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Fudge factors…deploy!

Obama mentioned that women make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. You know what that means? Cue the jerks making bogus statistical arguments to make the gap go away — in this case, wouldn’t you know it, Christina Hoff Sommers.

What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid. The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents.

“When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration” is code for “I’m going to make excuses to justify the difference” — it’s not that the average woman is going to find herself 23% richer when Sommers is done, it’s just that she’s going to unthinkingly apply some fudge factors to the numbers to tell us that a yearly income of $23,000 is actually the same as $30,000. And of course there are people who will seriously believe that.

But she gives the game away in that paragraph. The 23 cent gender gap is actually real, because it’s an overall measure of the average man’s and woman’s earnings — Obama wasn’t wrong at all, he just wasn’t respecting anti-feminists’ dishonest manipulation of the data. When we appreciate that total earnings are a result of multiple factors, if we catalog all those factors and then dismiss all the ones that show discriminatory patterns of reward in society, then we can explain the difference as fair and natural.

So what factors does she list as contributing to women’s lower income?

  • Men and women differ in their college majors. Does she stop and ask why? Why are women more likely to major in social work than engineering? Why should women be less likely to enter engineering? I know women who are engineers, physicists, mathematicians, computer scientists — it’s not as if breasts get in the way of doing factor analysis, or as if a penis makes one incapable of caring about human beings.

  • The professions favored by women pay less well than the professions favored by men. Does she stop and ask why? Why are social workers paid less than engineers? Why should we consider social work less important than engineering? In Sommers’ list of majors and their average earnings, does even give the briefest consideration to the curious fact that most of the top ten most remunerative professions are men dominated, while most of the bottom ten least remunerative professions are women dominated?* No, not in the slightest.

    Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones. In the pursuit of happiness, men and women appear to take different paths.

    Even if we take that as a given (I don’t; I think social pressures push people into jobs they may not desire as much as Sommers thinks), it leaves unanswered the big question: why does society reward “people-free” jobs more than it does caring ones?

There is a point to working out all the contributing factors to average income: it’s to identify where the inequities are being generated, so that we can correct them and reward people fairly for their work. Not to Christina Hoff Sommers, though:

Much of the wage gap can be explained away by simply taking account of college majors.

That says so much. She’s looking for ways to explain away the differences. She’s not looking for answers, or ways to more fairly treat human beings, or any understanding of the very real economic differences between men and women. Here’s a shorter Christina Hoff Sommers: women get paid less because their work is less valuable.

And she isn’t even aware of how profoundly sexist her entire rationalization is.

What if we lived in a world where equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job led to jobs where the pay was equal? A social worker with a masters degree and ten years of experience should be getting roughly the same pay as an engineer with a masters degree and ten years experience, in a just world. We should appreciate that we need functional communities about as much as we need bridges and pipelines.

And why shouldn’t some men find social work a better fit to their personality than engineering? Or what are women with an aptitude for engineering doing in jobs that don’t fit their personality — because peer pressure tells women that math aptitude is manly?

Grr. Every time I read anything by Sommers, I come away appalled at how superficial and self-serving her analyses are. She’s a true champion of the status quo.


*By the way, she uses a really sneaky tactic in her lists: for the richest professions, she tells us what percent are men; for the poorest professions, she tells us what percent are women. The numbers may be perfectly accurate, but you can tell exactly how she wants to bias our perception of them.


Actually, I’m always appalled at any position taken by the anti-feminists — they rarely think in any way beyond justifying their prior views. This comic catches that attitude perfectly.

Comments

  1. says

    It’s also lazy because there’s been a study of the supposed “factors.” There’s still a 7% disparity, even when correcting for the factors, that can only be explained by sexism.

    Of course what you’ll hear is the inevitable “but if women really make less than men, why wouldn’t businesses hire them to save money, huh?”

    To which I respond – those businesses that will pay women 77 cents where men get a dollar are very likely the same businesses that won’t hire women if they can help it.

  2. jamessweet says

    Heh, her argument is self-defeating. So what she is saying is that, out of the 23 cent gender gap, only 18 cents of that can be accounted for by systemic biases that cause women to get shittier jobs — a full 5 cents of it is because even when women manage to get good jobs, they get paid less!

    Not exactly making your case here…

  3. jamessweet says

    Of course what you’ll hear is the inevitable “but if women really make less than men, why wouldn’t businesses hire them to save money, huh?”

    To which I respond – those businesses that will pay women 77 cents where men get a dollar are very likely the same businesses that won’t hire women if they can help it.

    I don’t think your response is generally accurate, to be honest. I think the mental error here (both in the hypothetical quote, and in your response) is to think of a “business” as a sole actor behaving in a conscious manner. Businesses are in reality made up of a multitude of actors, and they are not always behaving consciously.

    It’s not one guy who says, “Broads don’t got no clue!” It’s dozens of HR personnel — men and women alike — who look at a resume and subconsciously rate the one with a woman’s name on it as being ever-so-slightly less competent than a comparable resume with a man’s name. And maybe they don’t even do that every time they see a resume — maybe it’s fifty different people that, 1 time in 3 that they look at a resume apply a subconscious bias. That’s enough to create a HUGE gender disparity, without anybody deliberately trying to.

    I think this is important because it very much changes the solution. The solution is not to boot the obvious sexist pigs (though that should be done, too, but it won’t be enough to fix the problem). The solution lies in things like, even when thinking about YOURSELF, consider gender-blinding resumes to avoid biases — even if you don’t think you’d be biased.

  4. zenlike says

    The professions favored by women pay less well than the professions favored by men. Does she stop and ask why?

    Because those professions are ‘for women’. I remember even some studies that ppointed out that when a profession became more ‘female’ the wages dropped. So professions that were traditionally ‘male’, when they gradually became ‘female’, began paying less and less, not only for the women, but also for the men in those professions. Same job contents, same level of knowledge and skill required, just that they were seen as ‘female’, therefore less valuable. Systematic biases indeed.

  5. doublereed says

    It’s a simple issue that there are many ways to account for differences in the gap. It’s not like one measure is “more accurate” than another. They use different methods to try to explain the issues in the gap. It’s not as if women don’t make 77 cents to the man’s dollar. That’s still true.

    The fudge factors can also be messed with considerably. It’s only when you’re being incredibly generous that it “narrows to 5 cents.” Most of the it’s more like 10-12 cents. It’s not like these are ‘more accurate,’ they use different models.

    I mean, we have different ways of measuring unemployment!

    Anyway, I like what Cenk Uygur said, which is that Obama said that specifically so that conservatives would whine about it and look like a bunch of misogynists. Score.

  6. opposablethumbs says

    The solution lies in things like, even when thinking about YOURSELF, consider gender-blinding resumes to avoid biases — even if you don’t think you’d be biased.

    jamessweet makes a good point; many (most???) of us will catch ourselves reacting with gender bias in all kinds of contexts if we get/make a chance to stop and think about it. Obviously I definitely include myself in that. And yes, there’s every point in shining the spotlight on the egregious cases of bias in the form of the openly sexist pigs and in the form of people like Hoff Sommers.

  7. unbound says

    @3 (jamessweet) – You are actually giving HR a bit too much credit. The reality is that for large corporations, they will (and do) use any tactic available to keep wages low. They certainly don’t discuss openly things like “She’s a broad / he’s a minority / he’s new, so we can pay her/him less”…but they do discuss things like “How little can we pay and so-and-so will accept the job / accept lower bonus / accept lower pay/raise”…I’ve actually been involved in exactly that conversation (not women so far, but some of the other conditions that were really rather thinly veiled references).

    Corporate HR actually discusses compensation with their competitors (setting the prices of good and services this way is illegal, but not an issue when setting wages) to keep salaries in check. The deck is stacked against workers in general, and women specifically.

  8. Jacob Schmidt says

    Ah, yes, the “lifestyle choices” argument. Predicated on the assumption that culture means nothing and that the value we assign to certain careers is fair.

  9. randay says

    @3 Jamessweet. Human Resources(HR)is one of the worst expressions ever invented. It means people are like minerals or other raw resources. It used to be called the personnel department, which makes more sense. What qualifications do HR people have? There are universities that supposedly train them. To do what? I have never met an HR person who seemed qualified in psychology or anything else, or at least they were less than me.

    A Wiki article says, “In practice, HR is responsible for employee experience during the entire employment lifecycle. It is first charged with attracting the right employees through employer branding. It then must select the right employees through the recruitment process. HR then onboards new hires and oversees their training and development during their tenure with the organization. HR assesses talent through use of performance appraisals and then rewards them accordingly.”

    All that is hogwash. Read the Wiki article on “employer branding”.

    HR is largely a political branch of the company, again according to Wiki, “HR will typically also serve as the company’s primary liaison with the employee’s representatives (usually a labor union). Consequently, HR, usually through industry representatives, engages in lobbying efforts with governmental agencies (e.g., in the United States, the United States Department of Labor and the National Labor Relations Board) to further its priorities.”

    Lobbying against unions is its priority.

    Further from Wiki, “Being an HR manager consistently ranks as one of the best jobs, with a #4 ranking by CNN Money in 2006 and a #20 ranking by the same organization in 2009, due to its pay, personal satisfaction, job security, future growth, and benefit to society.[14][15]
    Human resource consulting is a related career path where individuals may work as advisers to companies and complete tasks outsourced from companies. In 2007, there were 950 HR consultancies globally, constituting a USD $18.4 billion market.”

    “Benefit to society”? You must be kidding me! The second sentence says it all “complete tasks outsourced from companies”. In English, firing people. I have never met or been interviewed by an HR person I respected. But I guess you can make a lot of money screwing people over.

  10. says

    #8, Blake:

    Work in astronomy? Want a $4,500 annual salary boost? Be a dude.

    Well, we do need additional compensation for carrying our massive penises to work, and then there’s the challenge of doing intellectual work with a brain awash in testosterone…

  11. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    Even if we accept Sommers’ list, there’s still a 5c difference. And 5c is still too much.

  12. stevem says

    She is scolding Obama for using inaccurate figures, and providing “more accurate” figures. I doubt she is trying to justify the “gender gap”, nor minimize it, but just gloss over it to scold the “big bad” Obama for using old figures. While maybe not a Conservican herself, I’m sure this will be used by the cons to berate Obama. “He’s behind the times, uses obsolete statistics to tear down the working systems that already work just fine”, I predict they will be saying.
    I also suspect her of “survivor bias” in her statistics. That is, comparing male vs. female salaries for the same position. Disregarding the population numbers of males vs. females in that position, and all other biases. And even with “survivor bias”, she still gets a “gender gap”, and still scolds Obama, not the System for the gap, just scolds him for “exaggerating” the actual gap. Just another case of “oppose anything Obama says”.

  13. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @randay

    Having worked in an HR department, I can tell you that “lobbying against Unions” takes up the least amount of their time as compared to all the other aspects of HR that you mentioned. I would also point out that they don’t “lobby against” unions, but attempt to reach a compromise that satisfies both the union and the board. Also, the men and women in HR (they are nearly all women; I was the only bloke in my department) almost always state that their decision to join HR was in part motivated by an interest in people and in helping people, and an interest in ensuring fair working practices is not at all an uncommon factor.

    You seem to be assuming that the people in HR work solely for the interests of the company as a money-making entity, and do not have their own views and ideas. This is no more true of HR than any other sector of a business.

  14. gussnarp says

    I had Science Friday on podcast the day after the State of the Union address and heard a piece about getting more women into coding. When my walk was finished and I took off my headphones, the guests had just been lamenting the woeful under-representation of women in computer science in college and I thought of my own comp sci classes in the college of engineering. There were at most a couple of women across all the classes I took in that department. There were pictures in the hallways of the offices of the comp sci professors of each graduating class of undergrads. Decades of pictures with no women at all. Starting in the 70s one or two would appear every so often. That’s a problem and it’s a problem we can, if not fix, at least change.

    Then the irony when I got in the car and NPR was interviewing Rand Paul about the SoU and he made much the same comment about the 77% figure. Those aren’t just fudge factors, they are the problem. At least part of it. I was pretty annoyed at the NPR host lobbing softballs to him and not challenging him on any of it. It is not bias to understand the 77% issue and why the conservative talking point about it is wrong and call a conservative on it when they toss out their sound bites. Anyone planning to ask Rand Paul about that is not doing their job if they aren’t prepared to not just ask about the 77%, but to ask about the obvious challenge to his response when you ought to already know he’s going to respond that way. It’s not like these comments come as a surprise, they’ve been right there in the playbook for a while now.

  15. Becca Stareyes says

    So basically only 22% of that 23-cent wage gap is due to direct sexism (paying women less than men for the same job)*. That still leaves the 78% due to indirect sexism (valuing things coded feminine less than things coded masculine, (which is reflected in pay scales) and encouraging people to take the ‘correctly-gendered’ jobs). As you point out, why should we pay a MEng more than a MSW? (Yes, math is hard. Working with people, especially distressed people in difficult situations, is also hard. Personally, I’ve always had an easier time with the math.)

