The gender pay gap is alive and well in the majority of establishments across the world, and gender inequality itself still hangs over the heads of many.
In the parts of the world that work on paying women equally, sexism continues to persist. Robin Wright, the actress behind Claire Underwood in House of Cards, recently brought the spotlight back to the issue when she spoke out about how she was able to negotiate for a pay equal to her co-star, Kevin Spacey, who plays Francis Underwood. Calvin Harris, a top-ranking DJ, charged women less for tickets to his May 13th concert. Pay inequality is not the only form of repression women are faced with. The male stripper alternative, ManServants, is working to promote equality for women and make up for their role as less-than throughout history.
While Harris’s and ManServants’s intentions seem pure enough, there has been speculation as to whether these social stands are enough to help, and if they’re even working to promote equality at all. The following segments will detail what each potential situation of ‘men making up for gender inequality’ is, and evaluate both sides of the issue: is it, or is it not, a stance for feminism?
Calvin Harris’s Concert: Feminism or Sexism?
Is the difference in ticket prices sexist or feminist?
This happens to be the question many are asking when seeing the female-favoring prices—compare a $100 bar card for the Las Vegas concert at $115 for females and $150 for males. The initial reaction was that this was a play on the singer’s part to attempt to bring attention to, and make up for, the pay gap by gender. Soon the argument that allowing women to pay less, regardless of the intention, is a form of sexism was made. Women still make significantly less than men in executive positions, white women make 73 cents for every dollar that men make.
The disparity in cost certainly brought attention to the subject, but the subject is one that some argue doesn’t even exist. This concept is exactly what Joanna Williams wrote about in a Spiked article.
Harris’s approach allows for the argument that bringing attention to the pay gap through way of varying ticket prices by gender is necessary.
ManServants: A Female-Run Company Focused on Gender Equality
ManServants is a female-founded company boasting the alternative to male strippers. Instead, they offer a Man Servant. He compliments you, and isn’t only for bachelorette parties: he’s a gift to your boss who needs a personal assistant, a helping hand for your party where you burn all the notes from your ex, and even bring you drinks at the pool, or cleans your house.
The goal with the company is to promote gender equality by way of allowing a man to be hired to make a person feel special; their website even reads “to empower women to make their own rules.” It’s not about objectifying men to parallel how women often feel objectified, although it can be perceived as that, but instead to have feminist-identifying men fulfill a woman’s fantasy of feeling like a queen. This atypical set up allows for the founders to promote feminism, and create an environment that allow for men to make up for the disadvantages women face, a concept voiced in the video make by Broadly.
The men in these two instances, Calvin Harris and the men of ManServants, are just some of many that are attempting to compensate for the inequality of the sexes. Whether it really is for this purpose is disputed. However, no matter the true intentions they each bring focus to the issue of sexism, and showcase men attempting to make up for gender inequality through time.