SF Talking Points: Lesbian Wages, Mistresses and Food vs. Sex

What’s With the Lesbian Wage Premium?: According to research in a recent post by Marina Adshade of BigThink, lesbians get paid 6% more than straight women, even when you control for differences in education, race, profession, number of children, and location.  Could it be because straight women have the eventual expectation of a male partner? Is it because gay women already have experience resisting gender stereotypes — and therefore don’t feel the need to play roles in the workplace? Do lesbian ladies tend to negotiate for raises more than their heterosexual counterparts? Apparently nobody knows for sure, but I might have to follow the plan that Adshade came up with for a Hollywood screenplay:

“An ambitious, young, heterosexual woman disguises herself as a lesbian in order to land herself the job of her dreams. Her handsome colleague takes her into his confidence and, of course, she falls in love with him. After a series of comedic events, she eventually gets her man and reconciles herself to mediocre wages, along with all the other heterosexual women.  It could be a modern day Twelfth Night.”

Minus the part where she reconciles herself to mediocre wages.

In “Black Swan,” Natalie Portman incarnates “both an ideal of inviolate femininity and its dark mirror image”: “Black Swan” tackles themes like misogyny, oppression, femininity, liberation, and madness in the wake of perfection — and if its lead actress, Natalie Portman, hadn’t gone through an internal struggle much like that of the character she plays, the movie mightn’t have been as powerful as it was (or as flawed). AO Scott writes in a recent New York Times article, “…she is both the black swan and the white, both the perfectly controlled performer and the pure creature of instinct,” and that, although we know that Nina does not really turn into a bird, and that Portman is not really Nina, “we also know, on the irrefutable evidence of our own eyes, and the prickly sensation of our skin, that she is.”

On that note, the 2010 Women Film Critics Circle Awards were announced, and Black Swan won Worst Female Images In A Movie. This seems…off. The movie is a strange hybrid of docufiction, drama, and horror and it uses its strangeness and outrageousness to provoke — not to make its audience comfortable. So it seems, to me, that by simply deeming the physical manifestation of the attainment of art at the cost of sanity (that was a mouthful) “the worst female images in a movie,” they are kind of missing the point.

2010 Was Apparently “The Year Of The Mistress“: According to a cnn.com article, that is. But, as Sadie Stein of Jezebel writes, “when half of said mistresses are Tiger Woods’, does this even constitute a trend?” So why isn’t it The Year Of The Sleazy Oversexed Man (Most Notably Tiger Woods)? It takes two to tango, CNN.

So Women Think About Food More Than Sex: I would be interested to find out what men think more about. If 25% of women think about food every half an hour, and 10% think about sex…I’m going to bet that whatever the percentage, it would be 50-50 for men, even though I’m sure everyone ASSUMES intercourse would be higher. My position is that food is just so damn good.


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