Do women really get paid less than men?

7 05 2008

Thomas Sowell gives simple explanation to why women earn less than men:

Q: We’ve frequently heard, and will hear much more I am sure if Hillary is the Democratic nominee, that women make 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. Can you give us a basic rundown of why that discrepancy exists?

A: There are lots of reasons. Men and women do not work the same number of hours. They do not work in the same occupations. They do not work continuously the same, and so on.

You know, if it was really true that you could hire a woman for three quarters of what you could hire a man with exactly the same qualifications, then employers would be crazy not to hire all women. It would be insane to hire men. Not only would it be insane, it would probably put them out of the business because the ones that were smart enough to hire women would have such a cost advantage that it would be really hard for the others to compete.

Sowell’s explanation is elegant, brilliant and entirely logical! Why didn’t I think of it myself???

Sowell continues:

There are lots of gross differences between men and women and other groups and some of them shocked me when I first started doing the research. For example, I found that young male doctors make considerably more than young female doctors. But, when I dug into it a little deeper, I discovered that young male doctors work an average of 500 hours a year more than young female doctors. Obviously, a doctor that works 500 extra hours is going to make more money than the other doctor.

So the answer to the question: do women earn less than man, is YES, but there are good reasons why that is the case. Contrary to the commonly advanced liberal theory of “sexist and unjust male-dominated world”, other factors are at play. Men work more hours and spend more time in the workforce, while women take time off to raise children and favour part time employment. My wife, who earns more per hour than me, chooses to work only three days a week to look after our child. Her annual salary is lower than mine even though she would earn more if she worked full time. There is no conspiracy at play, it is only fair that those that work more get higher rewards.

This is not to say that sexism doesn’t exist and that women are always treated fairly. But as a general rule it is inconceivable that employers could hire a female worker for the three quarter of what they would have to pay a man with the same qualifications.

The whole interview is worth a read.

Bettina Arndt (female) has more on why women earn less than men. Again no conspiracy.

UPDATE:

Professor Mark Wooden of Melbourne University agrees:

Melbourne University social researcher Mark Wooden said men were earning on average 15 per cent more than women because they put in more time at the workplace.

“All high achievers in all walks of life … put in long hours into their activity,” Professor Wooden said.

“It’s (the pay equity gap) got a lot to do with the fact that women are not prepared to work longer hours.”

The only male taking part in a National Press Club panel discussion about the pay equity gap, Prof Wooden’s remarks drew gasps from the mostly female audience. [ :-) ]

….

Prof Wooden said closing the gap would require a change in the traditional family structure.

“The only way we can achieve this is if we have lots of role reversals, lots of men behaving like women and lots of women behaving like men.”

“I don’t think women in Australia want that, I don’t think that women anywhere in the world want that.”


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170 responses

16 04 2008
Ashley Parrott

I think that is completely ridiculous. Women should get as much money starting out as a man does regardless whether or not she does or does not have children, or any other factor. The thing that should count is that she can do the exact same job as well as a man and that is what they should get paid based upon.

Dear Ashley,

If you read what I wrote properly you will realise that women do get paid the same as men providing they work in the same job, have the same level of qualifications and work experience, and are prepared to work the same number of hours as men.

Sowell clearly explains that if it was true that employers could hire women with same qualifications and pay them less than men, they would just hire women. This would reduce their costs and drive employers hiring men out of business. Clearly this is not the case.

As for the childbearing, it is not that women have children that makes them lesser paid. It is that they take time off to have children. Let’s look at two employees both aged 30, both have started work in the same company 10 years ago. They have the same qualifications and started off on the same pay. The only difference is that female worker had two children and missed two years of work on parental leave to raise her children. So even though they are the same age and spent the same time working for the same employer, the male has 10 years work experience and the female only 8. Why shouldn’t the worker that has 2 years more experience be paid more?

I hope this helps to clear up the confusion.

Regards,

Latteologist

21 03 2012
Reils

I find that most women get paid less than men because it’s more than just a society; it’s a male dominated society. Most often I find myself looking over my mothers daily pay, and then comparing it to my fithers. It’s plain as a white dot on a black feild. Women are still somewhat discriminated against men.
Furthermore, the woman’s symbol is an apron. And a mans? I”ll let you decide..

12 02 2013
Brad

What do your parents do?

18 04 2008
Jackie

Yes, your explanations do make sense, however, I believe there is more to it than just “hours.” Even if women work as many hours as men, there is still a likely chance that they will get earn less than men. Starting in 1964, women only got paid 59 cents of a man’s dollar, and what makes you think that has all changed now. Now, women only make around 76 cents of a man’s dollar. The percent has gone up, but yet it is still uneven. The reasons are numerous; social inequality, sexism, and the fact that the steroptypical women should stay at home. Men think they have some kind of superioity over women, when in reality women are just important, and the fact we get paid less than men, will NEVER change that.

Dear Jackie,

Thanks for your response. However, I have to point out that while claiming that my explanations “do make sense” you go on to completely contradict them.

You wrote: “Even if women work as many hours as men, there is still a likely chance that they will get earn less than men. Starting in 1964, women only got paid 59 cents of a man’s dollar, and what makes you think that has all changed now. Now, women only make around 76 cents of a man’s dollar”.

Statistically, you are correct but with every statistic the devil is in the detail. Let’s say we look at 1000 women and 1000 men. The average wage for these women is $760 per week, the average wage for men is $1000 per week. Statistically women earn 76 cents for 1 men’s dollar. Shock horror!

But if we look closely at the statistics we may notice that men and women work in different professions. There are some very highly paid jobs in hazardous industries such as construction, power generation and mining that very few women want to do. We may find that men gravitate towards technical fields such as IT and engineering while women often choose lower paid jobs in social services, nursing and so on. We may also notice that men and women have different working patterns with men working longer hours while women take prolonged periods of leave to have children and more often work part time in order to care for their families. For example, my wife earns a better hourly rate than me but chooses (and loves) working three days a week so that she can stay home with our child. Because of this her annual wage is lower than mine, even though she would be earning more than me if she worked full time. Unfair? Hardly.

It is a fallacy to look at the average male and female earnings and scream sexism. The only way to compare wages fairly is to look at a male and a female with the same qualifications, working in the same industry, working the same number of hours and so on. If you look at these figures, you will find that they would be paid roughly the same. Moreover you will find that female graduates sometimes get paid better than their male counterparts. Many companies in male-dominated fields like IT want to attract female employees and are prepared to pay extra for them. Should men scream sexism?

When you say “now, women only make around 76 cents of a man’s dollar” such logic says that employers can hire women who are just as good, hard-working, qualified and prepared to work the same number of hours as men for 24% less. Are you seriously thinking that hard-nosed capitalist that move entire industries to third world countries to save on labour costs, would forgo a chance to slash their payroll costs by 24% by simply hiring women? Or that they are so sexist and wicked that they would rather pay a 24% more for labour than hire females? No. Such proposition doesn’t stand up to logic.

Jackie, while it is very tempting to look for evidence of sexism and disadvantage, there is very little evidence to objectively suggest that women are in fact disadvantaged. Most, if not all the difference in pay can be easily explained by the nature of work women do, the number of hours they choose to work and time women take off to have families. To put it differently, unless women do exactly the same jobs as men, work the same hours men do and stop having families, there will always be a difference in female wages compared to men.

Regards,

Latteologist

4 05 2010
mitch

you just slapped her in the face like twice

31 05 2010
Anonymous

Well lets think of it this way,
If a boat is sinking, who gets off first?
Women and children.
Maybe thats why we get paid more?
Also, they have never been forced to die in a war.

31 05 2010
Dick

Yea I agree.

16 03 2011
Anonymous

Are you stupid or just plain ignorant? women regularly serve in the military, and die for their countries. In addition to that, women get paid less then men, its a plain fact that this author has stated. You can come up with as many excuses as you want, but until that fact is refuted, it stands that women are at a disadvantage. The reason that they are at a disadvantage is because of the stupid person who worte this article. Making excuses for being ahead. Thats the same fucking reason for slavery and war. Just shut the fuck up and deal with the fact that the world is biased towards you. Stop fucking complaining about being ahead.

24 07 2011
Violet

Some people believe what they want to believe. My daughter is an Ensign in the Navy. She gets what all the male Ensigns get at that pay rate. She doesn’t get less than they do. It is illegal for someone to have one rate for females and one rate for males.

21 12 2011
Anonymous

Dude, its men who force men to die in war, not women! Educate yourself before making dumb comments.

1 03 2012
Elle

LADIES FIRST

6 12 2012
ur face

some women go out in the feild, like, lets see, MY MOM,she was pregnent with me and was forced to but she didnt die and men wernt forced to die there batalion comander didnt say “get on the ground and let them kill you”

10 02 2013
miller (@millertime32)

anonymous who said “slavery or war”. Did you read the article? You didn’t answer it at all. You didn’t address the facts and reason of this article. Try to come up with a good argument. Also in the same sentence you called the person who wrote this article “stupid” yet you spelled wrote as worte. LOL Get off your emotionalism and use common sense and reason. Also take a chill pill to settle down.

1 03 2012
Elle

The fact is that women are earning 76 cents to every dollar that a man earns. If a man got payed one dollar an hour (an unrealistic example) a woman would still be payed 24 cents less than the man. for working the same hour. That it a fact in many jobs that men and women are working the same job for the same amount of time. I can’t even beleive that men and women are even having this argument when women are people just the same as men. Take a moment to actualy think about that

25 08 2012
evan

men work more hours and take more hazardous jobs so overrall they make more money. Thats way there is a difference in pay. It has nothing to do with “working the same hours” for the “same job.” So your an idiot who can’t read statistics.

Ever here of “affirmative action.” Every business has to have a certain amount of women and minorities. Its the law. So you will get a job over a white male who is more qualified then you.

Now you can go out in the world and get a job you dont deserve and fuck up our economy more.

11 02 2013
James Rustles

You’re not looking at the situation correctly. The gap is in TOTAL pay, not hourly wages. Men get paid more because they work more hours, have better qualifications, etc. That 24 cent difference is NOT an hourly wage discrepancy; it’s not working the same job or the same hour.

23 05 2008
Derker

pie

21 03 2012
Reils

Because that is totally appropriatem for a conversation of such deep and political meaning….
your a great person… jerk….

30 05 2008
the_Rick

Latteologist,

You’ll never convince any of these ladies by basing your arguments on statistics and numbers — women are TERRIBLE at understanding math.

Can I get a High Five!!

TR

19 11 2009
Nevak

Exactly! *High Five*

28 05 2010
danielle

umm no thats retarded and so are u lol

13 01 2010
rita

Pathetic brainwashed creatures. I’m sorry to disappoint you dear but if you studied a little bit of biology you would know that nature never creates one sex of the same species inferior to the other – it’s obvious the species won’t survive this way. Oh, I forgot – men are TERRIBLE at understanding common sense

21 03 2012
Reils

oh my god, i just LOVE you Rita! yeah! power to the women!!!! whooo!

13 01 2010
rita

Pathetic brainwashed creatures. I’m sorry to disappoint you dear but if you studied a little bit of biology you would know that nature never creates one sex of the same species inferior to the other – it’s obvious the species won’t survive this way. Oh, I forgot – men are TERRIBLE at understanding common sense

13 01 2010
rita

The Rick and other pathetic brainwashed creatures. I’m sorry to disappoint you dear but if you studied a little bit of biology you would know that nature never creates one sex of the same species inferior to the other – it’s obvious the species won’t survive this way. Oh, I forgot – men are TERRIBLE at understanding common sense

13 01 2010
Strange

This woman has some serious hatred for men. I think daddy was not very nice to her. maybe gave her brother a bigger allowence.

Time to relax, deep breaths

30 03 2011
Anonymous

I’m a woman and have a minor in math.

21 03 2012
Reils

Strange, your name says it all. please don’t insult me, or I’ll hack your bank account…

1 03 2012
Elle

omfg. thats all i can say right now. in my high school almost every guy has a lower grade in math and the top ten students are girls.

6 12 2012
ur face

umm im top of my high scool and im only in 10th sooooo

2 06 2008
Misty

TR,
Comments like that prove that sexism does exist and should be considered a valid issue in American society. What is “fair” and “just” about labeling all females as math-illiterate? Though that is a common misconception, I made an A in my calculus class and I am 100% female. The reason that women are STILL complaining about unfair wages is because it STILL exists. In a society of single mothers raising their children alone, the men who desert those women are paid more money. Even if I acknowledge that this discrepancy occurs because men can donate more time to the ofFice, I cannot acknowledge that it is fair or just in any sense of the word because there are strong, intelligent women all over the world that are forced into virtual slavery in order to provide for their children because we have a generation of men WHO WILL NOT OWN UP TO THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES!

Misty,

Thanks for you comment.

I would like to comment on what you wrote about single women. I agree that many men run away from their responsibilities leaving women to pick up the pieces. This is a great shame. Still, this is not a male conspiracy but the behaviour of private individuals (even though it seems increasingly common). What exactly can society as a whole do about this? Ban divorce? Force couples to stay together?

Interestingly, the womens’ rights and unfair pay agenda is mainly driven by the political left. Yet these are the same political parties that for years undermined the family unit by attacking religious, sexual and societal norms that traditionally underpinned strong marriages. They really want to have it both ways.

Latteologist

13 01 2010
rita

Listen, stop bloody defending your own stupid gender, i’m sick of you males all standing up for each other whatever bad you do.
It all SO EASY for YOU, male, to dismiss sexism. How would you feel if the situation was reversed and MEN were discriminated against? How would you like that? Would you still be defending employers and saying thay are right? And stop bloody thinking you are some kind superior to us. yoy are NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT, NOT and once again – NOT. take it as a man

30 03 2010
James

Have you ever heard of the Rape Shield Laws, Rita? Men are discriminated against equally as much as women, woman. We get the pointy end of the stick in child custody cases, have no option of paternal abortion (look it up) and are generally seen as pigs, when most guys are actually nice. Furthermore, the author of this article isn’t defending his gender. He has not once deviated from standard logic to make his case. He says nothing about either sex deserving something, but instead presents a logical rebuttal to a common fallacy.

