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Kay S. Hymowitz
Why the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Ever. « Back to Story

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It is no longer true that women who earn more than their husbands are a tiny minority. It's more commonly the other way around, but not more commonly by a ratio of times 10 or 100.

(In my own experience, my father earned more than mother. Wife's mother earned more than father. Son earns more than wife, daughters earn more than their husbands, or sometimes more sometimes less.)
There's a possible amelioration for the effect of divorce on earnings...have it be part of the marriage contract that
(1) all retirement savings, and accumulated properties of any other sort, are jointly and equally owned while the couple is married and in the event of a divorce, each account goes right down the middle to both spouses.
(2) all future earnings are somewhat jointly earned, but unequally...for each year or part of a year that the marriage lasted, the couple merge their future earnings 1 percent. So, in a marriage that lasted 20 years, each partner transfers 20% of their income to the other. Cap it at 20% because we don't want the two partners to both stop earning because they feel they're not getting to keep a meaningful fraction of their own. The federal government has learned that it can tax at 20% without too much impairing work incentives.

The transferred money would become income of the other former spouse. Details could be varied but this would make for a reasonable measure of justice and a healthy degree of simplicity and predictability.
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You know what's funny? I agree all the way up until you argue that women aren't socialized to be moms. I agree that women get preferential treatment when it comes to being parents/moms, but I think it's a bit simple to say "But after decades of feminism and Nordic engineering, the continuing female tropism toward shorter work hours suggests that that view is either false or irrelevant." From birth, girls are programmed to be moms/nurturers and boys are shamed when showing the same signs. You completely fail to mention the 'pink aisle' mentality of child raising and the pressures on boys and girls to adhere to certain norms. I wish you had delved deeper. Instead, it seems a bit trite, event tart how you feel about women demanding equal treatment - like they don't deserve it. When, in fact, there is a systemic demand that women be one thing and men be another.
Run Off with the Pilates instructor? Great article until this shopworn old reference to Lenore Walker's false research about men, little red convertible's and hot blonde secretaries. Great imagery, terribly false statistical myth. Long ago, I lost count of the wife and the younger or wealthier boyfriend living large on hubby's paycheck. Men running off with the cute young secretary in a red convertible is about the same statistic as getting hit by lightning, twice. How many do you know?
I think that part of the problem why men don't want to take more responsibility with carework is that it is not valued at all in our society. That, and that it causes a career penalty. So there is not much incentive.

If we that, we'll likely see a change.

What is often left out is that instead of women complaining about not getting equal pay for similar work (Not the same work - and the reason for that is telling) and blaming men, they should give men credit for using their own labor that often ruins health and takes lives, to support the "choice" of the female partner while they also give the female partner most of their wages.
Your "mommy track" argument lacks an understanding of sociology and history. Those who don't know about these in relation to gender/sex issues will think your argument is sound. You may be right to critique the wage gap, but you are misunderstanding the entire issue.
Ok so wage inequality has now become job inequality. Thanks for recognizing that.. and once again the solution is..... FREAKIN EQUALIZE!
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Robin Morris Atkinson, you're crazy and misinformed. Typical whining feminist. You seem to think women without children have it roughest. How do you know? You never lived anyone else's life. Self-absorbed feminist.

You sound like my first wife who didn't want kids and told me that after we got married. That's why I left her.

I can tell you people out there it is pure hell to live with a woman like Robin.
Krysta 1218am, your opinions are garbage. Asian men and women earn more money than white men. How does that fit into your little victim philosophy? Garbage Feminist.
Modern life seems set up for women, more than men. I'm sure men want to work part time too. Problem is no woman would want them, or support them.

Women have the best of both worlds. They can enter the work work, compete with men, or find a man to labor for them, making money, while they pump out one kid.

That's the average now, isn't it? Then they can stick the tyke in daycare in a few years, and then it's off to kindergarten, and K-12 where other people look after their child in the daytime.

Nice work if you can get it.

Of course, if women want REAL equality, they can tell their husbands to stay at home with the kid, and they will break their backs at work for the man and child at home. Boy, if you want a real reaction or laugh, bring that up with a woman some time.

Of course women don't want it. Ok, ok, there are a handful of men supported at home by working wives, but come on, that is a tiny, tiny minority. The last thing women want is that kind of equality. That would be a backwards step for most of them.

