Alex, I do appreciate and value your effort, as you made a convincing case. However, the most pivotal sin of the rebuttal essay is that you failed to address the point of my article while hyper-focusing on insignificant details with unscholarly sources. The rebuttal, in fact, missed the entire point. Aside from that, I have a few more bones to pick with your rebuttal:
Infographics as Sources
If I’m honest, I’ll admit that I love a good infographic. They are interesting, visually appealing, and informative. However, I find it interesting that Pitti opted for an infographic to refute the validity of the claims made in reference to pressing issues such as the gender wage gap and rape culture. Is he not aware that an infographic is nothing more than a visual, digitally generated opinion piece in itself?
The sources listed at the bottom of the graphic offer little-to-no validity on the contents of the infographic, and, unfortunately, many of sources used are actually from opinion pieces. Not quite what I would call a scholarly source.
I actually see this rebuttal as a compliment. As they say, no publicity is bad publicity (but, then, if I believed that, would I really be writing this now?) Truthfully, I do not take it lightly when my reputation is on the line.
My deepest difficulty with the rebuttal is not the personal attack on my researching and writing ability. Rather, it lies within the validity of his argument. He provided sources that are simply not scholarly.
When one determines that it is a plausible idea to write a rebuttal, the first—and most important—step is to verify one’s sources. I suppose that this infographic seemed valid enough to someone who does not want to believe in the truth of the gender wage gap. At first glance, this graphic seems awfully truthful.
However, upon further examination, one might find some fatal flaws in this mode of citation. Not to mention that the creator of the infographic, topmanagementdegrees.com, clearly had an agenda in the production of it: to empower women to believe that they can earn as much as men with the right education. And that, my friends, is the world of marketing.
The Truth About the Gender Wage Gap
Unfortunately, the falsehood that women earn what men do is simply not true.
For review, I have attached a chart provided by the United States Census Bureau. This chart details the gender wage gap completely and fully, in context, by providing data about wages and earnings (something I’d say the Census Bureau is pretty good at).
This case study notes that the men and women during the study have attained the same level of education. Also, the study takes place over a simple, 4-month period. Context clues point out that it is unlikely that these took maternity leave—especially when the data was involved in this study, as this would be an added variable that was not detailed. Review the table:
I am also providing a link so readers have the ability to access the source for themselves. On page 13, please note the table comparing median earnings—also note that this table is categorized by each degree earned at various levels, by both genders. The nationally acclaimed publication, The Washington Post, also offers more information regarding myths surrounding the gender wage gap—and let’s just say they are on my side.
Rape Culture Argument
Regarding his analysis of rape culture, I barely have words. Opinions such as the one he detailed are the reason that rape culture even exists—and distributing this opinion online only progresses the divide and prolongs the issue. If one does not believe it is worth talking about, don’t talk about it. I, however, do believe that it is worth talking about, which is why I have chosen to do so.
Rape culture is not about how many rapes take place; it is not about how many rapes are reported; it is not about how many filed cases are proven to be true—and therefore statistics about rape have no place in attempting to disprove the legitimacy of rape culture. It is about the stigma associated with sexual harassment, sexual assault, and rape. It is the fact that women are afraid to be ridiculed for coming forward about being attacked. It is because women are asked what they were wearing when they were raped, as if this determines a male’s level of responsibility, self-control, and likelihood of prosecution.
Closing the Sizeism Gap
Now, as for my article—I guess you could call it an opinion piece. However, you might want to call it a step in the right direction. The point of the piece was not to determine whether or not the gender wage gap was an issue (which, it is); or whether rape culture is prevalent in our society (which, it is). Rather, the idea was to start a revolution: to invest our time, love, patience, and care toward accepting those who are different sizes than we; body types than we; backgrounds than we; genders than we.
The goal was to motivate those of whom society stomps on—those whose self worth is trampled by simply watching a movie or walking into an underwear store’s fitting room. My article was written to promote value and self worth in humans of all sizes. Frankly, it was not written for young twenty-something men who already seem to have a high level of self worth.
I will say that I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to write my next article about, so thanks for the inspiration! All arguments aside, I do truly appreciate reading your take on my article. You did a good job, which is why I felt compelled to respond. After all, it is so important for writers to see it from both sides (oops, shameless plug for those looking for more to read).