11 08 2010
Vic

I’m a girl and I don’t think sexism is that bad. Theres totally obvious reasons why its not as bad as we think, and just like you accused him of doing you are just standing up for your own gender without looking at the logical facts

26 05 2011
Catherine

hey james:
“Have you ever heard of the Rape Shield Laws, Rita? Men are discriminated against equally as much as women, woman. We get the pointy end of the stick in child custody cases, have no option of paternal abortion (look it up) and are generally seen as pigs, when most guys are actually nice”

First, let me point out that 10 percent of rape victims ARE indeed men. Second of all Rape Shield Laws… SERIOUSLY??? THATS WHAT YOU ARE BRINGING UP???

You think Rape Shield Laws are sexist? Not all men are pigs James but you certainly are.
Rape shield laws make it so details about the VICTIM (yes victim) past sexual promiscuity, sexual history, and EVEN WHAT THEY WERE WEARING AT THE TIME OF THE RAPE are protected.
rape is rape. It doesn’t matter if you are a virgin in a sweater and sweat pants (like a friend of mine who was raped was wearing) or if you are sexually promiscuous and in a short skirt.
Don’t even go there…

SECOND OF ALL TO ALL YOU WHO SAY THIS DOESN’T EXIST:
Simply google it….

TO THE AUTHOR:
Not all women (and actually hardly any that I know)… need to take 5 years to raise children….
My mother took one month maternity leave and went right back to work each time after having my two sisters and I.
Also, for the record, I generally tend to have more right wing views and I still believe in equal pay.

TO ALL YOU BOYS POSTING ON THIS THING SAYING TUNEQUAL PAY IS OK:
sounds like you all have some mommy issues :)

19 06 2011
Anonymous

Vic, the reason those things used to be brought up during rape cases was not to make victims seem like they deserved to be raped. However, that’s the card that women played to have those details removed from the court room. The fact of the matter is that the virgin in sweat clothes is far less likely to be simply lying about being raped than is the known whore who was drunk at a party, in nothing but a thong. Unfortunately, due to these laws, the only difference the jury sees now is that one was drunk and one was sober. How would you like it if during a domestic violence case against a husband, it was illegal to bring up his past history of violence? I think that’s what Vic was getting at.

21 03 2012
Reils

yeah, Rita you are right. Men are feeling hurt by the every growing problem that their cromosome shinkage will soon lead to their extinction. I’m sory , men. Its almost sad….

20 07 2011
dfwedf

How are men deserting these single woman paid more money when they have to pay out the ass for child services, probably for kids they wanted to keep but can’t because of the major bias in court cases for custody and divorce, even though statistically being raised by a single mom over a single dad significantly increases the child’s chances of committing a felony or murder, being diagnosed with a personality disorder and getting a divorce.

Yeah, I wonder whose paid more when half the dad’s wages goes to mom so she continues not working a day in her life.

1 03 2012
Elle

ok so you think that EVERY MOTHER STAYS AT HOME AND DOES NOT WORK A DAY IN HER FRIGGIN LIFE WELL LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING 70% OF WOMEN HAVE A JOB THROUGH THEIR WHOLE LIFE AND ARE NEVER STAY AT HOME MOMS!! WHY DONT YOU ACTUALY DO SOME RESEARCH BEFORE ARGUING ABOUT SOMETHING YOU OBVIOUSLY KNOW NOTHING ABOUT!!

1 03 2012
Elle

Do not force men to stay with their wifes it is their right to leave if they want but they have to pay their wifes and not leave them with nothing but a child who now has no father.

3 06 2008
Vivre La Différence » Thomas Sowell on the Gender Pay Gap

[...] above might in fact explain it all. But there’s been an interesting comment at another blog, Lattenomics, looking at the same [...]

22 07 2008
Darren

You say “The only way to compare wages fairly is to look at a male and a female with the same qualifications, working in the same industry, working the same number of hours and so on. If you look at these figures, you will find that they would be paid roughly the same.”

Where are the statistics that support this statement? Without them, your argument is just speculation.

Darren,

See Chris’ comment below:

“The fact of the matter is that paying a woman with the same qualifications and same skills, less than a man is completely illegal (it’s a violation of the Civil Rights Act), and if this were happening across the employment board there would be enough lawsuits to make Lionel Hutz a billionaire”.

Is it likely that employers deliberately discriminate against women knowing full well they can be sued for doing so? I don’t think we need “statistics” to answer this question.

13 01 2010
rita

STOP DEFENDING MALES

21 04 2010
hpm7022

You are accusing men of something that is not fully true .. why shouldn’t they be defended? Just because they are men … isn’t that sexism Rita?

27 09 2011
dashgalaxy86

Are “males” at trial here? Why do they even need to be offended? You are bizarre. He’s just stating facts and data, there’s no bias in what he’s saying at all. Rita, if you are indeed a woman, you are making women look bad. The women I know are level-headed and intelligent and willing to accept logic at least as often as the average man.
It’s incredibly unlikely that there is widespread discrimination in the workplace to the extent that media would have people believe. That’s the point he’s trying to make, and it is both true and valid. The odds that companies could get away with paying women with the same qualifications less than men for doing the same job with the same qualifications the same number of hours is almost nothing.

16 03 2011
Anonymous

Yes, it is likely. I’m pretty sure you just proved your own argument wrong. Stop pretending to be smart.

22 07 2008
Chris

“In a society of single mothers raising their children alone, the men who desert those women are paid more money.”

Ask those men who are left financially destitute through maximized child support and alimony payments just how more well-off financially they are.

I ought to know–I was raised by a single mother, and my dad deliberately chose to live in poverty rather than bust his butt for a paycheck he would never see thanks to a judge and lawyer that went looking to squeeze him for every cent they could get.

The argument that women get deliberately paid less than men across the board is a patent falsehood that’s perpetuated by members of the victim-greivance class. The fact of the matter is that paying a woman with the same qualifications and same skills, less than a man is completely illegal (it’s a violation of the Civil Rights Act), and if this were happening across the employment board there would be enough lawsuits to make Lionel Hutz a billionaire.

Women and men alike need to accept the fact that if you aren’t going to put in the same hours and put the same effort into your job that others will (which often means several hours of overtime on top of that), then your salary is going to be lower. Work less, get paid less–this is not a hard concept to understand.

26 05 2011
stating the obvious

chris- your dad was lazy.

29 06 2011
Anonymous

I would thumbs-up ypur comment if I could :)

30 08 2008
Emily

You’ve made a good point regarding to why women are paid less than men. I am a science and mathematics major and do rely on statistics; at the same time, I am aware that statistics can be misinterpreted at times.

The question is: If women tend to work less in their field, is it voluntary or involuntary? Do their employers refuse to give women their hours, or do they request them off?

At the same token, since men generally have greater physical strength, they may be asked to do some manual work whereas women are exempt from it. “Favors” are not written on paper, but are required by the employer.

Your argument is sound and valid, but I also would like to discuss further in the issue and take a look at what’s happening.

email me when your reply is posted, thanks!

21 04 2010
hpm7022

I just wanted to point out, you are right men can be of greater physical strength (though not always), and they may be required to do physical work, but it is still work, work that needs to done, I believe it is fair that they get paid for that work … the observation that you make can also be applied to other fields, a good-looking actor/actress makes more money than a not-so-good-looking actor …

17 08 2011
Schadenfreudian

Conversely, Emily, how many men were forced to work overtime…in effect forced to “earn 24% more” just because they worked on short-fuzed construction/IT/engineering projects? I’ve been involved with this indirectly, and was astonished at how frequently it’s done.

30 01 2009
uncleduke316

now that women can sue for not making the same as men for the same job ( do male nurses make more then female? I remember that black nurse on ER saying “they don’t count”) that means they can pay the same insurance, support men and they certainly don’t need alimony. since they are the better parents and the equals and betters of men that means they can raise kids on their own and certainly the tax payers don’t need to support single mothers since they are perfectly capable of accepting responsbility for their decisions and are certainly the equal of men when facing the harsh realities of life aren’t they? since we believe in women being equal to men that means we can stop being chivalrous because that’s insulting and demeaning to women, implying the’re fragile, need to be defended, prizes to be won and need to be taken care of.

wow! TRUE EQUALITY!! Let’s go for it!! set the women free!:)

8 11 2011
Anonymous

being a single parent would be tough on anyone.

3 03 2009
Miin

Sorry but the “good reasoning” behind why women get paid less than men is still ridiculous. Not every woman will have children and take time off to raise kids. If a woman worked the exact same amount a man did, she would STILL be paid less.

Then there is always the argument that a woman is expected to have a child and raise it without being paid a dime…but that’s a whole different issue.

3 03 2009
Latteologist

Dear Miin,

Thanks for your comment. Are you be able to provide any factual evidence to your statement that “If a woman worked the exact same amount a man did, she would STILL be paid less”? Discrimination against women purely because they are women is illegal in most Western countries. I merely point out that disparity between male and female average earnings is easily explained by factors other than sexual discrimination.

31 03 2009
Anna

Here is a website that explains why women are paid less. They explain that the 76% less figure is calculated when all other factors are the same, meaning that they compare men and women with the SAME jobs, working the SAME number of hours, and part-timers/stay-at-home moms are not included.

So, if we consider factors like women having to work in lower paying jobs and working part-time, the gap would be much greater than the 76 cent difference.

http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2005/10/09/the_wage_gap/

1 04 2009
Latteologist

Hi Anna,

Thanks for your comment. You claim that the article compares “men and women with the SAME jobs, working the SAME number of hours, and part-timers/stay-at-home moms are not included”. It does not do such thing.

At best it talks about “women working full time — not part-time, not on maternity leave, not as consultants” and “the wages of women who are staying home with the kids or working part time are not counted in that official Labor Department average: Only full-time workers’ wages are added in”.

As you can appreciate, this doesn’t exclude women who ever had children. As I explained earlier, even if we look at a male and a female of the same age with exactly the same education working in the same profession, the female would be disadvantaged if she at some point has children. Why? Because of the total duration of time spent in the workforce.

For a woman raising two children can mean being out of work force for anything up to 5 years and more. In such scenario, let’s say a man and a woman with exactly the same qualifications start their careers at exactly the same time. After 15 years in the workforce, the male would have 15 years of experience while female would have only 10 because she took 5 years off to raise children. Which worker would get a promotion and better pay? The one with 10 years of experience or 15?

This experience gap cannot be waived away by female equality outreach it is real and it is entirely justifiable and logical. Why shouldn’t the person with more experience get promoted or get more money for their experience? On the other hand if we want to reach the magic Nirvana of gender pay equality women can give up having kids completely. Would that make world a more fair place?

Latteologist

13 01 2010
rita

Listen, have you actually ever thought that there are also child-free by choice, unmarried feminists in the workforce apart from kids-obsessed housewives you’re describing? how about them? Why are YOU putting all those with v****a in the same box? What right have you got to say that every female will take time off to raise kids just because she’s female?

Should these individuals still be paid less even though they might work harder than an average male and be more dedicated to their careers? What if i say all males are inherently stupid?

Hi Rita,

I am not putting all females in the “same box”. I fully understand that not all women chose to have kids, but most still do and this has a lot of bearing on statistics.

Latteologist

25 05 2010
True True

Rita, are you mentaly stable?

19 06 2011
Anonymous

yes, rita…that’s why women earn .76 on the dollar and not .20…

14 04 2009
Marcos

My Wife makes 25% less at our job, and has the exact previous work history as me. We graduated with the same degree at the same time from the same university and work in the same building doing the same exact thing for the same company as coworker with the same seniority. How do you explain that?

14 04 2009
Latteologist

Did your wife take any time off to have children? Do you both work exactly the same number of hours? Is your wife as good as you are at her job (now be honest)?

If the answer to question 1 is “no”, and 2 and 3 “yes”, I would sue your employer for discrimination.

22 10 2009
Snidey

cool

13 01 2010
rita

Do you automatically expect women to NOT be as good as men at their jobs because they are women? Well, I’ve seen many cases when it was the other way round. Why are you so convinced in your male superiority?

11 08 2010
Vic

Rita you are choosing to see everything he says in a sexist light when it isn’t said like that at all and so nobody can take what you say seriously. You are just being bias and taking everything as an insult. It was never implied that he assumed they are worse at their job

8 03 2012
ctkp

To the nut job “rita” commenting earlier on in this article.
Has it ever occurred to you that being so unbelievably unbalanced on these issues is actually sexist? Just as sexist as you believe everyone else to be in this forum (quite wrongly so I might add)
and I would go on to suggest that it is women like you who fuel the fire for any remnants of sexism left in society because people like you are not to be taken seriously, and depressingly, it is people like you who seem to have the loudest voices and are heard the furthest, and trust me on this one, anyone who has to listen to you irrationally rant on about men for more than 10 seconds is going to start contemplating male only workplaces.
And we’ll be back to square one.

22 10 2009
yo

discrimination

12 12 2010
dcardno

Hiring a woman, or placing her in a senior position, entails a higher risk than filling that same position with a man since through much of her working life there is a non-zero chance that she will decide to start a family and take time off to raise a child. This means that the risk of the individual leaving for all reasons must be higher for a female than for a male appointee – it it can be very disruptive (and therefore expensive) to the employer. I suspect that the effect is life-long, even after a woman has passed her child-bearing years, as the greater opportunities available to her male colleagues early in their careers will leave them better-positioned than she, even into their ‘forties and ‘fifties.
There is some evidence that the pay discrepancy is less in careers that can better-adapt to absences or part-time work; at least here in Canada the income differential between male and female accountants and lawyers is much less than between -for example- male and female engineers or management types.

8 11 2011
Anonymous

what people need to realize is that there are MANY women out there that don’t want to “run off and start a family” ESPECIALLY a career oriented woman (who would be the type of woman most likely get that high position) either way, not hiring someone based upon something that has nothing to do with their work is wrong. wait… wait… a MAN could have a family too! why should the woman be the one to put her life on hold for the kids. why can’t the father? this does happen.

