Updated January 31, 2018
Many feminists claim the gender wage gap affects women of all ages. Is that true? Consider: “…an analysis of 14 million employer retirement accounts that are serviced by Fidelity found that women saved 9% of their paychecks in 2016, while men set aside 8.6% for their golden years.” –USA Today, May 19, 2017
The wage gap doesn’t affect women. Feminists have it backwards. Women affect the gender wage gap. So do men. Peruse that again after reading this Male Matters commentary.
Updated May 9, 2017
A few months after I, a man, was hired into a company in the mid-1960s, in the “Mad Men” era, another man was hired to do the exact same thing — at a sizeably higher salary than I was receiving.
The company had a policy of salary confidentiality. (When the boss is away, some workers discuss their salaries despite the policy.) The policy’s main purpose was to give the company enough wiggle room to woo from other companies, especially competitors, people it thought would be star performers.
Benefits, too, can vary in the same company. In the early ’70s, when I had a road job, I overheard a co-worker, who held the exact same position I held, say he’d received a bump in his gas allowance. I asked, “How come I didn’t get it?” “You have to ask,” he said. I did, and I got it.
There are also such non-gender-based disparities as this: “Then when the economy improved, we have salary inversion: entry-level faculty were hired at a higher salary level and long-serving faculty found themselves with salaries that were near at or even less then the newly hired professors.” (See also this.)
What all this means is that, where salary secrecy is banned, women learn that some of them make more than some of the women and some of the men — all doing the exact same work, often right next to each other, elbow to elbow.
Here’s what women’s advocates don’t want anyone to know concerning women, men, and the wage gap:
In general, American women don’t just enjoy better health and live longer than men, who on average die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death. (That longevity gap has more than doubled in the U.S. since 1900. “There’s not a better indicator of well-being than life expectancy,” says Philip Morgan, a demographer at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.) They as a group also control most of the consumer spending, which is about 70% of all economic activity in the US.
Even more striking than controlling most of the consumer spending, women as a group own most of the nation’s personal wealth. According to Business Insider, “76% of Americans believe that men control more wealth than women. But a new survey of Federal Reserve Board data reveals that women actually control 51.3% of personal wealth in the United States.” (See also Lisa T. Wood’s site.)
Refinery29.com paints an even brighter financial picture for women: “In the US alone, women control $14 trillion assets or roughly 60% of personal wealth and 51% of stock, which is expected to climb to $22 trillion in 2020.”
It has been this way for decades. In 1960, according to Click Americana, “Women have more money than men. Total holdings of American women include 66 percent of all US Savings Bonds, 65 percent of all savings bank accounts, 53 percent of all publicly held stocks.”
Soon women will control an even greater percentage of the wealth.
“Over the next decade,” says She-conomy.com, “women will control two thirds of consumer wealth in the United States and be the beneficiaries of the largest transference of wealth in our country’s history. Estimates range from $12 to $40 trillion. Many Boomer women will experience a double inheritance windfall, from both parents and husband.”
The typical wife is younger than her husband by 2.5 years and can be expected to outlive him by 4.8 years. (The 4.8-year difference pertains to people born in 2014; this suggests that the older a couple is now, the longer she will outlive him). Thus the typical wife enjoys her and her husband’s wealth 7.3 years longer than her husband, who much more often than she created their wealth alone.
Even if a female commits a minor crime, she experiences privilege. In The Boy Crisis, author Warren Farrell writes:
“If your son commits a minor crime, he is also more likely to go to jail or prison than your daughter. First, if he has no criminal history and has committed a crime identical to that of your daughter, your son is more likely to be charged; second, he is more likely to be convicted of that crime; and third, when he is convicted, on average your son will receive a 63 percent longer sentence.”
Being less often charged creates the image of women as being less criminal, which leads to charging women less, which leads to….
“We have discussed how, in an era of consciousness about racism in law enforcement, we are comparatively blind to the sexism that can magnify that racism. It is unlikely that your son will learn in school that the gap in sentencing is six times greater for men versus women than it is for blacks versus whites.” [Bold and italics Farrell’s.] (See also the University of Michigan Law School’s report.)
“…[A]t the height of the Depression, 154 men committed suicide for each 100 women. Yet by 2015, in good economic times, boys and men were committing suicide three and a half times more often than women.”
To put these statements in the proper gender perspective, reverse the sexes in them:
In general, men don’t just enjoy better health and live longer than women, who on average die sooner and at a higher rate of the 12 leading causes of death. (That longevity gap has more than doubled since 1900.) They as a group also control most of the consumer spending and most of the nation’s personal wealth. Soon they will control even more.
The typical husband is younger than his wife by 2.5 years and can be expected to outlive her by 4.8 years. (The 4.8-year difference pertains to people born in 2014; this suggests that the older a couple is now, the longer he will outlive her). Thus the typical husband enjoys his and his wife’s wealth 7.3 years longer than his wife, who much more often than he created their wealth alone.
If a female commits a minor crime, she is more likely to go to jail or prison than a male. First, if she has no criminal history and has committed a crime identical to that of a male, she is more likely to be charged; second, she is more likely to be convicted of that crime; and third, when she is convicted, on average she will receive a 63 percent longer sentence.
