This story is over 5 years old.

Woke Dad

My Surprisingly Woke Dad Explains the Gender Pay Gap

In this new column, we ask our dads about politically correct terms.
Hannah Ewens
London, GB
This is my woke dad (Photo by author)

My dad is a good and honest man who eats Heinz Cream of Tomato Soup with thick-cut white bread at least three times a week. My dad will say, sincerely, when we've forced him to take us to Wagamama, and he is eating his ramen: "This is nice but would be better with some nice bread," and by "nice bread," he means thick-cut white sandwich bread. My dad uses Head and Shoulders Original shampoo. My dad doesn't drink water; he just has tea with two sugars all throughout the day. My dad likes going on vacation to the same place. My dad supports Tottenham Hotspur and gets pissed when the team loses, which is a lot. My dad will talk obnoxiously loudly, not realizing that the people next to him are wondering what's going on, and when he sneezes, he makes an incredibly loud noise that sounds like he's shouting "HANIYA!" But he insists he's not doing it deliberately.


My dad is the best dad in the world. But is he woke? Of course he's not woke; he's a white British man in his 50s, maybe 60s; I don't know. But by God he means well and has no ill will in his heart. This is why I'm convinced that if he was in his 20s now, he'd be the most politically correct person of them all. So over the course of a few weeks, I'm going to see if I can enlighten him to the new ways of the world.

This week, I asked him to explain the gender pay gap.

VICE: Hi, Dad. Are you ready for this?
Woke Dad: No.

Why? Are you worried?
Is this the question?

No. We're just chatting now.
Oh, I thought it was the question.

You seem worried about this.
Anxious. [Laughs and does a "shucks" face that he does a lot]

So: What's the gender pay gap?
Everyone's heard about that. Ladies, they aren't getting the same as men, are they?

Yeah, they're still not, and it's not fair. In some jobs they are. I mean, if it's airline pilots or something. Are you sure?
I… I don't know. Lots of the top jobs must be paid the same. Doctors must be. Teachers, too. They're on grades, so they must. But the opportunity to be a headmaster is not so great. When do you see a lady headmaster? I've not seen one. Have you? No.
I don't think we have. You know, ladies climb… ladies climb for their careers, and I'm sure it's a lot slower than it is for men.

WATCH: Aziz Ansari on Race and Representation


How much do you think the gap is in the UK?
Probably not very much. In the UK, it's probably closer than some other countries, I dare say…

Than, like, where?
Maybe in the Middle East, where they don't like ladies working much. Why do you keep saying "ladies"?
Alright, women then.

Laaaaadies. [Little Britain voice] I'm a laaaady.

Yes. Go on, have a guess then.
Probably like 30 percent, maybe less.

Not that much! It's nearly 10 percent.
There should be a pay gap between good people and bad people. Some people are just lazy twerps.

Right. There's been some big news about the gender pay gap this year. Do you know what it is?
Is that in the news? I only read the paper on Sunday sometimes.

It's that basically big businesses have to put gender gap information on their websites. Do you think that's a good idea?
Well, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got to be transparent, haven't you? Just like with the politicians and their expenses. They boo hoo, but look, mate, you've spent it, you share it.

Too right. Do you think you care about the gender pay gap more because you have daughters?

Aw, thanks, dad.
No. I just think fair is fair. If someone's doing the same job, you get the same money. If someone's doing a shit job, then they should get fired. You know what? There's probably a lot of jobs ladies do these days better than men—I'm sure there is.

Photo by Nick Efford via Flickr

Most jobs.
No, I wouldn't go that far. I'm glad in politics there's slowly more and more ladies—sorry, women —creeping up the ladder. Men mess around a bit.


They really do.
A group of men mess around more than you'd believe. Women are a bit more organized, I think.

I have to agree. You're sounding like a feminazi now.
What's that? Feminism?

Never mind.
Anyway, I've seen men fart around with my own eyes. I was in the civil service for five years; they're all lazy in there. They'd never make it in the real world, in business. You know Grandpa—he was in the civil service, too, and he was indecisive, and I do remember he had a report once, and it said: "You're indecisive." My dad was really angry about that. He told Grandma, and she said: "Well, you are" [laughs very loudly, people look over]. Some of those lazy guys—not always old either, some were young all over the show—I thought, Mate, you'll never make it. You couldn't get a job anywhere else. The civil service is actually spot on for you.

OK, wait. We're going off topic. Women. Pay gap.
I hate that Nicola Sturgeon, though.

Why do you hate her?
Well, she's really—it's not the accent—she's really aggressive. I don't like aggressive, bully women.

The ones who act exactly how men do.
No, no. It's just her manner maybe. And, the fact is, she wasn't in favor of Brexit, and now they want a second referendum. The thing was, she wants independence from England, but she wants to be in Europe. So she's going to be dictated by Europe anyway.

Anyway. So basically, in conclusion, the pay gap is bad, right?
No money for lazy people. More money for women, and I think we'd be back on track. There you go. Can we stop this now?

Follow Hannah Ewens on Twitter.