19 06 2011
Anonymous

Marcos’ argument would have blown latteologist’s argument out of the water, were it true. The fact that he ignored latteologist’s challenge tells me that this situation was probably completely made up in the first place. As stated, it would be an easy discrimination case in court. All that’s missing is Marcos calling latteologist a male and i’d say it was just rita on a different account.

20 07 2011
afsdfadsf

Did she get the job at the exact same time as you?
Perhaps she got it after the economy went bad and unemployment skyrocketed, with a much bigger supply and the same demands it makes sense that the employers would lower the pay. Even if she got it right after you, you guys both do the exact same thing so if the job in that company is more small-scale, like 10-15 at most doing that same job, than just your addition to the company will have an effect on the wages for everyone else that applies for the exact same job.

And it seems extremely odd that you’d both land the exact same job, are you sure you didn’t work their for a bit and then recommend her to your employers? It could be a sort of internship/trial period since she was hired based mostly on your recommendation.

If there isn’t any good reason, then that’s discrimination if I’ve ever heard it. The reason you don’t see this often is because it’s perfect grounds for suing, another reason why it’s not ideal for capitalistic businesses to create this pay-gap.

27 09 2011
dashgalaxy86

By the way, if this were true, it’s about the biggest screw-up in history on an employer’s part… Really, paying a husband and wife enormously different amounts of money for doing the same job with the same qualifications? If this weren’t BS, I suspect any reasonable person in the situation would’ve called management out for this or sued for tons of cash.

tl;dr you aren’t fooling anyone.

27 09 2011
dashgalaxy86

What a convenient, and I suspect entirely fictional, example you’ve posed.

Sadly it’s BS and adds nothing to the discussion but trolling.

11 02 2013
Anonymous

I’d believe it. At the university I went to there was a husband-wife pair working in my department as professors. Not sure if they had the same seniority.

28 04 2009
Iamc

It is hard for me to believe the statistic that women are still paid less than men. It is my belief that across the board, compensation of men and women weight itself out equally. Let me give you an example at various levels and albeit this is only one place grant you. The CFO at my company (male) makes $320k + bonus and options. The Sr. Vice President of Marketing (female) makes $320k + bonus and options. The Sr. Vice President of Operations (male) makes $290k + bonus and options.

Administrative assistants’ (females) make anywhere from $5k a year less than I to $40k a year more than I. They have a high school education but no college education. I have a Bachelors and MBA (whoopeee). We have women in IT who make $25k a year to $100k a year more than I and they only have Associates degrees. The men and women in our IT department are paid equally across the board for the given positions. So to hear that women are paid less than men is what I BULLSHIT. Plain BULLSHIT!

28 05 2009
Jeremy

After reading a few comments on a news site about inequality in the workplace I decided to do a search to find any proof of it occurring, I am glad I found this to logically break it down for me.

I spent six years in the Air Force and many female service members have children, and get weeks to months off of work, while all the evil males are still working. Not to mention the amount of money required by insurance companies for females compared to single males.

I’m not really serious about the compensation for not having a child in the military, but I wonder if benefits are taken into account by the ones propagating the idea of inequality

6 08 2009
Victor

Equal payment WOULD NOT cause role reversals and the defense that “we would have men acting like women and women acting like men” is completely ridiculous seeing as how that’s already the case in many countries.

14 08 2009
Ryoz

just Suck it Up Or do something about it Blogging or posting comments will not change anything Either Deal with it or Try to change it GET A LIFE.

22 10 2009
Snidey

you never know. someone important could read this and relize how unfair the world really is.

26 05 2011
Catherine

ditto to you dummy… nice post

19 08 2009
huh

First young male doctors may work more hours but they do so in a job that pays them salary. T hus, there is no direct correlation between the hours that many men work and the salary they receive. Secondly, both work structures and family oriented structures must change. your explanations do not separate themselves from sexism and the patriarchy. They are just a part of the larger system. Women work more at home because it is presumed that women will do more of the nurturing in households. Companies do not organize themselves so that they will respect both family and work life balance and thus have protected a male dominated sphere by saying I pay him more because he is here more. She is off partner track because she went home to watch kids. We must begin to think differently (and we have in some respects) about how parenting works and organize office to replace it.

Actually, even in salaried employment the hours worked matter. Sure, it may not be reflected in the pay packet straight away, but who do you has a better chance of promotion? Those working less or those working more?

30 03 2010
James

Can you please provide statistical, NON BIASED evidence of the stuff you say?

12 12 2010
dcardno

Secondly, both work structures and family oriented structures must change.

For heaven’s sake, why? The ‘family structures’ that you complain about is not some impersonal monolith – it is the aggregate of the decisions made by men and women about how they wish to arrange their lives. It seems that you are unwilling to admit that they might make those decisions in ways that do not accord with your beliefs and biases. Rather than rail against them, you would do well to consider the justification for your implicit assumption that you would do a better job in running their lives than they would (which is questionable at best), and the further assumption that even if you could do a better job, you are entitled to do so, and they are obligated to comply.

15 10 2009
Derek R

This was an excellent read, thanks for posting it.

22 10 2009
Snidey

women are GREAT at math. that is why we have relized that men get paid more than men. duh!! anyway, women should get paid the same amount as men. if not more. (single mothers) you could have one woman working the same job as a man and the same hours. the woman might earn less. even if its just by $.10, it will affect her in the long run. please rethink your answer and ask some working women how much they earn, then compare to a list of men. and then tell me why they earn more than us.

ps you will NOT get a high 5 from any female.

29 10 2009
Anonymous

Who wrote this?

12 11 2009
Anonymous

look up the statistics women get paid 77 cents to a man’s dollar in the same job…hello there is a wage gap read Evelyn’s Murphy article

24 05 2010
True True

Thanks, great read and backs what i have been saying for years. In a previous role I was paid less than women in my positioned as i had been in the role one year less than them. Our manager would ask all males to help *insert heavy lifting task* and then still be required to complete the same amount of data processing as the females. THIS is sexist, I SHOULD be paid more if more is asked of me. In reverse if a male has left his role for a period of time to raise family he would be missing out on the experiances that would lead him to a pay rise (in the doctor reference perhaps some surgival skill may not be demonstrated as he was not available at the time required), however as society is now, females are more prodominatly family orientated then their male counterparts. If a male stays at work and recieves the oportunity to make more money, does that really make up for missing so much of his childrens up bringing? I say equal rights would be allowing perternity leave for males at the same duration and reward as females recieve, this would be a remarkable step towards balancing out the family structure allowing for more women of the family continue their career paths uninterupted. Of course it will take more than that to completely level the field and changes centuries of alpha male conditioning and the persona that women are better care givers.

13 08 2010
Anonymous

Stumbled across this page through Google. Great read, and some great responses to feminist accusations here. I am completely female, and I absolutely can’t stand feminism.

15 08 2010
Linnea

“I am completely female, and I absolutely can’t stand feminism.”

You “can’t stand” feminism? I hear so many girls and women say this nowadays, and it never ceases to astound me.

Do you know what feminism is? Feminism is “the doctine advocating social, political and all other rights of women equal to those of men.”

That’s the dictionary definition from dictionary.com.

So, if you “absolutely can’t stand feminism,” it means you believe that women should be treated as second-class citizens. It means you believe that women are inferior to men, and should be treated as inferiors.

Is that REALLY what you believe? That you’re not as good as a man? Because that’s what you’re saying when you say you’re not a feminist.

Whether anyone cares to acknowledge it or not, feminism has taken a huge backlash in the last 15 years. When I was a little girl, in the early 1990s, girls were proud to be feminists. And the media enthusiastically promoted the idea of the career woman.

Nowadays the media is back to glorifying motherhood instead of career, and it’s all-too-common to hear girls and women say things like, “Well, I’m no feminist, of course…” or “I absolutely can’t stand feminism.”

Anyone who thinks women now enjoy full social equality to men is either delusional, in denial, or not very observant.

For one thing, women are still judged primarily by their looks, rather than their character and abilities.

Most mainstream movies, TV shows and popular fiction books are still told from a male perspective.

Promiscuous women are still sluts, while promiscuous men are “players.”

Lots of men still have a SERIOUS problem when their wife or girlfriend makes more money than him. So often women are punished for their success with loneliness. This problem NEVER happens to men. No woman feels threatened when her man makes more than her, since that fits with traditional gender norms.

While the idea of the career woman was heavily promoted by the media in the 1980s through the mid-1990s, the media has now reverted to promoting housewifery as the most important job a woman can do. Being a housewife is once again glorified, the way it was in the late-1950s to early-1960s, when Betty Freidan published The Feminine Mystique.

It is perhaps unavoidable that women are paid less. Since women are the ones who carry to term, give birth to and nurse the babies, women who want children will always have to take time off from work.

That is why, until we can figure out a solution to that problem, alimony and child support still exist. But there are lots of men who think alimony and child support are unfair to men! As Miin says, “there is always the argument that a woman is expected to have a child and raise it without being paid a dime.” Yes. What a tragedy it is when a man has to face financial consequences for the unprotected sex he freely chose to have.

Uncleduke316’s thoughts are exactly what I hear from men all the time nowadays (although usually in much uglier and more offensive words): “now that women can sue for not making the same as men for the same job…that means they can pay the same insurance, support men and they certainly don’t need alimony. since they are the better parents and the equals and betters of men that means they can raise kids on their own and certainly the tax payers don’t need to support single mothers since they are perfectly capable of accepting responsbility for their decisions and are certainly the equal of men when facing the harsh realities of life aren’t they?”

While his intentions are good, Uncleduke seems to be missing the point of the article, which was that women earn less than men because they give birth to the kids and usually end up being the primary caregiver. You can’t sue for unequal pay when the reason you’re paid unequally is that you took two years off to have babies.

So if you’re a woman who chooses to have a baby, you now have the financial burden of a child, PLUS lower wages. So tell me why it’s unfair that the father be forced to help out financially, since he is the one who’s wages are unaffected by parenthood?

“If a male stays at work and receives the opportunity to make more money, does that really make up for missing so much of his childrens upbringing?”

The point is that men have the freedom to CHOOSE whether they want to take time off from work to have a baby. A woman does not have this choice. Since she has to carry the child around for nine months, give birth to it, and then recuperate afterwards, she HAS to take time off.

So, women are forced to choose between career advancement and motherhood. Men have the luxury of choosing between career advancement and fatherhood only when they want to make that choice.

Until someone invents the technology that enables men to carry babies to term and give birth to them, this will always be an issue. Nobody’s saying there’s a conscious, deliberate male conspiracy at work to keep women down. But still, women ARE kept down, simply because they are women.

And the fact that the pay gap has narrowed greatly since the 1970s does not by any means indicate that everything’s equal now. It certainly is not. Social equality does not come as a package with legal and political equality. Rather, legal and political equality are achieved first, and then hopefully, over time, social equality can be achieved. Social equality takes much, much longer to achieve, as it involves changing the way people think.

And I personally believe that women will never be equal to men in all aspects of society. You know why? Because women are just as sexist against women as men are. For every misogynist man who harbors the deeply offensive delusion that women have all the power in society now and men are the second-class citizens, there is a brainwashed idiot woman who’s proud to proclaim that “I absolutely can’t stand feminism!”

15 08 2010
Linnea

Didn’t want to post this a THIRD time, but, “doctine” should be “doctrine” in the third paragraph. Sorry about that.

5 03 2011
Carissa

It’s actually vey hard for men to get “maternity” (paternity?) leave to be with the kids. Men also often feel pressure to continue working or even to increase their working hours to provide for wife and child. I think you’re misinterpreting the sometimes difficult choices men make as “luxuries”.

Women should not be paid for having kids – (unless it’s in your contract, which is a whole other can of worms). We get paid to do certain tasks at a job; if having children incapacitates us from completing the tasks, then we will not get paid. As working from home becomes easier, it will be easier for both women (and men) to continue to work while they’re raising a family. However, they will ultimately work fewer hours than someone who is single and able to devote more of their time to the tasks at work.

I think we as women should stop demanding remuneration as recognition for bearing and raising children, thankless though the job may be at times; it cheapens the value of our children.

Question: why does any advocation of human rights for women have to defined as “feminism”? The term itself segregates womens’ rights from other human rights – do we want to be segregated from men forever? I thought the idea was to be treaded equally.
“Feminism” was very relevant at one point in time, and I am grateful for the freedoms I enjoy today – but it seems that an increasing number of women are not feeling represented by modern feminism, and are thus disowning the term, myself included.
I cannot stand “feminism” because of what feminism has come to stand for today. it is no longer just about advocating womens’ rights. Badgering women to enter the sciences just to up the ratio of women to men or shaming them for wanting a family is no more of a choice than being forced into “traditional” gender roles. Moreover, what “rights” do we want? Do we want sexual freedom or faithful men and stable families? The past generations have demonstrated that these two “rights” are in opposition to one another – which do we choose to advocate? Should we merely choose the opposite simply because the other is “traditional and therefore a symbol of oppression”?

In addition, the man-hating and misandry MUST STOP. I am tired of making men “the enemy”. I work with men. I LIKE men. We need them, and they need us. Misandry only helps reinforce misogyny by giving male sexist pigs a weasel out (“they’re as bad as us, so we’re justified!”) – plus it makes us the bigger idiots for having recognised and condemned the behaviour and then turned around and behaved in the exact same way. We need men on board with us to end the bigotry. The Battle of the Sexes should actually be called “The War of the Sexes” and NO ONE WINS in war. Everyone loses.

17 08 2011
Schadenfreudian

Well-expressed, Carissa. Your comments dispell the notion that women think in a monolithic, Borg-like manner (as witnessed on any Oprah show, clucking approval and disapproval with nary a dissenter in the groupthink audience).

15 08 2010
Linnea

“All high achievers in all walks of life … put in long hours into their activity,” Professor Wooden said.

“It’s (the pay equity gap) got a lot to do with the fact that women are not prepared to work longer hours.”

