Getting asked for a yearbook quote is a panic-inducing moment in a high schooler’s life. How do you encapsulate four years of your life and your entire personality in a sentence or two for posterity? The fact that I have barely touched my yearbooks nor even seen any of the people I graduated with for years does not retroactively erase the sheer pressure of that demand.
However, there’s good news now for all of us who drew a blank and went with a dorky shout-out to a flash-in-the-pan celebrity whose babies we wanted to have, or song lyrics to a pop hit that hasn’t been heard on the radio for twelve years now. We can all live vicariously through high school senior Caitlyn Cannon, whose yearbook quote knocked it out of the park.
I’m not sure I had my head far enough out of my own ass in high school to even be aware that I could have an opinion on politics that hadn’t been issued by my parents, let alone to care enough and be informed enough to talk about it in my senior quote. Women in the United States make less money for doing the same jobs as men — even, or especially, in female-dominated areas, because nothing makes Human Resources and administrators swoon like a male nurse or a dude teaching kindergarteners. And the wage gap exists not just along gender lines, but along racial ones too: Hispanic/Latina women, for example, make just over half of what a white man would.
Besides women just plain getting paid less for the same jobs, women are also directed into fields where they’re going to make less money (“oh, sweetie, engineering is a man’s world”; “accountancy takes a lot of math, do you really think you can handle all that?”). And women are still the ones where the default expectations for child care and housework fall — small wonder if they have fewer opportunities for advancement when they still bear an unequal burden at home.
Of course, none of those pesky ‘facts’ have stopped a small flood of dudebros from appearing in Cannon’s mentions on Twitter to inform her that the wage gap is a lie, or that women aren’t PAID less, they EARN less by being lazy baby-making slobs. Thankfully, their spittle-flecked tirades can’t make it any farther than their own computer screens; so hopefully Cannon isn’t having any trouble tuning them out and being proud of her senior yearbook legacy as she rounds out the school year.