The Wage Gap Myth Is Hazardous To Men’s Health

Publié: décembre 21, 2010 dans Uncategorized

The Wage Gap Myth Is Hazardous To Men’s Health

by Stephen Jarosek

A study in the May issue of American Economic Review (2003) had found that the wage gap between men and women was the result of lifestyle choices, and not discrimination. It was found that choice, not discrimination, is the determining factor in wage difference 97 percent of the time. The wage gap myth has been debunked numerous times — for example, by the Independent Women’s Forum, and the publication, « Women’s Figures », by Furchtgott-Roth and Stolba (1999).

The wage gap fiction was derived from the median wages of all men and all women in the work force, without regard to age, education, occupation, experience or working hours.

It’s pretty obvious, isn’t it? You’d think that if you had to explain something so self-explanatory, you might as well not bother and go and live in an ashram in India.

We know how it goes…. Women are more likely to work fewer hours so that they can have more time to devote to the caring of children. Men are more likely to value career and therefore, work longer hours per day, devoting many more years to developing their expertise that makes them more valuable. Men are more likely to work in the death careers, such as mining (and therefore get paid more), whereas women are more likely to work in air-conditioned offices, regardless of their skill-level. Women are more likely to pull out of careers in order to raise a family — the stay-at-home mom is a legitimate, fulfilling option and an ideal escape-hatch. No such fulfilling option is extended to men. The man who chooses the stay-at-home option becomes an invisible drone, of no interest to men or women, employers or government, God or country. And so on.

The various studies that have been coming out have been equalizing the wage-gap disparities, and so feminists no longer have any basis to claim discrimination on the basis of income.

As a further very dramatic example, there was the New York Times article by Lisa Belkin, « The Opt-Out Revolution », published on the 26 th of October, 2003. After arraying a formidable and damning indictment of a revolution choosing to opt out instead of persisting with the good fight, Ms Belkin asks the rhetorical question, « Why don’t women run the world? » Her answer is « Maybe it’s because they don’t want to. »

Precisely. The wage gap is not a wage gap at all. It is a choices gap. Put simply, women have more choices than men. In most cases, their additional choices (e.g., stay-at-home-mom) require men to continue providing for them, and this is the reason for the wages gap.

Let’s take a closer look at some of Ms Belkin’s observations.

  • Stanford class of 1981 – 57% of mothers spent at least a year at home caring for their infant children in the first decade after graduation. One out of four have stayed home three or more years.
  • Harvard Business School – In a survey of women from the classes of 1981, 1985 and 1991 it was found that only 38% were working full time.
  • In surveys of professional women across the board – Between one quarter and one third are out of the work-force, depending on the study and the profession.
  • The United States Census shows that the number of children being cared for by stay-at-home moms has increased nearly 13% in less than a decade, while at the same time, the percentage of new mothers who go back to work fell from 59% in 1998 to 55% in 2000.
  • Working mothers between the career-building ages of 25 to 44 – Two thirds of them work fewer than 40 hours per week (i.e., part time). Only 5% work 50 or more hours weekly.
  • Compare these trends with those of men. 95% of white men with M.B.A.’s are working full time, while only 67% of women with M.B.A.’s are working full time.
  • Ms Belkin then turns her attention to the women in her Atlanta book club, and the roomful of women from Princeton University, « trained as well as any man. Of the 10 members, half are not working at all; one is in business with her husband; one works part time; two freelance; and the only one with a full-time job has no children. »
  • In a recent survey, the research firm Catalyst found that 26 percent of women at the cusp of the most senior levels of management don’t want the promotion.
  • Fortune magazine found that of the 108 women who have appeared on its list of the top 50 most powerful women over the years, at least 20 have chosen to leave their high-powered jobs, most voluntarily, for lives that are less intense and more fulfilling.