The only male taking part in a National Press Club panel discussion about the pay equity gap, Prof Wooden’s remarks drew gasps from the mostly female audience.

Sorry, but my thoughts on this hadn’t quite coalesced when I wrote the first comment.

I can’t speak for the women in that audience, but the reason I gasped — actually, it was more of a short, guttural grunt — was because what he said was really offensive.

Because ever since women have joined the workforce, we’ve been forced to choose between motherhood and career, and whichever choice we make, we’re denigrated for it. If a woman doesn’t want children and only wants a career, then there’s something wrong with her. She unnatural. But if she wants to take time off to raise children, she’s not focused enough on her career. If she wants to have both children AND a career, then she’s not focused enough on her kids.

So for this guy to come along and basically say that women don’t have the necessary work ethic to to be extremely successful, because of their desire to have children, is incredibly offensive. Even more offensive when you consider that not all women want to have children.

More offensive STILL is the smirking comment about “gasps from the women in the audience,” as if they had no right to be offended.

Again, the point I’m trying to make is not that it’s men’s fault that women are the ones who not only carry, give birth to and nurse the children, but are also still the primary caregivers in society.

My point is that to blame women for it is no more fair, but women ARE blamed for it. But we’re not only blamed for being the ones who are the birthgivers and caregivers; we’re also denigrated if we don’t conform to that role!

Women who have high-powered careers and children feel a LOT of pressure to spend more time with their kids. They are always at risk of being labeled bad mothers for not being home with the kids enough. But again, if they don’t spend enough time at their jobs, then it’s because they are not focused enough on their career or don’t have the proper work ethic to succeed. And, again, if they don’t want kids at all, then there must be something wrong with them.

Again, nobody’s saying there’s a conscious, deliberate conspiracy to keep women down. But the old prejudices, double-standards, double-expectations, and traditional gender roles haven’t gone away. Consciously or unconsciously, they still influence people’s thinking very much. But they are ESPECIALLY damaging right now, as everybody seems to think that the prejudice doesn’t even exist anymore.

Perhaps, like the inescapable fact that only women have babies, traditional gender roles and misogyny will always exist. What disturbs me most of all is not that things are still not equal, but that most people I encounter — male and female — seem to be under the impression that they are.

Interesting comment but unfortunately I think you still don’t get it. I think most people simply understand that some differences are normal and natural and nothing can be done about them. They just moved on. Period.

On another hand, many still cling on to the idea that with a bit of outreach, social engineering and politically correct injustice (given equal conditions for unequal merit is injustice) can deliver some Nirvana of equality for all.

A free society where individuals are allowed to make personal choices will always be to some degree unequal. Males and females do make different choices (some of them by natural design) and therefore will have different outcomes. Only a society where our choices are limited from above or the outcomes are predefined arbitrarily can deliver equal outcomes for all, but such society cannot be free or just.

28 11 2010
Linnea

So what you’re saying is, “Inequality and prejudice will always exist, so just accept it and get over it?”

Funny how you can only say a thing like that to women. You can’t say a thing like that to black people, illegal immigrants, gays, handicapped people, or any other group. What would the reaction be, I wonder, if you told black people, “The majority of your kind will always live in the ghetto and work crap jobs. Prejudice will always be around, so just get over it and be happy getting me my french fries.”

Or, how about telling gays, “Conservatives in America are never going to like you, so just accept the fact that you can’t get married like first-class citizens, and that gay lynchings are always going to happen now and then.”

“A free society where individuals are allowed to make personal choices will always be to some degree unequal.”

Yes, that’s fine when we’re talking about someone who has squandered their life as a drug addict, or someone who chooses to rob banks and then spends 15 years in jail and can’t get a decent job when they get out.

But we’re not talking about those kinds of choices. We’re talking about the choice to have children, which is fundamental and all-encompassing. The majority of people eventually have children, and the right to do so is considered essential (so essential, in fact, that even crack addicts who’ve had and abused five children already are still not forcibly sterilized). Not only is it an essential liberty, it is essential for the continuation of the human race.

Yet women are penalized for being the ones responsible for this essential function of human existence.

It is egregiously unfair to tell women, “Too bad, you’ll always be paid less because you’re the ones who have children. Having children is a choice, and we all have to be responsible for our choices.”

It is especially unfair considering that all these women’s mates do not have to suffer the same consequences. If you’re a man and your wife or girlfriend has children, then she is the only one who suffers the consequences for the choice that BOTH of you made.

“Males and females do make different choices (some of them by natural design) and therefore will have different outcomes.”

But men and women do not make different choices. They make the same choices, but women are the only ones who have to suffer consequences for them.

When a couple chooses to have babies, it is a choice that BOTH of them make. It’s not a choice the woman makes on her own. The man is just as responsible for making the choice to have kids as the woman is. But the woman is the only one who is penalized for it with lesser pay and limited opportunities for advancement.

“Some differences are normal and natural and nothing can be done about them.”

Ah, yes, the rallying cry of the segregationists.

That’s not true. Something can be done. Women get paid less because they take time off to have children. So, why not make it easier for people to work from home, so women can stay on at their jobs AND be at home with their kids for the first few years of their lives?

The fact is, you just want women to shut up and stop complaining about being disadvantaged because you don’t like being the Great White Male Oppressor. You want all oppression to be the fault of the person oppressed, so you don’t have to take any more crap for being a straight white Protestant male.

29 11 2010
Linnea

Just wanted to add one more thing. I’m actually just repeating what I said earlier, but apparently the point was lost on you the first time.

“A free society where individuals are allowed to make personal choices will always be to some degree unequal.”

What you’re doing here is blaming women for being the ones who give birth to the children, and for being the de facto caregivers to said children.

Again, it’s egregiously unfair to call having and raising children a “personal choice” that women must silently suffer the consequences for. How on earth is it our fault that nature made the female the one who gives birth to the children? And how on earth is it our fault that women are the de facto childrearers in society?

Again, I’m not saying that it’s men’s fault that women are the ones who have children and raise them. My point is that to blame women for it is no more fair, yet you ARE blaming women for it.

Having and raising children is not a “personal choice.” It’s an essential act that ensures the continuation of the human race. And we women did not ask to be the ones who give birth to and raise the children. Nature made us that way. Nature made the choice. Not us.

Having and raising children is not a personal choice, any more than being born a woman is a personal choice. Why should we have to suffer consequences for something that isn’t our fault and which we did not ask for?

Any society that wasn’t inherently misogynistic would exalt and celebrate us for being the ones chosen by nature to perform this essential function, rather than blaming us for it and calling it a “personal choice” that we must suffer the consequences for.

Any society that didn’t inherently despise women would bend over backwards to make it easier for us to have both a full-time career and children. We wouldn’t even be discussing the idea of making it easier for new mothers to work from home. Women would already have been given the option to work from home. It would have been handed to us on a silver platter, along with a dozen roses.

And again, the choice to have children is not one a woman makes on her own. Most of the time, the man is just as responsible. Having children is a decision that the man and the woman usually make together. Yet the woman is the only one who is told that it’s a Personal Choice for which she so deservedly must suffer consequences.

Essentially you are saying that it’s our fault that we’re the ones who have children. It’s our fault that women are the ones born with uteruses and ovaries and all that stuff. And it’s our fault that society has made us the primary caregivers to the children.

Thanks for your contribution to our debate.

Firstly, I never said that childbearing is a personal choice, you are simply reading into what I wrote.

Secondly, it is disingenuous for you to claim that childbearing is not a personal choice as if it something that happens spontaneously without any input from the woman. Pregnancy is not a decrease that strikes people down indiscriminately.

Thirdly, I do not blame women for having children. I am just stating the obvious that employers and business owners are in the business of producing goods in services, not facilitating “essential functions of human existence”. This is what responsible adults are expected to arrange themselves using the proceeds of what they earn in the process of producing goods and services.

You also completely overlook the flip side of your argument. I love my children and would love to spend more time with them. I envy my wife who is going to spend another year at home raising them while I slave long hours in a job that I do not particularly love so I can provide for my family. It would be better for us financially if my wife went to work but she chooses not to because she enjoys her time with kids, and she is happy to suffer the financial penalty.

When I say that men and women are different what I mean that in a normally functioning family unit our roles are different but complementary. I work hard, so my wife can stay at home. It is highly simplistic to look at a single set of statistics such as wages and scream discrimination.

29 11 2010
Linnea

“Firstly, I never said that childbearing is a personal choice, you are simply reading into what I wrote.”

Well, it certainly sounds like that’s what you said:

“A free society where individuals are allowed to make personal choices will always be to some degree unequal. Males and females do make different choices (some of them by natural design) and therefore will have different outcomes.”

Presumably the “different choices (some of them by natural design)” you’re referring to here are childbirth and childrearing. So it seems you are including those things among the “personal choices” you mentioned in the previous sentence.

“Secondly, it is disingenuous for you to claim that childbearing is not a personal choice as if it something that happens spontaneously without any input from the woman. Pregnancy is not a decrease that strikes people down indiscriminately.”

In the last paragraph you said you never said childbearing was a personal choice. Now you’re implying that it is. Which is it?

Yes, having children is a choice. But it’s not a choice like choosing to drink every night, or choosing to spend your evenings at the gym. It’s not some frivolous thing that a person can easily give up with a little willpower. It’s extremely unfair to tell women that we must choose between having a great career and having children.

You also ignored my main point, which is that having children is a choice that a couple usually makes TOGETHER. It’s not a choice the woman makes on her own; the man is equally responsible for making the decision. Even if the pregnancy was an accident, the man is still just as responsible, since he knew the risks when he decided to have sex with her.

So, yes, in effect, you are blaming women for being the childbearers. You’re saying that only women must suffer the consequences for a decision they and their boyfriends/husbands made together. The man and the woman both made the decision to have children, but the woman is the only one to suffer for it, since the child actually grows in her body. It’s not her fault that only women have babies, but she must suffer for it anyway.

“Thirdly, I do not blame women for having children. I am just stating the obvious that employers and business owners are in the business of producing goods in services, not facilitating “essential functions of human existence”. This is what responsible adults are expected to arrange themselves using the proceeds of what they earn in the process of producing goods and services.”

Employers are required to reasonably accomodate workers with special needs, such as handicapped employees or those with chronic illness. I don’t see why it’s so unreasonable to advocate making it easier for new mothers to work at home for the first couple of years after having children.

Again, we’re not talking about taking time off to write a novel or travel around the world. We’re talking about having children, which is something the majority of people do eventually and which is supposed to be the most important thing in a person’s life. It’s not a woman’s fault that pregnancy and childbirth incapacitate her.

Employers are required to make allowances — like lots of extra sick days — for employees with AIDS. They’re required to do this even if it’s the person’s own fault they got AIDS, because they were sharing needles or having unprotected sex.

I see no difference between that and giving new mothers the option of working from home while their kids are very, very young. Yes, having kids is not like being stricken with MS or Parkinson’s. It’s more like getting AIDS from sharing needles or not using condoms: yes, it’s your own fault that you got AIDS, but once you’ve got it, you can’t control it, so it’s unfair to penalize you for it.

Yes, a woman makes a choice to have kids. But she did not make the choice to have the child grow inside her. Nature made that choice for her. It’s her fault she’s pregnant, but it’s not her fault that pregnancy incapacitates her. And her boyfriend/husband makes the same choice, but suffers no consequences.

Why should women be the only ones to suffer consequences for having and raising children, when the reason for it is biology and societal norms, both of which are completely beyond a woman’s control?

“Because that’s just the way it is,” is not sufficient justification for any kind of discrimination, not even subtle and unconscious discrimination such as this.

“You also completely overlook the flip side of your argument. I love my children and would love to spend more time with them. I envy my wife who is going to spend another year at home raising them while I slave long hours in a job that I do not particularly love so I can provide for my family. It would be better for us financially if my wife went to work but she chooses not to because she enjoys her time with kids, and she is happy to suffer the financial penalty.”

I addressed this point in my original posts. The point is that men have the luxury of choosing whether they want to take off time from work to raise their kids. Women do not have this luxury. Since the child is actually growing inside their bodies, they HAVE to take time off to have the child and recuperate afterwards. And since they’re already taking time off to have the kid — and since societal norms demand that they be the primary caregivers — they usually end up being the one who takes a few years off to raise the kid.

“When I say that men and women are different what I mean that in a normally functioning family unit our roles are different but complementary. I work hard, so my wife can stay at home.”

This is the same idea that was heavily promoted by the media and by psychologists in the 1950s to early 1960s: that everyone has a different role in society that they are supposed to conform to. Men and women have different but complementary roles: the man earns the money, and the woman raises the kids and keeps house.

And if that’s what you want, then that’s fine. But not everyone wants to play those roles. The problem is when you use this “different but complementary roles” idea to justify forcing women who don’t want to be housewives/primary caregivers into that role.

Not all women are happy to give up their careers for their kids. As I said earlier, whichever choice a woman makes, she can’t win. If she wants to take time off from work to be with her kids, then she doesn’t have the proper work ethic. But if she DOESN’T want to take time off to be with her kids, then she’s a bad mother.

Women are ALWAYS at risk of being labeled bad mothers if they aren’t home with their kids enough. Which is why this idea that men and women have different but complementary roles to play is so damaging and insidious. It forces women to choose between career and motherhood, and to choose motherhood over career, by claiming that childrearing is a woman’s natural place in life, and she must live up to her biological destiny.

“It is highly simplistic to look at a single set of statistics such as wages and scream discrimination.”

It is just as simplistic to look at a single set of statistics such as wages and proclaim that discrimination against women doesn’t exist anymore.

15 03 2011
John

Linnea, the entire point of your argument seems to be:

Women have to suffer by carrying a child for 9 months, and men don’t. Therefore society & men owe women who have children.

You act as if men have no consequences for their actions.
People suffer the consequences of their choices regardless of gender. The only difference is is some people accept them and take responsibility for them, and others seek to pawn off that responsibility on others or on society.

