ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE
The best recent work on the alleged wage gap was done by Warren Farrell in his book Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap And What Women Can Do About It. Warren's newest release--"How the AAUW Pay Equity Study Undermines Women"--details fallacies with the recent assertions of widespread wage discrimination against women. It is reprinted with permission below. Warren, whom I consider the intellectual wellspring of the men's movement, will be speaking atthe Third National Men's Equality Congress July 13-14 in Washington D.C. Warren can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
How the AAUW Pay Equity Study Undermines Women
By Warren Farrell, Ph.D.
April 24 is Pay Equity Day. Hillary Clinton is leading a protest against the alleged discrimination behind the gender pay gap, and introducing the Paycheck Fairness Act. The AAUW (American Association of University Women) is publicizing a study that appears to document the discrimination against women reflected by the gap. And restaurants are giving discounts to women to help compensate and show support.
When I was on the Board of the National Organization for Women in New York City in the seventies, I also led protests against the male-female pay gap. And I also assumed the gap reflected both discrimination against women and the undervaluing of women.
Then one day I asked myself, "If we can pay women less for the same work, why would any one hire a man?" And if they did, wasn't there a punishment--called "going out of business?" In other words, did market forces contain a built-in punishment against discrimination?
The answer to what the pay gap was really about became more than theoretical as two daughters entered my life. After a decade of research for Why Men Earn More, I discovered 25 differences in men and women's work-life choices. All 25 lead to men earning more money; and all 25 lead to women having better lives--lives more balanced between work and home. (Since real power is about having a better life, well, once again, the women have outsmarted us!)
As it turns out, the road to high pay is a toll road. High pay is about trade-offs. Men's trade-offs include working more hours (women work more at home); taking more-dangerous, dirtier, and outdoor jobs (garbage collecting; construction; trucking); relocating and traveling; training for more-technical jobs with less people contact (engineering); taking late night shifts; working for more years; being absent less frequently...
Why do men earn more than women? Because they deserve to, argues this contrarian challenge to feminist conventional wisdom. Men work longer hours at more dangerous and disagreeable jobs. They more readily accept night shifts, hardship postings to Alaska and entrepreneurial risks. Men get in-demand degrees in engineering, while women get degrees in French literature. Female librarians earn less than garbagemen, not because of discrimination, but because so many applicants compete for the safe, clean, comfortable, convenient, fulfilling jobs women prefer. Indeed, the author insists, statistics show that women and men with equal experience and qualifications, doing the same job, for the same hours, under the same conditions-get paid the same. Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power, usefully points women towards high-paying, male-dominated fields that are becoming female friendly and suggests that ambitious women marry stay-at-home husbands. But he considers men the real victims, taken advantage of because of their innate chivalry and social expectations that they trade earning power for love and sex and be "willing to die to support the wives and children." He decries anti-male discrimination in occupations like teaching, nursing and cocktail-waitressing, and pillories comparable worth initiatives as "spoiled-brat economics." A whole chapter is devoted to "genetic celebrities"-i.e., beautiful women (exemplified in photos of same) whom men shower with free dinners, gifts and home repairs and who "marry up" into cushy lifestyles paid for by workaholic husbands. Ostensibly a road-map to workplace equality, Farrell's portrait of pampered, ungrateful women and stoic, self-sacrificing men may strike some readers as an unhelpful caricature.
Victim Feminist Central
Christina Hoff Sommers