Kay Hymowitz brought up that it was still a danger for a woman that a lot of people get divorced. So what? Family courts are set up entirely for the benefit of women. 80% of divorces are initiated by women. Why? They know they will get the child, or children, and the house and his money.

He gets nothing.

Women "earn" less than men? Who cares? She gets all his money anyway. If he's lucky he gets one child out of it and she doesn't cheat on him.

Modern life sure is a ripoff for men.
The gender gap exists because women are oppressed. The argument that women earn less because they make time for the kids instead of putting in overtime hours is false. Women are looked over for promotions because men are deciding who to give power and control to. Of course they are going to want to stay in the powerful position society has placed them in, so of course they will promote other men. They will look women over because we are a threat (along with minorities) to their continuing control of society. This oppression and need to stay in power can be seen outside the workplace as well. Sexual assault, domestice violence, images in the media, workplace discrimination; all these are tactics to oppress women.
Ms. Hymowitz,

I looked into the AAUW study you mentioned. They didn't write that there was an overall 5% wage gap after controlling for education, etc.; they wrote that there was a 5% gap ONE YEAR after graduation. Ten years after graduation, they wrote, the gap jumps to 12%.

I figured that might be important to point out. I don't know if it contradicts the point you're making, which is that many womens' choices lead to lower pay. The 12% could just as easily be explained by the "Mommy Track," I suppose. You wrote a very good article, though, and I looked forward to reading more of your work in the future. Keep it up!
One sure way to look at the productivity issue between the gender is to look at the Medicare billings between MD's. Medicare billing is broken down to RVU's which are units of work performed. It is a "the" one clear parameter that will quantify the productivity of an individual MD and hence his/her take home pay. The highe rthe RVU, he longer hrs put in and the higher income before overhead. This takes into account specialties and training and volume of work. I wonder if anyone had looked at this parameter in the past.
Ms.Hymowitz:

I followed your argument right up to the second last paragraph. Invoking the old cliche of the husband running off with a younger woman is both unfair and inaccurate.
Recent studies have shown that more than 50% of divorces are initiated by women and that the most common reason given is simple boredom.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/family/8739533/Women-and-divorce-Goodbye-darling-youre-just-too-dull....html
Federally mandated time off for pregnant women is a good example of unintended consequences. The ability to manipulate the 'time off' is widely known, especially by young women. If you can get a physician to 'buy off' that your are unable to return to your profession position after giving birth, the company is required to continue paying the 'replacement' and your health insurance, essentially while many women take the time to stay with their newborn and determine whether they really want to leave the child with strangers. Many decide to stay and raise their child, thank heavens. It happens all the time and costs businesses millions, not to even mention the cost to the children. It is culturally "the gorilla in the room" that no one speaks of, but it's there just the same.

This is part of the "Mommy track" as women struggle to buy off on the concept of deciding to raise your own child or paying someone to do it. The choice is placed upon the female by society today.... sadly.
Interesting to read this sentence:
"The gender wage gap among full-time workers in Sweden is 15 percent. That’s lower than in the United States, at least according to the flawed data we have, but it’s hardly the feminist Promised Land."
The author, like most of society, has been hoodwinked into thinking feminism aimed to make women live like men. Feminism aimed to encourage choice, and feeling free from stereotypes or discrimintation that restricted options.
Men also should have been aspiring to such things, but note they have never (needed?) such a movement.
What women would work for a cruddy boss with cruddy co-workers over and above caring for her dear children and having the freedom to run her day at her and their pace?
Simple.
Jennifer Glass' comments deserve repeating: "So while clever, she totally misses the larger point -- women are choosing to lower their work hours for a prosocial reason that benefits the larger society. For this they are punished economically both in the present and in their future discounted earnings and retirement benefits. Money and power are instead disproportionatley given to workers who do NOT share their earnings with the next generation, building human capital and paying for educational expenses to ensure skilled labor for the future economy."

Amen. Think of the absurdities--without new citizens, there can be no Social Security system. But the people who create new citizens, thus making Social Security possible, are not given any credit for the work they do in producing and nurturing those new citizens.

An OB/GYN has contributed to the GDP when he/she delivers a baby--the woman who produced that baby and will care for it for at least 18 years has not contributed anything to the GDP.

