The gender wage gap: must be funny in a rich man’s world:

wage gapNote: Before we start I’d like to mention that i’m  a supporter of women’s rights, equality and i feel that the issues of both genders are important. However just because i said this , it doesn’t mean i agree with everything said by all feminist; this isn’t a black or white right or wrong subject. I’m simply pointing out the large holes and flat out incorrect data in this particular feminist belief. With that said here we go.
If you listen to a debate about feminism, you’re bound to hear the mentioning of the “gender wage gap” between men and women at some point. For those who don’t know what this is; the argument is a long and boring song with many cover artist, but the basic tune is this: according to most studies, women in countries like England and America will make 75 cents, for every dollar a man earns in a day. Depending on the currency and the country, but it’s basically: Most women make around 75% of what men do per day in the work force.
You may be thinking “how the hell is this possible?! This is a society where women can drive, vote and choose what ever career they want to. In a political correct society such as England, how is there not one law preventing this? Calm down. There are many laws and bills preventing this; the Equal Pay Act of 1963 in the US being one of them. The Equal pay act of 1970 in UK being another; along with pay discrimination is an arrest-able offence world-wide.
Even then that “women make 75 cents of every dollar men do” myth. That’s simply not true. Studies show that if you take all of the total yearly earnings of every man in countries like America, and do the same for all working women; you’ll find that the total amount for women is 15% lower than the total amount of money of all those men.
 http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/09/17/male-female-pay-gap-hasnt-moved-much-in-years/
Well there’s clearly a gap there ;surely that should proof that this is a serious issue right that is caused by discrimination as one set of figures is higher than another right? Wrong.
Mainly because studies used by people who believe in the wage gap idea don’t take many elements of the working lives of people into a count. For example, as pointed out by the BBC, more men work in full-time (9-5) jobs, while the majority of women work in part-time jobs. Full time ranging from: doctors, construction workers, scientist etc. While some of the lower paying and part time job roles include: nurses, teachers, child care, cleaning work have a higher percentage of female workers, and don’t pay as highly due to short work hours. So basically men are working longer than most women do; in more difficult task.
Women don’t make less money, they earn less money because the amount from a wide range and quantity of jobs are bound to end up creating different end results. The job market is a very diverse one, with many different requirements needed, along with working hours and of course different wages.There are other factors not mentioned here. Such as which gender works the longest hours (again men), time taken off work (women, with 43% of women leaving to have children), over time (men) multiple jobs and how much what jobs pay. Do you think a woman working in McDonald’s earns as much if not more money than a rocket scientist?
SOURCES: http://qz.com/149428/mens-overtime-hours-are-keeping-the-gender-pay-gap-alive/
In short the whole reason there’s any sort of gap, is because of the career choices women make, and taking time to raise children can also have an effect on how much they earn and the position of their job. And yet that argument is thrown back as sexist because “it’s labeling women as the problem” because why wouldn’t working women effect their own wages in any way? In fact their percent on the graph I linked earlier is low because of the choices they made, for the same reason male percentage is so high.
So you’d think the best way to fix the “problem” is to get more women in typically male roles, enroll them into colleges and classes that specialize in said jobs. Maybe but studies have shown that classes that specializes in said subjects say otherwise, less than half of the students were female; with even fewer students graduating the courses. While classes that deal with child care, hair dressing and animal work has higher female student rates. I guess some stereotypes exist for a reason.
Source: Why Do People Hate Feminism #3 by Sargon of Akkad:

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubechop.swf?vurl=T09Bx6xoHSQ&start=1039&end=1104&cid=6897130

