The gender wage gap is a prominent and polarizing topic in our society, but what does it look like in action? To help people visualize it, copywriter Gabe Whaley decided to create Toothpick, an app that tips genders differently.
Whaley built the app with his four-person Miscellaneous Mischief team, one of who is a woman.
The way the free app works is by the user inputting their bill and whether their server was a man or a woman. The suggested tip is then lowered if the gender is the latter.
The lower number is based on the gender wage gap percentage from the census, Whaley said.
"Now people can experience the gender wage gap in a context everyone can relate to: tipping," he explained.
The 25-year-old said that he was inspired to create the tool because the concept of the wage gap is often "too lofty of a concept for many to grasp in it's gritty, harsh reality."
"All of a sudden, with a tip calculator that tells you to tip your server less just because she is a woman, you're forced to confront the issue first hand," he told BuzzFeed News.
The app's site explains: "In the workplace, on average, women get paid 22% less than their male counterparts. So tipping a server 22% less just because she is a woman makes total sense, right?"
Whaley, who also founded the Wingman app to help people join the Mile High Club, says that he wants Toothpick to "make people angry."
He hopes that that anger will be directed into action, with the app and site linking to a petition to add the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
"Initially the reaction is that this app is awful and incredibly prejudiced," he said. "But once you realize how this deduction was calculated, it becomes clear that the app isn't the problem, it's the society we live in."
Disclosure: Whaley is a former BuzzFeed employee.
Rachel Zarrell is a news editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Rachel Zarrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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