or have more skills in any particular area that support higher wages (Michelmore & Sassler, 2016; Mervis, 2011, BLS, 2013; Grabmeier, 2016). Even in some part of STEM fields where the pay gap is smaller there are still social penalties simply for being women (Ceci, Ginther, Kahn & Williams, 2015) And this is not even a US issue, the fact that almost literally every other country around the world has similar issues demonstrates the pervasiveness of this issues (Else, 2018; Revenga & Munoz Boudet 2017). Even if we take the often cited issue of children as a driver for women’s career paths, this only accounts for high performance areas of academia and industry that might limit their choices because of work-life balance. Sure men choose to go into higher paying fields of STEM, but women who are in the same field shouldn’t get paid less. Also if family life is a driver then why not do like other countries and counter balance the other direction to compensate? Give men paternity leave, allow for social shift in either direction to be equal. I worked from home for the better part of two years taking care of my son and wouldn’t have traded that for the world. There are lots of ways to address these inequalities.
So what can be done about this? It is frankly partly the same answer that Christopher Hitchens so eloquently put it “empowerment of women… make them not just the beasts of burden and the beasts of child bearing”. But more than that improving women’s access to economic opportunity, education continues to be a primary driver in improving the well-being for all people. Policies that address entrenched social norms must be intensified and expanded. This is one reason why I support wage transparency in a job; why we have this taboo against knowing what others make is one reason why we have this gap in the first place. Employers don’t want you to share your wage information because that helps them to take advantage of our collective ignorance. More importantly really, individually we, and by ‘we’ I mean men especially should push and advocate for these things.
If there is one thing we have seen in the last two years is that patriarchy and grotesque misogyny is absolutely still strong in the US. If we stand as adversaries to a system of injustice and inequality, then this is one of our issues as well. It is no different to challenge misogyny as religious oppression, we often find the two so intimately integrated as we should; conservative ideology is the resistance to change. Christians have been defending their archaic garbage ideology for 2000 years and cannot stand the notion of equality. We as individuals have to challenge our own beliefs and as difficult as it is, we have to accept that some of our notions of male dominance or gender roles are archaic and need to be re-evaluated. Feminism doesn’t have to be the stereotypical media portrayal just as Satanism isn’t. If we find ourselves reacting to concepts like feminism negatively then we have to take a step back and look at the issue objectively from a ‘label’ standpoint, are we reacting based on preconceived notions, anecdotal or propaganda evidence? How much of these same things are said about Satanists and maybe labels that conservatives are against are not such a bad thing in the first place. If I have learned anything from my Satanism it is that whatever literature there is, philosophies people have espoused, people who stood for a cause, we can often take meaning or value from something even if it has a negative connotation (Not applicable in all cases, some conditions apply, Nazis can go fuck themselves).
We should stand for equality in all forms, we must challenge our ideologies and our labels and never be complacent. The wage gap exists between women in almost every field of employment, and whatever the reason, it is still wrong.
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, The Economics Daily, Median weekly earnings, 2004–2014 on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2014/ted_20140423.htm (visited October 13, 2018).
Bacolod, M. (2017). Skills, the Gender Wage Gap, and Cities. Journal of Regional Science, 57(2), 290–318. https://doi-org.ezcvcc.vccs.edu:2443/10.1111/jors.12285
Michelmore. K. & Sassler. S. (2016) Explaining the Gender Wage Gap in STEM: Does Field Sex Composition Matter? The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences Vol. 2, No. 4. Retrieved from: https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.7758/rsf.2016.2.4.07#metadata_info_tab_contents
Mervis, J. (2011) Women in Science Work for Less Money. Science. Retrieved from http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2011/08/women-science-work-less-money
Else, H. (2018) Nature 556, 160 (2018) doi: 10.1038/d41586-018-04309-8
Revenga, A. & Munoz Boudet. A (2017) The new science of sex and gender. Scientific American 317, 72 – 77. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0917-72
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau, (2013) Highest and lowest paying occupations, Retrieved from https://www.dol.gov/wb/stats/Highest-lowest-paying-occupations.htm
Ceci, S.; Ginther, D.; Kahn, S. & Williams, W. (2015) Do Women Earn Less Than Men in STEM Fields? Scientific America. Retrieved from: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/do-women-earn-less-than-men-in-stem-fields/
Grabmeier, J. (2016) Young women in STEM fields earn up to one-third less than men. American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Retrieved from: