As a Latina, I'm paid 54 cents of every dollar a white man earns. That's infuriating.

There's no reason I should earn just over half of what a white man does for doing the same job.

I am a Latina, a writer, a sister, a friend. And I get paid 54 cents on every dollar a white man earns for doing the same exact job as me.

To put that in perspective, I, an average Latina woman, would not see equal pay with white men until 2248 (232 years from now) if the current inequality trends continue.

In 2015, full-time female workers made only 80 cents for ever dollar a man earned. Latinas also made at least 24 cents less than their female, non-minority counterparts, too. That hurts.


Say what? Image via iStock.

This is all according to a report released just in time for Latina Equal Pay Day, celebrated on Nov. 1, 2016. The report was both surprising and frustrating. Twitter's response to the new stats was even more shocking.

The tweets were fast and furious. Latinas (myself included) were all too eager to chime in on the incredibly unfair pay gap between a white man and a Latina woman.

Using the hashtag #LatinaEqualPay, women from all over the world are talking candidly about this issue of income inequality in the Latino community.

Their comments bring to light the incredible wage gap that exists not only between men and women, but also between women and women of color as well.  

Here are nine tweets that drive the point home in a powerful way:

1. There were cries of anger. Can you blame us?

2. These statistics by Voto Latino = ouch!

3. We're not asking for any favors. It's quite simple.

4. Even elected politicians like Rep. Barbara Lee (D-California) weighed in on the huge pay gap.

5. As well as longtime Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D), also representing the Golden State.

6. For those who think visually, this chart is, well, off the charts!

7. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) also chimed in.

8. So many of us are about this life, Daniella!

9. One word: solidarity. We're all in this together!

Of course we don't expect things to change overnight. But they do need to change.

Perhaps reading these statistics out loud or seeing these numbers and charts will remind everyone how unfair the wage gap is for minority women.

And as one tweet pointed out, we're not looking for a handout. We just want to earn the same (not more, not less) as any man who is doing the same job.

We know the world is not fair, but that doesn't mean we can't take the necessary and much-needed steps towards making things a little more balanced, no matter how long it takes.

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Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

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Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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