While I’m all for women making whatever choices that they want to do, even if it involves construction or plumbing. The fact is that this demographic of women wanting those jobs is a very small and very niche market. Hence why you see more men in those jobs, it makes more sense to look for the highest amount of people when seeking new workers. Back to the point. Even when controlling these factors, the result is still woman earning less. With a man and a woman in the same education and career path; you’ll find the woman making 98% of what the man earns at minimal. So that gap starts getting smaller.
Given how many people online and in the media such as: Laci Green, Steve Shives, John Oliver and Barack Obama and many others like to promote this idea; what do they suggest, in terms of fixing the problem? Short answer nothing. From what I’ve seen, most people who believe in the wage gap, don’t seem to have any suggestions let alone ideas to solve the issue, nor explanations of why this has become a problem in the first place. The most I’ve seen is just suggesting how it’s fueled by misogyny, sexism and patriarchy; as if we are living in the world of They Live, and they all have the special sun glasses and now see the world for what it is. Because suggesting that all business owners, managers or anyone in the financial business are sexist for the pure hell of it, is totally not offensive at all.
Other than that, you’ll find articles and blogs expressing displeasure over “too few women in stem fields”. Which would help, but this is the case due to not many women eating that position; and not because people in these jobs are telling them to sling their hook. It is all the more annoying, given how reversing the numbers and put women before men would be the only way the numbers of the yearly earnings for women would increase. Promote all nurse to doctors, forcing women into a manual labor job they may not want. And to pay women more than men, no more matter the job. Because that seems fair.
To think how this is promoted as issue of female inequality; and yet the only way to solve it, is to treat one gender higher than the other….or to flat-out say how women in child care, nursing and raising their own kids and families are holding all women back. I would’ve sworn that feminism was about women getting the right to do as they please, not suggesting how they’re the problem.
Actually I take it back. While i mentioned how a lot of women aren’t doing jobs like engineering and similar jobs. I do feel that if there are women who want to take a career path in that sort of work; let them. The same encourage meant should be given to men who want to leave the work force to raise children. In fairness if we take the factors of how men and women live and switch it around; maybe the yearly amount will start evening out. But really i can’t take the people who believe this stuff seriously, because of how simplistic a world view it is. They’ll simply preach about how women are suffering under the male dominated corporations that need to be replaced with women because of their lack of inclusion; without explaining how this is a thing, why it’s a thing, nor do they suggest ways to make things better. I know business managers will only allow a plan to go through if it saves them some money, but blocking out 50% of the job market does not sound like a viable plan to make more money.
In fact if women are the lowest paid demographic, wouldn’t the male percentage be in the damn toilet; because if all women are paid less, wouldn’t bosses hire an all female staff to save on money? Just saying. This is a very destructive world view, as the women who fall for this, are now growing up believing they live in a world that hates them; without even knowing why. That they are fine individuals that live in a world where a large group of people (in this case men) are holding them back from their full potential; or as other people may know this method as propaganda.
So what have we learned? Well that while there is a small gap between the money men and women earn; and it’s in the amount each gender makes in a year. Secondly is how said small gap is the result of the choices in career paths both genders make. I’m all for what ever career path people want to take; it’s just that with a variety of jobs that both genders operate in; the total daily wage is going to be different depending on the work and duration. And finally it has nothing to do with sexism; nor is the government creating the gap to hold women back, and their certainly not doing this on purpose.
But hey, disagree with me all you like, and say how what like. Call my a sexist pig all you want; i can take criticism. But if you’re going to judge my points. Think about what version of the world seems likely to you. Do you believe that: we live in a fair and gender balanced society, that gives both genders the same opportunities and means to get the jobs they want; and let the amount of money earned at the end of the day, be reflected by their career path. Or do you think that: all bankers and business owners everywhere secretly hate women, and are paying women less, because all men who aren’t feminist are sexist by default, even if she works the exact same hours and work as a male co-worker.
Which version of reality seems the most plausible to you?
Before i sign off, I’d like to share some sources that might interest you
The first video: Learn Liberty https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow
The full video i showed earlier by Sargon of Akkad: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T09Bx6xoHSQ
And finally, a video by Christina Hoff Summers; a feminist Youtuber i highly recommend listening to.
Thank you for your time.

Review: Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall (Spectre theme)

For a while now, the new James Bond film Spectre has been advertising itself with trailers and multiple set photos released onto the internet. But also today the official theme song that will be playing over the opening title sequence (the standard of 007 movies) of the film. As a fan of the Bond series i feel like i should make some comment over the recent news about the new theme; this blog does say that i would talk about movies in the description.

I could talk about the meaning of Spectre itself, but there are already videos on Youtube and stuff over the internet explaining this, and their connection to the new Daniel Craig 007 series (Casino Royale,Quantum of Solace and Skyfall for those not in the know) So for the sake those not that far in the know about Bond; i’ll leave a link to Bandit Incorporated’s video on the topic.

