The Gender Pay Gap as Myth
“There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.” – Mark Twain
What if the gender pay gap is just statistics being manipulated?
Career Experts Marty Nemko believes the gender pay gap is a myth, as does Penelope Trunk. Newt Gingrich believes men will earn less than women in 15 years. Some of the reasons given for this belief include:
- Men work more hours
- Men work more dangerous jobs
- Women choose to leave the workforce to care for children
- The data based on a comparison of median incomes and not a true apples to apples comparison.
I could argue each point but I’m not sure that would accomplish much. People who believe there is no gender pay gap would continue to believe in their position just as people who believe there is a gender pay gap would continue to agree. Rather, I would like to ponder why are individuals so vested to stop others from fixing something that may or may not need fixing?
The blogosphere is filled with people in an uproar about the Gender Pay Gap as feminist propaganda. Read the comments of news items and blog posts and you truly see the investment people have in the topic.
“Feminists use statistics to spread lies about the wage gap, instead of researching why women earn less. If men outnumber women in ANY profession — especially white collar professions — feminists generally assume that the discrepancy is related to discrimination. If men were just as irrational, we would be protesting the fact that most teachers, day care employees and secretaries are female. Fortunately, most men understand why those are female dominated and why men generally stray from those professions.”
“Women need to rely on the government to provide them a middle class lifestyle that they can’t provide for themselves. Their mickey mouse majors in college have no value to the outside world. Of course you don’t need a man, you have the government!”
“Please stop using weekly wages as a gauge, it is totally useless and for the umpteenth time with more women graduating from colleges than males this chart will be phased out of the BLS data files, much as the participation rate has now been merged into one chart.”
“”women are prospering in the new economy and partly because men have been hit hard by the recession.”-It might be time for males to form a National Organization for Men (NOM) to ensure that all the gains we have made over the years are not taken away. An organization to put men’s needs at the forefront, to encourage legislation that assist with our cause, to drive up salaries in industries which males typically gravitate to, and to influence business to cater to our whims. An organization similar to (NOW)-National Organization for Women.”
Success for One Should Not Mean Failure for Other
Whether caused by discrimination or not, I believe discrepancies in income when doing the same job with the same work experience, accomplishments, and education can be eliminated. My focus is not on the thoughts behind such actions because I do not believe people actively think they are biased even when we act biased. Why should people take exception to me or anyone else who may be spinning our wheels trying to eliminate the gender pay gap? Are you concerned that we are wasting our precious time? Or are you concerned that we may succeed?
Please don’t worry about me or anyone else trying to correct a situation, which you think is just fine. It will never affect you if we truly are wrong. And it will never affect you if we are right. Equal Pay does not mean bringing men down to the women’s submarket value level of pay. Equal Pay means everyone makes the market value of the job.
I, for one, would not consider it a victory if Equal Pay meant women and men earned the same because men’s pay decreased. That would be a failure for all – men, women, and the government who would lose taxes to keep the roads paved, the children educated, and pay down the national debt.