In Europe, part-timers, who tend to be mothers, are entitled to the same rate of pay and prorated benefits. Not here in the good old USA.

In addition to Swaziland, Papua New Guinea, and Liberia, only the United States has no paid maternity leave, forcing women to be ripped from their babies to keep a paycheck, or forcing them out of the workforce entirely.

And don't get me started on the tax code or divorce courts . . .

We have created a system that openly punishes any woman stupid enough to have a baby. We will reap what we have sown. And not even Kay Hymowitz will be happy with what we reap from such a system.
Considering the vast differences between the sexes on many levels, isn't it irrational (to put it mildly) to expect incomes to be the same? Or to believe they should be?
After all those great statistics, the author falls for the old "half of all marriages end in divorce" canard. Otherwise, very accurate article. Yes, most women would really rather be with their children than an office full of bitter feminists.
Good article, but you make no mention of the fact that something in the order of 90% or more of work place fatalities are men; how do you factor that into the equation?
Interesting and cogent analysis. All completely useless however, since the machine driving the false "gender parity" engine is unwilling to accept any evidence to the contrary, no matter how comprehensive. Logic and factual analysis only works when both parties are being logical and factual, and that is not the case.
While I agree some women may "prefer" to be at home, for me it was a matter of economics. Paying for two children in full time day care was too expensive in relation to what I brought home in my full time salary. It was a better decision for me to stay home as my husband's salary was more than mine. We learned to live on less. However I do know a few households where the reverse is true and there are more men staying home. It is not a simple matter of preference not to work but the decision is based on bottom line of a household budget.
A few years back Karen Hughes, a Bush Senior Adviser, chose to resign and move home for family reasons. The reasons she left were not from a preference but rather what seemed to be better for her family. She made a sacrifice for the sake of her obligations to her family. She and many others should not be linked to preferring a mommy track. They make their decisions out of duty.
Robin Morris Atkinson August 24, 2011 at 6:15 PM
SOME women prefer the mommy track.

Other women were never interested in reproducing, or had skills or gifts that were advanced/absorbing, and in their view more useful to society, or more in line with their aptitudes. They are invisible, and systematically erased.

In my experience as a manager and business owner, women who were never interested in reproducing tend to be treated like dogs in their professional lives. If they do better over the long haul, as wage statistics seem to indicate, it's because they've EARNED it, and usually despite a lot of hostility, back-biting, social exclusion, and politicking.

That doesn't rule out the possibility of genuine wage gaps based on gender. It only raises the fact that there are other wage gaps worth examining, as this article does. But this article draws up short. Let's be brutally honest: the biological function of reproducing is entirely extraneous to one's contract of employment. When you enter into a legally binding contract to work for an employer, that implies being available for that employment.

Instead, across three decades of boom/bubble economy, work has become subsumed by other priorities the employee has.

There has been confusion of this matter in the past 30 years, as the new natalism--plugged by both conservatives and liberals--has grabbed the workplace by the throat. There has been so much nonsense about the place of work--a setting for important adult enterprise--being subsumed by breeding and by children.

The boundaries between home and work have been so blurred that it's no wonder we now see two full generations of Americans who have no concept of what adult work looks like or involves, and who come into the workplace with unreasonable expectations that they can continue to act like children. They were raised with the expectation that the adult world must bend itself into compliance with the (usually parentally asserted) needs of children. Most of the twentysomethings I encounter nowadays quite literally have never been in a genuinely adult culture, never mind operated productively within one.

I have seen this in every organization and institution I've worked in--large and small, public and private. The assertion is that having a baby trumps anything requiring considerably more forethought and effort. It is The Most Important Job Anyone Will Ever Do.

Really? Tell me that again when your toilet is backed up, and your plumber can't come for three days. Or when a storm takes down your electrical power in the winter. Or when your appendix is ready to burst, or has just done so. Or your inattention has led your child into an accident and you're dialing 911.

Women who wish to devote themselves to the adult world of work are frequently expected to work three times as hard as those who take a job then expect others to do it for them, and still get paid, because they are or got pregnant. Hard working child free women STILL manage to come out on top wagewise. All the while being sneered at because they're not doing the thing they were SUPPOSED to be doing--adding more humans to the planet, rather than making the planet a better place to be.