You seem to be trying to pawn off the responsibility of the actions of women who choose to have kids. A great many fathers bust their butts every day at their job so their family can enjoy a hot meal every night.

Employers are not daycare management I personally do not agree with maternity leave as you are paying someone when they are not doing their job.

It is indeed a choice to have children these days. With all the birth control methods available, a woman who does not want to have kids can still have sex regularly and avoid pregnancy.

Getting drunk or doing something very irresponsible and then getting pregnant is your own fault, and society does not owe you anything for the actions you took by your own free will.

Earlier you said you were a little girl in the 90’s, which means you are probably around my age (21-25). You have a lot to learn about life still. The only reason I know as much as I do at my early age (I still sometimes think i know everything) is because life was unfortunately unfair to me in a physical way.

Though nature gave me scoliosis of the spine, I do not expect society to extend their hand to me because of the inequality that exists between my spine and the rest of everyone elses spine.

True equality never can really exist in a free society, and I would not want to live in one that could, as it would be the worst slavery imaginable.

We live in a society where the level of your wealth is entirely dependent on You.

You make your own choices.
You face the consequences of your own choices.

Your argument seems to be one gigantic whine that boils down to: “When women have kids, they get paid less because they are not working. Well this is unfair dammit we want to get paid and stay home to raise children”

Sorry sweetheart, you can’t have it both ways. Perhaps women who want both can start early, and by age 28-32 have achieved significant wealth, and then can settle down and have children.

Everybody has different goals and things they want to achieve. The mothers-to-be can have children. And the career-minded women can have careers end of story.

19 06 2011
Anonymous

all i’m going to say is that nobody FORCED you to choose between motherhood and a career. you CHOSE to choose between motherhood and a career. A man can’t have both any more than you can. If I wanted to go out and adopt a child, i’d be under the same constraints as you would for personally giving birth to one. You act like it’s some big sexist surprise when a woman chooses to have a child and is expected to then raise it…

31 10 2010
thelook4u

hey folks,

I hear all this arguments of women getting paid less than their male counterparts, but what I don’t hear is “what are you going to do about it? How can you attempt to solve this issue when you can’t even reach common ground.
Someone made the remarks about “men leaving women” so what they do it everyday..why would you date or have kids by guys like that. I’m sure you had sometype of warning letting you know how these guys really are. The question should be, what can women do to make sure they get paid the same amount as their male counterparts?

2 11 2010
Anonymous

First I want to say very good read, I love reading these debates; because it means even if you don’t recognize this as a problem your at least putting in the time and research to debate it. And thats all we can hope with problems such as pay inequality. You may say ” well get out there and do something”, but what can you do? I know it was stated that something like this could never happen, but it does… and companies get away with it by making talking about you and your peer’s wages a fire able offense. How do you fight something your not even suppose to know?
I’m in my senior year of college, and from what i’ve witnessed already I’m nervous for what the future hold. I work full time at a chain restaurant, after being there for a year i started to talk to some of the males i work with… ALL of them make more money than me. The infuriating example was when a 18 year old kid got hired with one previous job on his record, and no intention to attend college. Not only does he work part time ( i work over 40 hours a week), but he is the laziest employee i have ever met. He makes 40 cents and hour more than me. How is that fair? I take on the tasks of manager when my manager gets lazy and doesn’t feel like doing any of his own work. i understand this is on the lower end of the job scale but from what i can see down here, pay inequality exists.
As i was reading through these different topics certain things struck me so please excuse my writing if it sounds like i’m jumping around.
Feminism, it amazes me how many people will not associate themselves with this idea. And its all because the paradigm of it has shifted so drastically. Even when i tell people the true meaning of it ( which was stated in an earlier post) , they will agree with the idea but refuse to accept that they are feminist. It’s all because people associate the idea of feminism with RADICAL feminism, we’re not all man hating bra burning crazy bitches. In all actuality only a small percentage of feminists are. But it’s that stigma that has stuck with the picture of feminism, so please do me a favor and through that picture out the window… I don’t view all men as evil pigs… so don’t view what i am from the picture painted by a few.
Next, someone threw the glass shield law in as sexism against men, please explain that one to me… if i’m recalling correctly isn’t that the law that protects women from having their sexual history brought up in court… how is that sexism against men? women are seen as whores if they have had multiple partners, so in order for the jury or judge not to view them that way history should be left out ( and if you mean because men’s history isn’t left out, maybe it’s because most of these cases where it’s used has to do with rape, and lets all think about the percentage of women being raped to men being raped… enough said)… While learning about this law in a crime and justice class ( My teacher who was a male lawyer) pointed out a shocking problem… in a class half women half men he asked the question can a prostitute be raped…all the women immediately said yes, the men were confused.
Next, I love how when i was reading i saw double binds the whole way threw… an example; yes women take time off from work for children, but someone stated men dont get rights when it come to abortions… so because of TWO people’s stupid mistake… the man should be able to decide if the girl has to take off work… correct? Because if a women is forced to carry a child doesn’t she still need time off to birth the child and recover, and wont she say not be able to do all the normal jobs she may have… especially if her job was in manual labor?… so if a girl gets pregnant on purpose or by accident … she still has to suffer? ok…this logic is great… please someone tell me again how women are not viewed as second class citizens. WE have rights over our bodies and until you can take the egg and sperm out and grow the full baby in a test tube to term… men have no business in the affairs of abortion
Also… not all women have children… and unless you want NO women to have children… stop being ignorant and give us fair pay…. Maybe women should get paid as much as men even when they take time off… because, maybe WE RE CONTINUING THE GROWTH OF THE SPECIES. come on now people… we would die out if women didnt have children… maybe give us a little respect and dont hold it against us. Think about it this way if things continue as they are, women will stop having children… it will take time, but it will happen. If we keep getting punished for an action eventually we re gonna stop doing it… and how will the men feel when they get married and suddenly their wives wont have kids because society has pressured them not to. SO men if you want kids, or if you have kids and you want your own children to have children …stop unequal pay or the baby producing machine made up of the women of this world will stop too.

19 11 2010
mike

Women and men will never agree on this topic. Its futile trying to discuss it. Bottom line ladies, if you want equal pay then earn it.
Not mentioned in these rants are that women often have the option of marrying for money and working part time, which men don’t.

28 11 2010
Linnea

Wrong. Men have the option of marrying for money, just like women do. There are trophy husbands, just like there are trophy wives.

By making misogynist comments like this, you’re just proving my point that feminism is in the midst of a serious backlash.

20 07 2011
xcvxdr

I’m sure women would understand the concept of being biased against, are you deliberately being ignorant?

You really think it’s just as easy for a man to become a trophy husband as it is for a wife to become… well, just a traditional wife?

12 02 2013
Brad

That is the biggest load of horseshit I have ever heard. “It may have happened once or twice, therefore it can happen to anyone”.

26 05 2011
Catherine

Mike: Men DON’T have the option to marry for money and/or work part-time? What rock do you live under? Ever heard of a “sugar mama”. And why can’t men work part-time… Great argument… Not.

1 12 2010
Carlos

I’m a trophy. I am a big hawt stud who cooks, does dishes and always look my best. I think Ladies should get paid more so I don’t have to work.

5 06 2011
Linnea

Carlos — call me! ;)

8 02 2011
Frida

There are actually some differences that doesn’t have one of those logical answers you have. In healthcare, the average work hours for women have raised to around male work hours. The whole pediatrics thing have gone down to 30% women, which is how many men are in pediatrics. Guess the gap for a woman and a man who both have specialty jobs which pay more(like, for instance, surgeons).17000 dollars. That’s ridiculous! And even so, studies have shown that a great number of women work more hours than the men. (not a majority, but quite big) Even the mommy pauses don’t affect their pay that much!

16 02 2011
hannibalkeyes23

thanks for this sound article- you make a very reasonable argument for the wage difference between men and women. As a woman, obviously I wish women wouldn’t be forced to make the choice between career and work, as many are. However, I do believe that our society has made remarkable advances towards equality for men and women in only a number of decades, and that the inequalities that still exist are due to the capitalist nature of our country rather than anything inherently sexist about the system. (that is not to say that i am anti-capitalist!)

16 02 2011
hannibalkeyes23

i meant to say – “between a career and having children”

30 03 2011
Mark

Linnea, you are correct. Men can marry-up, but not often.

Marrying-up doesn’t just mean marrying someone who is wealthy. A woman earning 35k who marries a man earning 45k has married-up.

Census reports have always shown that women are much more likely to marry a man who is higher on the socioeconomic ladder. Currently, 3/4 of married women have husbands who earn more money.

I know well over 50 couples. Out of those 50 couples, there are only 2 in which the wife earns more than the husband. Also, 1 of those 2 couples started out with the husband earning more. Overtime, the wife used her husbands income to go back to school, and thus, she is now earning more than him.

I am willing to bet the same thing about the couples you personally know. I doubt you know more in which the wife earned more than the husband on the day of their wedding. I’m also sure that most men reading this would be able to do the same.

Women are now getting a taste of equality, and they can’t stand it.

30 03 2011
Mark

Also, why is it that feminists are generally in their early-to-mid-20’s?

I guess by their late-20’s, they just marry a man of better means and forget about their college feminist days.

26 05 2011
Catherine

Mark, stop typing…. or wait are you 11 or 12 years old?
maybe because of the generations … and anyways where is your factual evidence? i know plenty of feminists who are in their 40’s and 50’s

23 04 2011
Michelle

lol i like Rita. Viva la mujer!!!!!!!!

26 04 2011
Anonymous

go rita!!!!!!!!!!!

2 05 2011
Anonymous

I was looking in the schoolastic book of world records and came across tennis… the worlds top earning female tennis player (steffi graf) earned 21.8 million dollars in her 17-year career. The worlds top earning man (pete sampras) earned more than 43 million dollars during his 13-year career! so graf earned less money, but worked for longer and had more wins than sampras did! pete sampras had 762 victories, while steffi graf had 902. I think this is very unfair and just shows that women are being payed less.

17 06 2011
Anonymous

Maybe its due to the fact that males pay and attend more on sport events then females. plus Sampras would kick Graf’s behind, i would pay more to see Sampras as his skills are 10 fold better, plus males play more sets in tennis than females meaning they actualy put in more hours per game.

23 05 2011
Anonymous

That’s only because men are physically stronger and are therefore more able to attract audiences to their sports. The women’s tennis organizations can not afford to pay their players more, simply because fewer people watch women’s sports.

3 06 2011
Linnea

Re: John: “Women have to suffer by carrying a child for 9 months, and men don’t. Therefore society & men owe women who have children…You make your own choices.
You face the consequences of your own choices.
Your argument seems to be one gigantic whine that boils down to: “When women have kids, they get paid less because they are not working. Well this is unfair dammit we want to get paid and stay home to raise children””

That is a gross oversimplification. As you said yourself, “The mothers-to-be can have children. And the career-minded women can have careers end of story.”

What about women who want both? “Sorry sweetheart, you can’t have it both ways.” Oh, okay. So a woman must choose between a career and motherhood? Then why don’t men have to make the same choice? Because inequality still exists. Men have the privilege of being able to have both fatherhood and career, while women do not. That. Is. Inequality.

To say that women must choose between motherhood and career, for no other reason than the fact that they are women, is the very definition of gender discrimination: women are denied the same opportunities men have, for no other reason than that they are women. That. Is. Discrimination.

And I find your reasoning regarding disabilities to be poorly thought-out. You have scoliosis, yet, “I do not expect society to extend their hand to me because of the inequality that exists between my spine and the rest of everyone elses spine.”

Well, maybe you should. Are you saying that things like disability and unemployment and welfare are a bad idea? You think that someone who is suddenly stricken with a debilitating medical problem should be thrown on the street? No money from the government to help them get by? I hope you remember this point of yours, when you or a family member comes down with MS or Parkinson’s or quadriplegia or an inoperable brain tumor, and cannot work.

And I suppose you think that a drug addict who gets AIDS from sharing needles should just go die in an alley somewhere, because they made their choice and now must suffer the consequences. Or that a smoker who is poor and gets lung cancer should just suffer and die alone without any medical treatment. That is cruel. A humane and progressive society is one that understands that people who are sick or in pain deserve help, regardless of why they are sick or in pain.

And I suppose you think that someone who is laid off and can’t find another job in this economy should just starve? They don’t deserve to be on unemployment or welfare, because it’s their “responsibility” to take care of themselves? Give me a break. You know what, give the human race a break. People are not perfect. Everyone makes mistakes. Some people make far bigger mistakes than others, but that doesn’t mean they deserve to be judged and condemned rather than helped.

“A great many fathers bust their butts every day at their job so their family can enjoy a hot meal every night.” Again, the point is that a man does not have to choose between career and family. He can work late all the time and still be considered a good father. Moreover, he can choose between quitting his job and staying home with his kids, or having a demanding job, and society has no real problem with whichever choice he makes. I suppose if he quits his job and stays home, many might call him a sissy for not being the man in the family, but he won’t be denigrated and scorned for it. If a woman chooses career, then she’s a bad mother. If she chooses motherhood, then she is unambitious and unwilling to work hard.

Okay, I can concede that men are under some pressure to be the breadwinners, just like how women are pressured to be the caregivers. But the fact remains, only women are told that they cannot have a career and be mothers at the same time. Men are not told that they must quit their jobs or they are bad fathers.

Moreover, this still calls for a change in our way of thinking. Earlier, Latteologist stated that in a normal family unit, “our roles are different yet complementary.” True, but the problem is that women are pressured to play one role and men are pressured to play the other, when one of them or both may not want that role.

The idea that men are normally the breadwinners and women the caregivers is true, but that does not make it the way it “should” be, and that’s where I fear this argument is going: men are naturally breadwinners, women are naturally caregivers, therefore any couple who have reversed these roles are strange and unnatural.

The idea that women are supposed to be caregivers and men breadwinners was a very popular idea that was heavily promoted in the 1950s, and it is one of the major things that forced women to give up careers for motherhood. Women were told by psychologists and women’s magazines that their role was mother and housekeeper, and that that was the natural order of things. Implicit in this was the assumption that a woman choosing career instead of motherhood was an unspeakable abomination, a crime against nature. In fact, this idea takes up a whole chapter of Betty Freidan’s, The Feminine Mystique, and if I could find my copy of the book I would quote it.