    * Which is still too much.

  16. sonofrojblake says

    What if we lived in a world where equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job led to jobs where the pay was equal?

    {hillbilly voice}What’re you, boy, some kinda goddamn Commie?{/hillbilly voice}

    A social worker with a masters degree and ten years of experience should be getting roughly the same pay as an engineer with a masters degree and ten years experience, in a just world.

    Presupposes that getting a masters degree in engineering is as easy as getting a masters degree in social work. Presupposes that advancing through a career in engineering for ten years is as easy as advancing through a career in social work for ten years. Presupposes that getting a job as a social worker is as easy as getting a job as an engineer. Maybe that would be the case, in a just world.

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the joke goes:
    The engineering graduate asks: “How does it work?”
    The science graduate asks: “Why does it work?”
    The sociology graduate asks: “D’you want fries with that?”

    @randay,12

    I have never met or been interviewed by an HR person I respected. But I guess you can make a lot of money screwing people over.

    Ditto, with one honourable exception in twenty years.

  17. says

    #19, sonofrojblake:

    As a professor at a liberal arts university, I have heard variants of that damned stupid fucking “joke” ten thousand times, and every time it makes me want to smash a beer bottle and cut the asshole repeating it. It’s an implicit evil that presumes that the purpose of an education is to prepare people for the corporate workforce.

    Don’t do it again.

  18. chigau (違う) says

    sonofrojblake

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the joke goes:

    Interesting way to define “the real world”.

  19. neuroguy says

    Is it actually possible to have a rational discussion on this topic? Both sides seem to be taking an ideological stance that either: 1) ALL of the gap is due to sexism; or 2) NONE (or very little) of the gap is.

    The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week.

    Yes, well, those three things should be controlled for. Without controlling for them, “77 cents on the dollar” IS a factoid. It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout or if someone working a 70 hour week gets paid more than someone else working a 40 hour week, sorry. If you deny this, regardless of how many epithets you hurl in my direction, you are an irrational ideologue.

    The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week.

    But these two things are, as pointed out, where sexism can come into play. Those who deny this are also irrational ideologues.

    I’d like to point out though systemic sexism not only works to push women out of STEM fields and into “caring” professions; it works the other way as well, where men are seen as “unmanly” and there is more social pressure to be earning the big bucks.

  20. anteprepro says

    Maybe that would be the case, in a just world.

    Maybe you missed the word “should”. Because, yes, we are talking about a just world. Yes, we know that deviates from what our world currently is. That’s what the issue is.

  21. anteprepro says

    Both sides seem to be taking an ideological stance that either: 1) ALL of the gap is due to sexism; or 2) NONE (or very little) of the gap is.

    Anyone else feel that? I can tell in my bones that a false equivalence is looming near…

  22. says

    sonofrojblake #19

    The sociology graduate asks: “D’you want fries with that?”

    Fuck you, with extra fucking mayo. Y’know what, us people in fast food joints, behind the counter at your local petrol station, cleaning your office floors, virtually wiping your fucking arse; we are people, doing our best, in a job we probably fucking hate, to earn a living, put food on the table, pay the rent and all the rest of it. We are not some lesser species you get to look down your nose at.

    Thank you for sneering. Please fuck off. And next time, change your own bloody loo-roll.

    wanker.

  23. Onamission5 says

    I suck at statistics.

    Even though I suck at statistics, I can still differentiate between the 30K salary I was offered– twice– for a management position, and the 35K salary that both of the men who were hired in my place ended up getting. I can also tell the difference between the 11.50/ hr I was making at the time after a promotion and the $13/ hr my immediate subordinate was paid when he was hired to fill in the position I’d vacated, a position I was hired to do at $9/ hr.

    Why yes, I was the only woman in the kitchen, thanks for asking.

  24. sonofrojblake says

    In this discussion the implicit assumption is always made that more pay = better life, always, to infinity. Who believes that?

    If someone is making a basic middle class income (i.e. enough to be comfortable and to overcome everyday difficulties like replacing a boiler or fixing a car without it being a crisis), how keen are they to give up some of their family life to make more money? And is their preparedness to do that correlated in any way with their gender, either inherently or because of society’s expectations? Because if it is, and the stats include people on the top salaries, the inequality will never go away, and it will be because of choices people are making, not inequality of opportunity.

  25. doublereed says

    You seem to be assuming that the people in HR work solely for the interests of the company as a money-making entity, and do not have their own views and ideas. This is no more true of HR than any other sector of a business.

    My experience is that absolutely HR work solely for the interests of the company as a money-making entity (although I’ve never had any union job). That happens to include protecting employees from their managers and hostile work environments, because companies don’t want to be sued. But that’s an important point in of itself, that the fear of being sued is what makes HR departments actually do their job. (Of course, taking care of employees is good for a competitive job market and disgruntled employees can cause lots of problems)

    But HR departments ultimately answer to the company itself. You should never forget that if you ever have to deal with one.

  26. sonofrojblake says

    @chigau, 21:

    Interesting way to define “the real world”.

    Ten thousand times, PZ’s heard that joke. Sounds real enough.

    And given the violence of the reaction, I shall commit to comply and never repeat that joke here again.

  27. doublereed says

    In this discussion the implicit assumption is always made that more pay = better life, always, to infinity. Who believes that?

    If someone is making a basic middle class income (i.e. enough to be comfortable and to overcome everyday difficulties like replacing a boiler or fixing a car without it being a crisis), how keen are they to give up some of their family life to make more money? And is their preparedness to do that correlated in any way with their gender, either inherently or because of society’s expectations? Because if it is, and the stats include people on the top salaries, the inequality will never go away, and it will be because of choices people are making, not inequality of opportunity.

    No. First of all, The pay gap does not go away at higher income levels. So that claim is nonsense.

    Second of all, this is obviously about fairness. I don’t know what you’re even arguing other than being pathetic and whiney. “Change is impossible! Give up! Quickly!!!”

  28. chigau (違う) says

    sonofrojblake #28

    In this discussion the implicit assumption is always made that more pay = better life, always, to infinity.

    Where?

  29. says

    In this discussion the implicit assumption is always made that more pay = better life, always, to infinity.

    You must have a head chock full of nasty biases for that to be your implicit read.

  30. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    sonofrojblake

    Who believes that?

    You do, obviously. Why else do you find funny a joke about someone who’s selling fries for a living?
    Or is it the humiliation that is funny?
    Haha, you earned a degree, but there are no relevant jobs for you, haha.

    I dunno. It’s easy to find the intended punchline in jokes like that, but I never seem to get what about it is so funny.

  31. burgundy says

    sonofrojblake @ 19: the whole question of “easiness” is part of the problem. An engineering degree will be easier for some people than a social work degree, and vice versa. I started in social work before I switched to public administration. Five and a half years of employment later, I make more money than my mother the social worker does after 20 years in her field. Was the public administration more quantitatively rigorous? Yes, and that’s one of the reasons I switched. Would I rather take a stats class than work with an alcoholic with HIV and poorly-treated schizo-affective disorder to get him permanent housing? Fuck yes, that guy scared me. The whole concept of “easiness” is rooted in the idea that there’s an objective measure and usually carries the implication that masculine-coded tasks are more difficult.

    And one reason it can be hard finding a social work job is that we as a society don’t value that work and there aren’t as many positions as there should be. It all comes down to the same structural issues.

  32. Rey Fox says

    I can tell in my bones that a false equivalence is looming near…

    Or perhaps an appeal to the almighty and alwonderful Golden Mean…which oddly is always much closer to the oppressive status quo than any of the arguments against the status quo.

  33. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    burgundy,

    Another thing, related to “easiness”.
    Maybe getting degree X really is easier than getting degree Y. It doesn’t mean the field is less worthy or valuable or actually easier, it may just mean that it’s neglected.

  34. anteprepro says

    Because if it is, and the stats include people on the top salaries, the inequality will never go away, and it will be because of choices people are making, not inequality of opportunity.

    And now we start blaming the victim. I can’t wait to start hearing about bootstrapping and about how women and/or poor people just are too gosh-darn Lazy.

  35. randay says

    @35 burgundy, well we don’t really need social workers do we as we can just throw problem cases in prison, can’t we. Never mind that an incarcerated person costs more than paying someone to go to college. Thankfully someone invented private prisons which cost more and treat prisoners as shit. I still don’t understand how private prisons are legal as punishment is a domain of the government.

  36. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @neuroguy #22

    It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout or if someone working a 70 hour week gets paid more than someone else working a 40 hour week, sorry. If you deny this, regardless of how many epithets you hurl in my direction, you are an irrational ideologue.

    Nope, I don’t deny that. I do, however, wonder why anyone would assume that women more often fall into the latter categories. And if that person were to then admit that women are no more likely to be in the latter category than men, or vice versa, then what explanation would be left to that person other than sexism?

    Side note:

    Last week I stated that over the past few weeks I have become steadily more convinced that sonofrojblake is a huge flaming arsehole.

    Consider me convinced.

  37. randay says

    @16 Thumper; “You seem to be assuming that the people in HR work solely for the interests of the company as a money-making entity, and do not have their own views and ideas.”

    True, though they may have their views, they do what the school and company “training” courses tell them what to do. I remember an interview I once had with HR and my would-be manager sat in. HR insisted they did not want me, but I was hired because my sit-in manager decided he wanted me. HR sucks.

  38. zenlike says

    10 unbound

    Corporate HR actually discusses compensation with their competitors (setting the prices of good and services this way is illegal, but not an issue when setting wages) to keep salaries in check.

    Yeah still illegal I’m afraid.

    What they do is, they don’t discuss salaries face-to-face, but they compare their salaries to ‘market pay’, which are statistics gathered by some specialised agencies. But because everyone is comparing with those same statistics, it can lead to (and often does, especially for jobs where there are more qualified persons then jobs so companies can afford to hire a bit below market pay) a steady drop downwards for a whole industry, so it is a bit more ‘in the dark’ then what you said.

    22 neuroguy

    Yes, well, those three things should be controlled for.

    Missing the point. Why do women actually have lower education, job tenure, or hours worked per week? That’s the underlying question. So those points are not direct sexism, but point towards underlying sexist mechanism in our society.

    I’d like to point out though systemic sexism not only works to push women out of STEM fields and into “caring” professions; it works the other way as well, where men are seen as “unmanly” and there is more social pressure to be earning the big bucks.

    Patriarchy not only hurts women. As every feminist here will probably agree with.

    28 sonofrojblake

    In this discussion the implicit assumption is always made that more pay = better life, always, to infinity. Who believes that?

    So let’s switch the salaries of the women with the men, right? Problem solved: those women can’t complain anymore, and men are more happy!

  39. doublereed says

    I also thinks it’s absolutely silly that we talk about women becoming teachers which is why they get paid less.

    It’s not like the Free Market determines the wage of teachers…

  40. methuseus says

    @thumper #40

    Nope, I don’t deny that. I do, however, wonder why anyone would assume that women more often fall into the latter categories. And if that person were to then admit that women are no more likely to be in the latter category than men, or vice versa, then what explanation would be left to that person other than sexism?

    Reading the rest of neuroguy’s comment, I don’t believe xe lumps women into the latter categories. I agree, paying attention to more controls almost always gives better data. Also, though, any gap is really unacceptable in a fair society. If, say, a woman works a salaried job and regularly logs 50 hours per week, and a man works the same job but bugs out after 40 hours per week, they still shouldn’t make the same amount. I never understood how a salary could mean two people make the same amount even if they don’t do the same work.

    As for fairness of, say, an engineering degree generally making more than a social work degree, maybe they shouldn’t receive the same pay, but pay differentials should be much closer than they are. Plenty of social workers can barely make living wages and work a job I personally would never want. I would be horrible in that sort of position, so I see how they should be paid a decent amount.

    Either way, everyone should be making a living wage.

  41. methuseus says

    @ doublereed #43
    I don’t want the US’s “free market” (which is anything but) to dictate teacher’s wages. They already are low enough that many of those who would be good teachers go into other fields to avoid the bureaucracy and risk of financial insecurity.

  42. HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr says

    A point that really often gets left out of the wage gap dialogue, and really does demolish the “lol, but women just do useless work/take too much time off for kids/don’t work hard enough” claims, is actually what happens if you look at the racial disparities alongside the gender ones: http://www.infoplease.com/ipa/A0882775.html

    Just a total coincidence that POC also earn a shit ton less than white men.

  43. says

    The “free market” is only free if you can afford the entry fee. Never mind you don’t have to pay it, you have to have it to get in.

  44. says

    #22, neuroguy:

    Read what I wrote.

    When you say,

    Without controlling for them, “77 cents on the dollar” IS a factoid. It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout or if someone working a 70 hour week gets paid more than someone else working a 40 hour week, sorry. If you deny this, regardless of how many epithets you hurl in my direction, you are an irrational ideologue.

