God bless our Patreon supporters. Seriously. In our April topic poll, I gave them several non-depressing softball article topics. But the one they wanted to read most was about the relationship between sexual assault and the gender wage gap. GOD. DAMN. You guys are the fucking best. We are so happy to be supported by people who are willing to embrace the difficult stuff.
The gender wage gap is a many-tentacled hentai monster. What is its primary driver? Is it choice of career? Education? Lack of mentors and sponsors? Familial commitments? The high cost of childcare? Lopsided domestic duties? Ingrained sexist attitudes in the culture? Unconscious bias during the hiring process? Biological differences in the brain?
Research demonstrates that it’s almost certainly a gnarly combination of all of the above. But there’s another element that doesn’t get much attention, and that’s fear of rape and sexual assault. Harassment and isolation are known contributing factors for so-called “pipeline” problems, but I’m talking about something that goes even beyond that. There are instances where the threat of rape acts as a professional barrier to women.
So today, we’re going to look at three different case studies: two from my own life and one from recent news. The last one is very exciting to me, because it’s basically the perfect case study for examining this issue.
This article talks about the existence of rape and sexual assault, but does not go into details about specific acts. Some linked articles do. Use that information as you will.