Summary: The pay gap between men and women is the biggest barrier to gender equality in America. I propose a modest solution, one that is both simple and fast.
I am watching a roofing crew on my neighbor’s house. They are booked solid doing roof repairs between Iowa thunderstorms. Working 12 hour days on a dangerous job in the heat and high humidity, no shade on rooftops. This reminds me of the summer I worked as a lumberjack (very apprentice, very stupid) for a small outfit in Indianapolis. Suddenly the solution to a major social problem came to me! Feminists say that only quotes for leadership positions will achieve equality between the genders (the many genders). Bloomberg gives a glowing review to California’s new law, a bold first step.
“A new California law requires most companies in the state to have at least one woman on their boards of directors by the end of this year. By the end of 2021, they’ll need three. According to a new Bloomberg analysis, this sea change could offer women 692 seats at the table, enough to cause a measurable shift in the gender balance of U.S. company boards overall. But what if it doesn’t stop there?”
Why should it stop there? Even bolder laws can close the pay gap. Starting with these occupations, now unjustly dominated by men (click to enlarge). Three of the top four dangerous occupations involve strenuous physical labor, outside in often brutal weather, with a high rate of physical injury (and death). Pilots of private aircraft and feeder (aka commuter) airlines have high fatality rates, but in comfort. From the Department of Labor; click to enlarge.
We will not have equality until these two graphs are the same, with equal fatality rates per hour for all genders! From the Department of Labor; click to enlarge.
Loggers, fisherpeople, bush pilots, farmers, refuse collectors, electrical line workers – all can be gender-integrated to help close the pay gap! Due to legacy internalized patriarchial oppression, enough women will not heed this call to action. As with Corporate Directors, mandates will be needed to force compliance with this next step to a better society. Fortunately, feminists have blazed a path we can follow.
Here’s an unpopular opinion: I’m actually not at all concerned about innocent men losing their jobs over false sexual assault/harassment allegations.
— Emily Lindin (@EmilyLindin) November 21, 2017. She is the founder of the unslut project and an award-winning documentary filmmaker.
In the same spirit, America can draft young women into these occupations. Perhaps by lottery, using computer algorithms to select for physical suitability. Some of these women will be unhappy (during the 20th century, many draftees were unhappy). Some will be injured, or crippled, or die – collateral damage on the way to a better world.
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A deeper look at the Gender Wars
Who Stole Feminism? How Women Have Betrayed Women.
By Christina Hoff Sommers (1995).
From the publisher…
“Philosophy professor Christina Sommers has exposed a disturbing development: how a group of zealots, claiming to speak for all women, are promoting a dangerous new agenda that threatens our most cherished ideals and sets women against men in all spheres of life. In case after case, Sommers shows how these extremists have propped up their arguments with highly questionable but well-funded research, presenting inflammatory and often inaccurate information and stifling any semblance of free and open scrutiny.
“Trumpeted as orthodoxy, the resulting ‘findings’ on everything from rape to domestic abuse to economic bias to the supposed crisis in girls’ self-esteem perpetuate a view of women as victims of the ‘patriarchy’.
“Moreover, these arguments and the supposed facts on which they are based have had enormous influence beyond the academy, where they have shaken the foundations of our educational, scientific, and legal institutions and have fostered resentment and alienation in our private lives. Despite its current dominance, Sommers maintains, such a breed of feminism is at odds with the real aspirations and values of most American women and undermines the cause of true equality. Who Stole Feminism? is a call to arms that will enrage or inspire, but cannot be ignored.”
18 thoughts on “A modest solution to the pay gap between men and women”
Yes, its an extension of Camille Paglia’s remark – recalled from a YouTube interview – that she did not see women lining up to clear blocked sewers in the name of equality (or something more or less like that)….
That said, if a woman is teaching a math or a French class, there is no reason she should be paid any less than a man teaching that same class, assuming equal experience, performance, proficiency. And that did use to be true. In my mother’s generation, women were not permitted to continue teaching in many institutions if they married. Or working in lots of jobs. That was not right.
“That was not right.”
Do you seriously believe that anyone disagrees? Today such statements are just virtue signaling, and nobody will applaud.
“if a woman is teaching a math or a French class,”
HR departments spend fortunes on programs and consultants to prevent that. But what about preferential hiring and promotion for women? That’s become SOP in many places. Some are quite open about it. Is that your ideal of equal treatment?
But what about preferential hiring and promotion for women? That’s become SOP in many places. Some are quite open about it. Is that your ideal of equal treatment?
No, I think its indefensible. The last thing I want is for my kids to be taught by someone whose appointment is mainly the result of a quota. Or to be operated on by a surgeon who is there as the result of a quota of a certain gender or ethnic group. Equally indefensible is relaxing physical qualifications for firefighters, and the current mania for women in the infantry is also indefensible.
Here is the Camille Paglia text from her book, Free Women Free Men: Sex, Gender, Feminism. Like so much of what she says, it seems empty. As in, so what? What do we do with her insight?
We stop talking about ‘toxic masculinity’, we stop pretending that there are no significant differences between the sexes, we admit that there were good reasons for some of the traditional gender role differences, we value what the traditionally masculine attitudes and behaviour have delivered… stuff like that.
I think a lot of Paglia’s stuff on popular culture is paying too much attention to ephemeral mediocrity. Its part of the problem. But on this stuff, I think she hits the nail on the head.