    You are ignoring the point. We are looking at the average income for all women. Controlling for degree, for instance, ignores the obvious question: why are fewer women getting degrees in those fields? 77 cents on the dollar is the real average income — when you say it’s because fewer women get advanced degrees, therefore we can dismiss it, you are actually begging the question. (<– and I’m using the phrase correctly!)

    Also, you ignore reality. My brother has a high school diploma, nothing more, but has been working a skilled union job at Boeing for longer than I’ve been in the workforce, despite being 8 years younger than I am. I’m the one working a 70 hour week, while he has a strictly defined 40 hour week…and if he works more, he gets paid overtime. He has substantially more accumulated income, and I’m confident that his yearly income is much, much higher than mine.

    I don’t begrudge him the higher income (I might enjoy my job more, although he doesn’t seem at all unhappy with what he does). But still it highlights the fundamentally wrong assumption of knee-jerk capitalists, that the amount you earn is actually proportional to what your labor is worth.

    And that’s the real problem here: the religion of capitalism, which constantly makes the panadaptationist assumption that all value is earned.

  45. doublereed says

    @45

    I’ll drop the ‘free’ label because I think that distracted people from what I was saying. I meant it more sarcastically.

    It’s not like market economics always screws the workers over. Sometimes it works out well. You do know the market can raise wages too, right? It depends on the situation.

    But my point was that it certainly doesn’t make any sense to talk about what jobs are “supposed” to be getting paid when they’re government employees like teachers. That just doesn’t make any sense.

  46. methuseus says

    @49
    Seriously, when has the market raised wages that haven’t collapsed shortly thereafter? I know about the tech bubble, but it burst and many are still not making what the average was at the height.

  47. doublereed says

    @49
    Seriously, when has the market raised wages that haven’t collapsed shortly thereafter? I know about the tech bubble, but it burst and many are still not making what the average was at the height.

    Err… well it’s only news when bad things happen and things need to be fixed. I don’t even know how I could find an example…

    If nothing needs to be fixed, what’s the news?

    Generally anytime there is a sudden increase in the demand for a skill, those wages will rise. And employers compete for the best people.

  48. scienceavenger says

    We are looking at the average income for all women. Controlling for degree, for instance, ignores the obvious question: why are fewer women getting degrees in those fields? 77 cents on the dollar is the real average income

    Yes, but it is too often not used that way, and that way confuses the issue when it comes to solutions, which I think were neuroguy’s points. To enact effective solutions, we’ve got to unpack that 23% gap and address the individual causes. I don’t recall if Obama used it this way, but frequently people will say “women make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes for doing the same work“, and that is not only flat untrue, but it exacerbates the problem of people not seeing the bigger societal picture by implying that the entire problem is workplace discrimination. As many here have noted, the 77 cents figure indicates much broader social issues beyond the bigoted boss, meaning laws like the Lily Ledbetter Act only address part of the picture, and that more is needed. But there is no way to sell the broader view if the 77 cents is presented as having a narrower meaning than it does.

  49. daniellavine says

    sonofrojblake@19:

    Presupposes that getting a masters degree in engineering is as easy as getting a masters degree in social work. Presupposes that advancing through a career in engineering for ten years is as easy as advancing through a career in social work for ten years. Presupposes that getting a job as a social worker is as easy as getting a job as an engineer. Maybe that would be the case, in a just world.

    As an engineer whose best friend was a social worker for the better part of a decade, his job was a hell of a lot harder than mine has ever been. More physically, mentally, emotionally, and socially demanding. With much less pay. As an engineer, I make toys that make rich people’s lives slightly more convenient than they would otherwise be. As a social worker, he was teaching teenage orphans and wards of the state basic life skills like putting silverware into the dishwasher instead of the trash and how to cook their own meals. And he was (literally) dragging them out of bed every morning to help them find jobs. I won’t even get into the dealing with cops and taking people to the hospital parts of his job.

    Which job is easier to get is irrelevant to the actual value provided by people doing the job (which is largely unmeasurable anyway) so we can skip that talking point. Instead, let’s talk about a related talking point: how easy it is to stay in our respective jobs. Had I been hired as a social worker at the program in which my friend worked I probably would have been fired within a few weeks. I just don’t have the demeanor and assertiveness to be able to deal with the sorts of kids that were served by that program. I would have a lot of trouble getting any credibility or respect among that population and simply wouldn’t be able to do that job. Would my friend be able to keep my job? I know he’s smart enough to actually do my job if he put his mind to it but he wouldn’t because he’d be bored to death by my job. This suggests to me that most of the value I add is derived from the fact that I am highly tolerant of boredom.

    I’d suggest a similar mechanism at work in terms of “how hard” it is to get various degrees. I majored in STEM subjects because what others find boring I find really interesting. For me, mathematics and physics were actually easier than, say, literary analysis (which I find really, really difficult).

    Meanwhile, in the real world, the joke goes:
    The engineering graduate asks: “How does it work?”
    The science graduate asks: “Why does it work?”
    The sociology graduate asks: “D’you want fries with that?”

    Actually, in the real world the sociology graduate has a job in marketing that pays as well as the engineer’s job but is considered more important to the company. The science graduate is a post-doc making less than subsistence wage with no hope of tenure. (If you didn’t realize that most of the economic activity on this “Internet” thing is marketing and that sociology is a pretty good degree for someone to use in marketing then I submit you may not be in a great position to lecture people about the “real world”.)

    neuroguy@22:

    Yes, well, those three things should be controlled for. Without controlling for them, “77 cents on the dollar” IS a factoid. It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout or if someone working a 70 hour week gets paid more than someone else working a 40 hour week, sorry. If you deny this, regardless of how many epithets you hurl in my direction, you are an irrational ideologue.

    Your argument here has merit only if the uneven distribution of Ph.D.s and work hours per week aren’t the result of sexism. But in both cases it is the result of sexism so your argument is actually without merit.

    But since I disagree with you I guess that makes me an irrational ideologue. (“If you disagree with me you are an irrational ideologue” is something only an irrational ideologue could say.)

  50. doublereed says

    @CaitieCat

    Except, of course, when they don’t.

    He asked for an example of it does happen. Bringing up an example of when it doesn’t happen shows nothing. I’m not exactly sure how to come up with an example of a not-newsworthy situation. Any ideas?

    I’m not really sure how I got put in the position of defending capitalism. My original point was teachers’ pay is not primarily driven by the market, so talking about market functions and capitalism doesn’t even address a major reason for the pay gap.

  51. roro80 says

    Yes, well, those three things should be controlled for. Without controlling for them, “77 cents on the dollar” IS a factoid. It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout or if someone working a 70 hour week gets paid more than someone else working a 40 hour week, sorry.

    @22 — your idea of “rational” is pretty wanting. Did you forget to read the post? It is sexism when the dominant culture and most individuals in it actively encourage boys to get PhDs and actively encourage women to be moms. It is sexism that drives a cultural abhorance to sex education and access to contraception, which leads to girls who have sex in highschool to drop out to have babies, while boys who have sex in high school do not. It is sexism that drives the fact that a huge proportion of people who work 70 hour weeks are not the primary caregivers to their children — a job that tends to fall to women and keep them at the “low” end of full-time work, or in part-time work, or to stay at home.

    It is most certainly rational to ask why, when comparing the 70-hour-a-week workers to 40-hour-a-week workers, or PhDs to high school dropouts, do men statistically occupy the more-valuable-worker slot, and women statistically occupy the less-valuable worker slot. Are women just stupider and lazier on average? Is that what you’re saying? Because if you insist that these things are not sexism, that’s the only other possible way to explain why all the factors you list favor men earning more than women.

  52. roro80 says

    @scienceavenger # 53

    To enact effective solutions, we’ve got to unpack that 23% gap and address the individual causes.

    Yes, definitely true, if your aim is to enact effective solutions. But that’s not what Sommers is doing — her argument is that the 23% doesn’t really exist, and therefore we don’t need to do anything about it at all. The post isn’t criticising the numbers given because they’re wrong, necessarily, but because the conclusion drawn is one that says we should do nothing because there is no problem.

  53. zenlike says

    Ugh, and then there is this litle part I first looked over in the OP:

    When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers.

    So even when we accept her premise, we still have a 5% gap. And even on that she is trying to muddy the waters. Instead of saying, ‘well the gap is not that large, sexism is not so great a factor’, she is trying to explain that away by claiming the gap is there, not because of sexism, but because we didn’t found yet what the exact (valid) reason is.

    In Christina Hoff Sommers’ world there is 0% sexism. What a despicable person she is.

  54. neuroguy says

    @48, 56 and others:

    You’re arguing against a straw man. It’s essential to make proper distinctions. And I am no cheerleader for capitalism.

    The OP was presented as a rebuttal of Sommers, whose point is that supposedly now women are receiving equal pay for equal work, so nothing to worry about. So, I was assuming that the question in fact is whether women are in fact receiving equal pay for equal work (sexism at the employer level). In that case it is absolutely necessary to control for education and hours worked. Failure to do so combined with a claim that women earn 77 cents on the dollar for the same work, which as pointed by #53, is often how it is portrayed, and in fact was portrayed in Obama’s speech, is ideological and irrational.

    From the State of the Union address:

    Today, women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. A woman deserves equal pay for equal work.

    However, as I said, there are other factors at work, such as different remuneration for different occupations, cited in my post, which contributes to sexism at the employer level.

    None of this means that sexism (on the societal, and not the employer, level) is not to blame for women in fact working fewer hours or receiving fewer Ph.D.s., and I never claimed such in my post. For the record, yes, there is sexism at the societal level contributing to these tings.

  55. roro80 says

    #59 Oh sorry I thought you started your comment with the introduction:

    Is it actually possible to have a rational discussion on this topic? Both sides seem to be taking an ideological stance that either: 1) ALL of the gap is due to sexism; or 2) NONE (or very little) of the gap is.

    My bad, considering you actually started with “Now let’s change the scenario from what everyone has been talking about to only include sexism on the employer level, and talk about that”.

    Oh wait.

    The point: The fact that you wrote something wildly different from what you meant is generally not to be considered grounds for accusations of bad faith or strawmanning.

  56. says

    Others have pointed this out too, but I’m floored that even if we give her every benefit of the doubt, she still comes up with a discrepancy.

    Even twisting the data to the point we might as well call it lying, she still can’t support her suggestion that this isn’t a problem.

    I suppose she scores a point for not outright faking data? Still several thousand in the hole, though.

  57. Igor Lubashev says

    There is much less sexism at the workplace then the the post suggests. Sure, given that the two groups can be told apart by some statistics indicates that there is a difference. Maybe the society as a whole tends to educate girls in a way that teaches then a whole lot of traits counter-productive to earning more. But there is hardly any particular sexism at the workplace.

    Why do women get lower wages? This has been explored at length in a number of places.

    The common reasons:

    1. Because women are less assertive on average, so they do not negotiate as hard. As a consumer, I try to pay the bottom dollar for a new iPhone on eBay. I’d try to do the same as an employer — pay the least I can get away with.

    2. Because women have different priorities in life, on average, and are less likely to accept the demands of long hours and stress.

    You’ll ask “why?”. Who knows! Maybe it starts with an American Doll vs. Lego Set that aunt Sue gave the girl for X-Mass. Maybe it starts with American Doll vs. Lego Set that a younger girl saw older girls play with at a play date.

    Maybe, physiology plays a part — women have to do spend more time caring for their infants, including getting up to feed them during the night and being there to feed the babies in the morning and evening. (No, men cannot breastfeed. Yes, there are some solutions involving pumping at work, but that’s a major inconvenience, and, therefore, a factor.)

    3. Women are in different professions. Why they are in those professions — see #2: who knows what exactly plaid a role in that early preference. Why do those professions pay less? Ask the Invisible Hand of the Market.

    Maybe there are more qualified women for “female” professions than qualified “men” for male ones? Also, mind NOT to confuse “top 10 highest paid professions” are male-dominated with “male-dominated professions pay higher than female-dominated ones”.

  58. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    There is much less sexism at the workplace then the the post suggests.

    You gave a lot of unevidenced opinion, which doesn’t back your assertions as well as solid third party evidence. Which, if you had, you would have linked to. So, you were just blowing hot air.

  59. Igor Lubashev says

    Not at all. I gave very little opinion — unevidenced or cross-linked. What you are quoting is a thesis that is as “evidenced” as the original post.

    What I gave are the alternative explanations for the fact that women, as a group, earn some % less than men, as a group. These alternatives do not require an assumption of some special sexism at the workplace beyond the consequences of physiology and early childhood experiences.

  60. Igor says

    Did you read the 61 comments before your #62?

    Certainly not all of them. I am sure my view has already been presented, and maybe more than once.

    By the way, I find Simpson’s paradox effect a very intriguing statistical effect to always keep in mind.

  61. chigau (違う) says

    Igor #68

    Certainly not all of them. I am sure my view has already been presented, and maybe more than once.

    And given that, do you think you merit a response?

  62. Igor says

    @64

    “… solid third party evidence […] you would have linked to”

    Ok, how is this for a “third party” link?

