Tuesday, April 12, 2011

So, it's Equal Pay Day.

The whole wage gap thing is still controversial, with one side saying women are paid less than men for equal work, which, if true, would be blatantly unjust, and the other side saying that women are paid less than men because of non-systemic factors, such as choices they make to work in less dangerous fields, to stay home and be a full-time parent rather than a full-time currency-earner, or a lack of negotiation skills.


It makes me angry that the numbers -- that women earn only $0.77 for every $1.00 men make -- are presented in such a way that it leads people to believe that this is a reflection of men and women with equal skills and education doing identical work, when those numbers instead account for all male and female full-time employees, period, regardless of what they do for a living.  It also makes me angry that those who think that the wage gap is strictly a myth blatantly refuse to admit that the "choices" women make to enter lower-paying careers, stay home with the kids, or be bad negotiators do not exist in a vacuum.

I'm happy to accept that women and men earn different wages and salaries simply by choice-- once we are able to reasonably prove that there is no such thing as systemic and insidious sexism that affects both women's and men's employment decisions.

And I'm not ready to buy that just yet, sorry.