I can concede that men are under pressure NOT to quit their jobs to raise the kids, just like how women are under pressure to quit and raise the kids, although I still contend that women are under more pressure, and moreover, that women are told they must choose between a job and a family, while men can have both. For example, you freely admit that you think a woman “can’t have it both ways.” A woman can’t have a career and motherhood? Apparently, we’re not allowed to hire a babysitter to take care of the kids while we’re at work. But men can make this choice. They can come home after their kids are asleep every night and still be called a good daddy. Just a daddy who wants to provide for his family as best he can.

But a woman who comes home after her kids are asleep is a bad mother. Period. According to you, we’re not allowed to choose a career and hire a babysitter instead of staying home with the kids. Women must either not have children, or not have a career, but men can have both. Again, that is the very definition of gender discrimination.

And incidentally, my mother worked full-time all her life, as did my dad. They still do. My brother and I were not any worse off for it. They both came home around 6 to 8 PM each day, and we got home from school around 4 to 6 PM, depending on after school activities. We only spent a couple of hours at home without our parents, except on school vacations. There’s nothing wrong with both parents working. A child is not going to suffer because mommy or daddy aren’t home every waking minute.

And we had some fantastic babysitters who took care of us during the hours without them, and during the day on school vacations. One of them became a very close family friend and came to our high school graduations. We still keep in touch.

And the fact that only women have babies is still a biological fact, not a choice that anybody makes. To say that women don’t deserve maternity leave is to effectively blame women for being the ones who carry and give birth to children, when nature made us that way.

If men can have it both ways, then women should be able to have it both ways, too. To claim otherwise is to imply that women are somehow at fault for being the ones selected by nature to carry and give birth to children, and for being the ones selected by society to be the primary caregivers to children.

My other point is that a choice is not a free choice when society pressures you to pick one and not the other. Society pressures women to be mothers, and then demonizes them if they do not give up their careers for it.

In this society, we put motherhood on a pedestal as the most holy and blessed thing a woman can do with her life. We also have suspicion, pity and contempt for women who don’t want motherhood. Women who do not want children are constantly told they are unnatural and selfish, and that there must be something wrong with them mentally. Case in point: men who are still childless bachelors at age 50 are congratulated on staying single and avoiding getting “tied down” by a woman. Women who are still single and childless at age 50 are pitied and ridiculed as lonely, barren spinsters.

Furthermore, we demonize women who have children and then try to have a career as well. Since we put motherhood on a pedestal as this holy, exalted calling in life, and we demonize women who do not sacrifice everything for it, it is no wonder that women with kids choose to sacrifice their careers. Not because all of them truly WANT to sacrifice their careers, but because it’s better to be called “unambitious” or “not focused on work” than to be called a monster who doesn’t care about her children.

A choice is not a free choice when you are pressured to make one choice rather than another. The idea that women deserve to be paid less because we “choose” motherhood over career is only looking at things on a surface level. Too many women make this choice only because they will be labeled bad mothers if they don’t.

Men are not put under this pressure. A man has to be away from his kids a LOT, in order to be labeled a bad father. A woman can be labeled a bad mother if she doesn’t come home until 8 PM each night. A man has to practically never see or speak to his kids, to be labeled a bad father.

As I said earlier, legal equality does not constitute social equality. The fact that we are legally equal does not mean that discrimination against women doesn’t exist anymore, just like how legal equality does not mean that discrimination against non-whites does not exist anymore.

And all choices are not free choices. For example, the poor tend to have much lower levels of education, along with a whole host of other problems that are rooted in the fact that they are set up to fail. They are pressured to make the wrong choice over and over again.

I suspect you are the kind of person who would argue that, “If you’re poor, it’s your responsibility to work hard in school, win a scholarship to a good college, and forge a decent career for yourself.”

Well, what if you never finished high school because you had to take 20 hours a week off from school to work some menial, minimum-wage job, because your parents couldn’t afford to feed you or put a roof over you and your siblings’ heads without your help? Yes, you chose to not finish high school rather than get a job, but it was not a free choice.

You could make this exact same argument about black or Latino people: “Black and Latino people are poorer than white people, not because of discrimination and inequality, but because blacks and Latinos make different choices. They choose not to work hard in school and get a good secondary education, they choose not to go to college but to jump straight into a job, and they choose to have 10 children when they can only afford 2.”

Nevermind the fact that poverty all but makes these choices for them. Poverty routinely forces you to make bad choices. Poverty also breeds ignorance, and ignorance in turn leads to more bad choices. If you’re poor, then you most likely go to a bad, underfunded school where you can’t get a good education, no matter how hard you try. In many cases, you won’t try in the first place, because your parents are absent or are bad role models, and the teachers are so unhappy and worn-out that they don’t care anymore. Never underestimate the effect of a lack of positive adult influences in a child’s life.

If you’re poor, you can’t afford to go to college, even on a scholarship, because your family needs you to work full-time. If you come from generations of poverty, then your parents and your parents’ parents were badly educated and were never home, and thus were unable (or unwilling for religious or cultural reasons) to teach you things like birth control, or things like how to act professional and fit in among middle-class whites and get a white-collar job.

The fact is, in this society, the level of your wealth is NOT entirely dependent on you. It is largely dependent on the privileges you were born with, be it wealth, or white skin (which typically go hand-in-hand), or a penis.

Oh, and for the record, I’ll be 28 next month. Also, please do not presume to know what my life has been like or what hardships I have faced, and please do not presume that your life has been harder than mine and that you are smarter and wiser as a result. The fact that there’s something wrong with your back does not automatically make you a fountain of wisdom.

“Census reports have always shown that women are much more likely to marry a man who is higher on the socioeconomic ladder. Currently, 3/4 of married women have husbands who earn more money.”

Yes, Mark. That’s because men earn more than women. Usually, “trophy husbands” marry women who are rich because of family money. Because men typically earn more than women.

And of course this has historically been the case. Because for a long time women were not allowed to have careers. Thus, a woman HAD to worry about how much money a potential husband made, because his money would be the only thing supporting her and her kids.

It’s another one of those “a woman can’t win” situations. Women weren’t allowed to have careers, but were denigrated for choosing to marry wealthy men. They chose to marry wealthy men because they HAD to make that choice. If they married a poor man, they and their kids would suffer, because the man was the only one allowed to have a career.

It’s similar to the ubiquitous “women are so vain and shallow and so obsessed with their looks.” Of course we’re obsessed with our looks. We are judged almost solely by our looks. If men were judged almost entirely by how attractive they are, then they would be just as vain as women are.

And I find it hilarious that some of the men here are complaining that women marry men for their money, or for their power or social status, when on the other hand it’s perfectly okay for a man to marry a woman primarily — or even solely — for her looks. At least a person’s power and social status (and sometimes even wealth) have something to do with their character and abilities. Unlike a person’s physical appearance.

17 06 2011
Anonymous

What about women who want both? “Sorry sweetheart, you can’t have it both ways.” Oh, okay. So a woman must choose between a career and motherhood? Then why don’t men have to make the same choice?

We do, i stay at home and raise the kids or i keep my career path moving.

We all have to make the same choice. not just females.

The mother could continue her career and the father stay at home, i see this frequently. and when i don’t it is due to the fact the mother wants to stay at home and raise her children.

When you choose career and your partner stays at home the worker really does miss out, money is not that important compared to firsts like first step, first word etc etc

you pay for it by missing out on parts of your childs life and you get more money for it.

You want the money you miss out on the time with your kids, you spend the time with your kids you miss out on the money.

17 08 2011
Schadenfreudian

Oy vey, what a nag you are, Rita.

14 01 2014
Andrew

Your whole argument is absolutely ridiculous, your written 50 paragraphs of absolute BS. You do realise that the man cant carry the baby right. You do realise that’s breast feeding and bonding with the child for the first few weeks are quite important. After that its a personnel decision between husband and wife as to who works. But wether you like it or not if a woman decides to have children then the woman doesn’t have a choice but to take time off at some stage.

3 06 2011
Linnea

I wish I had thought to add the second paragraph to my original post:

And the fact that only women have babies is still a biological fact, not a choice that anybody makes. To say that women don’t deserve maternity leave is to effectively blame women for being the ones who carry and give birth to children, when nature made us that way.

As I said, when a couple chooses to have a baby, it is a choice that BOTH of them make. It’s not a choice the woman makes on her own. So to deny us maternity leave is to blame us for being the childbearers. It is not our fault that the baby happens to grow inside our body and not yours. Again, both man and woman make the same choice, but only the woman has to suffer for it. That is discrimination.

17 06 2011
Anonymous

yes the mother has a baby, the baby is born and you recover, than you spend the next 12 months of work raising the child. This the choice, the female must bear the child but it is then the choice of who will stay and raise the child.

Why should you get 12 months of maternity leave and i do not get that option as a father? i would love to have stayed with my child for 12 months and let the mother go to work, we get the same pay.

The woman is not the only one that suffers, get out of your defeatest head space and look at this from both sides, i want to raise me child too, maybe BOTH parents should get 12 months pais leave, now THAT would not be discrimination.

27 12 2011
Lili

To quote Marcia Hines: “This is what I’m talking about!” I very much agree with this statement.

4 06 2011
Linnea

Also, since you don’t believe in maternity leave, because “you are paying someone to do their job when they are not working,” then I suppose you also don’t believe in sick days. When you have the flu and cannot get out of bed for 4 days, I suppose you ask your employer to dock you 4 days pay?

17 06 2011
Anonymous

??? when you have a baby you get both sick pay and maternity pay, at my work you do??? My misses used all of her sick pay holiday pay and maternity pay. How is sick pay like maternity pay?? when i have 4 days off for the flu my work just builds up and i do it when i get back???

5 06 2011
Linnea

Re: Mark. More thoughts on women marrying men for their money, power or success/social status.

This all-too-common complaint is largely a reflection of men’s insecurities, rather than any character flaws of women. Men who can’t get laid look at all the rich, powerful and/or successful men who have women fawning over them, and it makes them feel inadequate. Rather than taking a good, hard, critical look at themselves and saying, “Maybe if I worked harder and were smarter and more talented, I could have women fawning all over me,” they make their own shortcomings the fault of women, and say to themselves, “Women are just shallow, stupid bitches who only care about how much money a man makes and how powerful and successful he is.”

A person’s power, success and social status (and typically, as a result of it, their wealth) are related to their character and abilities. You are SUPPOSED to be attracted to a person for their character and abilities. It is ridiculous to complain that women can’t “look past” the fact that you have some petty, low-level job you’re not even good at, and you live in a shabby, decrepit apartment and spend all your free time playing video games, watching TV and looking at internet porn, and become attracted to the “real you.” Honey, that IS the “real you”: a loser with a crap job and a crap apartment who’s wasting his life playing video games and watching TV and porn all day.

But no. If you can’t get women because you’re a loser, then it’s women’s fault that we don’t want losers. Heaven forbid a man’s lack of character, ability and intellect be his own problem.

It is nonsensical and hypocritical, to complain that women are “shallow” for liking a man because he has made something of himself, while on the other hand, it’s somehow not shallow for a man to like a woman solely because she’s thin and pretty. Women are more inclined to look past a man’s physical appearance (up to a certain point, anyway) and become attracted to him for his intellect and talent and overall personality. That’s not shallow. Men, on the other hand, will reject an intelligent, talented woman simply because she’s not hot enough. That IS shallow.

And you know what also turns women off? The idea that we’re stupid and unimportant, and that the things we’re interested in are stupid and unimportant, and that the things we have to say are stupid and unimportant. It’s a vicious cycle for you misogynists: you can’t get laid because women with self-respect don’t like men who hate women. The fact that you can’t get laid makes you hate women even more, which in turn makes you even more unattractive. And the only women you can ever get into bed are prostitutes and drunk women with no self-respect, and women like this only reinforce your negative view of the female gender in general.

This is not to say that there aren’t gold-digging women who only want a man for his money, and have no interest in him as a person. But it never seems to occur to men who are both losers and misogynists that the reason they can’t get laid is because they are both losers and misogynists. Instead, they convince themselves that they can’t get laid because women are just stupid bitches.

When women who are morally decent and have self-respect are attracted to a rich man, it’s because he is highly intelligent, talented, ambitious and hardworking, and has become successful and wealthy as a result of it, and because he is also a kind, decent person who respects women. It’s not the money that’s attractive, but why and how he was able to make the money: because of his character and abilities. And because he doesn’t regard women as prostitutes who trade sex for drinks and dinner, and then later for rent money, nice clothing, jewelry, cars, and vacations.

5 06 2011
Linnea

One last thing. John, since you don’t believe in maternity leave, I suppose you also don’t believe that soldiers returning from duty in Iraq should be able to get their old civilian jobs back? Rather, you believe their employer has the right to permanently terminate their employment and hire a new person to do their job?

After all, they chose to leave their jobs and go serve their country, and we all have to take responsibility for our choices. Rather than trying to “pawn off the responsibility” of their choice to go to war, they should accept that they deserve to lose their jobs when they leave for active duty.

Latteologist, I presume you would also take this position. After all, employers are in the business of producing goods and services, not helping out the people who protect and defend our country.

And, I presume that neither of you believe in sick days nor personal days nor family and medical leave. After all, employers are solely in the business of “producing goods and services,” so the physical and psychological health and welfare of their employees and their employees’ families is something they should not be required to care about.

If for any reason the employee should want or need some time off (for mental or medical problems, or to care for a sick parent…or perhaps, to care for their new baby), then they deserve to lose their job, because employers are in the business of producing goods and services, not helping to keep their employees and their employees’ families happy and healthy. Making sure they and their family are happy and healthy “is what responsible adults are expected to arrange themselves using the proceeds of what they earn in the process of producing goods and services” for their employer. Right?