    Of course, you can always ask questions like “why do men choose more dangerous / uncomfortable occupations and work longer days?” These are very fine questions, but they have nothing to do with a “special sexism at the workplace.”

    And as food for thought, there must be another interesting statistical effect in play: Unmarried women who don’t have children actually earn more than unmarried men.

  63. Koshka says

    Because women have different priorities in life, on average, and are less likely to accept the demands of long hours and stress.

    You mean like the near stress free life of being a teacher, or a social worker, or a stay at home mother?

    I presume you are defining a stressful job as one that you do, and a non stressful job as one that someone else does.

  64. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Business Insider as a source of evidence.

    *snicker* Must be a liberturd. The aroma was there.

  65. Igor says

    @71 (Koshka):

    Fair point — different people feel stressed by different things. Please, cross all the subjective experiences presented as objective facts out. We’re left with objective in that point is “longer hours” on average makes one more productive. Also, the more people find a particular job subjectively unpleasant, the higher the market rate for that job will go.

    @72, 73:

    Did you guys even read the linked text, or you vote things up and down solely based on who wrote/published it and not on what the things actually say?

  66. says

    Easy, chigau. You add up the priorities, and divide by an index representing the number of acknowledged penes possessed by the priority-haver.

    Obviously, with a penis, the priorities have value. Without a penis, they are valueless.

    Don’t they teach sexist mathematics anymore?

  67. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Also, the more people find a particular job subjectively unpleasant, the higher the market rate for that job will go.

    Sure. That’s why cleaning other people’s shit from toilets is payed so well.

  68. chigau (違う) says

    Igor
    I’m not a guy.
    There is no way to vote up or down on this blog.
    I went to your precioussss link and evaluated what I saw.
    Any other questions?

  69. chigau (違う) says

    CaitieCat
    I can derive a square root using pencil and paper (or sand and stick) but I don’t think sex is involved.
    maybe I missed something….

  70. chigau (違う) says

    Beatrice

    That’s why cleaning other people’s shit from toilets is payed so well.

    I honestly don’t know why They® always miss this one.

  71. says

    Igor:
    Are you aware of the Glass Ceiling?

    77 cents you say? Is that true?
    (hint, yes it is)

    What are the causes of the Gender Wage Gap?

    http://www.americanprogress.org/issues/labor/news/2013/04/09/59658/what-causes-the-gender-wage-gap/

    An all-too-common response to workers and advocates concerned about the 23-cent gender wage gap for full-time year-round workers across occupations is that it is just a byproduct of the choices women make: choices to work fewer hours, take on lower-paying jobs, or opt out of the workforce for longer periods of time than men. When framed in this way, it’s easy to dismiss equal-pay policies or legislation as superfluous. After all, we can’t force women to apply for higher-paying jobs or to work longer hours, right?

    Unfortunately, decades of evidence have revealed a far more complicated story, and it is clear that the gender wage gap is about more than just personal choice. It is a real and persistent problem, and it is a problem that calls for immediate and nimble policy solutions. But in order to achieve pay equity, it helps to understand the origins of the gap.

    You said:

    Of course, you can always ask questions like “why do men choose more dangerous / uncomfortable occupations and work longer days?” These are very fine questions, but they have nothing to do with a “special sexism at the workplace.”

    The last sentence is an assertion. Do you have evidence it is true, or are we expected to take your word for it (soooooo NOT going to happen)?
    BTW, How is “special sexism at the workplace” different from sexism?

  72. neverjaunty says

    Igor @62, you can’t possibly be serious.

    1) Women who are as assertive as men do not get the same results as if they were men, because assertiveness in a woman is negative – she’s pushy, she’s a bitch – and is viewed unfavorably unless that assertiveness is on behalf of others, not herself.

    2) If this were so, then we would expect to see a strict correlation between hours worked and gender, with women always sorting themselves into low-stress jobs with easy hours. I note your proof of this assertion is….well, nothing, which also appears to be your knowledge on the issue of childrearing. You seem unaware of the newfangled invention called a “bottle”, for instance, or the actual duration of full-time breastfeeding, or the fact that other than nursing, there is no caretaking function of an infant that actually requires the caretaker to be female. Time off with a new baby is not biologically required to be any longer than a professor’s sabbatical, but the latter is not seen as “dropping out of the workforce” when male professors do it.

    3) This is a remarkable tautology: the real reason that women are underrepresented in certain professions, is that women are underrepresented in certain professions.

    Your repeated ‘who knows?!’ is a very revealing lack of interest, in a “pay no attention to the man behind the curtain” sort of way. If the reasons women are underpaid, underrepresented or sorted into ‘women’s work’ are gosh-darn unknowable, then we certainly can’t do anything about them, much less behave in any way except assuming that’s just the way the world is.

  73. says

    …And of course black men just happen to choose to work less hours than white men. And black women, fewer still! And women of color overall just LOVE working for no pay and taking part time jobs.

    See? No special sexism in the workplace, and no special racism either. Rah rah status quo!

  74. sonofrojblake says

    @neuroguy, 22: It isn’t “sexism” if a Ph.D. gets paid more than a high school dropout, true enough. But is is sexism if the people with Ph.D.s are disproportionately male, and the number of high school dropouts are disproportionately female. The causation is a few steps back from where you’re focusing.

    @doublereed, 31:

    First of all, The pay gap does not go away at higher income levels. So that claim is nonsense

    Good, because that’s the opposite of what I said. I’m saying the pay gap is BIGGER at higher income levels, and that is skewing the stats making the average higher. And that even if you equalise the pay of the 99%, the HUGE gender imbalance among the 1% will mean the average will still be higher for men. You can come up with your own list of reasons why people on massive salaries are disproportionately men, but the reason are, I would contend, quite different from the reasons why one office drone is paid a dollar an hour more than another because penis.

    And no, I’m not saying change is impossible. It’s possible, it’s desirable, I want it. I’m saying one should be careful about how one measures inequality, and set realistic goals. Frankly, if we eliminate the gender gap in pay for people earning $200k or less, would it matter if there remained a gap for that tiny percentage of people who were on the silly money?

    @antepro, 38: No victim-blaming here. I’m pointing out that even if the average salary for all men earning less than $200,000, say, and all women earning less than $200,000 was exactly equal – i.e. the world was perfectly fair and non-sexist for the vast, overwhelming majority – that the disparity among the 1% would still skew the statistics significantly.

    @Thumper, 40: I find it impossible to rebut your entirely bulletproof argument.

  75. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @PZ

    What if we lived in a world where equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job led to jobs where the pay was equal? A social worker with a masters degree and ten years of experience should be getting roughly the same pay as an engineer with a masters degree and ten years experience, in a just world. We should appreciate that we need functional communities about as much as we need bridges and pipelines.

    You know this is really silly, right? I dare say even profoundly naive. I’m no fan of laissez-faire economics, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some degree of wage inequality is necessary for worker motivation. Some degree of wage inequality is a necessary consequence of markets, and markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor, which is necessary for the vastly improved material wealth we have in the modern world.

  76. Nick Gotts says

    EnlightenmentLiberal@85,

    You know this is really silly, right?

    Why? It’s you that’s being “really silly”. Nothing in the quote from PZ implies any of the claims you purport to derive from it in the quote from you below. That a social worker and an engineer with “equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job” should be paid roughly the same does not imply that there should be no wage inequality at all. In fact, it is implicit in it that differences in education and training should lead to different wages.

    Some degree of wage inequality is necessary for worker motivation. Some degree of wage inequality is a necessary consequence of markets, and markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor, which is necessary for the vastly improved material wealth we have in the modern world.

    [citations needed]

    I’m not saying you’re definitely wrong on any of these points, but it’s all too easy to assume that things have to be as they are. And if we need wage inequality, it’s not clear that we need the current type of wage inequality, where many of the shittiest jobs are also the lowest-wage jobs. It’s certainly not clear we need a capitalist market economy, where investment decisions are made primarily in pursuit of short-term profit, for specialisation of labour, since the latter preceded the former by thousands of years.

  77. erik333 says

    @40 Thumper: Token Breeder

    I do, however, wonder why anyone would assume that women more often fall into the latter categories. And if that person were to then admit that women are no more likely to be in the latter category than men, or vice versa, then what explanation would be left to that person other than sexism?

    I think the point generally is though, that these are factors that need to be controlled for as they could scew the data. You can’t just ignore potential problems as “caused by sexism anyway” willy nilly and proceed to stop caring about details. It may be perfectly true that they are, but you still need to know how those things work both in order to combat them, and to successfully argue your case. If you fail to account for the potential problems you’re handing ammunition to the adversary, as they can point to glaring holes in your argument. You absolutely *do* need to know how much (if any) of the gap could be caused by levels of education and work hours, in order to learn by what means you would try and close it.

  78. Nick Gotts says

    Also, the more people find a particular job subjectively unpleasant, the higher the market rate for that job will go. – Igor@75

    *chuckle*
    Good one Igor!

  79. carlie says

    Also, the more people find a particular job subjectively unpleasant, the higher the market rate for that job will go. – Igor@75

    That’s why slaughterhouse floor jobs are such high salary with such good benefits. *sage nod*

  80. Anri says

    EnlightenmentLiberal @85:

    Some degree of wage inequality is necessary for worker motivation.

    I’ll have to tell anyone who does their job because they like doing it that you’re telling them they’re wrong.
    Or dumb, or nonexistent, or something.

    And of course you’ll be right because reasons.

    Out of curiosity, have you ever actually looked at any surveys of, yanno, actual workers asking them what they, yanno, actually liked about their jobs? Asking them what motivated them?
    Hint: money wasn’t #1.

  81. says

    Some degree of wage inequality is necessary for worker motivation

    Some degree. How much? Say you’ve got two workers of similar background doing similar tasks; one is more thorough or reliable or meticulous than the other, so I agree it would be fair to reward the better worker. 10% more? Twice as much? What’s fair, and what’s properly motivating? Once disparities get too great, they’ll be seen as more discouraging than motivating — the lower paid workers will perceive themselves as exploited and unjustly discriminated against — so too much wage inequality actually would reduce productivity, if that’s all you care about.

    There’s also this perception that wages measure merit: that you pay more for someone who is more valuable to the success of the company. So I can also agree that a CEO, with larger obligations and wider influence on the fate of the company, ought to get paid more than an assembly line worker. But again, the problem is…how much more is fair. Does anyone in his right mind believe that Larry Ellison is worth $96 million/year? That there is no one who could do an equivalent job for, say, $200,000 (which is quite a high salary — you can live extraordinarily well on that much money, although you probably won’t be buying multi-million dollar yachts)?

    If we’re going to start competing openly for lower salaries, Peter Schiff has it all wrong. We shouldn’t be nickel-and-dimeing the low end, opening the door to $2/hour jobs to exploit developmentally disabled people; the real scumbag trick is at the high end, where mere MBAs in tailored suits maintain artificially high and undeserving salaries among themselves.

  82. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @ElightenmentLiberal

    You know this is really silly, right? I dare say even profoundly naive. I’m no fan of laissez-faire economics, but let’s not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Some degree of wage inequality is necessary for worker motivation. Some degree of wage inequality is a necessary consequence of markets, and markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor, which is necessary for the vastly improved material wealth we have in the modern world.

    No, you’re the one being silly; acting as if we are arguing against wage inequalities between positions of differing seniority within an industry, when it’s perfectly clear that what is being opposed is wage inequality between positions of comparable seniority in different industries.

    You will note that what PZ actually said was:

    What if we lived in a world where equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job led to jobs where the pay was equal?

    [My emphasis]

    In other words, yes a CEO has to earn more than a middle-management type. Specialised jobs have to earn more than unspecialised jobs. But why on Earth should someone with a BSc in engineering working in an engineering field earn more than a person with a BA in Gender Studies working in Social Services? They’re both equally skilled, just in different areas.

  83. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @erik333 #87

    I think the point generally is though, that these are factors that need to be controlled for as they could scew the data. You can’t just ignore potential problems as “caused by sexism anyway” willy nilly and proceed to stop caring about details.

    Nor was I. It seemed to me that neuroguy was attempting to explain away the wage gap by the same method as Sommer. “It’s not sexism, it’s [look at all these other reasons people could be paid less!]. My point was that their point is only relevant if women naturaly fall into those disadvantageous categories. If they do not naturally fall into them, then the answer is clearly either sexism at the workplace level, or that women are being kept in those categories by other factors (and what name would we give that if not sexism?). In other words, my point was that it’s still sexism; though it’s entirely possible I made my point far too simplistically, in which case I apologise.

  84. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @sonofrojblake #84

    @Thumper, 40: I find it impossible to rebut your entirely bulletproof argument.

    It’s not an argument. It’s two statements of fact, the whole implying that I think you are a huge flaming arsehole.

    @randay #41

    HR insisted they did not want me, but I was hired because my sit-in manager decided he wanted me. HR sucks.

    So you dislike all HR everywhere because an HR person didn’t want to hire you once? How petty.