 In the meantime i shall discuss my feelings to the new theme song released today. Sam Smith’s Writing’s On The Wall…if you haven’t read the title of this post. For those who don’t know; Sam Smith is a British soul and pop singer; who first gained attention with the release of the song Latch in 2012 which he did along side with the band called Disclosure.  After that his gained major popularity with a solo carrier producing songs such as: Money One My Mind, Stay With Me; which in turn led him to win four awards at the 2015 Grammy music awards. So before we start, what do i feel about Sam Smith? His OK. Admittedly the man has talent and is a well skilled singer and pianist. But i just never really got into him; with some exceptions. I felt his’ mostly just stuck to emotional piano ballets for a large portion of his musical career; again his good at it; but i fell he could try something other than the slow style he always seems to do. If you like him, good for you don’t let me turn you away from what you like; he’s just not my cup of tea.

Which brings us on to Writing’s On The Wall. Now i have to confess on how i was skeptical about the choice of Smith to do the theme song; but hey multiple Bond themes have been ballets and and less energetic tunes. Said songs including ‘Diamonds Are Forever’ and Adele’s ‘Skyfall’. So is this song any good for a James Bond movie? Kind of. It’s decent..i guess.

Yeah that seems to be the general reaction this song has got on the internet. Channel 5 news went to the Bond in Motion exhibit in London (a exhibit i highly recommend going to by the way) where they played to the track to people who went there; in order to film their reactions. And the majority of people said it was ‘alright’. Not exactly a great sign there. Honestly for a Bond theme i find this one kind of dull. As i said about Sam;  his vocals are well performed, while the music and the melody are lacking.

The most i can really call this song, is Skyfall 2.0. Mainly due to how their both vocal based ballets. So we now have the theme to Skyfall with a male singing this time. While the music behind that tune was decent; this track is rather dull and almost lifeless even by Sam’s standards. The beat mostly goes through with a simple piano chords and a short melody, with changes in their chord and rhythm patterns; and even then it still goes at the same pace, with the verses being unmemorable to listen. With the exception of the intro and the second half of the chorus, the whole song sounds the same. The whole thing separating the chorus from everything else is the change of pacing and the volume and Sam’s voice.

His vocals being the saving point of this whole track, but not by much. The song itself is really bland and is flat out boring. This is the theme to a action movie; no one should’ve fallen asleep by the first ten minutes. While Sam in tune, and does show concomitant vocals skills; given the note and volume changes in the chorus, it’s less of a emotionally high point and more of a a tempt to wake the listener up.

Overall while i am still excited to see Spectre when it’s released in cinemas, i can’t say i will be too pumped to continue on wards when this is the pay of after the first action scene (With the exception of Dr No it’s usually the first scene, then the opening credits). I wanted to give Sam a chance despite what i said about him early, i wanted to say: “yes this is really damn good, and i think this guy’s on to something here”. And while i’m still all for you disagreeing with me on the quality of his work; but for me instead of challenging my thoughts on the guy, his now given me a key example of what i said about him several paragraphs ago.

If you’d like to listen to his track, it can be found on Spotify and on Youtube; as all ways thank you for reading.

Age Ratings- a cinematic choke hold:

In terms of discussions about movies nowadays; on the internet the age ratings is being brought under negative scrutiny, and for some good reasons as well.

So where do we begin? Well one thing that is brought up is how pretty much the majority of films that are released are 12, or as America would call it P-13 (this ranging from 13 year olds to 16 years olds). This ranging from comedies, blockbusters and even horror films are being pressured into meeting that age range. In fact films such as Prometheus, Live Free or Die Hard and the Robocop remake; have been examples of studios lowering the age ranges from NC-17 (the american version of a 18 rating) to PG-13. The main reason of complaint being how all three of these examples are follow ups to franchises that were aimed for adults, and are now alienating their adult audience.

