Bake sales don’t typically stir up much controversy, but one did recently at a Utah high school. And the organizers say it was meant to, in order to draw attention to the nation’s gender wage gap.
KUCW News reports (video below) the bake sale, put on by Jordan High School’s Young Democrats Club, sold chocolate chip cookies to the boys at the school for a dollar each, while girls only had to pay 77 cents.
"Because in America, for every dollar a man makes, a woman only makes 77 cents. So we're raising awareness for this,” said Kari Schott, a 16-year-old junior who is also president of the Young Democrats.
“It’s not fair that just because I was born a woman I only get paid 77 cents,” Schott told KSTU News. “This is an issue and I thought might as well start raising awareness starting young.”
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Starting young might be a good idea in Utah. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, the state ranks fourth in the country for largest pay discrepancy between men and women, KTSU reports.
That’s not expected to equalize until the year 2102, Schott told The Associated Press.
She said a lot of students called her sexist when she opened the bake sale for business on Tuesday and Wednesday.
“A lot of people were angry, they would try to get into fights with me,” Schott said, adding that she welcomed the anger because it was necessary for starting a conversation.
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"On social media, on Facebook people got really mad, like they came up and talked to me. They were really mad about it,” Schott told KUCW. “They didn't think it was fair and I said yeah, it's not fair. That's why we're doing it.”
Schott placed fact sheets about the issue on the bake sale table so those buying cookies got a little free information with their treats.
Jordan High School Principal Tom Sherwood praised the group’s efforts.
“The students are bringing issues of awareness in the school to issues that affect our society as a whole that some kids most of the kids in our school aren’t aware of — it’s great some proactive students are bringing it to their attention,” he said.
The sale raised about $150.