    1- How do you even know that? It’s considered very bad practice to discuss whether or not to hire a person in front of them. Or did your new manager tell you afterwards? Equally bad practice.
    2- Did you ever consider why the HR person may not have wanted to hire you?

  85. says

    Also, the more people find a particular job subjectively unpleasant, the higher the market rate for that job will go. – Igor@75

    That’s why people who play games for a living can barely scrape by while the people who clean up vomit and blood and wipe other people’s bums and empty urine bags and change bedpans are living large. Never noticed that before.

  86. zenlike says

    85 EnlightenmentLiberal

    markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor

    Euh no. Not at all. The soviet union had specialisation of labor as well. No markets requered at all.

    This in addition to all the other unevidenced statements you made.

  87. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    In other words, my point was that it’s still sexism; though it’s entirely possible I made my point far too simplistically, in which case I apologise.

    Word. Cuturally ingrained institutionalized sexism is still sexism.
     
    And earlier (pzm):

    That there is no one who could do an equivalent job for, say, $200,000 (which is quite a high salary — you can live extraordinarily well on that much money, although you probably won’t be buying multi-million dollar yachts)?

    But, but, but…what about the yachtmakers who rely on extraordinarily wealthy clientele? What shall they do when the 1% are reduced to abject affluence?

  88. Igor says

    Ok, it looks like everyone is talking about their favorite topic (and some people just clown around).

    PZ is longing for some socialist utopia, where the “society” would control the wages to make them “fair” (or at least control the prices of things and profit levels of the employers to make wages in that “market” work out the way he deems “fair”). We know how well that will work. As Socialists have shown repeatedly, the only way they can reduce the inequality between rich and poor is by making everyone poor.

    My thesis was that there is little evidence for some special sexism at work — just the regular outcome of the choices that men and women make on average. Why they make those choices in our society (and whether their special reproductive physiology is a catalyst for the majority of families making a decision — including an early decision for their girls — that it is better for a woman to focus more on the family/community) is a good and important question, and I do not pretend to know the answer to it.

    The clown who balk at basic economic truth about the way markets operate (i.e. that lower supply, due to whatever factors, tends to push the prices/wages up) are just ignorant clowns. (Yes, cleaning shit pays more than packing groceries at a supermarket. No, cleaning shit pays less than tax accounting. Why? Because there is an army of people qualified enough to clean shit well, and a low fewer people qualified enough to know accounting and tax law well.)

  89. says

    @sonofrojblake #84

    Frankly, if we eliminate the gender gap in pay for people earning $200k or less, would it matter if there remained a gap for that tiny percentage of people who were on the silly money?

    Frankly, yes. At least as long as there are people on silly money. He who has the purse strings has the power. And as long they’re almost all “he”s, women are still going to be an underclass. (Even if we could magically have no gender pay gap for those earning less than $200k while still having a power imbalance at the top.)

  90. carlie says

    Why they make those choices in our society (and whether their special reproductive physiology is a catalyst for the majority of families making a decision — including an early decision for their girls — that it is better for a woman to focus more on the family/community) is a good and important question, and I do not pretend to know the answer to it.,

    I’ll give you a hint – it starts with “sex” and ends in “ism”.

  91. says

    Igor #100

    Yes, cleaning shit pays more than packing groceries at a supermarket. No, cleaning shit pays less than tax accounting. Why? Because there is an army of people qualified enough to clean shit well, and a low fewer people qualified enough to know accounting and tax law well.

    Nurses and care-workers, who look after people’s health, are less valued than tax-accountants, who help people look after their money. Okey-dokey.

    Oh, and which of those professions is “traditionally female,” by the way?

  92. says

    It’s weird. If I’m old and sick, I’d like to have people qualified to handle potential emergencies around to take care of me — and it would be very nice if they actually had the kind of social skills to interact well with their patients. I don’t think Igor would meet the requirements of the job.

    If I had enough money to need an accountant to take care of it, I’d also like them to be competent and honest and skilled, but in a different way than the nurse who is keeping me healthy and comfortable. This shouldn’t be a situation in which we deprecate either skill set, but instead appreciate their differences and respect the work.

    But somehow, with people like Igor, it always comes down to sneering with contempt at the people who will one day have to change his bedpans.

    Igor, may I recommend instead that you get your accountant to do it? You value his skills, you think he’s worth paying more, it shouldn’t be too much to ask that he also pick up a nursing degree or get training in elder care so he can clean up your shit.

  93. Rey Fox says

    (i.e. that lower supply, due to whatever factors, tends to push the prices/wages up)

    I thought it was the unpleasantness of the job that pushed wages up. Your moving of the goalposts is noted.

    As Socialists have shown repeatedly, the only way they can reduce the inequality between rich and poor is by making everyone poor.

    And I’m sure you have plenty of examples to back that statement up.

  94. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    The clown who balk at basic economic truth about the way markets operate (i.e. that lower supply, due to whatever factors, tends to push the prices/wages up) are just ignorant clowns.

    Gee, super ignorant and super arrogant liberturds who don’t understand economics, politics, and history are the real clowns. Take away their slogans and the idiotology falls apart

  95. Igor says

    PZ, you are fighting strawmen! You are talking about “people like Igor”, but you are talking about some other people.

    Nowhere I said that I “value” (in your use of word “value” as a synonym for “respect”) nurses and social workers less than tax accountants. Everyone who does honest work and cares about what they do earn my respect equally.

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can. I’d do so not because I “respect” her less, but because I do not like to overpay for anything. If multiple people offer to sell me a working iPhone at different prices, I’ll pick the least expensive one. If multiple people offer to diligently change my sheets for different wages, I’ll pick the least expensive one.

  96. chigau (違う) says

    Igor

    Everyone who does honest work and cares about what they do earn my respect equally.

    And I’m sure they are thrilled by that.

  97. says

    igor #18

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can. I’d do so not because I “respect” her less, but because I do not like to overpay for anything. If multiple people offer to sell me a working iPhone at different prices, I’ll pick the least expensive one. If multiple people offer to diligently change my sheets for different wages, I’ll pick the least expensive one.

    Note your unconscious use of “her.”

    If you respect the nurse’s work as much as you respect the accountant’s, then why do you feel that paying them the same is “overpayment” for the former’s services?

    As for your iphone, I hope you’re proud of where your lack of respect leads.

  98. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can.

    Gee, what do you call somebody who treats people unfairly just because they can? Think about that Igor, as you have just announced you are morally bankrupt.

  99. says

    Holy fuck.

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can. I’d do so not because I “respect” her less, but because I do not like to overpay for anything.

    Dumbass. You admit to disrespecting a nurse less, because you consider paying more for their services to be overpaying — you do not respect them enough to pay what they’re worth, but only as little as you can get away with.

    Also, I note that you automatically assume the nurse is a her. The one you’d pay less to is a woman.

    My case is made. Thanks.

  100. doublereed says

    @ sonofrajblake

    Good, because that’s the opposite of what I said. I’m saying the pay gap is BIGGER at higher income levels, and that is skewing the stats making the average higher. And that even if you equalise the pay of the 99%, the HUGE gender imbalance among the 1% will mean the average will still be higher for men. You can come up with your own list of reasons why people on massive salaries are disproportionately men, but the reason are, I would contend, quite different from the reasons why one office drone is paid a dollar an hour more than another because penis.

    Except I wasn’t playing a % of Men vs % of Women game. This is Salary of Men vs Salary of Women game. Your arguing something different than what I said.

    CEOs, for instance, women make 18 cents less than men in the same field with comparable companies. What that means is that even if women break all the “glass ceilings” they still get paid less than men for the same work. Get it?

    @Igor

    As I said before, women become teachers at a higher rate than men. Teachers’ salaries are not determined by any “invisible hands of the market.” They are government workers.

  101. Nick Gotts says

    Igor@100

    As Socialists have shown repeatedly, the only way they can reduce the inequality between rich and poor is by making everyone poor.

    I’d be interested in your definition of “socialists”. Because if it includes Scandinavian social democrats, they provide a clear counterexample to your claim, and if it excludes them, it’s a considerably more restricted definition than market-worshippers like you usually use, and they in any case demonstrate that huge reductions in inequality are possible without making everyone poor, whether you call this socialism or not. High levels of inequality, by the way, turn out to be bad even for the well-off.

  102. David Wilford says

    Igor, as someone who does change sheets, cleans the toilet and tidies up the kitchen for my elderly neighbor who frankly can’t afford much in the way of pay, I’m still happy to do the work because it’s worth it to me to help a nice guy out. I like his stories too. I also have a friend who injured herself helping out another elderly man who needs in-home care. She was paid $10/hour to do it until she got hurt. Buy hey, there’s always someone else. I think she deserves better than to be treated as a disposable person, myself. That’s why a minimum wage hike is necessary, so cheapskates can’t take advantage of others who don’t have such great bargaining positions in life.

  103. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Antiochus Epiphanes

    Word. Cuturally ingrained institutionalized sexism is still sexism.

    Exactly :)

    @Igor #100

    PZ is longing for some socialist utopia, where the “society” would control the wages to make them “fair” (or at least control the prices of things and profit levels of the employers to make wages in that “market” work out the way he deems “fair”).

    And what’s wrong with that? Specific objections, with reasons, please.

    We know how well that will work. As Socialists have shown repeatedly, the only way they can reduce the inequality between rich and poor is by making everyone poor.

    [Citation needed]. Let’s see if you can prove this without falsely equivalating socialism and communism.

    My thesis [Am I the only one who thinks this is far too grand a word to apply to Igor’s pointless pontificating?] was that there is little evidence for some special sexism at work — just the regular outcome of the choices that men and women make on average. Why they make those choices in our society (and whether their special reproductive physiology is a catalyst for the majority of families making a decision — including an early decision for their girls — that it is better for a woman to focus more on the family/community) is a good and important question, and I do not pretend to know the answer to it.

    Women make those choices because those are the choices society teaches them to make, due to the pervasive binary attitude towards gender and the entrenched beliefs regarding what is right and proper for the separate genders to do, coupled with the social shaming of those who do not conform to such beliefs and of course the well documented phenomenom of the “chilly atmosphere”. Nursing is “women’s work”, engineering is “men’s work”. In short, sexism.

    The clown who balk at basic economic truth about the way markets operate (i.e. that lower supply, due to whatever factors, tends to push the prices/wages up) are just ignorant clowns. (Yes, cleaning shit pays more than packing groceries at a supermarket. No, cleaning shit pays less than tax accounting. Why? Because there is an army of people qualified enough to clean shit well, and a low fewer people qualified enough to know accounting and tax law well.)

    Again with the missing of the point. We are against disparate wages between comparable positions of comparable seniority, specilisation and training. In other words, if you have two jobs with comparable hours, workload, and level of danger which both require a bachelor’s degree and x number of years experience in a relevant field, why should one get paid more than the other?

    #108

    Nowhere I said that I “value” (in your use of word “value” as a synonym for “respect”)…

    No, “value” is not being used as a synonym of “respect”. You are saying you would reward some jobs more highly than others. The logical explanation is that you place a higher value on those jobs which you would reward more highly.

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can.

    How very moral. Do you think it’s fair that the nurse gets paid less than the accountant? Why do you not simply feel that the nurse isn’t getting enough and the accountant is ripping you off?

    I’d do so not because I “respect” her less, but because I do not like to overpay for anything. If multiple people offer to sell me a working iPhone at different prices, I’ll pick the least expensive one. If multiple people offer to diligently change my sheets for different wages, I’ll pick the least expensive one.

    Even if the service/product they offer is of a notably lower quality than the more expensive one?

  104. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Fascinating.

    It’s not like accountants went out on the streets and protested for better wages. They are systematically given better wages than nurses. Why, Igor? Is there even a bit of curiosity?

    As for qualifications… Accounting is hardly nuclear physics. Not to mention that it’s less hazardous to one’s health than being a nurse, with better working conditions in general. So why doesn’t that enter the equation? Because it should certainly push nurses’ salaries up, according to your own claims about the mighty market .

  105. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @doublereed

    My thoughts exactly. And she has far more experience in the field than her predecessor. If we leave arguments about overpaid CEO’s aside for a minute, she should be getting paid more. Instead, for no apparent legitimate reason, she’s getting paid less than half what he did.

  106. What a Maroon, el papa ateo says

    Carlie @89 (and others),

    That’s why slaughterhouse floor jobs are such high salary with such good benefits. *sage nod*

    You’re forgetting, that is exactly the kind of work that Igors like.

    You know, they’re always willing to lend you a hand. Or a kneecap.

  107. carlie says

    As Socialists have shown repeatedly, the only way they can reduce the inequality between rich and poor is by making everyone poor.

    Which is why there were no rich people in the US just after WWII when the top income tax rate in the US was raised to 92%. Oh, wait.

  108. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @PZ in 91
    What you said in the OP was pretty absolute and didn’t allow for any wage disparity at all between different job types, and that was silly. Now you’re hedging. I also completely agree with everything you just brought up. Again, I’m no fan of laissez-faire.

