VIDEO: Phoebe Robinson on Talking to a Pay Gap Denier

Actress, writer and comedian Phoebe Robinson—co-host of the podcast 2 Dope Queens with Jessica Williams on WNYC and host of the show Sooo Many White Guyshas some advice for you to take into account next time you’re confronted by a wage gap denier.

In a video for Make It Work, Robinson addresses three myths put forth by wage gap deniers: that the pay gap doesn’t exist, that women’s choices lead to wage difference and that women just choose lower paying jobs. Phoebe Robinson’s advice for confronting a wage gap denier? Hit them with facts!

The wage gap unfairly shapes women’s economic lives, and it impacts women living at the intersections even more. Race, sexual orientation, disabilities and marital status also create a greater gap. According to the National Women’s Law Center:

“African American women working full time, year round typically make only 63 cents for every dollar paid to their white, non-Hispanic male counterparts. For Latinas this figure is only 54 cents, for Asian American women it is 85 cents, for Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander women it is 70 cents, and for Native American women it is 58 cents.”

Despite the abundance of factual data, people deny the wage gap because they often refuse to acknowledge the prevalence of discrimination. The blame is shifted to women’s actions and decisions rather than acknowledging that there is systematic oppression and discrimination at play. The sooner we shut down that conversation, the sooner we can start focusing on solutions.



Annette Semerdjian is a young writer and Ms. Editorial Intern. When she's not writing or blogging, she likes to hang out with her dog.