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Equal Pay Day 2019

national equal pay day

Equal Pay Day was established in 1996 to illustrate how far into the new year a woman must work to earn the same wages that a man, by dint of having been born with a penis, earned in the previous year.

Because Census data isn’t released until later in the year, Equal Pay Day has long been scheduled on the Tuesday in April that falls most closely to the estimated date. Tuesday was chosen to represent the extra day a woman must work to earn what men took home the previous week.

This year, it falls on April 2nd. But don’t get excited, ladies. The Equal Pay Act of 1963, which made it illegal to pay a woman less than a man for the same job and was signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, remains nothing more than a well-intentioned piece of paper with a very valuable autograph.

Three years ago, President Obama declared April 12, 2016 to be National Equal Pay Day. Did you enjoy the raise, the parade, and the day off?  Trick question. Nothing changed but adding the word “national.” Now we’re back to good old Equal Pay Day.

That year, President Obama also announced the establishment of the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument in the house that had been the headquarters of the National Woman’s Party since 1929. It is named for former Party president Alva Belmont and founder Alice Paul, who played a vital role in the passage and ratification of the 19th Amendment, guaranteeing women’s right to vote.

When Alice Paul introduced the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) in 1923, she said this regarding the work that had been done since the first women’s rights convention, held in 1848 in Seneca Falls, NY:

If we keep on this way, they will be celebrating the 150th anniversary of the 1848 Convention without being much further advanced in equal rights than we are … If we had not concentrated on the Federal Amendment we should be working today for suffrage … We shall not be safe until the principle of equal rights is written into the framework of our government.

Looking at where we are today, that statement was, sadly, prescient. When Paul died in 1977 at age ninety-two, the ERA was still being debated. Many contend ratification is still possible and continue the fight even though the amendment was “officially” defeated in 1982. Although the ERA never passed, Paul’s language prohibiting discrimination based on gender served as a template for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

We have a few suggestions for Equal Pay Day 2019. First, dedicate a space to represent the net worth of legislators’ good intentions to the livelihood of their mothers, sisters, wives, and daughters. (Very easy. Just draw a zero.)

Then, demand that Congresspeople explain to children why their future efforts lose value the moment they are born girls. Garnish 21 percent of their wages until they enforce the Equal Pay Act. (They don’t even need to write a law. It’s already on the books.)

Perhaps the best thing we can do is stand up and shout, just keep pointing out how ridiculous it is to discriminate on the basis of plumbing. You know how everyone hates it when we’re shrill.

Until we succeed, have an angry Equal Pay Day!

Copyright © 2019 Worldwide Weird Holidays

April 17 is Blah Blah Blah Day

blah blah blah dayToday is Blah Blah Blah Day, created in 2006 by Ruth and Thomas Roy of Wellcat Holidays and Herbs as a day to listen to the nagging words that usually register as a dial tone in the brains of those of us old enough to remember landlines.

When you translate the blah blah blahs into words, what do they say? “I just read this interesting article about gluten,” or “(Sports team) just beat (sports team),” or “Keira Knightley has really evolved as an actress,” or “But I just took out the garbage the other day,” or “Happy anniversary, what time did you make the reservation for at that fancy new restaurant I told you about that books up weeks in advance?” or the ever-popular, “Are you listening to me? What did I just say?”

While the Roys intended this holiday to be a time to pay attention and follow directions, it seems a bit heartless to raise expectations for the rest of the year. Maybe this is a day to double down on the “no habla blah blah,” crank Iggy Pop’s Blah Blah Blah and leave the earbuds in after it finishes. That way your loved ones will think you just can’t hear them when they’re talking to you. What a selfless, loving gift; they’ll never know how much you care.

Happy Blah Blah Blah Day!

Copyright © 2018 Worldwide Weird Holidays

April 30 is Bugs Bunny Day

Today is Bugs Bunny Day. On April 30, 1938, Bugs made his debut in a cartoon called “Porky’s Hare Hunt,” entertaining movie theater audiences awaiting the feature presentation.

As a young performer wet behind the floppy ears, much of his film work was uncredited. He sometimes appeared under the stage name “Happy Rabbit.”

Bugs finally shared his true identity in the credits of January 1941’s tour de force, “Elmer’s Pet Rabbit,” perhaps at the urging of his costar, Elmer Fudd.

While his appearance has “evolved” over the years, Bugs has always denied the rumors of plastic surgery, Botox and fillers. He attributes his agelessness to a healthy diet, long hops on the beach and his judicious use of lighthearted ridicule.

bugs bunny day

You go, Bugs! We love you! Happy Bugs Bunny Day!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays

April 28 is National Cubicle Day

national cubicle dayToday is National Cubicle Day. Technically, it isn’t a “national” holiday, having never been decreed by Congress and the president. Then again, none of them work in cubicles, so what do they know?

The first cubicle was introduced by furniture company Herman Miller in 1968. Robert Propst designed the “Action Office” as an alternative to working in open areas, often called bullpens.  It had flexible configurations with partitions to pin up current projects and provide privacy, lots of desk space and varying desk heights so people could spend some of their time standing up to keep their circulation flowing.

In the real world, Propst’s partitions, meant as building blocks for various layouts, were used to reduce each workspace to the smallest footprint possible to cram even more people into a room. The standing desk detail was abandoned, although it sounds like a good way for a boss to keep an eye out for any slackers trying to take a walk on the company’s dime.

If it ever becomes legal to catheterize a workforce, we’re confident that proximity fences and shock collars will become standard employee retention features of “systems furniture” design. (Eventually, someone will realize folks need to be hydrated and add a hamster-style water bottle to one corner.) Maybe Jon Sanderson had that in mind when he pulled this incredible April Fool’s Day prank on his coworker:

national cubicle day

photo: the Chive

Here are a few more cubicles that almost make us want to work in one. Almost. This one is great, but you can’t see that the key to the restroom is attached to the rim:

Check out the chair on the left. It has an alien face hugger in it!

This one is pretty sweet, right down to the tiki gods.

National cubicle day

If you’re worried that you’d get the boot if you jazzed up your office space, you can always splash out on this  inflatable Instant Window:

national cubicle day

Happy National Cubicle Day, everybody!

Copyright © 2017 Worldwide Weird Holidays