Over the past 35 years I have witnessed many situations where women get pregnant shortly after a new job's health benefits kick in…then immediately take to their beds with problem pregnancies, followed by a (real or imagined) special needs child. They cannot be fired from their jobs for failing to maintain their part of the employment contract, or have their failure to perform dealt with in any way...because getting pregnant puts them in the mother of all protected classes.

And who is asked to cover up for this, and enable it? I've seen this again and again: child free women (and often men) expected to do the jobs of breeding women, FOR FREE. While the breeding woman gets paid to be a mommy, effectively.

Therein lies the answer to the old "teen mommy track" issue. Poor women do what upscale women do all the time: have babies, and expect others to foot the bill, even though if the others are strangers paying for their lifestyle, they have no say in how the offspring are raised. (This probably accounts for the rise of women "doing it all themselves"--it's a hard thing to be accountable to those who are paying for your lifestyle. They may ask you to do something you don't feel like, or disagree with, as a condition of their continued support. A baby won't make those adult demands for awhile, and when it starts, you just use your power to keep it infantilized forever. Easy peasy.)

I always quietly hired child-free women. Childfree women in my experience are more mature. They work harder and more effiiciently. If they work overtime, it's because the project calls for it, not because they used their contracted employment time badly.

Child free women are better at dealing with and functioning within adult culture. They don't get sick as often. They are less arrogant/sure that they are right and everyone else is wrong. They are less likely to "talk down" to others. They aren't constantly demanding that others change their schedules at their whim. They are more settled in their personal and private lives (the married ones tend to have stellar marriages/partnerships based on egalitarian principles and solid boundaries). They don't tend to pollute the workplace with romantic dramas. When they take time off for personal matters (a parent with Alzheimer's, a friend dying of cancer), they're usually catching up on work in the evenings, or during their sleepless hours, because their work is, for them, a source of creative energy. They do not assume that their employer owes them anything.

I'm convinced that the new natalism is part of why the US has lost its competitive edge. In the business world, you can be sued into oblivion for requiring a woman simply to do the work she contracted to do. A pregnancy magically cancels all that. A person can hold her/his employer hostage with an ever escalating set of demands, justified as "family related."

Look, I'm all over a solid work-life balance. I understand from experience how hard it is to be a spouse/partner, an adult child of a demented or terminally ill parent, to care for younger people-- while still keeping one's professional/trades commitments. But I have never held the expectation that I can slack at the job, and get paid to do so, just because my slacking was family related. In that, the liberal/progressive and conservative ideologues have been identical in effect, if not in overt intent.

If women want wages, they need to work. If they want babies, then fine, have babies, and if they can also hold down a wage job while doing a good job of mothering, great.

That's not what's been happening, and we're not allowed to observe that. Either the job or the kid, or both, is getting short schrift. Add to that the increasing number of women who want to "do it all on their own," and this rules out them making the sacrifices required to connect with, and retain, a wage-earning partner. Male, female, or polyamorous hipster/geek household, I really don't care.

In my experience, raising kids is a full time with overtime job. So is a full time job. I can't say I've met many people who can do two-plus full time jobs--plus be effectively/committedly partnered--with good outcome.

I'm sorry this is so long. I've carried it around for decades. There is nowhere to talk about it.
Very interesting and insightful. This all backs up the fact that raising children is a JOB, and why would women want to work 2 full-time jobs if they can figure out a way around that?

One solution, though, is to incentivize paternal leave. If companies support fatherhood, or flexible schedules for men, the burden of childcare won't fall so heavily on womens' shoulders. There is no "daddy-track" conversation, but if there was, this salary gap would close up fast.
I want to point out one shortcoming of your article, and that is your exclusive focus on caretaking responsibility for children? How many women have the duty of caring for other relatives? Society has even less regard and provision for these women than it does for mothers. That is a problem which also must be resolved, because the harm to the individual woman is no less just because she is caring for a relative other than her own children, and arguably more.
It is clear how to solve this problem. Divorce law needs to be changed back closer to what it used to be to protect women and children. No-fault divorce and the disappearance of alimony have had tragic results. At least in CA, now all courts expect women immediately to run out and find any kind of work if their husbands walk out on them. Marriage vows should have some legal meaning restored to them.
The central question is whether women and men have innate differences in their work preferences or whether the differences are produced by society's expectations. Of course society has expectations and transmits them to its children. No one doubts this. But that does not mean that the social expectations create the differences. It is just as likely to be the other way around.