It is unlikely that your daughter will learn in school that the gap in sentencing is six times greater for women versus men than it is for blacks versus whites.
At the height of the Depression, 154 women committed suicide for each 100 men. Yet by 2015, in good economic times, girls and women were committing suicide three and a half times more often than men.
Is this the expected behavior of an under-privileged, economically poor group: “Women Are Spending Hundreds on ‘Designer Nipples.’” How seriously should we take the employed woman who’s known for making her nipples visible around town if she applies for a position in management? If feminists say we should take her very seriously, how seriously would they take a man doing this?
Add to these, among many other things, a gender reversal of the 92 percent of workplace deaths and the 79 percent of suicides that occur to men.
If all these events occurred to women instead of to men, they would signify enough unfair male power, privilege, and advantage that feminists would explode out onto the streets in visceral, thunderous protest.
Does this sound like the oppressed group — the longer-living, healthier, wealthier group — that women’s advocates would have us believe women are?
It’s often believed that “men have the power” because on average they earn more money than women. But there is no power in earning money. There is only responsibility, stress, and, yes, sometimes real blood, sweat, and tears. Earning money takes away both power and freedom. If there is power in money, it is in spending it. Ask any politician. Or ask anyone who bribes politicians. Thus, which of the two sexes has more power? (Search for “There is no power in earning money” in “The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research.”)
Regarding women’s “77 cents to men’s dollar for the same work,” I suspect that many if not most pay-equity advocates think employers are greedy profiteers who:
- would hire only illegal immigrants for their lower labor cost if they could get away with it
- would move all or part of their business to a cheap-labor country to save money (see the last paragraph at the site)
- would replace older workers with younger ones for the same reason.
So why do these same advocates think employers would not hire only women if, as the advocates say, employers DO get away with paying females at a lower rate than males for the same work?
Here are just three of countless examples showing that some of the most sophisticated women in the country choose to earn less even if getting paid at the same rate as their male counterparts:
“…[O]nly 35 percent of women who have earned MBAs after getting a bachelor’s degree from a top school are working full time.” It “is not surprising that women are not showing up more often in corporations’ top ranks.“
“A study of students graduating from Carnegie Mellon found that 57% of males negotiated for a higher starting salary than had been offered, compared to just 7% of females. As a result, starting salaries of men were 7.6% (almost $4,000) higher than those of women.“
A thousand laws won’t turn that around.*
“Want to close [the] wage gap? Step one: Change your major from feminist dance therapy to electrical engineering.” –Christina Hoff Sommers
Perhaps now it’s understandable why none of the following measures over the last half century has closed the gender wage gap:
-The 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act
-Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
-The 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act
-Affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap – tinyurl.com/74cooen)
-The 1991 amendments to Title VII
-The 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act
-The 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act
-The Age Discrimination in Employment Act
-The Americans with Disability Act (Title I)
-The countless state and local laws and regulations
-The thousands of company mentors for women
-The horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
-TV’s and movies’ last three decades of casting women as thoroughly integrated into the world of work (even in the macho world of spying, James Bond’s boss is a woman)
-The National Labor Relations Act
-The 2009 Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law, but that too has failed to significantly close the wage gap for women.)
-The 2010 National Equal Pay Enforcement Task Force
-It is highly likely that the 2016 EEO-1 report, which begins collecting summary pay data, will join this list of failed measures.
These measures have failed because women’s pay-equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female AND male behavior:
Despite the 40-year-old demand for women’s equal pay, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of “The Secrets of Happily Married Women,” stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche. “In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.”
“For most men, the road to high pay is a toll road.” -Warren Farrell, The Boy Crisis, a stunning book that may change readers’ lives
(“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” “…[M]ore women than men voluntarily leave the labor force, often finding meaningful work in the home.” If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps one unrecognized reason is that feminists and the liberal media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs and will be harassed — so why bother working outside the home if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman, as illustrated by such titles as this: “Gender wage gap sees women spend 7 weeks working for nothing“. Note: In 2015, 10 million fewer women than men were in the labor force, 73.5 million women compared to 83.6 million men. See also Time’s January 19, 2018 report, “No, All Those Strollers Aren’t Your Imagination. More Women Are Having Children.” How does this help the gender wage gap?)
Numbering in the millions, stay-at-home wives, whether mothers or childless homemakers, earn zero wages. How can millions of women afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they’re paid to stay at home by an “employer” — their husband. (Even today, far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands. Why aren’t feminists telling women to become an “employer” who supports a husband? That’s one way to close the gap.)
You’ve probably taken a guess as to how much money your coworkers and others make, compared with you. Evidence suggests you probably aren’t very accurate. In one PayScale survey of 71,000 people, for example, 64% of those paid the average market rate thought they were paid less than average. At the same time, 35% who were paid above market rates also thought they were paid less than average. –Harvard Business Review, “Baseball Teams Show When Pay Transparency Backfires,” May 9, 2017
The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is wrongly dismissed as irrelevant by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept NO wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands’ incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:
- accept low wages
- refuse overtime and promotions
- choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do (The most popular job for American women as of 2010 is still secretary/administrative assistant. It has been a top ten job for women for more than 50 years. See why: “Want to find a husband? Be a secretary (1952).”)