Perhaps the mechanism behind this trend can be explained in two words — « escape hatch ». Ms Belkin quotes one of her interviewees:  »I don’t want to be famous; I don’t want to conquer the world; I don’t want that kind of life… Maternity provides an escape hatch that paternity does not. Having a baby provides a graceful and convenient exit. »

Ms Belkin refers to women social scientists who write about « how the workplace has failed women. » And then she observes that « it is also that women are rejecting the workplace. »

Closing off her article with a twist to her original question about women running the world, Ms Belkin again asks why don’t women run the world, and has one of her subjects answer it for her:  »In a way, » Amsbary says,  »we really do. »

Indeed. Women always have. Chivalrous, chauvinistic men (whose pro-feminism is a clever strategic move) believe that they wield the power — the so-called « frontman fallacy. » But in so many ways, they are deluded. Is a draft-horse pulling the cart more powerful than the driver wielding the whip? Does a guard dog patrolling the yard determine how its owner should live? How much power does a draft horse or a guard dog have over its own destiny? When a man dutifully and willingly subscribes to the provider role, he becomes a beast of burden whose first priority is to conform to the rules laid down not only by his employer but also by his wife and the social network that is her priority.

Ms Belkin concludes her lengthy article with a positive spin, by suggesting that « instead of women being forced to act like men, men are being freed to act like women… Looked at that way, this is not the failure of a revolution, but the start of a new one. It is about a door opened but a crack by women that could usher in a new environment for us all. »

This is the basis of her message — a new revolution for which women can claim the credit, that benefits both men and women.

While we would not wish to diminish the important and worthwhile goal of motherhood that must feature in every woman’s life decisions at some point, what Ms Belkin’s article points to is a demonstration of the baselessness of the wage gap assumption. Hers is a most important admission that yes, many women — even once they have attained their status as equals among men (albeit, with the helping hand of affirmative action) — do not really want to work. Even with all the qualifications, skill bases and social connections that might make them heads of national corporations and leaders of nations, many women choose to throw it all in. Nothing wrong with that in principle, except that every last woman in such a position has obtained her exulted status through affirmative action. That is, through the assumption that, as a woman, she has the right to make her claim for the millenia of patriarchal oppression foisted against women by men. It’s payback time. Payback for what?

Irrespective of what we make of Ms Belkin’s positive spin, we are left with very troubling questions.

What do we make of this collective arrogance? For these career grrrrls to decide that they’ve had enough, and then continue to disparage men and men’s achievements by suggesting that they might have a more lofty purpose (motherhood). How insulting, to suggest that all this benefits men. These born-again moms are like occupying colonials trying to mollify the natives who have begun to show signs of becoming restless.

Whatever happened to the glass ceiling? Was it ever there to begin with? And now that progressive career grrrls have changed their minds, now that they realized that work was not all that it was cracked up to be, they white-wash it all with claims that everybody benefits, including men, because now men can be stay-at-home-dads if they want to.

All this might be well and good for some. But let us not forget the propaganda with which this new, purported vision was accomplished. Let us not forget the hatred that has been leveled against men and « The Patriarchy » in order to realize these goals. Now that we realize that the wage gap is in fact a choices gap driven as much by women as by men — and Ms Belkin’s article further confirms this already established fact — how do we justify the hatred and systemic biases that have instituted against men over the past 40 years?

These career women that Ms Belkin writes about (and among whom she includes herself) might as well have said « hey, we never meant it. » Or perhaps, « lighten up guys, we were just joking. » Or maybe, « it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. »

How do we interpret the past 40 years of feminist hatred against an entire gender — men and boys, husbands and sons — how is this justified? Why have so many women remained silent accomplices? Whatever happened to respect? This fabricated claim, that a glass ceiling had been instituted in some secret conspiracy by « The Patriarchy » to deny women opportunities in the workplace, is the basis for affirmative action. But Ms Belkin’s article further confirms that all this was a malicious lie — a lie that denied the efforts and contributions that have always been made by men and a lie against which so few women have spoken out. Even now, Ms Belkin does not speak out against the lie, but seeks only to justify the choices that she and others like her have made.

There never has been any such thing as a glass ceiling preventing women from getting ahead. There has always been chivalry, placing the burden upon men to be provider, cannon fodder and all-round chump-horse doing the bidding of women, entertaining women and fulfilling women’s every whim.

