Letter: ‘Wage gap’ fabricates inequality



I am responding to the Reader’s Views page concerning equal pay for women. The rights of women have come a long way since Mary Wollstonecraft, Hannah More, Susan B. Anthony and Frances Willard. We should remain diligent to sustain these rights but not create additional inequality by conjuring issues that are not factual. This is both divisive and detrimental to our society. It certainly is not my feminism.

A real issue ignored, most especially by such groups as the American Association of University Women and the National Organization of Women, is the inequality such groups promote against men. Research has illustrated the negative effects of gender politics in our educational system—to the detriment of our boys and our society. I don’t want to see these effects in the economy, too. It has been well documented that gender feminist groups promote policies based on faulty empirical evidence—anecdotal methods, absence of comparative studies, misuse of scientific studies, and unrepeatable data. Their “evidence” is full of propaganda and bias. Deceitful actions to fulfill one’s political agenda are contrary to a functioning society.

American women make their own choices. They are succeeding at tremendous rates, most especially compared to men. Extensive research has been done on this subject by Professor Christina Hoff Sommers, a self-declared freedom feminist who has multiple publications regarding the misguided policies of gender feminists. The bogus “wage gap” is not a real concern. However, the underachievement of the American male population is. Hoff Sommers quotes education writer Paul Whitmire and literacy expert William Brozo in her book, The War Against Boys, “The global economic race we read so much about—the marathon to produce the most educated workforce and therefore the most prosperous nation—really comes down to a calculation: Whichever nation solves these ‘boy troubles’ wins the race.”

The “wage gap” is a perfect example of fabricating inequality where it does not exist. At its core, the “wage gap” claim is faulty, because crucial variables are omitted. The raw wage gap is calculated by finding the average wage earnings of all men and women. It does not take into account the multiple factors that affect this score. For example, personal choices of men and women play a huge role in future earnings. Women typically chose careers in fields that are nurturing or afford flexibility. In a 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics report, women dominate careers such as speech-language pathologist (95.6 percent), elementary and middle school teacher (81.7 percent), and social worker (81.6 percent). Even when looking at higher-paying careers, such as pharmacists or doctors, women are paid less because of personal choices. Women are more likely to choose financially less lucrative specialties like pediatrics over higher paid ones such as cardiology. In these fields, even full-time working women work less on average than men. Males work on average 2.4 hours more than women in the same fields leading to more work experience. More work experience translates into higher wages.

So, why do women, on average, work less than men? It’s not discrimination. It is due to their choice to leave the paid work force either to birth a child, raise a child or care for an elderly or sick family member. This also accounts for why more women than men are part-time workers. American women are free, self-determining individuals who make their own choices, and many of them choose to stay at home to nurture their own.

The “wage gap” argument also neglects the gender disparity evident in another report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It shows that in 2015, 92.9 percent of workplace deaths were men, compared to 7.1 percent of women. Men chose jobs that are more dangerous and therefore more highly compensated.

The most obvious reason that I, as a woman, am not concerned with the “wage gap” issue is this: the Equal Pay Act of 1963 makes it illegal to discriminate based on gender.

Hoff Sommers summed up these issues well when she wrote, “The sexes are equal, but they exercise their equality in different ways. There is a well-known complementarity between the two sexes. They need each other. They have even been known to love one another. How did we forget about these simple truths? And how have we allowed our society to become so badly rigged against boys?”

Veronica Werth, Carmel