    @Thumper: Token Breeder

    when it’s perfectly clear that what is being opposed is wage inequality between positions of comparable seniority in different industries.

    And that’s silly. When everyone wants to be a insert-deseirable-job, and no one wants to be a insert-undesirable-job, we’ll have too many of the first and not enough of the second. What – are you going to handle this via a lottery system? First come first hired? Maybe a completely centrally planned economy? Obviously some of those who want the other job are not going to get it. By far the best way of handling this is market forces. Then throw on regulations to prevent the problems that PZ mentioned in 91.

    @Nick Gotts
    Come on now. See my earlier response. It’s blatantly obvious that wage inequalities is a necessary component to properly allocate workers to jobs. The only alternatives are obviously bad (lotteries, first come first hired, completely centrally planned economies, etc.). No, I’m not going to entertain that I’m wrong “just because” when it contradicts all of scientific knowledge of economics any more than I’m going to contemplate that any other branch of science is fundamentally wrong “just because”.

    @zenlike

    markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor

    Euh no. Not at all. The soviet union had specialisation of labor as well. No markets requered at all.

    This in addition to all the other unevidenced statements you made.

    Yes, but it had a completely planned central economy, which is bad for other reasons. Are you saying that the Soviet system is just as good as ours? Are you going to say that the Soviet system with a few fixes could be as good as ours with a few fixes (such as to help for the problems PZ mentioned in 91)? Your position is quite silly. It’s ignoring the forest for the trees, and missing my actual argument for minor pedantic details.

    And again, these are not unevidenced. This is basic econ theory 101. I’m going to openly claim basic uncontested scientific knowledge. Similarly, generally I’m going to say that the orbits of planets are ellipses and not cite the evidence along with it when that conversation comes up.

  109. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I’m going to openly claim basic uncontested scientific knowledge.

    That’s your claim. The citations to back it up are missing. Maybe your logic only goes so far, and needs a reality check.

  110. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @Enlightenment Liberal

    when it’s perfectly clear that what is being opposed is wage inequality between positions of comparable seniority in different industries.

    And that’s silly. When everyone wants to be a insert-deseirable-job, and no one wants to be a insert-undesirable-job, we’ll have too many of the first and not enough of the second. What – are you going to handle this via a lottery system? First come first hired? Maybe a completely centrally planned economy? Obviously some of those who want the other job are not going to get it. By far the best way of handling this is market forces. Then throw on regulations to prevent the problems that PZ mentioned in 91.

    What the fuck are you talking about? Are you incapable of reading or something? Or merely of expressing yourself cogently?

    From the same post you quoted:

    In other words, yes a CEO has to earn more than a middle-management type. Specialised jobs have to earn more than unspecialised jobs. But why on Earth should someone with a BSc in engineering working in an engineering field earn more than a person with a BA in Gender Studies working in Social Services? They’re both equally skilled, just in different areas.

    So I’ll repeat the question: why should the one be paid more than the other?

  111. EnlightenmentLiberal says

    @Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls
    Newton, Isaac. Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica. London(?): The Royal Society(?), 1687. Print.

    Oh, you wanted a citation that the only effective and fair system of allocating people to jobs is markets? And specifically that paying different jobs at the same rate is doomed to failure? /snark. I could be cute and quote Adam Smith, but let me see what I can do later.

  112. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    And again, these are not unevidenced. This is basic econ theory 101. I’m going to openly claim basic uncontested scientific knowledge. Similarly, generally I’m going to say that the orbits of planets are ellipses and not cite the evidence along with it when that conversation comes up.

    That’s fairly basic common knowledge. Economic theory, 101 or otherwise, is not. You can quibble all day about whether or not it should be, but it isn’t. So if your claims are not unevidenced, then provide the evidence; or don’t expect anyone to take you seriously.

  113. zenlike says

    EnlightenmentLiberal,

    You said

    markets are a necessary requirement for the specialization of labor

    I countered that claim by pointing out a clear example in which a market was not needed for that. I never said I’m actually in favor of a soviet style centrally planned economy.

    Whining about it doesn’t change that fact.

    And again, these are not unevidenced. This is basic econ theory 101.

    Yes, very basic, and therefore not that applicable to real life.

  114. doublereed says

    I’m actually confused right now. Are people like PZ advocating for actual Socialism or just ‘American-style Socialism’ which is just Keynesian/Pragmatic Capitalism?

    I mean the idea that government needs to regulate and workers’ rights isn’t actually anti-capitalist. That’s just the way the right wing in America has painted it. Workers’ Rights, anti-discrimination laws, and fair wages is just “oh there are issues we need to fix so we’ll try to make policies to fix them.” It’s just pragmatic capitalism. It’s not the same thing as government owning the means to production (or wages determined strictly by the state) which is what I always thought Socialism referred to.

    I am very confused on what people are suggesting here.

  115. Igor says

    @113 (PZ)

    [I did not expect such language from you. I’ve been reading your blog, because you tried to be a fighter for the realm of reason and rational inquiry against the masses of moralizing dogmatics. Such language and personal attacks seem unbecoming of the image of a scientist and a philosopher.]

    You admit to disrespecting a nurse less, because you consider paying more for their services to be overpaying

    This merely shows your definition of respect, which it seems to be measured in how money is exchanged.

    .

    […] you do not respect them enough to pay what they’re worth

    I am surprised that a Humanist would measure a person’s worth in dollars.

    .
    Please, explain how you choose what to pay for a car, when you have two local dealers asking a different price? Is this any different than buying services of a nurse, cabbie, plumber, accountant?

    When you go to a gas station to buy gas for your car, what do you consider to be a “fair” price? What bases do you have to know that $5.45 is excessive (unfair to you), but $2.95 is cheap (unfair to gas station owner), except to know what other gas stations are charging? If these two stations were within a block from each other, where would you fill up (assuming both are selling the brand of gas you use regularly)?

    .

    I note that you automatically assume the nurse is a her. The one you’d pay less to is a woman.

    The language demands a pronoun, and both you and I know that nurses are typically “her”.

    No where I said I’d pay less to a woman doing the same job with the same quality. I’d pay what the market rate is. If the market rate is too low, there would be fewer people interested in the job, so I’d have to increase my offer to entice them. That’s how the Market works, but this is so basic…

  116. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    You do realize that a nurse and a tax accountant offer completely different services?

  117. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Why is the rate for nurses so low?
    Why is the rate for accountants higher than for the nurses?

  118. chigau (違う) says

    Igor #133
    If you did not expect such language from PZ then you have not actually been reading this, blog.

  119. says

    igor #133

    The language demands a pronoun, and both you and I know that nurses are typically “her”.

    First of all, “they” is perfectly good English as a non-gendered singular pronoun.

    Nor is there any reason, barring societal gender-stereotyping, for nurses to be “typically ‘her’.” Stereotyping which is promoted, to a large degree, by people making the very same assumption you just made.

  120. says

    However, I would certainly pay less to a nurse than to a tax accountant, because I can. I’d do so not because I “respect” her less, but because I do not like to overpay for anything.

    Hmmm. Where I live, there is a high percentage of men in nursing, it’s a popular field for men these days. So, if your tax accountant and your nurse were both men, their wages would be what, equal?

    What if your tax accountant was a woman, and your nurse a man? Then the tax accountant would be paid less than the nurse?

    What if your tax accountant and your nurse were both women? Then you’d pay as little as possible?

    Oh, and by the way, PZ is right, if understated in his conclusion that you’re a dumbass.

  121. ragdish says

    So PZ are you absolutely certain that social democracy will eliminate the gender wage gap? Sweden is the most feminist country in the world (and one of the happiest I’ve heard) but despite the heavy state regulation of the market, the gender wage gap has not been resolved. Indeed there are fewer women who occupy managerial positions in Sweden compared to the USA. Why? Sweden has a generous maternal and paternal leave policies which women take greater advantage of than men. The upshot is that women are less likely to be hired for full time positions than men particularly at the upper levels ie. managers, CEOs, etc.. Socialism (and I mean that in the broadest sense) does not necessarily eliminate sexism. Why as a skeptic of religious claims would you not apply similar freethoughtery to political and economic claims? You’ve stated excellent criticisms of libertarianism but socialism hands off?

    Also, here’s an article surveying Swedish mothers between the ages of 18 and 29 and 50% wish they were “stay at home moms”(http://www.thelocal.se/20111025/36946). Not so among Swedish men. Why hasn’t the socialism in Sweden created the “new socialist man” or “new socialist woman” who are all equal?

    So where’s the glorious “Red Book” that has answers to all this and with a blueprint for this lovely socialist paradise wherein all genders happily march arm in arm chanting the same verses, and singing the same songs? Hmm?

  122. says

    I’m still confused about why accountants should be paid more than nurses. To me, the work of keeping people healthy seems slightly more important, i.e. “valuable” than keeping people’s money in good order.

  123. ragdish says

    Daz #142

    So where in my post did I say give up. My point is exactly what you stated. No one has an answer right now. And I get the hint on the word “progressive”. Moving from point A to a better point B will not be a straight line but often jagged going back and forth. I get it and I’m all for it. Realistically it will involve some hybrid of economic philosophies incorporating both the state and the free market. But let’s not kid ourselves that proclamations such as an “end to capitalism” is the panacea.

  124. says

    SallyStrange @143:
    YES!
    I’m shaking my head in disbelief that some people value accountants more than nurses. Yes, accountants are valuable. I don’t discount that. But our health? Sorry (actually, I’m not sorry), that’s more valuable.

  125. lostintime says

    Thumper: Token Breeder #119

    Women make those choices because those are the choices society teaches them to make, due to the pervasive binary attitude towards gender and the entrenched beliefs regarding what is right and proper for the separate genders to do, coupled with the social shaming of those who do not conform to such beliefs and of course the well documented phenomenon of the “chilly atmosphere”. Nursing is “women’s work”, engineering is “men’s work”. In short, sexism

    The arguments about gender stereotyping are all well put, this above for example, but we should also respect the career choices that people make. I work in children’s social services and about 90% of us are women. Although it’s no doubt true that socialization plays a part in this gender difference, it’s an open question as to whether this accounts for all of the disparity and if they were told that they had been conditioned into making that career choice rather than being a miner or an HVAC engineer, they might find that a bit insulting. The most common answer I get when I’ve asked my colleagues why they got into social work is that they enjoy doing it, and they find it rewarding even though it can be distressing at times.

  126. says

    ragdish #144

    Oh, I apologise. I mistook your obvious sarcasm concerning “this lovely socialist paradise…” for, you know, sarcasm.

    That the market should be free within externally-imposed bounds is certainly a socialist idea. Personally, I don’t see gender equality as a primarily socialist ideal, but rather as a humanistic one. Consider that it would be absolutely necessary to a completely free market to have gender equality. Sexism itself is an “artificial” shackle on the market, because it stops up to 50% of the workforce achieving full potential; to the detriment of the market itself.

  127. Igor says

    @neverjaunty [83]

    Sorry, I missed your response to me. I appreciate your tone of discourse, and you certainly deserve a reply.

    .

    Women who are as assertive as men [are] viewed unfavorably.

    Actually, I do not see that at all at work. The article you quoted said something different — it said that women self-sensor when negotiating for themselves and limit their assertiveness. Women who are assertive get a very long way. If nothing else, I find that male managers find it harder to tell an assertive woman “no,” because they are less accustomed to this confrontation. Of course, this part is anecdotal. Finally, when a woman is called a “bitch”, a man would likely be called an “asshole”.

    .

    If this were so, then we would expect to see a strict correlation between hours worked and gender, with women always sorting themselves into low-stress jobs with easy hours.

    Do you disagree that this is a fact that men, on average, work longer hours?

    .

    You seem unaware of the newfangled invention called a “bottle”, for instance, or the actual duration of full-time breastfeeding.

    Bottle, you said? How did milk get into that bottle? I did mention pumping at work for a woman, if she has a full-time job, and how much of a pain it is (ask any woman who’s done this!). Or do you mean feeding a baby some formula? If so, you’ve missed the repeated pleas by pediatricians to take pitty on your babies and feed them real breast milk (if you can). It is so much better for the development as well as for the immunity.

    As for the duration of breastfeeding, American Academy of Pediatrics recommends “1 year minimum”. World Health Organization recommends 2 years or more.

    Hope you would not question my qualifications in childcare again?

    .

    Time off with a new baby is not biologically required to be any longer than a professor’s sabbatical, but the latter is not seen as “dropping out of the workforce” when male professors do it.

    You must have very little idea about sabbaticals for professors, if you consider that “dropping out of the workforce”. It is a common misconception that professors to spend a year on a beach. Quite the contrary — they go to work at some other institution/university all the same, just doing something different from their usual activities (and they do not teach). And they typically keep up with all the usual activities of their professional organizations, work on their usual conferences, etc. That’s not dropping out by any means.

    .

    real reason that women are underrepresented in certain professions, is that women are underrepresented in certain professions.