- take more unpaid days off
- avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining
- work fewer hours than their male counterparts, or work less than full-time more often than their male counterparts (as in the above example regarding physicians)
Any one of these job choices lowers women’s median pay relative to men’s. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack, thereby increasing HIS pay — and decreasing his freedom.
Women who make these choices are generally able to do so because they are supported — or, if unmarried, anticipate being supported — by a husband who feels pressured to earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. (Married men earn more than single men, but even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self worth is tied to their net worth.) This is how MEN help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for ones that pay well.
Women’s advocates and the liberal media fail (miserably, in my opinion) when they ignore the influence on married women, AND on many single women who aspire to marry, of a husband’s or a future husband’s income and willingness to be the primary provider who supports a wife when she exercises, usually at a time of her own choosing, her options of working full-time, working part-time, or being a stay-at-home wife.
Here’s one result of marriage’s influence on both women and men, as told by entrepreneur Stacy Epstein at Quartz:
“Among all the hires that I’ve made at my last three companies, literally every man I‘ve negotiated with asked for more money, more stock, or both. One hundred percent of the time. I’d estimate that women ask for more only 10% of the time. And in addition to asking about company and stock valuations, I’ve had men ask to see full cap tables, recent board decks, and sales results. Women? Almost never.”
“Women are more likely than men to state that they are uncomfortable negotiating salary – 31 percent vs. 23 percent – and that holds true even among C-level executives where 26 percent of female Chief Executives said they’re uncomfortable negotiating compared to 14 percent of male Chief Executives.” –PayScale.com
A recap of some of the dynamics that help set the stage for a wage gap to be created:
- Because of socialization, men and women generally develop a different psychology regarding money-making. The main difference is that far more women than men can detach earning an income from their self-worth. In marriage, men are expected far more often than women to be either the sole or primary provider. Hence men are far more often burdened with the expectation of attaining success. They know this and deeply internalize it. Far more often than women, men link net-worth to self-worth.
- Far more women than men seek spouses with a high net-worth (hypergamy)
- Far more single women than single men ask prospective dates, “What do you do?” — and then listen more closely to the answer.
- Far more women than men look at a prospective spouse as an “employer” who will pay them to stay at home when they choose to do so.
- “Most women believe what makes a Quality Man is his ability to swoop her off her feet, wine and dine her at the best restaurants around town, and give her presents and a very wealthy lifestyle.” Only a well-off man can do all that. While many women say men pressure them to be sex objects, looking for a “Quality Man” is how a woman can make a man feel pressured to be a success object who earns more than she does and who thus helps perpetuate the gender wage gap that enrages politicized feminists. -Quote is from Huffington Post, January 9, 2015
Perhaps we can now better understand why, according to 2013 data at the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the following jobs contain one percent or less female workers: boilermakers, brick masonry, stonemasonry, septic tank servicing, sewer pipe cleaners and trash collectors. By contrast, women are 97 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers, 80 percent of social workers, 82 percent of librarians and 92 percent of dietitians and nutritionists and registered nurses.
Now learn about the spurious, immoral racist act set in motion decades ago by white ideological feminists who claim that because of the gender wage gap, white women are as economically oppressed as blacks:
This is not what you think it is.
*Well, one law would close the gender wage gap almost overnight: a law that prohibits men from supporting women.
Think about it, factoring out the matter of children for the moment: Suppose a law barred men from supporting women, in marriage and out, and from spending money on them and giving them money or assets of any kind, directly or indirectly. Every unemployed wife in the country would be forced to get a job. And millions of employed women would be forced to obtain a better one, raising women’s average pay immediately and dramatically. “Without husbands,” says Farrell, “women have to focus on earning more. They work longer hours, they’re willing to relocate and they’re more likely to choose higher-paying fields like technology.”
And how would this prohibition effect men? Millions would no longer feel the need for a high-paying job to attract women and gain and hold a woman’s love. A good number of the men already holding a high-paying and likely stressful job would gleefully walk away, sending employers into a frenzy recruiting women. Men would no longer have to earn as much as before, and women would have to earn more. Presto — the sexes’ wage gap would snap shut with a thunderous clap. An ideological feminist fantasy come true!
(Archived at http://archive.is/IRH8x)
- “Do women get only 80 percent of the pay men do for the same job?” –PolitiFact
- “Why the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act Failed” Learn about a law I believe would close the gender wage gap almost overnight, literally.
- “A Comprehensive Look at Gender Equality: The Doctrinaire Institute for Women’s Policy Research”
- “Women’s 77 cents to men’s dollar: what it really means“
- “Why Men Earn More” by Warren Farrell
- “Why Women Are Leaving the Workforce in Record Numbers“
- “Choice of College Majors: Class of 2013” See the different job choices men and women make even before they are out of the gate.