Affirmative Action

In October 2001, following on from the terrorist attack on the twin towers in New York, the US Department of Justice announced that it was dropping its support of a sex discrimination lawsuit by women sitting for a test for Philadelphia’s transit police, who claimed that it was unfair to female applicants. It would appear that it took the event of September 11 to make everyone realize that there are some things (like carrying bodies up and down ladders) that women cannot do as well as men. In this light, Charlotte Allen (2003) suggests that it took the terrorist attack on New York to put an end to the worst excesses of affirmative action — meaning of course, affirmative action against men.

As far as Australia is concerned, affirmative action against men has been and continues to be enshrined in acts and legislation throughout the country, in the Equal Employment Opportunity for Women Act of 1999 (Affirmative Action) and the Sex Discrimination Act of 1984, for example.

Among the most “equal” and non-gender-specific of all these Australian (Commonwealth Government) EEO acts — the Equal Employment Opportunity (Commonwealth Authorities) Act of 1987 — also has to imply « reverse » discrimination in favor of women, with the following sections:

Section 3 (Interpretation) – program, in relation to a relevant authority, means an equal employment opportunity program designed to ensure that appropriate action is taken by the authority:

  • to eliminate discrimination by it against;
  • and to promote equal opportunity for; … women and persons in designated groups in relation to employment matters.

That is to say, in section 3 of the EEO Act where meanings are defined, “relevant” authorities must embrace equal opportunity programs that naturally favor women. Typically, no mention is made for equal opportunity for men. What does equal opportunity mean when only one side is invited? « Equal » suggests the participation of at least two parties and an impartial moderator. For the members of the one and only side that is invited, what are they supposed to be made equal to? Who does the moderating when there is only one party present? What is it that is being « moderated » when there is only one interest group to appease? Sounds like a free-for-all to me.

Once again, for those of us who think that affirmative action has had its day, this legislation remains current.

The essence and status of affirmative action, at least prior to the September 11 attack, was typified in the Washington Post article by Dan Froomkin (October 1998), « Affirmative Action Under Attack »:

Affirmative action is the nation’s most ambitious attempt to redress its long history of racial and sexual discrimination. But these days it seems to incite, rather than ease, the nation’s internal divisions.

An increasingly assertive opposition movement argues that the battle to guarantee equal rights for all citizens has been fought and won — and that favoring members of one group over another simply goes against the American grain.

But defenders of affirmative action say that the playing field is not level yet — and that granting modest advantages to minorities and women is more than fair, given hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men.

Which brings us back to the wage gap myth and Ms Belkin’s article. As we’ve explored above:

  • The wage gap has been thoroughly debunked and certified non-existent.
  • Ms Belkin’s article above tells us how high-flying women with MBAs and law degrees flee their cherished careers because, well, it’s just too hard, and women with more worthy priorities can do without the stress.

What does this all imply for the institutional bias against men, framed in the terms of Affirmative Action? If, as various sources confirm, wage differences have typically arisen from the choices that men and women made and not from discrimination, what is all this blather about women being discriminated against in the workplace by men? Redress for « hundreds of years of discrimination that benefited whites and men? » Indeed.

Yes, redress is indeed required. Men require redress for 40 years of feminist, hate-filled propaganda, vilification and harassment. Not all men, of course — for ultimately, chivalrous, powerful men continue to dominate the highest levels in the boardrooms, judiciary, industry and government, and they continue to do the bidding of feminists — as has always been the case even before modern feminism, when chivalrous men did the bidding of their women-folk. It is the men lower down in the hierarchies — unskilled men, skilled and educated men, men of integrity, men who for whatever reason refuse to play by the contemptible rules — that require redress for an unprecedented and unjustified campaign directed against them over the past 40 years.

Affirmative Action as Chivalry

It should become clear by now that affirmative action is just good, old-fashioned chivalry, pure and simple. Where before, we used to open car doors for the li’l ladies, presumably because they could not open car doors themselves, today we let them in front of us in the job queue, presumably because they cannot compete on their own merits.

