Why the gender gap in children’s allowances matters

I figured the gender wage gap in babysitting had to be the earliest wage gap out there. But Bryce Covert has uncovered an even earlier one:

Nearly 70 percent of boys say they get an allowance, compared to just under 60 percent of girls, according to a new survey from Junior Achievement.

But unfortunately, it’s not likely because boys do more chores. One study found that girls do two more hours of housework a week than boys, while boys spend twice as much time playing. The same study confirmed that boys are still more likely to get paid for what they do: they are 15 percent more likely to get an allowance for doing chores than girls. A 2009 survey of children ages 5 to 12 found that far more girls are assigned chores than boys. A study in Europe also found fewer boys contribute to work around the house.

And it’s not just that boys are more likely to be paid by their parents, but they also get more money. One study found that boys spent just 2.1 hours a week on chores and made $48 on average, while girls put in 2.7 hours to make $45. A British study found that boys get paid 15 percent more than girls for the same chores.

Obviously, compared to pay inequity in the adult working world, the stakes of the allowance gap aren’t all that high. But in terms of socialization, I think it tells us a lot. Since allowances exist in this fuzzy gray area — some kids don’t get them at all, some get them loosely as “payment” for chores, some get them just for being a kid as an early entitlement program – this gap reveals a lot about how sexist norms around gender and unpaid labor are perpetuated, starting from a very young age.  Read More »

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Feministing Jamz: DJ Ushka on music, migrations, and cultural appropriation

Feministing Jamz logo

If you don’t know DJ Ushka yet, it is definitely in your interest to get to know her. Born Thanu Yakupitiyage in Sri Lanka, DJ Ushka is currently based out of Brooklyn (via Thailand). When she’s not working as an immigrants’ rights organizer, she’s incorporating the music and resistance of the global south into eminently danceable mixes. I had the pleasure of chatting on the phone with DJ Ushka a couple weeks ago, and we talked feminism, migration, and the ways DJs can participate in — and resist — cultural appropriation.

I also asked her to pick out ten songs or videos she was feeling. She ended up giving me eleven, and you know what? That is really great news for you.

DJ Ushka during a set

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An open letter to my former dentist


Ed. note: This is guest post from Kiera Butler. Kiera is a senior editor at Mother Jones. Her first book, which is about 4-H, will be published in October 2014. 

Dear Dr. B.,

I’m writing to tell you why I’m taking my business to different dental office. Let me explain:

The last time I had my teeth cleaned at your office, your hygienist told me that the bonding on two of my teeth was coming off, and that I should come back so that you could fix it.

So I made an appointment to do just that. I asked you to take a look at the bonding, and you did. Then you took off your glasses and said, “Forget the bonding for a minute. Let’s have some fun.”  Read More »

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Your Daily Poem: Franny Choi

Ed. note: For National Poetry Month, we’re highlighting one feminist poem each day in April. See the whole series here.

Today’s poem is “To the Man Who Shouted ‘I Like Pork Fried Rice’ at Me on the Street” by Franny Choi.

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Daily Feminist Cheat Sheet

Lupita on cover of People

Lupita Nyong’o became the third black woman –and the first dark-skinned woman — to be named People’s “Most Beautiful” person of the year.

Emma Stone FTW.

Chelsea Manning’s legal name change was granted, although she’s still fighting for access to trans health care.

23 ways feminists have made the world better.

A heartwarming display of solidarity in response to victim-blaming at Vanderbilt.

Thanks to the reauthorization of the VAWA, tribal courts can now prosecute non–Native Americans accused of domestic violence.

An interview with the only abortion provider in North Dakota.

Yeah, I’d get pretty excited about a two-woman presidential ticket.

Read Justice Sotomayor’s dissent.

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