    You misunderstood my premise. I was saying that there is little evidence for some special sexism at the workplace. I was not explaining everything about why, on average, women choose different professions — I gave a few suppositions here and there. There are many alternatives. One is a societal bias (mom taught a girl that social work will be better for her than engineering). The other is an economic reason (given that we, as a family, will be better off if one of us picks a job requiring extra dedication and focuses fully on their job rather than if both of us focus on our jobs so-so, let the husband focus, since the wife will be unavailable for such a commitment for at least 2-3 years during her most productive years).

  128. ragdish says

    Tony #147

    PZ’s anti-capitalist stance is not the equivalent of a creationist hoax. And I have no doubt that he champions democracy. The only viable alternative to the American status quo ofthe 1% having it all is a social democracy. Not speak on his behalf, but PZ would no doubt advocate for a welfare state model akin to what they have in Sweden. And he stated in his opening thread the following:

    “What if we lived in a world where equal education and training and investment in preparing for a job led to jobs where the pay was equal?”

    That can be better realized in a social democracy wherein the value of work is more fair. But with Sweden being a prime example, this does not lead to an end to the gender wage gap. It does not end sexism. There are still entrenched patriarchical cultural values even in liberal Sweden wherein women bear the greater burden of domestic life and consequences leading to a persistent wage gap. Democratic socialistic systems cannot (and certainly capitalist systems can’t) solve that.

  129. ragdish says

    Daz #148

    Indeed I was being sarcastic but not in the way you think. The statement was not pro-capitalist or pro-1%. Merely that there has never been a “lovely socialist paradise..” nor any other economic models that will eliminate deeply entrenched patriarchal norms that contribute to the wage gap. As you implied, that requires the difficult collective humanistic shift in morals over time.

  130. erik333 says

    How would you even begin to go about determining how many engineers a nurse is worth?

    Currently, employers tend to pay an amount bounded by:
    1) what they have to pay in order to get good enough people to work for them
    2) what they can afford to pay
    Naturally, they will attempt to be as close to 1) as possible. They are pretty much not doing their job if they don’t.

    In the public sector you’ll always play within some budget ultimately decided by the political class (so that there is money left to pay for schools too) and compete with the private sector for labor. The private sector competes globally, in order to sell their goods/service. If they are pushed outside either bound they go out of business, eventually. I’m not sure how much can be done for wage equality within a country without also erecting socioeconomic fences (not necessarily a bad idea, but the third world might disagree) at the border to limit damage from the outside – or bringing the entire world along while you do it.

  131. roro80 says

    #149

    Actually, I do not see that at all at work

    Then it mustn’t fucking exist then, I guess. All the women who have ever worked anywhere must be lying.

    Do you disagree that this is a fact that men, on average, work longer hours?

    No. Do you believe this is because women are just lazier, or more delicate, or less determined? Or is it because most people working a 70-hour-a-week are not in charge of things like child-rearing or housekeeping or cooking? It is quite well-studied and well-proven that women in straight couples take on a lion’s share of non-paid work of a household, even if they work as many hours at a job as their male partners. Men work longer hours at paid work, on average. Also, since women fill more lower paying jobs, they are more likely to have their hours cut to part-time for corporate cost-savings than men. Women are more likely to be the sole adult in their family units than men, while most men with children either have a wife or don’t have custody.

    If so, you’ve missed the repeated pleas by pediatricians to take pitty on your babies and feed them real breast milk (if you can). It is so much better for the development as well as for the immunity.

    Oh for fucks sake on absolutely everything you said about breastfeeding. You cannot pretend to be talking in good faith about women and their choices to work fewer hours and then turn around and call every mother who makes the choice to work at all a bad mom who has no “pity” for her child’s health. Fucking hell.

    I was saying that there is little evidence for some special sexism at the workplace.

    I can’t surmise what you mean by “special” sexism, but I can tell you pretty firmly that if you’ve ever talked with a woman who works in a workplace, you will have evidence that sexism in the workplace exists. It’s mind-blowing that you can say that there is not sexism in the workplace at the very same time that many women are telling you that they experience sexism in the workplace. Your inability to perceive what is there goes to the very real bias your views of the situation have.

  132. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @lostintime #146

    Of course I’m not suggesting that people shouldn’t be able to freely choose what career they want to get into, nor am I suggesting that socialisation, as you put it, is necessarily the only factor (though I admit I can’t, of the top of my head, think what else would cause women to consistantly choose fields traditionally associated with women). I am merely stating that it is undeniable that the gender gap can be explained by, to a large degree, socialisation.

    There are many women out there who simply never consider STEM fields because they’ve been brought up believing STEM fields are men’s work. So when they get into work, they consider those fields they have been taught are women’s fields, and pick the one best suited to them. I’m sure the vast majority enjoy their work regardless, but they may very well enjoy STEM fields more and we’ll never find out because they never considered it. If they, as individuals, were entirely free of any societal bias and considered all fileds as potential future employment then they may still choose social work or nursing or whatever, and that’s fine but they should still have the option. As far as I’m concerned, it is wrong to limit people’s options and potential simply because of what they have between their legs, regardless of whether those limits are imposed consciously or subconsciously, directly or indirectly. There’s also the fact it harms the field itself, severely limiting the potential pool of talented applicants. This is a cultural problem that we need to fix. I think it’s on the way to being fixed; there are more women in STEM fields now than ever before, but we can do better.

  133. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @ragdish #150

    That can be better realized in a social democracy wherein the value of work is more fair. But with Sweden being a prime example, this does not lead to an end to the gender wage gap. It does not end sexism. There are still entrenched patriarchical cultural values even in liberal Sweden wherein women bear the greater burden of domestic life and consequences leading to a persistent wage gap. Democratic socialistic systems cannot (and certainly capitalist systems can’t) solve that.

    Of course it won’t; and no one suggested it would. We’re not talking in absolutes here, fixing sexism is going to require a far more holistic approach than simply changing the political system from fairly laissex-faire capitalism to socialist democracy. However, I think a shift in that direction (not necessarily all the way), while it would not end the wage gap, will result in a net reduction in said gap.

  134. lujlp . says

    PZ is a fine one to talk about bogus statistics to make an augment.

    The wage gap is manufactured by capping full time work at 36 hours OR MORE

    So even if a woman makes the same hourly rate if she works 36 hours and the guy works 48, its sexist that she makes 75% of what he does, EVEN THOUGH SHE IS ONLY WORKING 75% of the hours he does.

    Also, to everyone who tacitly agreed with Sommers by saying all but 7% or so of the wage gap has you do realize PZ must also consider you just as sexist, superficial, and stupid as he does Sommers, right?

  135. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also, to everyone who tacitly agreed with Sommers by saying all but 7% or so of the wage gap has you do realize PZ must also consider you just as sexist, superficial, and stupid as he does Sommers, right?

    Gee, looking at your privileges, like being white, male, cis, etc., but not acknowledging them shows institutional bias. That is what PZ has been saying for years. And yes, there is institutional sexism in the work place and in setting wages/value for work. All the liberturds who posted above prove that.

  136. lujlp . says

    So, your saying that people who work jobs that are inherently more dangerous shouldnt be paid more? Just becuase on average women prefer not to work them, but guys will?

    And you call me sexist?

  137. says

    lujlp #160

    “You’re.” It’s short for “You are.”

    So, your saying that people who work jobs that are inherently more dangerous shouldnt be paid more?

    Who said that, and where?

    Just becuase on average women prefer not to work them, but guys will?

    And there wouldn’t happen to be any reason for this, like, oh I dunno… society teaching girls that dangerous occupations are for men, not women? Or Society teaching boys that women should be constantly protected and kept away from danger?

    And you call me sexist?

    Given your second sentence: yes.

  138. lujlp . says

    One, those who have to strain to insult spelling errors as opposed to debate facts and ideas are telling the rest of us they cant be bothered to think.

    Two, Nerd suggested it by claiming it was unfair that certain jobs paid more.

    Three, tell me, at what point will women finally be considered competent and smart enough to make their own decisions without people like you suggesting they are too stupid and befuddled by brainwashing to think for themselves?

    I find it amazing that a guy like me who thinks women can think for themselves, make their own decisions, and suffer the consequences of those decisions (just like I think men can) is considered sexist. And guys like PZ who argument basically boils down to ‘women are too stupid to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves without feminism telling them what to do’ arent.

    Of the two attitudes the second seems far more patronizing and paternalistic.

  139. says

    And guys like PZ who argument basically boils down to ‘women are too stupid to think for themselves and make decisions for themselves without feminism telling them what to do’ arent.

    I don’t feel that’s PZ’s argument at all, but I won’t speak for him. Nor is he saying women are the only ones affected by social forces. Men are too. We don’t live in a vacuum. Our choices are influenced by the people around us and by society at large.

    When expectant parents find out their child is going to be a girl and paint her room pink, sure they’re making a choice to do so, but socially, pink has come to be associated with girls, not boys. Look at how boys are picked on for wearing pink. Why is pink associated with girls? Who decided that? Why is this something for everyone to follow? Why *cant* boys wear pink?

    Many parents of girls buy them dolls, and for the boys, they get trains. Why? Why is it that culturally, boys get the trains, and girls get the dolls?

    For years, I resisted the urge to get a manicure or pedicure. I thought those were things women did. I thought they weren’t things men did or were supposed to do.

    When I first developed acne as a teen and despised looking in the mirror, I wanted my acne to disappear or be less visible. I thought makeup would work. I waited until I was an adult before buying makeup to obscure my acne. Even while buying the makeup, I was still nervous. I had associated ‘makeup’ with ‘women’. Not bc I was taught that (I wasn’t), but because it’s reinforced by society at large.

    Just as wearing makeup is seen as something women do, becoming a teacher is still seen as a woman’s profession, rather than a man’s:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9849976/Teaching-in-primary-schools-still-seen-as-a-womans-job.html

    The early years workforce is still skewed dramatically towards women as a result of deeply ingrained gender stereotypes combined with fears that men will be falsely labelled as paedophiles, it is claimed.

    Research by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities found that most male teachers were confident working with children aged seven or under and insisted gender was “not an issue”.

    But the study suggested that a “number of consistent stereotypes and barriers” stopped many men entering the profession in the first place.

    Many boys never get the chance to make a choice to become teachers, bc they’re subtly told that teaching is for girls. The same is true of cooking and other activities at home.
    You can deny the sexism women face (and ignore the fact that Patriarchy Hurts Men Too) all you want, but it is well documented and well supported (this thread has more than a few links that you could click on and learn more).

    Women *and* men need more allies in the struggle for gender equality. We don’t need more enemies. Please educate yourself and rethink your beliefs.

  140. says

    In addition to my #163:

    Parents who dress their daughters in pink and force them to play with dolls are holding back the economy, a Government minister has said.

    Jenny Willott, the Consumer Affairs minister, said that women were being forced into professions that paid less well because of gender stereotyping when they were young children.

    Girls were often guided into low paying occupations like nursing because of the types of toys they were given to play with. This led to an over-representation of women among nurses – and of men among engineers and physicists.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/10620502/Parents-who-dress-their-daughters-in-pink-damaging-the-economy-says-minister.html

  141. says

    lujlp #162

    One, those who have to strain to insult [those who make] spelling errors as opposed to debat[ing] facts and ideas are telling the rest of us they can[‘]t be bothered to think. [Sorry; couldn’t resist. And it wasn’t a strain.]

    I think those who manage to miss three characters off the end of a word should pay more attention, both to their own words and to those they claim to be rebutting. On which subject…

    Two, Nerd suggested it by claiming it was unfair that certain jobs paid more.

    Nowhere does Nerd even hint that he believes people shouldn’t be appropriately paid for doing dangerous jobs.

    Three, tell me, at what point will women finally be considered competent and smart enough to make their own decisions without people like you suggesting they are too stupid and befuddled by brainwashing to think for themselves?

    Given that the most popular post on this blog, at the moment, concerns people who have quite obviously been “befuddled by brainwashed” into believing such blatant absurdities as a 6,000 year old universe and vegetarian lions, just how difficult do you really think it is to convince children that little girls play with nice safe dolls while boys play with guns and fire-trucks? After all, you seem to have fallen for it.

  142. lujlp . says

    1. I’m dyslexic, my brain deonst process visual ques the way most do, when the spell checker doesnt go off, I tend not to notice because my brain ‘sees’ what I intended to write as opposed to what is actually there. You want a perfectly crafted response you’ll have to wait several hr until my brain is onto something else and no longer qued up on what I’ve written

    2. Dont care about pink. And Ive seen girls play with all sorts of things. My sister used to play with my Tonka trunks. Of course she’d have them getting married and playing house more often than not.

    3. Math and facts are hard for some people. When considering all factors the wage gap drops to less than 5%. Now some may argue that even that is too much, and the amount itself is irrelevant. And while I agree my only question is, If the amount is irrelevant, why do some many feel the need to lie about it and artificially inflate it?

    the .77/1.00 age gap is created by capping full time work at 36hr or more. So even if a woman was earning the exact same hourly rate as a man if she were to work 36 hr and he were to work 47 then on paper it artificially looks like she is earning 77%, the fact that she WORKED 77% of the time seems to be irrelevant to you people.

