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East County Wednesday, Apr. 20, 2011 6 years ago

OPINION: Equal caterwauling day


We’re not altogether hip on the latest in feminist thinking, being that there are about 14 trillion more important things on which to focused. But we could not let last week’s Equal Pay Day pass without mentioning a few myth-popping facts.

First, it seems the thinking behind gender pay differentials is that women are paid less than men because they are trapped in an entrenched, pernicious, paternalistic society keeping women one step from barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

And then there is non-fiction. The unemployment rate is consistently higher among men than women, and the gap has grown wider during the downturn — 9.3% for men and 8.3% for women (Equal Employment for Men Day!). Is this because we are a pernicious, maternalistic society? Of course not. Women tend to congregate in professions more immune to downturns, such as health care and teaching.

The fact that men and women choose different career paths also tends to explain differences in pay, along with the fact that on average, men work nearly an hour longer per day and don’t take off a few years to raise children.

But here is the kicker. The pay disparity goes the other way when controlling for several factors. A Reach Advisors study in 2010 found that among single, childless, urban workers between 22 and 30 years old, women earned 8% more than their male counterparts.

The real problem we have is that men are losing ground to women in their level of education, and so this gap is likely to widen.

So when will the National Organization for Women and others behind the Equal Pay Day claptrap stop whipping up false impressions and dividing us along yet another line? Probably about the time “civil rights” leaders stop promoting racism and realize that the United States is the least prejudiced multi-ethnic country in the history of the world.

In other words: When there is no longer political gain for doing so.

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