It seems to me that simply pointing out that there is social teaching of gender differences is somehow considered to be proof that those differences are entirely learned. And yet, as Ms. Hymowitz pointed out, and has been noted by others, in those societies with the least amount of traditional social expectations, the differences between the genders seem to be as great, and in some cases increasing.

"…discrimination can happen not only when two same people are treated differently, but also, and especially, when two different people are treated the same."

Perhaps this could also be taken as a caution against expecting exactly the same outcome for two different people. As long as there is little or no institutional discrimination it seems that the wisest course might be to let things work themselves out over time.
Women do not choose lesser hours because they want to - but because they are compelled to do so. They may not be forced into being with the kids more - but society expectes them to. There may be policy incentives to working, but social attitudes are still strong. Discrimination is complex. If you look only at institutional discrimination, you may be right it is mostly gone. But there is also societal discrimination, prejudice and attitudes, and the shift in perceptions, the decrease of prejudices and the change of attitudes toward working mum will take substantially longer than changes in institutional policies. And as for social utopia - do not forget that in Europe, women were only allowed to have same voting powers as men very recently: in the UK in 1928; in Belgium in 1948; in Switzerland in 1971..... Your article is not helping the struggle for equality, it is hindering. You are forgetting that histroical differences create different situations, and that the starting position of women, when they are born, not when the finally manage to get theri MBAs is still different - this is why when talking about discrimination we must always consider that discrimination can happen not only when two same people are treated differently, but also, and especially, when two different people are treated the same. Just as you do not expect a person with disabilities to have to walk up the same flight of steps as a person without disability, you cannot expect women to reach goals as quickly and easily in a world which has for centuries been male-dominated.

Please reconsider your ideas, from this perspective. Please look at the vast literature on historical injustice. And please realize that your views can be offensive, and what they would look like, if you were making such observations and providing the same arguments, for say, the african -american community in the US.
Fair enough. However, at least from the Dutch study you cite it's clear that men and women *share* a strong preference for working around 32 hours a week. The 'mommy track' is not an exclusively female preference: if given the choice, Dutch women would on average work a couple of hours more, whereas Dutch men would choose to work less.

The real question is not one of debunking statistics to define whether the gap is 5 or 15 percent, rather it's about how society can facilitate both men and women to make choices that can reconcile private and public life. Give equal choices of that kind, any wage & opportunity gaps in positions that do require a full time career are likely to shrink.
"and who was forced (whether literally or as a result of gender stereotypes) to stay at home or balance work and home life? And who didn’t want to stay at home and instead have a full time job (according to the stats…(why is that))? Yeah… women get paid less because they take time off to raise their children. But why doesn’t their significant other do it? What draws in/forces women? "

What draws in (most) women is a long evolutionary history of carrying a fetus, giving birth, nursing for 1-2 years, probably repeated over and over. With the innate psychology that supports that, mediated by their hormonal system. The genes of women who didn't do that weren't passed on to the next generation. And only women could do it. Wouldn't it be surprising if women didn't feel a greater emotional attachment to child care? Female child care is the case with all other mammals including all the primates. Why would we be any different?

But no one is saying that all women want that. You apparently don't. Catherine Hakim found that 10-30% don't. You, and others who feel as you do, should be able to live as you want, without suffering from social pressure to devote your life to your family. We all benefit from your achievements in life.