And of course, “some differences are normal and natural and nothing can be done about them.” Yes, it’s normal and natural for women to earn less because we’re the de facto caregivers to children, just like how it’s normal and natural for blacks and Latinos to live in ghettos and work crappy jobs all their lives.

I mean, the poor choose not to get a good education and a good career. They choose to get pregnant at 15 and drop out of school, and go on to have 5 more kids before they turn 30. They choose to start working at McDonald’s or selling marijuana rather than working hard and winning a college scholarship. And “a free society where individuals are allowed to make personal choices will always be to some degree unequal.”

Of course, some believe that that with a little “outreach and social engineering” like spending money on education and other resources for the poor, or making it easier for new moms to work at home (or ending the stigma against working moms), women and blacks and Latinos could make as much money as white men and we could achieve “some Nirvana of equality for all.” But to help women and the poor earn the same money at the same careers that middle and upper-class white men do would constitute “giving equal conditions for unequal merit.”

It would be an “injustice” to end the stigma against working moms, or make it easier for new moms to work from home, because stay-at-home moms are normal and natural and nothing can be done about it (even though plenty can be done about it), and because they made the personal choice to take time off (even though they would be labeled bad mothers if they didn’t make that choice).

In the same way, it would be an injustice to grant poor blacks and Latinos the resources they need to get out of poverty, when it’s their bad “personal choices” that keep them in poverty (even though poverty is the reason they made those bad personal choices) and because it’s normal and natural for the poor to stay poor and nothing can be done about it (even though plenty can be done about it). That’s the way it’s always been, therefore that’s the way it always should be. Right?

After all, “if you want equal pay then earn it.”

And, regarding the idea that women are “lucky” to stay home with the kids: that’s the same thing I tell my cats on mornings when I’m tired and I don’t want to go to work: “You guys are so lucky; you get to stay home and sleep all day instead of going to work.”

You could look at it that way. However, as cats, they are still second-class citizens. Similarly, you might call women “lucky” for being chosen by society to stay home with the kids, but that doesn’t change the fact that we earn less money and have less important jobs, and have less power and status as a result, and are still considered to be second-class citizens who are inherently inferior to men in every way.

17 06 2011
Anonymous

One last thing. John, since you don’t believe in maternity leave, I suppose you also don’t believe that soldiers returning from duty in Iraq should be able to get their old civilian jobs back? Rather, you believe their employer has the right to permanently terminate their employment and hire a new person to do their job?

OK THAT IS OFFENSIVE

You can not compare raising your OWN child to someone giving their life for the bennefit of YOU and others in THIS COUNTRY.

After reading that you have convinced me you are petty, selfish and only focused on what YOU miss out on.

14 01 2014
Andrew

Soldiers returning from duty in Iraq are soldiers, that’s there job. We don’t have conscription anymore or send civilians to war to do what trained soldiers do.

8 06 2011
Anonymous

social darwinism ftw!

9 06 2011
Anonymous

You should mention the fact that women are twice as likely to be employed than men. There is discrimination behind that too, but nobody seems interested in black on white crime, or discrimination against men. Stupid double standards only exist because of ignorant people.

9 06 2011
Linnea

“You should mention the fact that women are twice as likely to be employed than men. ”

Do you have any statistical evidence to support that statement? Because according to the US Department of Labor, men are more likely to be employed than women. The same can be said of the UK, according to its Office for National Statistics.

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2005, women made up 46.4% and men made up 53.6% of the total civilian labor force; 59.3% of women were employed, and 73.3% of men were employed:

http://www.bls.gov/opub/ted/2007/jan/wk2/art03.htm

http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/qf-eswm05.htm

In 2008, women made up 46.5% and men made up 53.5% of the total civilian labor force; 50.5% of women were employed compared to 73.0% of men:

http://www.dol.gov/wb/factsheets/Qf-ESWM08.htm

In 2008 in the UK, 79% of men and 70% of women were employed. Also, half of all employed women had part time jobs, while only 1 in 6 employed men had part time jobs:

http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=1654

In the US, men are also more likely to be employed full time than women. In 2007, 52% of women were employed full time, versus 73% of men:

http://healthreform.gov/reports/women/index.html

17 06 2011
Anonymous

Linnea, your use of statistics is not correct.

saying a percentage of the male population vs a percentage of the female population is misguiding as the male vs female population is not necassarily even sided.

if the population is female dominant the work force itself could comprise of 50% male and 50% male yet the percantage of female population that is employed would be less than the males.

as example the population of males is 100 and females is 110

The emplyed population may consist of 25 men and 25 women, 50 50 split

yet 25% of men are employed but only 23% of females are yet the work force has employed an even number of both men and women

you can take statistics and present them any way you want to prove a point but only thorough analysis will tell the truth.

You need to look at a huge number of factors to understand what is going on.

If a certain sex dominates a field of work that is low paying, lets say that field was social work. Then it is not that sex that gets paid less, it is that social workers that get paid less and that sex is not being targeted.

If a certain sex takes more paternal leave that is a contributing factor that need to be accounted for. Was a certain sex dominating the number of people on paternal leave when the study is undertaken? are more of a certain sex retiering earlier? is more of a certain sex continuing on a set career path yet the other is more likely to change field? There are countless factors that change a statistic and a single stastic does not asses a social situation.

20 06 2011
Linnea

“you can take statistics and present them any way you want to prove a point but only thorough analysis will tell the truth.”

But I’m not trying to prove a point here. You are. I never made any sort of claim in regards to the likelihood of employment in men vs. women. You are the one who claimed that women are twice as likely to be employed than men. I merely questioned the veracity of that statement.

And you still have yet to provide any kind of evidence to support your statement.

And, I’m sorry, but “take statistics and present them any way you want?” I copied those statistics from the US DoL website word-for-word, number-for-number. I did not set out to disprove your statement. I really had no idea whether your statement was true or false, and since you did not bother to provide any evidence yourself, I had to look for evidence on my own. You have the burden of proof here, so it is unfair to expect me to look all over the internet for statistical evidence (and then interpret it properly!) when you are the one who is supposed to be proving things to me. Don’t make me do your homework for you and then complain that I’ve done it wrong.

“saying a percentage of the male population vs a percentage of the female population is misguiding as the male vs female population is not necassarily even sided.
if the population is female dominant the work force itself could comprise of 50% male and 50% male yet the percantage of female population that is employed would be less than the males.
as example the population of males is 100 and females is 110
The emplyed population may consist of 25 men and 25 women, 50 50 split
yet 25% of men are employed but only 23% of females are yet the work force has employed an even number of both men and women”

I think you have it reversed. If the female population is larger than the male population, then the total number of women employed should be larger than the total number of men employed, while the percentage of women and men employed should be equal. The total number of women employed should not be equal to the total number of men employed. If women are a larger percentage of the population, then there should be a larger number of women in the work force than men.

That is why, as far as I can see, going by the percentage of women employed vs. the percentage of men employed is valid, and going by the number of women employed vs. the number of men employed is not. And either way, in reality, the number of women employed is NOT equal to the number of men employed.

If there are 110 women and 100 men, and 25% of the population is employed, then there should be 27.5 female workers and 25 male workers. There should not be 25 female workers and 25 male workers.

Say there are 200 women and 100 men, and the employment rate is 50%. If employment rates were entirely equal, then 50% of women would be employed and 50% of men would be employed, so there would be 100 female workers and 50 male workers. There would not be 100 female workers and 100 male workers.

As I said, women are a slightly larger percentage of the population, so, if we lived in a perfect, ideal world where employment between men and women were totally, 100% equal (and I’m not saying that that is possible or even advisable), then the number of female workers would be larger than the number of male workers, while the percentage of female workers would be exactly the same as the percentage of male workers (50.00 % to 50.00%).

Neither is true. There are more women than men, yet the number of female workers is smaller than the number of male workers, AND the percentage of female workers is smaller than the percentage of male workers.

The 2008 US female population was 120,675,000, and the male population was 113,113,000. The total number of females employed in all civilian jobs in 2008 was 71,767,000, and the total number of males was 82,520,000 (numbers are taken from the 2008 DOL link).

There are more women than men in the U.S., yet there are more men employed than women, and the percentage of men employed is higher than the percentage of women employed.

No matter how you look at it, the statement that “women are twice as likely to be employed than men” is not supportable as far as I can see. Admittedly, statistics is not my area of expertise, but then again, I’m not the one making claims of statistical evidence; you are. If you have any evidence that supports the statement that “women are twice as likely to be employed than men” then let’s hear it.

And, as a follow-up question: to what do you attribute this inequality in the likelihood of employment? You said there was “discrimination behind it.” What kind of discrimination?

21 06 2011
Anonymous

“But I’m not trying to prove a point here. You are. I never made any sort of claim in regards to the likelihood of employment in men vs. women. You are the one who claimed that women are twice as likely to be employed than men.”

Umm no i didn’t, that was someone else.

Besides you missed my point on multiple levels – for everyone else reading this

A. the presentation of statistics can be done so in a manner to prove and disprove the same point depending on the way you process and present the statistics.

B. not every person wants employment, so Linnea can not use these statistics to prove or disprove that women or men are more likely to be employed or that employment ratio of a particular gender is fair. To be closer – yet still way off proving/disproving any point – would be to use the population of employed persons and finding the percentage of the genders there within. Yet this still would not account for the multitude of varying factors related to the issue of gender equity on the work force.

C. If I am an employer, how could i follow Linnea’s proposal or hiring more of a gender based on the population size of a particular gender. This is not possible, again how many applicants of each gender received that are qualified and have relevant experience will i receive, should i then hire on gender? Would this seem sexiest that a more qualified and experienced applicant be turned down as i need to hire a different gender to keep my employment ratio equal?

Basically this debate is often based on cherry picked statistics and scenarios to suit the agenda of the individual/s involved.

I personally like the simplest proposal put forward by the OP

If I can hire females and pay them less, why would I not only hire females and save on wages? This alas does not happen as there are deeper reasons to the issue then just employers choosing to pay females less based on gender.

22 06 2011
Linnea

“Umm no i didn’t, that was someone else.”

Okay, sorry about that. I thought you were the same person who said that “women are twice as likely to be employed as men.”

“Besides you missed my point on multiple levels”

If I did, then so what? As I said, statistics is not my area of expertise, and I really have no clue what the likelihood of employment is between men and women. That is why I never made any sort of claim in regards to it. I was merely attempting to verify a claim that SOMEONE ELSE made.

As I said, the person who said that “women are twice as likely to be employed as men” never bothered to provide any kind of evidence to support that statement. So I was forced to look for evidence on my own.

It is unfair to fault me for not interpreting the evidence correctly, when I am not the one who is required to provide evidence here. Again, it is unfair to make me do someone else’s homework and then complain that I’ve done it wrong.

Until someone can provide valid evidence that supports the idea that “women are twice as likely to be employed as men” we must assume that the claim is false. And verifying it is really not my problem, nor should it be my problem. It’s the problem of the person who made it.

And I have to wonder why you are taking time to refute the evidence I found, rather than spending time verifying or refuting the actual CLAIM: that women are twice as likely to be employed than men. Wouldn’t your statistical knowledge be better put to use in answering the actual question?

Yes, verifying it is the responsibility of the person who made the claim, but since you’re apparently willing to devote time here on this discussion board, and you’re apparently also knowledgeable in the field of statistics, why not try to find the truth?

“A. the presentation of statistics can be done so in a manner to prove and disprove the same point depending on the way you process and present the statistics.”

As I have said several times now…I am not trying to prove a point here. I was merely attempting to verify a claim that SOMEONE ELSE made, because they did not provide evidence themselves.

“B. not every person wants employment, so Linnea can not use these statistics to prove or disprove that women or men are more likely to be employed or that employment ratio of a particular gender is fair…”

See above.

“C. If I am an employer, how could i follow Linnea’s proposal or hiring more of a gender based on the population size of a particular gender. This is not possible, again how many applicants of each gender received that are qualified and have relevant experience will i receive, should i then hire on gender? Would this seem sexiest that a more qualified and experienced applicant be turned down as i need to hire a different gender to keep my employment ratio equal?”

I did not propose that employers deliberately and consciously hire more women than men so that the employment rate will be exactly 50/50. I said that it should NATURALLY work out to be ROUGHLY 50/50, and therefore, as far as I could see, going by the percentage is valid while going by the numbers is not. I said that if there are naturally more women in the world, then there should naturally be more women workers than male workers, while the percentage of female/male workers should naturally work out to be roughly 50/50.

And in fact, it DOES work out to be roughly 50/50: 46.5% of the U.S. work force was female and 53.5% male in 2008.

If there are, say, twice as many women in the world than men (200 women and 100 men), then there should be twice as many women in the workforce as men (100 women and 50 men, if the employment rate is 50%).

Similarly, if there were twice as many women as men (200 women and 100 men) and there are 144 people gathered at Madison Square Garden or the Hayden Planetarium or that big ball at Epcot Center, there will be twice as many women as men (96 women and 48 men).

I said that, as far as I could see, going by the percentage is valid while going by the numbers is not. I was merely trying to understand and make sense of what you said. Part of understanding another person’s argument is pointing out perceived errors or inconsistencies, and asking the other person to clarify for you. That’s what I was doing.

I realize that a segment of the population is not going to have the exact same male/female ratio (or the same black/white/Asian/Middle Eastern ratio, or the same age group to age group ratio, etc.) as the entire population, due to variables. It was just an example using simple math.

I realize that there are variables that will cause the exact ratio of male/female workers to be different than the world population ratio, or even the country population ratio. And I never said that the ratio had to be exactly equal or discrimination is afoot. ALL I was saying was, as far as I can tell, the statement that “women are twice as likely to be employed than men” is not supportable.

I certainly did not propose that employers hire exactly 50% women and 50% men. And for the record, I know that the real female/male ratio is not 2:1, and I am also aware that the world population is not 300.

“If I can hire females and pay them less, why would I not only hire females and save on wages? This alas does not happen as there are deeper reasons to the issue then just employers choosing to pay females less based on gender.”