So why do studios do this. Simple; money. Young people such as teenagers have the most disposable income to spend, so movie studios plan to tap that demographic in order for the most amount of seats filled in at the cinema; which will add up with the amount of adults seeing the film. More people in seats, the more profit is made. Not mention the DVD sales. With people seeing the cut down version in cinemas; to then advertise the uncut or rated version of the film on DVD. In order to sale you on the idea of getting more than you thought you were, if you saw the theatre cut when it was out in cinemas. That and certain TV channels won’t air trailers for NC-17 films, nor will certain stores stock their DVDs doesn’t help; especially for the horror and independent movie makers.

Unfortunately this ends up being problematic for the people making the film; said problem being limitonon creative control. Terminator Salvation was an example how a film aiming to be R rated; until Paramount (the studio behind it) had the film trimmed to remove the violence, blood and even a brief scene featuring one of the female characters topless. Same goes with ‘Cursed’ a  2005 horror movie features a similar case where 60% of the film was scraped before post production, and then re-shot for the PG-13 rating. Leaving the film as an absolute mess, and given the 4.9 out of 10 rating on IMDB (International Movie Data Base) it shows.

Not only can this screw up the tone, but also everything else important. The 2009 comedy Fired Up was meant to be an edgy adult comedy in the vain of American Pie. But yet again the studio cut the film down from R to PG-13; bad enough, but from what I’ve heard the best jokes from the film, were left on the cutting room floor, and could only be found the extended DVD release. So well done there Screen Gems. And while we’re on the topic of plans going up in flames; the idea of lowering the age rating equals more people watching and that equals more money, that’s not even that true. The Expendables is a violent throwback to the 80s action films. The first two films were R and both opened at the top of the box office. Meanwhile the third film caved in and became PG-13, you want to know in what box office place that movie ended up in on opening day….fourth. Making it the lowest grossing of the trilogy, Oops.

Plus the whole way films are rated is kinda inconstant. In the sense of one film that can get away with a low rating for doing something more adult, while another film that does a similar act or features similar content is stricken with a higher rating. Let me explain. A 90s thriller called The Cooler was given a NC-17 for showing one of the actress bush after a sex scene featuring the actress in question, meanwhile Basic Instinct (a film released a decade later) was given a R despite featuring Sharon Stone flashing her vagina towards the camera. Given how to big actors like her and Micheal Douglas were staring in the film; the reason why the ratings are different becomes clearer; market appeal.

Disney is also guilty of the same thing. Tarzan features the main villain being hung by the tree from his neck, Lion King the main villain is eaten by Hyenas, Beauty and the Beast the villain in that film falls from a tower to his death. The connection being how these Disney films were rated G (or as we English like to call it U). So given how Disney and over companies run 95% of the US film business, they’ll naturally use the lower rating to get the highest audience possible. Because it always about the money and how much is made.

So in the end what do i want, and how could this method be changed? Well i feel that the rating system should be more relaxed. Allow movie studios to create the films they want to make; and to not censor them down to lower ratings, in the hopes of “reaching a wider audience”. If Wolf of Wall Street and D’jango Unchained can be financial hits with as NC-17s, then so can any other movie. I also feel that there should a short list of feature content: blood, sex, nudity; similar to how video game trailer work. Because a movie like The Avengers can claim to have violence, but so does The Dark Knight; the rating based on content means nothing really. But I’m sure there’s multiple ways to fix this problem, and better ways to do this. So i leave it you.

Before I sign of, I’d like to suggest to good videos on this topic. The first being from GoodBadFlicks:

And the second being from The Chesire Cat Studios podcast:

In any case; thank you for your time.

The Bechdal test: Follow these three easy steps, and still fail:

 You’d think that a simple guide like the Bechdel test, would help movie studios create more interesting and well written female characters. Given how simple the test sounds, it’d seems like a no brainer. In a perfect world yes; but here in reality this isn’t the case.
For those who don’t know, the Bechdel test (named after comic writer Alison Bechdal) is a simple three-step program used to see if a film represents women well; in order to promote more complex female characters. And it’s even been used in countries like Sweden, in the same way as the PG rating is being used in places like here in England. Said test has been promoted by many feminist, female activist and rights groups.
Here the three steps.
1) Your film must have at least two female characters.
2) Said characters will need to speak with each other at some point.
3) Their conversation must be about something other than a man.
So what exactly is the issue here? Well firstly is how unclear the test is with these factors. It doesn’t state whether these characters would need to be important to the plot; a villain, supporting roles or the protagonist. Nor does it state that the conversation needs to be a plot point, a twist reveal, or even relevant to the plot at all. The Unusual Suspect on YouTube mentioned this in his ‘ten things Star Wars episodes 4-6 did wrong’ video. In which he stated that episode two Attack of the Clones passed the test; with an example being how Padme (the love interest of the lead character Anakin Skywalker) spoke with the current queen of the planet Naboo…and then deducted said perfect three out of three score after joking about how that scene was “so short” he wouldn’t count it.
In theory, it only takes a one minute scene between two irrelevant characters to gain your film the feminist seal of approval.
Secondly is how unfair the thing is. This is for multiple reasons; such as films and shows having too few female characters, or just have a mostly male cast. Many films such as Goodfellas, 2001, Citizen Kane and Inception failing the test for that reason. Even if a film features a handful of women in their cast, it means nothing as they’re still able to fail if said characters don’t speak with each other. Some examples include: Avatar, The Social Network and the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.
Even films and TV shows with female leads have been known to fail the test. Examples being Sex in the City, as the characters talk about their relationships with male characters…..did I forget to mention you would need to get a full three out of three mark to pass.
So basically it doesn’t matter how well written your female character is, if the film gets a two out of three; your movie is considered as sexist for a being unrepresentative of women. Let’s look at examples of movies that proof what I’m talking about. Star Wars Episode five features the well written character of Princess Leela; fails. Terminator two features Sarah Connor another good female character; failed. Captain America one and two feature Peggy Carter and Black Widow; two highly positive feminist characters; and neither film passed the test.
In fact while we’re talking about the Marvel films; twelve films in the current line up of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and only three of films passed. Those being Thor, Thor the Dark World and Iron Man 3.
You see what movie studios have to work with here? So you’re probably asking: What films have passed the Bechdel test? Well here are some examples: Attack of the 50 Cheerleader, Debbie Does Dallas, The Human Centipede, 50 Shades of Grey, Bratz: The Movie and (hear me out) Two Girls One Cup……you laugh but think about it. It features two women (obviously) they both interact with other, and they speak about something other than a man; don’t ask what they discuss about, because if you’ve been living under a rock for so long you haven’t heard about this video…..it’s probably a rock worth living under.
So what have we learned? Mainly how filling in three check boxes doesn’t make your movie a milestone in feminist media, mainly due to most films fail by playing the rigged rules of a very flawed game. While supporters of the test like to mention how good films like Frozen and Mad Max Fury Road have passed; it doesn’t mean anything when The Room (said to be one of the worst films ever made) also passes the same test for literally (again literally) the same reasons. And as someone who supports good and well written female characters like: Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, Lisa Simpson, Donna Noble and many others; all I really ask is one of two things. One figure out a better way to create more feminist positive characters. Or two just get rid of this rigged system. As much as movie studios like to think that the right cast, visual effects and brand name equals profit; art can’t be created with maths in the same way a positive role model for women can be created with an instruction guide.
 All female characters are different, and are beloved by the fans of their franchises for different reasons; and a simple step by step guide won’t reflect that in any way. And I feel that movie writers and directors should create what characters they want; and let the audience judge them as they see fit. And if you feel that the test is effective in some way, I really want to know because I just can’t see it.
Thank you for your time.

Hello everyone

Welcome my friends to the show that never ends, my name is Kenny Colliver and welcome to the first of many (I hope) entires on the Kenny’s Penny For A Thought blog. Now as blogs go, this will be a general mean for me to express what opinion on a topic I’d like to talk about.

This could range from: movies, TV, gaming related and just stuff about the world in general. This is just a place to express my feelings with those who give enough of a damn to read it…whether you agree with me or not. I’m all for dis agreement; if you think I’m wrong or whatever please share what ever you want to say about what I’ve written in these post.

Anyway, I shall be starting up every soon and I hope to have taught you something; or at the very least make you go ‘yes that was interesting’.

For updates on the realese of the next entry, please follow me on Twitter, as i post all new entires there.

https://twitter.com/KennySColliver

With that said; shall we begin?