But, to say that most women are "forced" to take the greater responsibility for child care is to disrespect the real emotional pull that many women say they feel towards children and home life.
We learned this in my intro to women’s studies class: always dig a little deeper behind the statistics and search for the real cause. So, let’s dig a little deeper with some rhetorical questions. Why are women working less than men? Why are men involved in jobs that are getting paid more? “That obviously explains the wage gap” – that women’s work is undervalued? (What biological characteristics do all men have that make them better CEOs or rocket scientists? Who sets the “value” of jobs and has decreed that a nurse’s job (mainly a woman field), who takes care of people and has the same about of education as an electrical engineer, should be paid less? Does this have anything to do with historical attitudes toward women - (and women’s work!) - and the limited choice of jobs they were allowed?) …And why should mothers earn less because they have children? Isn’t that a form of discrimination, or at least oppression, in and of itself? After all, it takes two to make a child. Why isn’t the father’s wage suffering, when in fact it goes UP when he has children? The author claims, “actually, there is no evidence for either of these propositions (referring to women wanting to work more and generalities about women).” Are you kidding me? Ask women. I would bet the majority wouldn’t want to be tied down and suffocating on these stereotypes that label women the weak, tender, stay at home moms and the fathers (if they are even involved in the child’s life) as the strong, respectable breadwinners? Child rearing is hard work. Sure, you could get a sitter or childcare, but then isn’t one labeled as bad, un-nurturing parents? And where does this article factor in the poor families where one of the parents must stay home to take care of the child because childcare is too expensive? Why is this – 98 percent of the time – a woman? Or how about the single unmarried women who must work to support their children but must also be home to take care of and love them? Why do women take off more time than men in Iceland? Anywhere? Because they’re expected to rear children “correctly” in a supportive home. And if they don’t, then who will? Someone has to be around. What will their children turn out like if not? And who gets blamed if something is wrong with the kid? Bad parenting – and who was forced (whether literally or as a result of gender stereotypes) to stay at home or balance work and home life? And who didn’t want to stay at home and instead have a full time job (according to the stats…(why is that))? Yeah… women get paid less because they take time off to raise their children. But why doesn’t their significant other do it? What draws in/forces women? And what happens if the woman doesn’t stay at home to raise her children? Why is she a bad mother and yet her husband, if he had done likewise, would be considered responsible, if nothing short of a hero? These questions are to me more important than stats. It’s easy to put up some statistics and claim that there’s no more discrimination at play because when you look at the factors, it nullifies and even explains the wage gap. But it’s these FACTORS that reflect the attitude of a sexist society, one that is oppressive for women… and I would argue, also for men. So tell me, how is the socialization argument irrelevant or not important because “the continuing female tropism toward shorter work hours” suggests it? Pardon me, but this is EXACTLY why it is occurring. The wage gap discussion shouldn’t start with the mommy track, it should question WHY there is/has to be a mommy track in the first place.
"WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Think about that for a second... how much of that is because men were given the positions that EXPECTED them to work longer hours than the position that women were given. In my office here - all but one of the executives are men - and ALL of the admin jobs are done by women - so OF COURSE men come out as doing longer hours - they were given the jobs that REQUIRED longer hours... "

That could be true, but is it? Have you asked the women in your office if they would want to have those jobs that require longer hours? My guess is that some would, but most would not. I would guess that more of the men in your office would like those kind of jobs than would the women. Ask them. Remember the women in the Netherlands that Ms. Hymowitz mentioned, where 70% of women work part-time and only 4% would like full-time work.

The sociologist Catherine Hakim has studied the work-lifestyle preferences of women and men in a number of different developed countries (The British Journal of Sociology 2007 Volume 58 Issue 1). She found, not surprisingly, neither men nor women were homogeneous in the kind of life they want to lead. Some have work as their highest priority, some family life and children, some want a balance between the two.

But there was a clear difference between women and men. About 10-30% of women have employment as their main priority in life, versus about 60% of men. Only 10-30% of women were entirely home-centered. Most wanted a work-life balance.

When thinking about gender I try to remember two principles. Individuals shouldn't be judged by the group they're part of, they should be free to have any kind of work life they want. But we also shouldn't expect the ultimate life choices of the two groups to be identical. The ideal world would have everyone leading the kind of life they want.

By the way, are people in your office really "given" jobs rather than earning them? If the women in your office are really forced into jobs while the best ones are given to men, then there is a problem there.
Nicholas Gledhill August 14, 2011 at 10:16 PM
“I assume, in this case, that the clerk is a woman and the lawyer a man” – how much of that is because the lawyer’s position was given to a man because a man was assumed (by other male lawyers) to be better at filling a lawyer’s position than the woman (who now works as a clerk, apparently).

“for the simple reason that—and here is an average that proofers rarely mention—full-time men work more hours than full-time women do. In 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 27 percent of male full-time workers had workweeks of 41 or more hours, compared with 15 percent of female full-time workers; meanwhile, just 4 percent of full-time men worked 35 to 39 hours a week, while 12 percent of women did. Since FTYR men work more than FTYR women do, it shouldn’t be surprising that the men, on average, earn more.”