I don’t think any reasonable person would attempt to claim that women who have the same qualifications and the same experience are deliberately paid less because of some male conspiracy to keep women from earning the same amount of money.

It is indeed the “deeper reasons” — like why women choose to take time off to raise children — that are the issue, and that is in fact where the discussion eventually turned.

24 06 2011
Anonymous

Hi Linnea,

I do not take the time to chew stats to prove or dissprove the point because the point is moot. IMHO anyone with the common sense to figure it out will do so, anyone lacking in would not figure it out anyway, Your reaction on the other hand seemed over the top and started going into statistics to dissprove some childish remark. Don’t even try to dispute comments from idiots, they bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.

From what i believe and i witness in society is that we are reaching a transitional period where it is becoming more acceptable for the father to stay at home and the mother contiue working, It is not nearly even sided, and stereo types do and will continue to exist on both sides of the fence.

I know I would be willing to do what ever it would take to raise my child, i donot expect my wife to give up her career to do so. It is something we talk about and is circumstance based. I know males that have cut down their working hours or put their career on hold completely to stay home with the child while the mother works (by choice i might ad).

The necesity, beyond the physical recovery period, for the mother to stay at home is diminishing as, through perserveriance, we shrug off stereo typical roles in society. I would like to believe that in the future this topic of conversation becomes irelevant and we all stop getting angry at each other over the way things are.

I believe acceptance also comes with perservirance and we are seeing this happening now. I also believe that it is becoming common that, when people are not getting what they want, all to often they cry foul when it is not the case.

17 08 2011
Schadenfreudian

I am a former workforce analyst for the U.S. Department of Defense Network Information and Integration/Chief Information Officer. In this capacity I saw payscales and salary payouts for approximately 40,000 federal high tech workforce employees.

First, all salaries are established on a formula that takes into account variables, but not 24% worth. The Department of Labor retains a battalion of attorneys who wait eagerly to take on discrimination cases, and they often win given substantiation. The same happens for a corporation: HR compensation specialists and hiring managers are given a fairly narrow range to apply to new hires, as well as pay increases. The largest [regular] pay raise I EVER saw was 6.5%.

Again, the same goes for the United States armed forces. There are SEVERE penalties for shortchanging people due to race, sex, age, etc. All together, I can assure you that the two largest employers of women in the United States are bound by anti-discrimination/civil rights law to pay comparable pay rates.

A really interesting statistic is to take to total number of women in a particular industry vis-a-vis their male counterparts, and track salary trends over the last 10 years. All of this information is available on the U.S. Department of Labor website…then compare the total compensation for men versus women over the same period…

It blows a hole in the theory given a longer-term view of the subject.

6 10 2011
Jessica Rene Gillotte

I found out recently that a guy hired the same exact day with the same age and same, if not less qualifications than I gets paid over fifty cents more per hour than I do. Same store position.

2 12 2011
Anonymous

Thanks so much for this article! It seriously makes sense, and it’s perfect for my Current Events paper! Thanks!

27 12 2011
Lili

What somebody should do is ask for both a man and a woman to remain without children and work in the same job, for a certain number of years and calculate their earnings. Is it really that difficult to conduct an experiment?
Honestly, we can try and sugar-coat sexism with ‘logic’, but at the end of the day, the truth cannot be ignored; that we live in a society that breeds sexism, homophobia and racism. Equal pay for women is just one of the many issues our society faces today in regards to equality. Australia’s ‘boat people’ issue is another example of discrimination. Unfortunately, it seems that society will stop at nothing to discriminate, no matter how mildly.
Of course the authorities are going to tell the public that “women take time off to raise children”, whatever the statement, ‘raise children’, means in this instant; the person who made this statement certainly wasn’t a women. That’s the problem. The majority of people with power are men. The more that women gain power, the more equal the world will become. The truth of the matter of parenthood is that a father’s role is crucial in raising a child, and studies have shown that a lack of paternal input in terms of raising a child causes psychological problems among children.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/02/080212095450.htm

And if a science enthusiast is going to use ‘evolution’ as their argument to justify inequality, by explaining that it is natural for the woman to raise their young, please, visit these websites, which contain lists of common animals whose young relies heavily on their father.

http://animal.discovery.com/tv/a-list/creature-countdowns/dads/dads-07.html

Solution? Less patriarchy and more paternity.

27 12 2011
Lili

To correct myself, I am not dismissing evolution. Evolution is scientific evidence of how the human race became what we are today. I am just proving that nature is not patriarchal; society is.

26 01 2012
intelina

(;

27 01 2012
italina mixteada capuchina medina (;

DAMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM get a life people

29 02 2012
cool pearson

hey women why arent you in the kitchen???

1 03 2012
Elle

isnt it ironic that cool person is probably the guy playing world of warcraft right now instead of getting a job like his imaginary wife. funny.

8 03 2012
ctkp

To the nut job “rita” commenting earlier on in this article.
Has it ever occurred to you that being so unbelievably unbalanced on these issues is actually sexist? Just as sexist as you believe everyone else to be in this forum (quite wrongly so I might add)
and I would go on to suggest that it is women like you who fuel the fire for any remnants of sexism left in society because people like you are not to be taken seriously, and depressingly, it is people like you who seem to have the loudest voices and are heard the furthest, and trust me on this one, anyone who has to listen to you irrationally rant on about men for more than 10 seconds is going to start contemplating male only workplaces.
And we’ll be back to square one.

14 04 2012
Fact

Sexism still exists, and if anything it’s getting more and more provocative.

Just go on any YouTube video showing a female in it, or videos with those who happen to be girl/female gamers.

It’s astounding … but it’s true.

17 04 2012
Smolt

Sexism still exists…
Just turn on TV.
Men are shown as stupid, lazy, ignorant imbeciles. They are slapped, punched, pushed out of cars, beaten, kicked in the balls. Men are idiots, men are dogs, men are slobs, men are clueless, men are incompetent.
In real life, if a man gets his penis cut off by a woman, it’s comedy.

But…. next time you need something fixed, lifted, repaired, constructed, excavated, demolished, elevated, invented, etc, etc etc etc. …..a MAN will arrive to accomplish it.

And that’s the way women want it. No matter what they say.

The most sexist belief is that only ONE sex is sexist!

Astounding…. but true.

24 04 2012
Anonymous

It is illegal to pay a man more than a woman. There really isn’t much more to be said about it. I noticed several comments from women that state “oh, I found out some guy is making 50c more than me an hour”. I think a few points need to be stated here (and I am a CEO and thus a “job creator”, so have seen a lot of real-life example):

1) Salaries are not set by some central Authority, and thus are not manipulated to give women exactly 24% less money than a man. Salaries are come to by negotiation. In general, the only place you have “pay grades” is in the government. If a man, in your minimum wage job, is able to negotiate a few cents more than you, then go re-negotiate or quit. You’re in a free country – stand up for what you feel you are worth. Either way, no two people in any job is paid the same – there are so many factors and there is no formula. Fight for what you believe you are worth. In general I have found men to be more aggressive in negotiations, but it’s not their fault that the average woman is not (and I have come across some aggressive women negotiators, so it does work). Companies will only pay you what you think you are worth – if they make a $100K offer, and you accept it, then find out someone else makes $110K because they negotiated more – then whose fault is it? If you sell me a car for $50K would you expect me to turn around and say, “Hey, this car is worth more – here’s $60K!”? No, because that would be ridiculous.

2) There are many high-paid career women out there. In fact 18 of the Fortune 500 (the biggest companies in the US) are run by women – including Meg Whitman running the 11th largest company in the United States (Hewlett-Packard). This just proves that big business doesn’t care what sex, color or sexual orientation you are – they just care that you can make them money (basically coming down to being good at your job). The only conclusion I can come to is that women have other priorities in life. Men tend to be single-minded and driven (and will work insane hours to get what they want), but women tend to have more varied interests and want a more balanced work/life ratio. Both are worthy goals, but of course a company won’t pay you unless you are doing things for them.

3) America is a free country with a basically capitalist economy (it’s actually more of a mixed economy as pure capitalism doesn’t work, but the slant is towards capitalism with minimal government intervention). That being said expecting the government to basically “fight for you” and pull people (career men AND women) down to your level is not really fair. This country is built on fighting what for what you want – and I think the majority of the population still want it that way. I am democrat by nature (technically independent, but definitely side more with the democrats), but I still think the idea of free market (with some regulatory oversight) is a good idea.

4) If you work more, you will make more. I don’t know why people are arguing with this. Yes, you may feel that you are “forced” to raise the family, but that is a PERSONAL choice. Society may need women to procreate, but that should be done as a family. If a woman wants to work after kids, have the husband stay home – or get daycare. You can’t have your cake and eat it – if industry had to pay you more for less work, the economy would take a big hit and everyone would suffer. As for those comments that pointed out that there are hard working women… yes, there are – and they are making a lot of money and running Fortune 500 companies.

I think too many women in this debate (many of which are very young it seems) are being told there is this huge divide (which has become more of a political tool than reality), and then assume this is the case. Then, when they don’t negotiate well and get paid less (which seems to happen more at the low hourly wage level than at the higher salaried positions) they don’t do anything about it because they feel that there “nothing that can be done”. That is a negative attitude and is wrong. Look at the women doing great things (check out all the new tech startups with women founder/CEO’s, for example), and look at women in the corporate tech world where they negotiate hard and make excellent salaries. The glass ceiling

As the author pointed out – every employer in the country would higher an all-woman staff if they could pay them 24% less, and that obviously is not happening. Women think that men hire men because they are men. The truth is that any profit-seeking man really couldn’t care less who they hire – as long as they make money for them (I am talking more about the salaried professions than the hourly casual jobs, of course).

Thanks!

26 04 2012
Latteologist

Thanks a lot for your considered contribution. I would like to see more posts like yours on this blog. I especially enjoyed your point about salary negotiations. It is true that some people are much better at it than others, the same way some people are better at negotiating a good deal on the car. Excellent!

7 06 2012
Do women really get paid less than men? « OneSquareLight

[...] Do women really get paid less than men? « Lattenomics. Share this:TwitterFacebookDiggLike this:LikeBe the first to like this [...]

5 07 2012
Carlos Silva

Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and also the rest of the site is very good.

17 07 2012
Henry

All these comments and noone has mentioned Warren Farrell?? He did research into this in the USA and found that womens’ career decisions were done differently than men. They valued proximity to friends/family etc, felt under less pressure to earn more, chose different professions, etcetc.

Anyhow the basic case is flawed on every point: if women earn less than men it does NOT IMPLY DISCRIMINATION; enforcing a 50/50 split in all professions would cause havoc, and mean men being allowed/needed to be nurses, nursery nurses, etc; then you need to ask what about

And all based on a dubious premise: that women and men are ideally suited to exactly the same careers. Some feminists wanted to believe this but that doesn’t automatically make it true, sadly….

Then look at pay stats in the UK (one place where this simplistic rubbish about the wage gap is loudly trumpeted) which show young women doing better than men, and getting a better education – a trend that is likely to spread to the old age groups.

The wage gap is a corrosive lie

18 08 2012
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19 12 2012
Ellie

This is just a bunch of gay white men. You are why I go for minorities. God.

19 12 2012
Delilah

Lolllll. I love how pissed they all get with the argument at the top hahah. When the old people of today die.. We will have a less sexist and racist society because they are the generation that is fucking crazy.. I’m talking 40+ Im in high school, and the kids today aren’t as sexist or racist.

22 01 2013
Anonymous

I do not agree with this article very much. I would like to know why the fact stated everywhere I have seen so far is- Women ARE GETTING PAIDED LESS THAN MEN at the same hours, same knowledge, same job, etc. I think the fact is still stated that women are getting payed less than men and you can not change that yet.

29 01 2013
Brandi

Lmao.. Your right Sexism exsist. However it isn’t a one sided thing, but bad on both sides. Women do not make less an hour. i don’t care what statistics you put in front of me. I have not foundy any that I know of who make less or more because they are male or female. I do find some that make more because they have worked at the job longer, or have more expierence. When you apply for a job, they usually list the starting price and conditions. So does it say, if your a female you will only make this amount and if you are a man you will make ths. Open your eyes people, its a war on sexes that re benefiting politicians to use to gain votes.. etc.. I want someone to show me the proof. Of two equal people one male and one femal working the same job where the female does earn less.

10 03 2013
Lexi

Okay, wow. I’m shocked and a little disgusted by the arguments in these comments.. The females saying “we still make less!”… Did you even read the article? CAN you read? It’s females like you that make some guys want to say “get back in the kitchen”. Clearly logic and rationality is too much for you.

I’m a female and I (for the reasons mentioned, such as big companies not hiring only women) did some research on whether or not we actually did earn less. A male friend told me and I just found it hard to believe. I’m sorry to say feministas but it just doesn’t work that way.

I want to be an orthopedic surgeon. My brother wants to be a surgeon, too, let’s say – for sake of argument (he doesn’t in reality by the by). He wants a family, kids and a wife. I want to be single, or at least childless. Now in this particular situation, which of us, do you wager, is going to be making more money? If you guessed him, you’re bad at guessing. The odds are I will make more or equal amount to him, because I will work more or just as much as him.

If I chose to have a family and take more time off, I would make less.

It’s first grade math, children. I have four cookies, George has four cookies. I eat two cookies, I have two cookies, George still has four. Why would I complain that George has more cookies?

I make $70 an hour. George makes $70 an hour. I take several hours a week off to take care of kids, George doesn’t. George gets more money than me. Again, why am I complaining?

Think, please, you idiots. You’re making females look bad.

Anywho wonderful article. :)

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13 06 2013
JamesBond

I agree with the main commentor on explaining why women get paid less I worked as a janitor at a mall a women worked the same job the same as me but her rasponsabity was lessened because she could not do the same as I could call me sexist if you must I am strong she is not so after her rasponsabilitys were lessened her pay wheat below my $10 an hour she then got $8.50 call me sexist but reason why her pay decline while in the same occupation as me she worked not as hard as I did do to lack of strength

20 06 2013
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