“That said, if a woman is teaching a math or a French class, there is no reason she should be paid any less than a man teaching that same class,”
And women are not paid less. Those are state jobs anyway, so the pay is very much fixed. Throw in the concept that there is likely a huge female hiring preference for those jobs and your scenario is a win for the women.
“In my mother’s generation, women were not permitted to continue teaching in many institutions if they married. Or working in lots of jobs. That was not right.”
And it changed. What’s your point there? It changed almost immediately upon women bringing up their desire for change.
No, it did not change ‘almost immediately’. It took around 50 – 100 years, and it was a real struggle.
My point is a simple one, and its one made by increasing numbers of women observers. Feminism started probably with such things as the Married Womens Property Act in the UK, then moved on to votes for women. Both of which were entirely correct, and repaired the previous treatment of women as second class citizens. We then moved into equal pay for equal work, and that too is something that I think is impossible to argue with.
All of this was compatible with the nuclear or extended family as the basic foundation of communities.
However, contemporary feminism has moved into a sort of post-modern anti-male craziness, which Larry has written about at length. In the name of something people refer to as feminism we are indeed now conducting a prolonged evidence free social experiment in the abolition of the family, and he is right, the odds of it ending well are few and none, and it has lots of insane aspects. And in addition to having ominous implications for society, it doesn’t seem to be making either women or men as individuals happier than they were before this latest phase.
That doesn’t make the early ambitions of real feminism invalid. When trying to think this through we should not be nostalgic about earlier indefensible restrictions on women when rejecting the absurd excesses of the contemporary ideology.
I think of it a bit like the laws on homosexuality. It was obviously right to decriminalize. That does not mean finding ‘Pride’ marches attractive, or agreeing to the invention of a wholly imaginary ‘LGBT+’ so called ‘community’. Or agreeing that hormones and surgery can change men into women.
“It took around 50 – 100 years, and it was a real struggle.”
What is fascinating is that prior to 1964 paying women less than men for the same work was legal. It also wasn’t happening. Yet the myth persists.
That was one of your most provocative and powerful posts (high praise considering your other work).
“These Are the Highest-Paying College Majors” at Maxim – “Good news for all you petroleum engineers out there.”
These are fun clickbait space-fillers. Color me skeptical about their accuracy. “#3: Political Economy.” I majored in that. There was near-zero demand in the 1970s, and I doubt there is more now.
The other thing they don’t mention: some of the hot jobs are brutally cyclical. Remember the joke from the 1980s?
“What do you call a petroleum geologist?” (A sizzling hot field in the 1970s and early 1980s.)
I think you hit the nail on the head, I work in education and it is a female institution now, as a male maths teacher I can say women get preference. I don’t care it is permanent work, I like it, I do my 8 am to 4 pm and that is fine.
My female manager works longer hours in the day job, but goes home to yoga, spin classes or restaurant meals with her husband, nothing wrong with this, but a lot of us guys do a second job. We earn more, because we work more, I know on the days she goes to yoga or spin classes he is working, as he works at the same evening academy I do.
Yes at the very top their is an old boys network, but it excludes working class and so on.
There are a lot of marriages, most of my wife and I’s network, where the wives work part time and we guys work full time and do extra on top, I like the jobs I do, I don’t like to vegetate in front of the TV drinking wine or not every night. I come home about 7 /8pm, having done a couple of extra hours teaching a couple of nights a week, no big deal. The children prefer my wife’s cooking and she runs them around with sports and chats to the other soccer Mum’s.
Given our educations and incomes, on paper she would look very discriminated against, if income was our only measure of equality.
Wow Larry. I cherrypicked the same two quotes from Hero Heinrik. I hadn’t seen your response at that point.
I’d like to say “great minds” and all that, but our comments were just plain common sense. It’s the most common response these days to virtue signaling.
“A new California law requires most companies in the state to have at least one woman on their boards of directors by the end of this year. By the end of 2021, they’ll need three. According to a new Bloomberg analysis, this sea change could offer women 692 seats at the table, …”
Which means 692 fewer husbands available.
And 690 165-215 pounders who will all be asking ‘Where have all the good men gone?’ or will be lamenting their unhappy marriage and/or divorce. I imagine 2 of those 692 will be physically attractive and will be able to get a husband who is at least their corporate equal.
It is a matter of historical fact that in the UK, in the 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a common practice of paying women less for the same work. The well known transit drivers strike of 1918 is one example. But as late as the 1960s there was the Ford Dagenham strike on the same grounds.
But really, the point I am making is that equal pay for equal work belongs to the earlier phase of feminism, along with votes for women, equality before the law generally, and that these were and are entirely reasonable goals. But somehow the thing went totally off the rails, as Larry has often noted, and now we find ourselves in the bizarre world of post-modern feminism with all the knee-jerk sillinesses – well, worse than silliness – that you find all over the place.
The book he references, ‘Who stole Feminism’ is a very interesting example of how the real downsides of this late stage decadence of a once valid movement are becoming apparent to those for whose benefit the thing is supposed to be being done. Some of the other books he has cited show women becoming increasingly uneasy about what the effect of all this is on their sons. Yes indeed.
My own view of this is probably unacceptable to just about everyone: that is, thinking the early stages of the movement were valid probably offends one half, and thinking it then went totally off the rails offends the other half.
Well, it’s the way it looks to me.