Why Do Feminists Care So Much About Rich Women’s Pay?

Australian Politics, Feminism, Media, Rundown

The big entertainment story of the past week has been former co-host of the Today Show Lisa Wilkinson abruptly leaving the Nine Network to take a up a role on The Project on Network Ten. Of course the reason Wilkinson made this move was for more money and she will now be paid in excess of $2 million a year, making her the highest paid woman on Australian television.

But that wasn’t the spin put on the story by the media, instead it was poor Lisa Wilkinson a victim of the gender wage gap. This came from reports that her demand to be paid the same as her Today co-host Karl Stefanovic was rejected by the Nine Network. They offered her $1.8 million which was still $200,000 short of Karl’s pay. A Nine executive stated the reason why Karl’s pay was higher was because he also hosted This Time Next Year and also did occasional reports for 60 Minutes.

For the past week she has been the feminist sisterhood’s new pin up girl. The ABC asked for other women’s stories about being victims of the gender wage gap. Apparently, her move to Network Ten was so courageous that it earned her praise of Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and New South Wales Premier Gladys Berejiklian for standing up for equal pay.

However, it was later revealed that on the set of The Project Wilkinson’s new pay will not be equal to that of her new colleagues. Carrie Bickmore was reportedly “pissed off” that Wilkinson’s new salary will be four times her own $500,000 per year. Bickmore will probably still be doing most of the duties on the Project, where’s the wage justice in that?

It is quite bizarre that feminists have chosen a woman who was already earning in excess of $1 million a year, who it appears now was motivated by greed as the prime victim of wage injustice. If there is a wage gap (which there isn’t, it has constantly been debunked) then surely feminists should choose a working-class woman struggling to raise a family on a paltry salary?

Of course, this is not the first time feminists have chosen rich women as the face of wage injustice. When North Korea hacked Sony Pictures in 2014 in retaliation for producing the film The Interview amongst the confidential information that was revealed was that one of the co-stars of American Hustle Jennifer Lawrence was paid less than her male co-stars.

She wrote about her hurt feelings in an op-ed on her friend Lena Dunham’s website Lenny called “Why Do I Make Less Than My Male Co‑Stars?” This cry of Jennifer Lawrence of being a victim of the patriarchy was rightly mocked by comedian Ricky Gervais when he hosted the Golden Globes in 2016 “Jennifer Lawrence made the news when she demanded equal pay for women in Hollywood. There were marches on the street with nurses and factory workers saying, ‘How the hell can a 25-year-old live on $52 million?!'”

Two other women in Hollywood also complained about the fact they received the same pay as their male co-stars. Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin the stars of the Netflix show Grace and Frankie thought it was wage injustice that their pay was equal to fellow stars Sam Waterston and Martin Sheen. Tomlin stated “the show is not ‘Sol and Robert’, it’s ‘Grace and Frankie’. Though anyone who has watched the show would know that all four of these characters are vital to the show’s plot.

Feminists are also supposed to be about class struggle yet why are they choosing these high paid actresses and entertainers to push their causes? Despite their disdain for capitalism there is also the push for more women on the boards of corporations. It is a very confused message from modern feminism with warped priorities.

If feminists want to prove the gender wage gap or any other patriarchal theory correct they should choose women who are facing an actual struggle, not the super-rich or dare I say privileged such as Lisa Wilkinson and Jennifer Lawrence.