Male Suicide and the Emancipation of Women

The increase in men’s suicide rates in recent times (the past 40 years or so) is a cause for concern the world over.

From the Fathers for Life website:

The number of female suicide victims was considerably lower in 1996 than it was in 1979, in spite of a sizeable increase in the American population during that period. It declined from 6,950 to 5,905 annually. The number of the male suicide victims rose during the same period from 20,256 to 24,998 annually.

And:

Extrapolating from those statistics to the early 1960s, when the impact of the new realities of no-fault divorce and the feminization of America became fully reflected in the escalating male suicide rates, and extrapolating to the year 2000, when its impact was still being felt to its full deadly extent, it can be estimated that a total of 800,000 American boys and men committed suicide in the 1962-2000 interval.

In other words, more American boys and men died during and on account of the War of the Sexes than died in all military conflicts in which the USA were involved during the 20th century.

In Wendy McElroy’s article in Fox News (Are Father’s Rights a Factor in Male Suicide? — 29 January 2002), « The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that the suicide rate for men aged 20 to 39 years has risen by 70 percent over the last two decades. » She also notes that « The Australian study’s suggested reasons for some of the suicides includes ‘marriage breakdown.' »

Many studies on suicide (for example, Hoogland & Pieterse (2000)) suggest a particularly strong link between suicide and relationship breakdown. The conclusion being, perhaps simplistically, that relationship breakdown is the number one cause of suicide. Those of us who are more prone to thinking systemically (laterally), however, might conclude a « complex » of causes. For example, we now know that women initiate the majority of divorces, for such reasons as communication breakdown. Reading between the lines, in the absence of detailed research, what might the reasons be for « communication breakdown? » We can only guess. Though we might expect a promising candidate to be a man’s employment status. « We’ve grown apart, » or « I need to find my personal space, » is Woman-speak for, « I’ve found someone else (a better provider, perhaps), » or, « You’re too boring, dull and… unemployed. »

What might be the connection between relationship breakdown and unemployment? In an article for the Sydney Morning Herald (Marginal Men, 10 October 1998), social commentator and sexologist, Bettina Arndt writes:

These men [earning less than AU$15,600 pa] have been hit hard by the recent deterioration in the male labour market in Australia, which in the past 10 years has meant a 7 percent drop in full-time work. A striking 30 percent of men in their 30s are not in full-time employment. And now we have clear evidence that this recent dramatic drop in men’s capacity to act as breadwinners means many are unable to maintain stable relationships.

Which then of course leads to the question — what’s the connection that the affirmative action policies of the past 40 years have with unemployment rates and relationship breakdowns? And subsequently, suicide rates.

Of course, other studies do implicate unemployment more directly as a factor. For example, it is widely recognized that suicide rates show a marked jump during periods of high unemployment — for example, during the 1930s.

All very messy and hypothetical, as systemic issues are notoriously difficult to resolve conclusively. As McElroy notes in her article, « yet, the motivation for male suicide remains a matter for speculation because little research has focused on the subject. »

Suffice it to say that affirmative action, as one tool within the feminist arsenal of anti-male hatred, is built on a lie. Whether any study can establish conclusively a causal link between affirmative action and male suicide is secondary to the fact that feminism is a hate movement. Its premise grounded primarily in the wage gap has been proven as baseless, and its agenda directed at maintaining privileges for women by way of affirmative action is a con. We must conclude that women have never been systematically discriminated against in any patriarchal conspiracy perpetrated by men. Rather, men have maintained the tradition of chivalry, to provide for women, and this has exempted women from having to work. This escape hatch that is every woman’s birthright is what is responsible for the wage gap.

Affirmative action and feminism are violations of the natural laws of supply and demand. They belong to a communistic ideology and their motivations are driven by envy and mediocrity.

In the past 40 years of feminist propaganda purporting discrimination, there has only ever been one group that has been systematically discriminated against — and that is men. What sort of women’s « emancipation » is this that only consolidates privileges for women, while denying men basic human rights?