    I’d like to know why

  143. Dhorvath, OM says

    And the why of the differing hours doesn’t concern you? So a couple that is just getting by has a child who requires one of them to take time off of work, which one takes the loss to pay? Which one stops working early, or turns down overtime? Which one is more likely to be a woman? Seriously, if the problem was as simple as rate/hour it would be easier to fix.

  144. lujlp . says

    And the why of the differing hours doesn’t concern you?

    Not that much, it doesnt concern many feminists either as when discussing this subject they rarely bring it up. They seem content to TALK about the problem without doing anything to FIX it

    So a couple that is just getting by has a child who requires one of them to take time off of work, which one takes the loss to pay?

    Thats for them to decide. Although I’d like to point out that while high earning men are content to date women with nowhere near their earning potential, high earning women seek out men who earn more than they do.

    Which one stops working early, or turns down overtime?

    Again, their choice

    Which one is more likely to be a woman?

    How much more likely is the woman to insist she be the one to stay home?

    Seriously, if the problem was as simple as rate/hour it would be easier to fix.

    Seriously, wasnt the point of feminism to give women the EQUALITY of opportunity to make there own free choices? Whether that be to be a home maker or a CEO?

  145. Dhorvath, OM says

    And that you think the situation right now is equal is part of the problem. How does one freely choose to make less money? One doesn’t, although the choice may be foisted based on other social pressures. It is a fact that more women take time off of work to care for children. This is a problem, because they are making an investment in our future not equalled by men who could be doing so at an equal level, because they are making less money by doing so which restricts their options in our inequal society, and because employers expect this and shape their staff based on the assumption that women don’t work as much as men. Who gets hired, who gets layed off, who gets asked to stay late, who doesn’t, all of this is shaped by society expecting different behaviour from women. That expectation is sexist, it has an impact, and one easy way to measure that impact is to look at how much money women make in a year versus men. Hourly rates are part of this, but not the whole picture.
    The point being, women are less free, they are pictured as less desirable employees by many industries, and by some they are viewed as unemployable. What good is choice when your entire upbringing has told you to ask for less when asking for a raise, to accept being the one who has to take time off for children, to expect to have them for that matter, to go into less valued professions because they are more welcoming to your gender? The system of employment we have right now is broken in many ways, much of this is due to sexist ideals held by the system, and most of those are built upon the larger system of sexism that our culture provides.

  146. lujlp . says

    So what should we do then? Assign everyone a job they must work regardless of their own likes and dislikes? Pay everyone a “fair” wage as dictated by the government irrespective of talent, ability, seniority, duties, hazards, and hours required?

    The problem you, and many other feminists seem to have is you are confusing equality of OPPORTUNITY, with equality of OUTCOME.

    Outcomes will never be equal. Women born to rich families will have, on average, better life outcomes than mine.

    Another problem is success and fulfillment are not, and never will be, objective standards to be applied to everyone. You may find being a home maker to be a dull and disappointing life path, I know I would. Someone else may find it makes them inordinately happy. Why should you get to decide that their decisions are wrong simply because you have a problem with how the aggregate of those decisions plays out?

    Quite frankly given women are responsible for the majority of all child abuse I think it can only be a good thing that more are working outside the home and that men are spending more time with their kids.

    But you cant sit there and tell me you were unaware that certain jobs pay less, that working less time means getting paid less. I knew that back in grade school when I heard my teachers, male and female, complain that they made less than electricians. And I found out why when I asked my dad who was an electrician who explained he had to work outside in the sun and rain and snow wiring houses while they got to work inside where it was warm. As less people want to do a job the pay goes up to entice them to do it anyway.

  147. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Except there’s hardly equality of opportunity if someone gets obstacles thrown in their way all the time because of their gender.

    All other things being equal, if I get dismissed before even getting a job interview because ‘A young woman, she’ll probably want to have kids soon. Into the bin with her CV‘ then no, I didn’t have the same opportunity as a male candidate.
    And that’s just one example, where every other detrimental factor is ignored.

  148. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Pay everyone a “fair” wage as dictated by the government irrespective of talent, ability, seniority, duties, hazards, and hours required?

    Who says that other than liberturds and other RW idjits? But everybody who words should receive a livable wage, meaning they can support themselves and a small family on those wages.

    As less people want to do a job the pay goes up to entice them to do it anyway.

    Then the highest paid people should be garbage collectors and sewage plant workers. So not. Your economics don’t add up to reality. Typical of those who try to denigrate women by paying them less for the same job with the same experience, and not letting those they consider inferior, by sex or color, even into the door.
    Why is it so important for you to blatantly discriminate?

  149. Rey Fox says

    But you cant sit there and tell me you were unaware that certain jobs pay less, that working less time means getting paid less.

    Read the damn thread.

    Quite frankly given women are responsible for the majority of all child abuse I think it can only be a good thing that more are working outside the home and that men are spending more time with their kids.

    Yes, by equalizing the time spent with children, we should see an equalization of child abuse by gender. At least, this would be the conclusion reached if you weren’t a disingenuous prat.

    I knew that back in grade school when I heard my teachers, male and female, complain that they made less than electricians. And I found out why when I asked my dad who was an electrician who explained he had to work outside in the sun and rain and snow wiring houses while they got to work inside where it was warm.

    And because you were a child, you believed that it was that simple. And evidently you haven’t grown up since then.

    As less people want to do a job the pay goes up to entice them to do it anyway

    Ah yes, this explains all those wealthy migrant agricultural workers.

    Man, this topic brings out the stupid.

  150. says

    lujlp:

    2. Dont care about pink. And Ive seen girls play with all sorts of things. My sister used to play with my Tonka trunks. Of course she’d have them getting married and playing house more often than not

    You didn’t comprehend a damn thing I wrote. It doesn’t matter if *you* don’t care about pink. I was making the point that the choices people make with regard to gender are influenced by social forces.
    Damn you’re an assclam who wants to double down on the anti-feminism.

    Go the fuck away with that shit.

  151. lujlp . says

    All other things being equal, if I get dismissed before even getting a job interview because ‘A young woman, she’ll probably want to have kids soon. Into the bin with her CV‘ then no, I didn’t have the same opportunity as a male candidate.

    Finally, a reasonable response. Yes that probably happens on occasion, and it sucks.

    Kinda makes you wonder why womens groups pushed to make it illegal to ask that question of women. If I were a little more paranoid I might think the fact that such an action had the exact opposite effect of what they claimed its aim was, was intentional.

  152. Dhorvath, OM says

    As less people want to do a job the pay goes up to entice them to do it anyway

    If only. Who does it serve to have a class of desperate workers anxious for some sort of emplyment?

  153. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Kinda makes you wonder why womens groups pushed to make it illegal to ask that question of women. If I were a little more paranoid I might think the fact that such an action had the exact opposite effect of what they claimed its aim was, was intentional.

    Paranoid, ignorant, and arrogant asshole. I have your number.

    Yes that probably happens on occasion, and it sucks.

    Why the fuck should it happen when it is ILLEGAL? Try toxic male privilege for a thousand Alex….

  154. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Also loser, who gets paid more, a PFC on the front lines or an officer doing a desk job? Which is more dangersous? See why your fuckwitted argument is fuckwitted? Transfer that to civilians, like police, fire, etc. Oggie can cite you chapter and verse how the “part time” folks who actually fight forest fires are screwed, compared to him, a permanent NPS employee who does security at forest fires.

    Think!!!!, you appear to be incapable of doing so, if reality doesn’t jibe with your presuppositional version thereof.

  155. Maureen Brian says

    lujlp passim

    1. Among the most dangerous of jobs is nursing. Apart from the regular exposure to infections, to people reacting badly or even violently to stress and to powerful chemicals, there is a rate of back injury causing early medical retirement which would get, say, engineering shut down if those so injured were “real people” instead of mainly just women. I see no sign of nurses being paid danger money anytime soon or having pension arrangements which recognise the fact.

    2. There is considerable evidence that men spend longer in the workplace or with work colleagues than their female partners. There is no compelling evidence that these men produce more in their 48 hours than a determined woman will in 30. Have you not heard of the corrosive practice of presenteeism?

  156. Thumper: Token Breeder says

    @lujlp

    So what should we do then? Assign everyone a job they must work regardless of their own likes and dislikes? Pay everyone a “fair” wage as dictated by the government irrespective of talent, ability, seniority, duties, hazards, and hours required?

    I am beginning to get bored of dealing with idiots like you who can’t fucking read. We are talking about wage gaps between comparable jobs.

    From further upthread.

    In other words, yes a CEO has to earn more than a middle-management type. Specialised jobs have to earn more than unspecialised jobs. But why on Earth should someone with a BSc in engineering working in an engineering field earn more than a person with a BA in Gender Studies working in Social Services? They’re both equally skilled, just in different areas.

  157. lujlp . says

    Why the fuck should it happen when it is ILLEGAL? Try toxic male privilege for a thousand Alex….

    No, Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls @178. Its about money. Is there male privilege? Undoubtedly, just as there is female privilege. Nature and biology are not “fair” they just are. Men on average will always have more individuals stronger, faster, and smarter than women on average. Like wise men will on average have more sociopaths, criminals, and those of lower intelligence than women on average. Which is why men have more genius than women, and higher incarnation rates.

    As a man with no children, and no plans of ever having children I actually earn the least amount of money of the four groups of wage earners. Men with kids, and women without kids tend to earn more than women with kids and men without kids. Because women with kids generally chose to forgo their careers to care for their kids, which is arguably the most important job and member of our species could ever undertake.

    You are right, some hiring manager may illegally ding you simply for being a woman. And I have never suggested sexism does not exist.

    But unfortunately due to laws passed on behalf of feminists political work, such sexism is no longer easily apparent, and corretable. And as further result even innocent, innocuous decisions can be labeled as ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ sexism. Which I rather think was the goal all along.

    The hard truth is feminism accomplished what it set out to do, make women equal before the law and society.

  158. anteprepro says

    Men on average will always have more individuals stronger, faster, and smarter than women on average.

    Men are smarter than women? By what fucking metric? Absolute fucking bullshit.

    Which is why men have more genius than women,

    Define “genius”. Because I’m pretty sure this is going to wind up being an argument from “all the important smart people in history were men so that means men were smarter and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that women weren’t allowed to do jackshit”.

    Because women with kids generally chose to forgo their careers to care for their kids,

    And WHY do you think that it is? Why are women generally making that decision? Use your headmeat.

    The hard truth is feminism accomplished what it set out to do, make women equal before the law and society.

    The hard truth is that you can only say that by selectively ignoring facts in such a methodical and convenient of a way as you can in order to arrive at that foregone conclusion. Feminism fixed about half the problem, and then Teh Menz said “okay, okay, that’s quite enough, I think you’ve done all you needed to do, mission accomplished, nothing to see here anymore, move along”. And they continue to deny the need for further improvement using nothing but denialism and spin. Just like any other brand of right-leaning, status quo-defending pseudoscience.

  159. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    And I have never suggested sexism does not exist.

    Yet you are doing nothing about institutional sexism since you like being the one with the privileges, and are afraid to share those privileges, as you might actually lose out when you compete on a level playing field. Typical liberturd/MRA idiocy. Afraid of actually having to compete….

  160. Rey Fox says

    But unfortunately due to laws passed on behalf of feminists political work, such sexism is no longer easily apparent, and corretable.

    How would it be correctable in the absence of laws?

    And as further result even innocent, innocuous decisions can be labeled as ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ sexism. Which I rather think was the goal all along.

    That’s right, we’re coming for your balls next. *scary organ chord*

  161. says

    And I have never suggested sexism does not exist.

    Versus

    The hard truth is feminism accomplished what it set out to do, make women equal before the law and society.

    LOL

    He’s a Somers acolyte. That’s the libertarian/MRA/sociology-denialist/Somers line: Legal equality has been achieved (except when it hasn’t but let’s not talk about that), and there’s no such thing as societies or culture, so feminism accomplished!

  162. Rich Woods says

    @lujlp #182:

    Which is why men have more genius than women, and higher incarnation rates.

    Men are more likely to be Hindus or Time Lords?

    “More genius than women” Fucking dipshit. You think socialisation, opportunity and acceptance don’t play a role?

  163. Rex Little, Giant Douchweasel says

    What lujlp is referring to are studies which show that, while average intelligence is the same for men as for women, the standard deviation for men is greater. This means that there are more men at both extremes of the bell curve–more geniuses and more idiots–while women are more clustered toward the middle on both sides of average.

    I hasten to add that I haven’t evaluated any of these studies, and don’t know if what they report is true. But they’re out there.

  164. Maureen Brian says

    Rex Little @ 189,

    Have you ever read Margaret Wertheim’s book Pythagoras’s Trousers? It argues that the very definition of genius is a male slanted one and traces the historical development of the notion. Worth a look.

    On whether there are more males at the extremely dim end of the distribution, I have no opinion!