A new study says that Seattle has the largest wage gap between women and men among 50 American cities, but I wouldn't be too worried about it. It's just that the kind of jobs we have are jobs that disproportionately benefit men.
Seattle has a lot of computer, engineering, and science jobs. I see tech people every day at lunch: Most are men. I do not see science people at lunch, but that's probably because I do not eat lunch where science people eat. Engineers, I understand, eat lunch at their desks. In any case, the fact that more men eat lunch in public where I eat lunch is not discrimination; it's that more men can afford good lunches because Seattle's employers are willing to pay good money for men to do their computer (and, I assume, science and engineering) work for them.
The Seattle area also has well-paid blue-collar jobs: aircraft assembly, shipyard work, machine shops, stevedoring, commercial construction, etc. There are women in all these fields, but more men. Women can work hard for long hours, but more men than women can handle a jackhammer or a big chain saw, or drive a big yellow bulldozer, or conduct a choo-choo train, or hoist a garbage can full of trash, or stevedore it up on a hot summer day. This has nothing to do with discrimination and everything to do with men's superiority over women.
Women have made huge strides in indoor work: law, accounting, finance, waiting tables, changing diapers, mopping floors, academia, and government. Why, this very issue of The Stranger is practically festooned—festooned like a stevedore's clipboard, we like to say around the old newspaperman's lunch table—with writers of the feminine persuasion. The fairer sex is exemplified throughout. After a meaty (if woefully wrongheaded) feature about aPodments by DOMINIC HOLDEN, we are treated to a lighter- than-air profile of some sort of performer by one MELODY DATZ. (True, the profiled performer is a man, but let us not pick nits where nits can safely go unpicked.) How pleasant, to alternate news pieces with inessential portraits of individuals who are doing non-newsworthy things! As I said, women have their place, and The Stranger knows exactly where that place is.
What else is women's work? SARAH GALVIN espousing the work of a (female) poet! MEGAN SELING waxing rhapsodic about milkshakes and interviewing a (female) musician about melancholy feelings, as women do! As print journalism only becomes more and more vital with the passage of time, Seattle will perhaps one day see an entire newspaper "manned" by ladies writing about women's topics. And one day, when my compatriots at the Times and I are eating our newspaperman's lunch, we will gaze across the lunching-place toward these gainfully employed lady journalists, and we will tip our martinis at them, and they will raise their cosmopolitans to us, and smile their comely smiles, before returning to their chatter about, I don't know, menstruation or whatever it is that women discuss. (It doesn't really matter.)