WHAT? SERIOUSLY? Think about that for a second... how much of that is because men were given the positions that EXPECTED them to work longer hours than the position that women were given. In my office here - all but one of the executives are men - and ALL of the admin jobs are done by women - so OF COURSE men come out as doing longer hours - they were given the jobs that REQUIRED longer hours (and therefore make better pay) OH GOD this argument is SO old and SO frustrating it makes me want to scream!!!

Didn't we get past this kind of hoodwinking BS 30 years ago?!!

AND couple to that even now, as women more often than not have a job - they are STILL expected to do more of the house-work, even when both parents work full-time - and more often than not expected to pick up the kids from school, even when both parents work full-time and then articles like this come along and BLAME THEM for the disparity... Jesus Christ - is this guy HONESTLY arguing that women naturally just work less than men! SERIOUSLY... what is he saying that they're congenitally lazier as a sex!

ARGGGGGG!!!! OH God make it stop!
Discrimination can be narrowly or widely defined. Ms. Hymowitz makes a good case that under the narrow definition of discrimination, women do not suffer too badly from deliberate sex-based discrimination.

However, the standards upon which such discrimination is judged are tilted against the general needs and desires of women (of course, there are lots of exceptions...).

As previous commenters have pointed out, why should part-time workers be second class citizens in the corporate world? Why shouldn't consistently working 60 hours a week be prima-facie evidence that a parent is neglecting his social duties to be involved with his (or her) children's upbringing, and thus not fit to lead in the corporate world?

The obvious answer - corporations benefit from workers neglecting their social obligations to devote themselves entirely to the company. The question is, as a society, should we provide a countervailing pressure against this tendency?

Or is maximizing wealth at any cost the sole purpose of society?
Maybe smart women with options more readily understand that the career path isn't all that it's made out to be. Some people in this world are capable of acknowledging surfeit.
CHOICE and not COMPULSION is what COUNTS and MATTERS. Rest is all statistics. A level playing ground in terms of educational opportunities is what is required. Childhood lost can never be compensated.
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Matthew Rix Whiting August 12, 2011 at 4:22 AM
As many of the above comments bear witness, any attempt, no matter how well researched or reasoned, to try to explain the gender gap in income which diverges from the old accepted feminist discourse is met by an army that automatically opposes it rather than a community who are interested in learning what it might have to offer in terms of knowledge in this area.
I am a man, and a father of two lovely young children. I noticed that when my children arrived, any great career ambitions I had became less important to me than providing a good home, nutrition, parenting and educational base for those children. Work became largely transformed in my mind into necessary income generation for my family, and it held little for my self fulfillment or as my contribution to the community. I would now gladly reduce my position to part-time, change my job to one that is more compatible with family life, and if our financial situation allowed it I would gladly stop working for income altogether (there are plenty of other things in life that are more rewarding). So, I ask, why do many respondents here automatically reject the idea that many women choose to do what I am planning to do myself, if their financial situation permits it? I see absolutely nothing wrong with the suggestion that many mothers choose to live this kind of life rather than forced to live this kind of life. I choose it. The more interesting question is that, as the structure of society and the position of the two sexes in relation to one another have begun to change in recent decades, is the difference in the numbers of men and women choosing the "mommy-track" changing too.
Beautifully worded. Love the article. Well done.
Let’s deconstruct just one passage: “(T)here are dozens of specialties in medicine: some, like cardiac surgery, require years of extra training, grueling hours, and life-and-death procedures; others, like pediatrics, are less demanding and consequently less highly rewarded.”

Where is it written that surgeons have to work grueling hours? Wouldn’t we rather have our life-and-death procedures carried out by someone who isn’t completely exhausted? Is rewarding this behavior really in anyone's interest? And, can anyone who has tried to talk to a recalcitrant toddler really believe that pediatrics is less demanding than surgery?

Other advanced economies haven’t drunk this cool-aid. No celebrating a pathological career pattern of awful hours, manufactured work crises, and total burn-out. Other countries cap maximum work hours for women AND men.
what the author misses is that the "choice" to work fewer hours in order to create future human capital through your kids is one that the economy cannot afford to live without. We wouuld never think of punishing veterans for "choosing" to serve their country in the reserves, despite the limitations in work hours this imposes on reservists. nor can women's "choices" explain why in this country workers pay the highest premium WORLDWIDE for lowering their work hours below 40 per week. Most countries insist on part-time parity or equal hourly wage for equal work irrespective of the hours of work performed. Women certainly don't choose this part-time penalty in the U.S. nor the lowered benefits, eligibiity for promotion, etc. that goes with shorter work hours. Hymowitz is also totally silent (or totally ignorant) of the multiple wage analyses that control for differences in experience and hours worked, and STILL find a motherhood wage penalty of 5-7% per child.

