For the feminists of the world, today is Equal Pay Day — a day to stand up and decry publicly the supposed "wage gap" between men and women in the workplace.
Equal Pay Day falls on April 25 this year and is said to be the day women catch up to men in pay for the previous year. It’s pretty much another day for feminists to bemoan the "victimization" of the female population. They spout off repeatedly the statistic from the Department of Labor that says the average working woman receives $0.77 for every dollar earned by working men.
Don’t let them fool you.
Carrie Lukas, author of "The Politically Incorrect Guide to Women, Sex and Feminism," (published by Regnery, HUMAN EVENTS sister company), argues that organizers of Equal Pay Day are purposely overlooking the factors that cause that statistic. Here are five points Lukas makes in her book:
- No adjustment for the number of years worked. On average, women spend about a decade out of the workforce to care for their children. Reentering the workforce after ten years off earns less than a man (OR A WOMAN) who had worked continually during that time.
- Today, women earn more than half of all bachelor’s and master’s degrees, but it wasn’t always that way. Older women in the workforce tend to have less education than male counterparts, which affects the salaries used for Department of Labor data.
- Opposing priorities in employment opportunities. Surveys of working women found that three-quarters of women held "employment flexibility" as "Very Important," when considering a job. Meaning, women are more willing to trade more money for the flexibility or time off.
- Warriors for NOW complain that women still sacrifice their careers to take on disproportionate share of childcare responsibilities. Surveys indicate that women sincerely WANT to take more time off to spend with their families. The Department of Labor even reports that full-time working women spend a half-hour (seven percent) less time in the office on any given work day than the average full-time working man.
- Men take on the more high-risk jobs as they account for the 92% of deaths that occur in the workplace. Bravery earns the big bucks. Men are far more willing to do what it takes to attain elevated pay; greater physical risk; spending more time on the road; logging extra hours at the office. Life simply involves trade-offs.
Of course, not one of these contributing factors was mentioned during today’s press conference held by Business and Professional Women. Representatives from the National Council of Women’s Organizations, the National Committee on Pay Equity, WAGE (part of the National Organization for Women), as well as three Democratic members of Congress, used the same biased data to repeatedly drive home the message that woman are victims.
"Women should be angry," said Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D.-D.C.), her voice rising. "Only a combination of more aggressive strategies can break through the old societal habits of undervaluing the work performed by women as well as employer steering of women into traditional women’s jobs."
Norton co-sponsors both the Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, neither of which have Republican support.
All in all, these feminist groups seem to be missing the point. Women are opting for job perks other than higher pay. As Lukas points out in her column today at Townhall.com, many women are choosing to have more flexible schedules and lower-profile jobs to better balance their family life. Feminists should applaud women’s ability to choose.
As Lukas writes:
"Men place a higher priority on pay than women when assessing a job. Why do feminist join men in fixating on this one aspect of work life? Why should we assume that men have the right priorities? Instead of urging women to act more like men, feminist ought to celebrate the choices that women make, including the choice to forgo income in favor of more time with family or jobs that are personally rewarding."
And as Lukas says in her book, "Feminists should trust that women are making choices in their best interests and stop complaining about the outcomes revealed in meaningless statistics like the ‘Wage Gap.’ After all, most women know that money isn’t everything."