Well, Stacy McCain likes to keep poking a stick in the “tiger’s eye” or goading Feminists, if you will. Today’s essay is on the supposed gender gap in pay of men versus women. Here’s an excerpt;
But if we examine the number of hours worked per week, two highly relevant statistics emerge:
- Men are more likely to hold full-time jobs – According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), about 60 million men were employed full-time in 2007, compared to about 42 million women. Men were thus 42% more likely than women to be working full-time.
- Men work more hours – ”Full-time” is defined as working 35 hours per week or more. The BLS reports that among the 21.8 million people working more than 40 hours per week, 15.3 million are men (70%) and 6.5 million are women (30%).
So the feminist assertion that women are paid 75 cents on the dollar (or 87 cents or whatever other number is used) compared to men is an absurdity, based on invalid apples-to-oranges comparisons that don’t take account of average differences in the actual working experiences of men and women.
Kay Hymowitz explains this in an article at City Journal called, “Why the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Ever.” Hymowitz makes the point that many women choose what has been called “the Mommy Track” in occupational specialties, so that feminist ax-grinders who constantly grumble about the “gender gap” are, in fact, arguing against women’s own choices.
One final point: Being a mother is hard work in its own right. For several years, my wife stayed home with our six children. She would sometimes encounter people — usually other women — who, when they learned of her “just a mom” status would say, “Oh, you don’t work? That must be nice.” As if being the mother of six children wasn’t harder work than is done by most full-time employed people (including her husband).
To understand feminism as a war against stay-at-home motherhood, read Carolyn Graglia’s excellent book, Domestic Tranquility. Being “just a mom” is a choice that feminists don’t want women to have.
As I commented over at Roseanne De Luca’s blog…I don’t mind a woman being paid the same as me for the same work, commiserate with experience, of course. I’m in the construction trades, so have at it ladies.
Of course, Miss De Luca takes umbrage at Stacy’s essay and has a response over at Haemet;
Stacy McCain points out that the comparison of men’s salaries to women’s salaries needs to be adjusted for other variables. Now, as a scientist, I’m the first to say that ‘social science’ isn’t a science, because it frequently fails to engage in basic scientific requirements (like, oh, controlling for variables). You simply cannot compare the salary of an engineer to that of someone with a degree in sociology and conclude that the sociologist is underpaid. You cannot compare the private sector with non-profits and the public sector. Et cetera.
However, that isn’t the end of the inquiry. For example, Stacy points out that men were more likely to work full-time than were women in 2007. While that could mean that men and women are actually being paid the same thing for the same work, it does not establish that men and women have the same opportunity to do high-paid work. Little girls who are pushed towards English and “things that deal with people” and away from math aren’t going to grow up to be accountants or hedge-fund managers. Young women who are interviewed for high-powered jobs and deemed unworthy because they are women who want to “balance work and family” aren’t going to get high-powered jobs and will end up elsewhere – but not for lack of discrimination. (As I keep pointing out, I’m a chaste, unmarried woman who has been ‘mommy-tracked’ during job interviews.) Promising women who are discriminated against in promotions aren’t going to be VPs and CEOs. Women who find their careers to be frustrating and pointless because they are not being paid and promoted as their male peers are, talent be damned, are much more likely to stay at home with the kids – a “choice” that becomes a mandate that had been made for them long before their children were conceived. Oh there’s more…go here for the rest>
Then Stacy answered an e-mail to explain himself. Here’s an excerpt from that post;
A friend responded to my earlier post about the so-called “gender gap” with an e-mail pointing out several other statistical problems in that feminist argument. Replying to my friend’s e-mail, I found myself elaborating an argument that eventually reached nearly 1,200 words. Because it explains a lot of the fundamental principles involved in my political orientation, I thought I’d share the e-mail with readers:
Good points all, Adrienne. The real key here is understanding that the “gap” is about average differences between groups of people. This involves a sort of social-science artifact that, when reported sloppily (as is too often the case), creates illusions of widespread unfair discrimination.
It’s like aggregated test scores as a measure of school performance. We are often led to think that if School A reports that its 5th-graders average 93 on the standardized test while School B’s 5th-graders score 83 on average, then School A is “better” than School B. Yet you can come back and check test scores five years later and find that, while neither the personnel nor the curricula have undergone any significant change at either school, School B’s average will have increased to 89 while School A has declined to 87.
What happened? Well, a low-income apartment complex was built in the School A district, while a new upscale development of McMansions was built in School B’s district. So what was previously the clearly “better” school now has a larger number of 5th-graders from a lower socioeconomic background (and standardized test scores tend to reflect such factors), while the previously inferior school now has a few more 5th-graders from privileged backgrounds.
This kind of statistical perception problem occurs whenever we aggregate people into categorical groups — sex, race, whatever — and then make the differences between group averages the basis for a policy aimed at bringing about equality between these groups. But such policies almost never achieve their stated goals, and in the process usually have harmful unintended consequences, not the least of which is the fostering of unnecessary resentments between members of the groups which become playthings in these social enginering experiments.Worth it to read the rest here>
And Stacy McCain asks that everyone who reads this, take the time to copy it and send it to your Senators and Representatives;
What You Can Do
If you agree with the logic of the foregoing argument, why don’t you copy it in an e-mail and send it to your Republican representative, senator, governor or state GOP chairman? You can also e-mail it to your favorite local or national talk radio host, or Republican presidential candidates. Also, by using the “share” button at the bottom of the post, you can share it via Twitter or post it to Facebook. Thanks in advance for your help in spreading the word. — RSM