Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Cheaper Sex

Just as I convince myself that women are doing fine and all those stories of discrimination are over, I come across some blatantly unjust disparity. I was shocked to hear that male models are paid almost double the fees that female models get. Now, pray, why should that be? The model coordinator of an advertising agency (who happens to be a female) explains it away by saying that male models are harder to come by, hence more pricy. According to her, men are too busy holing full time jobs to ‘run around’ for modeling assignments. Women on the other hand have all the time to pursue this glamorous career, so available a dime a dozen.  

One can understand a female labourer earning less wages than her male counterpart, solely in terms of work output, but in the case of models, the effort involved and the results are the same, so why should a female be paid less? On the other hand, a female model has to spend more money on ‘maintenance’ which means getting a beauty overhauling involving frequent visits to the beauty shop and hair dressers. She has to spend money on clothes and accessories too. Considering all these I’d pitch in for double the male model’s fees for the females.
What amazes me is the way women take this injustice without a whimper.  Why can’t they put up their price and fight for their rights? Granted there are more female models but there are also that many more ads featuring them. In terms of ratios of models and assignments it dwindles down to the same quantum as of men. Does media exposure mean so much to women that they swallow indignities?
Even in the film world, this crass discrimination is rampant. One hears of top heroines earning lakhs of rupees and one is happy for them – till one hears of the price paid to the heroes. One may come up with the justification that the hero has to brave a lot of odds but what about the fact that all those daredevil acrobatics are actually enacted by some duplicates? The heroine has to face as many handicaps as the man because she has to cavort around trees, shed copious tears, ward off rapists and even grapple with the villain in the scene of final reckoning. It’s but fair that she should get as much out of it as the hero.
I suggest the women concerned put up a fight for their rights. After all, the media needs them as much as they need the exposure and adulation. In this world, you get what you price yourself at. No one can put a price tag on you – you have to gauge your worth and demand what you deserve.