Jack White is one of 45 men and women who are part of a new panel to study gender equity in Nashville, the city’s mayor, Megan Barry, announced on Wednesday. A Nashville resident, White was selected because of his company Third Man Records, which has made strides in equality between sexes.
“All human beings on this planet, and in this society that we live in deserve to be treated the same. They deserve to be treated the same in their social lives, and in their financial and business careers as well,” White said in a statement, which was republished in full on his Facebook page. “In my life in the arts, I have always considered it unfair when producing a record, for example, that a drummer would be paid less than a singer, simply because that singer had an agent or representative. They are both creating regardless of their instrument or even their experience. They should be paid the same. Now wouldn’t it be just as ridiculous to pay two fiddle players a different wage because one of them is male and one is female? I think so.”
White called the wage gap that exists between men and women “embarrassing.” He added, “Gender equity is something that should’ve been solved a century ago worldwide, and it is sad that we even need to address it. If the person does the work, the benefits of doing that work, should be equal among all human beings.”
White is latest celebrity to discuss the gender pay gap, joining the likes of Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Watson, Meryl Streep, Patricia Arquette, and many others in speaking out against the discrepancy.
“I am proud to say that since 2013 all employees of my record label have had a minimum wage of 15 dollars an hour, regardless of gender,” White added in his remarks before urging other small businesses to follow his path. “A person shouldn’t need 2 jobs just to have food and shelter. and if small businesses like mine can do this, billion dollar businesses like Walmart can do it as well,” he said.
He closed his remarks with a plea for equality among trans men and women as well. “I also must stress that the labels of gender and sexuality are completely up to the individual and not the people who employ them, or the government,” White said. “If a person is born into a different scenario or a different type of physical body, they shouldn’t be treated in any degrading fashion. If they choose to represent themselves as transgender or gender neutral even, it should not effect their wages or benefits or how they are treated by other human beings.”
Read the full statement here.