In Summary

  • The wage gap myth is lethal. It is injurious to men’s health. « More American boys and men died during and on account of the War of the Sexes than died in all military conflicts in which the USA were involved during the 20th century. »
  • For every woman alive today, irrespective of whether she is listed among the board of directors of a large company, or controls staff at middle management level, or sits at the reception desk of a small business, there is the inescapable perception that she has not earned her promotions. And the perception is real and justified.

Our first conclusion is a tragedy. But hey, men are expendable, so let’s not give them a second thought.

Our second conclusion is also tragic. Because now, with the history of affirmative action, there is no grrrrl alive who can convince us that she can do anything a man can do. Why is this a tragedy? Because there are genuine, capable women out there who do work hard, who are capable of meeting men on their own terms and who do deserve their promotions. But there is no way of identifying them. Their achievements will remain forever invisible, obscured by the cloud of affirmative action.

Feminists smugly trumpet that now that the tables have turned, men don’t like it. Well no, the tables have not turned. What has emerged is an entirely new situation, because we must conclude that women have not earned their power. It is this simple fact that makes the feminist phenomenon not a power reversal but the institution of a new kind of tyranny. At least when men were in power, everybody knew that, by and large, the power and influence was earned on a more-or-less competitive playing field. In this brave New World, however, we have something completely different, something far more insidious and destructive than a simple turning of tables. What has happened is the players have left the field and the spectators have taken their place. And instead of competition and winners we now have makeshift stalls and snake oil.

Copyright: Stephen Jarosek (2004)

References

  1. Furchtgott-Roth, Diana and Stolba, Christine (1999) – Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America, American Enterprise Institute
  2. Belkin, Lisa (2003) – « http://www.nytimes.com/2003/10/26/magazine/26WOMEN.html
  3. Allen, Charlotte (2003, 3 May) – Independent Women’s Forum – http://www.iwf.org/articles/article_detail.asp?ArticleID=226
  4. Washington Post, October 1998 – http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/affirm/affirm.htm
  5. Fathers for life – http://www.fathersforlife.org/ussuic.htm
  6. Wendy McElroy in Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44183,00.html
  7. AIHW Media release – http://www.aihw.gov.au/media/2000/mr000711.html
  8. Wesley Mission study – http://www.wesleymission.org.au/publications/r&d/suicide.htm
  9. Hoogland, Sharon & Pieterse, Randall (2000), Suicide in Australia – a dying shame, Wesley Mission, Sydney, Australia – http://www.wesleymission.org.au/publications/r&d/suicide.htm#causes
  10. Wendy McElroy, Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44183,00.html
  11. Furchtgott-Roth, Diana and Stolba, Christine (1999) – Women’s Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America, American Enterprise Institute
  12. Allen, Charlotte (2003, 3 May) – Independent Women’s Forum – http://www.iwf.org/articles/article_detail.asp?ArticleID=226
  13. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/special/affirm/affirm.htm
  14. Fathers for life – http://www.fathersforlife.org/ussuic.htm
  15. Wendy McElroy in Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44183,00.html
  16. AIHW Media release – http://www.aihw.gov.au/media/2000/mr000711.html
  17. Wesley Mission study – http://www.wesleymission.org.au/publications/r&d/suicide.htm
  18. Hoogland, Sharon & Pieterse, Randall (2000), Suicide in Australia – a dying shame, Wesley Mission, Sydney, Australia – http://www.wesleymission.org.au/publications/r&d/suicide.htm#causes
  19. Wendy McElroy, Fox News – http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,44183,00.html
commentaires
  1. […] with the weather – you’ll need to choose your own favorite) on the dollar myth, even though the wage gap myth [6] was first debunked a good ten years ago (July/August 2004 issue of NCFM’s Transitions) and […]

  2. […] with the weather – you’ll need to choose your own favorite) on the dollar myth, even though thewage gap myth [6] was first debunked a good ten years ago (July/August 2004 issue of NCFM’s Transitions) and […]

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