No Male-Female Wage Gap? I Call Bull Sh*t…

Tuesday, April 12th marked the 15th anniversary of Equal Pay Day, which the National Committee for Pay Equity first began in 1996 to recognize the pay gap between men and women. Well, here we are, 50 years after the Equal Pay Act was originally signed into law by President John F. Kennedy, and the basic premise of the act has still not been achieved.

Worse still, this past November the US Senate actually took a step backwards when they failed to approve a bill that would move the Paycheck Fairness Act forward. Also,according to census statistics from September 2010, women working full time still make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, on average.

So, you can imagine my surprise which quickly turned to rage when I came across a recent WSJ article, claiming that there is no male-female wage gap. The author of the article, Carrie Lukas, posits that the differences in average earnings between men and women do not stem from discrimination.

Instead, she believes that any disparity in pay has to do with the fact that men work harder and longer hours than women. According to Lukas, Equal Pay Day is really just about “manufactured feminist grievances.”

Her Point:

“The Department of Labor’s Time Use survey shows that full-time working women spend an average of 8.01 hours per day on the job, compared to 8.75 hours for full-time working men. One would expect that someone who works 9% more would also earn more.”

Rebuttal:

Lukas’ definition of “work” is skewed in her rationalization. She does not account for the fact that maybe the reason men spend 9% more time working in the office is because they’re spending a lot less time than women working in the home.

According to the same survey, “on an average day, 20% of men did housework… compared with 51% of women.” Women, on average, spent 2.6 hours on household activities, while men spent 2.0 hours.

If we could balance all of these numbers out, then we’d all be in a better place and maybe women would actually have that extra 9% more time to spend in the office.

Her Point:

“Women gravitate toward jobs with fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility.

Simply put, many women… are willing to trade higher pay for other desirable job characteristics.”

Rebuttal:

Oh, are we? It may be true that men tend to enter higher paying fields than women, but Lukas’ rationalization as to why is completely unfounded.

We don’t just naturally gravitate towards “flexible” jobs. But when you consider the fact that “mothers receive a 4 percent wage penalty for the first child and a 12 percent penalty for each additional child,” it stands to reason that we may not be left with much of a choice.

But for the sake of arguing, let’s just say that she’s right it still doesn’t change the fact that even when a man works in the same primarily female-dominated field (i.e., teaching or nursing) as a woman, the wage gap is still very much present. For example, a full-time male registered nurse still earns an extra $2,860 per year.

It’s really rare to read such a sexist article written by a fellow female. If people like her continue to teach other women to have such an anti-feminist attitude in regards to such a major issue, then we will never be able to take the appropriate steps to alleviate gender problems like this one.

No, I don’t mean to go on a feminist rant here, but someone’s got to stand up to the Carrie Lukas’ of the world.

  • Marc A.

    Further research debunks your “housework” myth. When you include work both inside and outside the home, men and women work about the same number of hours.

    A recent 25-nation study by economists from Berlin, Brussels and Texas, which included rich and poor nations, found men do as much work as women when all types of work are combined. http://www.slate.com/id/2164268/

    A University of Maryland study found the total workloads of married mothers and fathers is roughly equal when paid work is added to child care and housework, at 65 hours a week for mothers and 64 hours for fathers.
    http://www.parapundit.com/archives/003838.html

    A University of Michigan study found women work an average of 11 hours more housework per week more than men while men an average of 14 hours per week more than women outside the home.

  • Marc A.

    There is nothing “sexist” about telling the truth. It is sexist of you to ignore the truth and argue that the pay gap is male privilege when in fact it only exists because women have more options than men to be primary parents, and they exercise that option. That is why 57% of female graduates of Stanford and Harvard left the workforce within 15 years of entry into the workforce. http://edition.cnn.com/2005/BUSINESS/03/15/optout.revolution/

    That’s why never-married childless women earn more than their male counterparts. And women between ages 21 and 30 working full-time made 117% of men’s wages. http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/03/nyregion/03women.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

    The “pay gap” is only a snapshot of average yearly full-time incomes. It does not account for overtime, type of work, or other factors. It only exists because men work more hours at high-stress jobs they hate with longer commutes, less flexibility, more physical risk, etc. just to be breadwinners and feed their families, only to die younger and get bashed for “earning more.”

    In fact, today, female CEOs outearned men in 2009. http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=10630664

    And female U.S. corporate directors out-earn men: study
    http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0752118220071107?feedType=R

    The U.S. Department of Labor funded a study that found the pay gap is most likely due to life choices rather than discrimination.
    http://www.consad.com/content/reports/Gender Wage Gap Final Report.pdf
    See also, Prof. June O’Neill, Ph.D. (former director of Congressional Budget Office), “The Gender Gap in Wages, circa 2000,” American Economic Review, 5/03.)

    In “Why Men Earn More,” Warren Farrell, Ph.D. examined 25 career/life choices men and women make (hours, commute times, etc.) that lead to men earning more and women having more balanced lives, and that showed how men in surveys prioritize money while women prioritize flexibility, shorter hours, shorter commutes, less physical risk and other factors conducive to their choice to be primary parents, an option men still largely don’t have. That is why never-married childless women outearn their male counterparts, and female corporate directors now outearn their male counterparts. http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0752118220071107?feedType=R

    Farrell also lists dozens of careers, including fields of science, where women outearn men.

    Being primary parent is an option few men have. Try being a single male and telling women on the first date that you want to stay home.

    In fact,research shows women still seek men who earn more than they do. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/8237298/What-women-really-want-to-marry-a-rich-man.html

    And most men have no problem with their wives outearning them. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23413243

    Most working dads would quit or take a pay cut to spend more time with kids if their spouses could support the family. http://www.cnn.com/2007/US/Careers/06/13/dads.work/index.html

    Research also shows that parents share workloads more when mothers allow men to be primary parents.
    http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-05-04-equal-parenting_N.htm

    For more, see:

    ABC News: “Is the Wage Gap Women’s Choice? Research Suggests Career Decisions, Not ### Bias, Are at Root of Pay Disparity”

    · http://abcnews.go.com/2020/GiveMeABreak/story?id=797045&page=1&CMP=OTC-RSSFeeds0312
    · http://money.cnn.com/2007/06/04/magazines/fortune/muphy_payact.fortune/index.htm
    · http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23413243

  • wow

    You lack very basic critical thinking skills in your rebuttals. If women work more hours at home guess what? they dont get paid for that. unless you can explain who should pay you for doing your own housework? your employer? the government through everyones tax dollars? Bottom line is if you want to make more money you have to work harder. Women often times want to raise a family which means they have less time to work, you dont get paid more because you decided to have kids. Work harder and sacrifice your social life for you work and you will make more, but i bet you dont want to do that.

  • Fred

    So there is a gender discrimination based wage gap? I call stupid-#### on this author! This article is a good example of why trying to reason with a feminist is futile – no critical thinking skills combined with lots of self righteous rage.

    Personally, I use the wage gap issue as way of judging the integrity of politicians – those that push it as a legitimate issue in need of correction are either too stupid to hold office or are deliberately misleading ignorant people (like the author of this article) to get votes. When I see someone make “finally correcting the wage gap” a campaign issue they lose my vote – period.

  • Fredo

    Marc A said it all.

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