So while clever, she totally misses the larger point -- women are choosing to lower their work hours for a prosocial reason that benefits the larger society. For this they are punished economically both in the present and in their future discounted earnings and retirement benefits. Money and power are instead disproportionatley given to workers who do NOT share their earnings with the next generation, building human capital and paying for educational expenses to ensure skilled labor for the future economy.

I am an American single mother living in Switzerland, where gender disparity is extremely high. Say what you will against the feminist objection that cultural ideology plays a huge role in mommy-tracking people, but the number of times that I've heard people tell me that my child will be damaged from my working full time is amazing, as is the number of wonderfully educated mothers wishing they could work, but stuck at home with the kids. Women don't want to work full-time because the workplace is hostile to the possibility of their having families, and they respond to that hostility. There is a lot that goes between the lines before you get to the point of wanting.
BUSA 342, 549, 305, 449, 542 Pay gap for women?
Actually, I'd like to refer you to a recent post in Sociological Images (http://thesocietypages.org/socimages/2011/08/10/lifetime-earnings-gaps-by-sex-and-raceethnicity/) that does not include periods spent out of the workforce (for childbearing/rearing or any other reason).
I find this article offensive. The fact that one "can't rule out discrimination," while other causes also cannot be ruled out really doesn't take account of the fact that women are constantly experiencing discrimination of all kinds in the workforce. We can't rule it out because it is a fact. Logically, it is possible that there are other causes, but that does not mean that in fact there are other causes.

This article is littered with reasoning that betrays the kind of discrimination that is at issue. For instance, men may negotiate higher pay. So societally, we reward aggression in the workplace. Ought we to do so? Perhaps wages should not be decided on who speaks louder and demands more.

Perhaps women are less inclined to go into more "demanding" jobs because, given the facts of gender discrimination and the expectation and rewarding of typically male attributes of aggression, individualistic and linear thinking are uncomfortable and, all things considered, _more_ demanding on women. Ought it to be that way? These are contingent facts that can be changed so that we do not pay people more for displaying these attributes.

But I guess that's just a load of feminist B.S.
I could go on, but there seems little point in doing so. Defense of the status quo is easy, and I'll leave it to those who are paid for the reiteration of ideas that are more popular than they are insightful.
A man that goes to his boss and says he wants to cut back on his hours at work to spend more time with his kids is not going to get the same reception as his female counterpart who wants to do the same and a woman who wants to work 90 hours a week is going to suffer the slings and arrows of her male and female counterparts for abandoning her kids for her career. And we all know what happens in a divorce to the parent that sacrifices career for children. The laws have yet to give compensation for that inequity.

We are not at a point where choices get made simply based on who wants to stay home and nurture the kiddies. Men don't feel guilty going to work when babies arrive, women do. Whether that's society talking or biology I don't know.

I wonder what the reaction of men would be if they were in the 93% category.
Wow. Very well done. I wonder if anyone will read it?
"Do women want to be working more, if only the kids—and their useless husbands—would let them? And do we know that more government support would enable them to do so and close the wage gap?

Actually, there is no evidence for either of these propositions. If women work fewer hours than men do, it appears to be because they want it that way."

No. You might say "it appears" there are no or few options presented to women--before or after they have children.
WHAT FEMINISTS WON'T TELL YOU: http://goo.gl/f4pXo
This article makes me sad, not because as a women I will probably make less money than my male counterparts but because when you say "working less hours" it translates to "working twice as many hours in the home."

Because I won't make as much money as my future husband I'll have no rational argument as to why he should leave at 4:00 to change diapers and wash dishes.
When my father came home from his job, my "unemployed" mother still had hours of work ahead of her, all unpaid.
My first wife made more than I (though not by much). The current Mrs. makes significantly more. (She also maintains that if women weren't so cranky about their feminist prerogatives, the "wage gap", along with a lot of other workplace issues, would disappear). My female colleagues at a large museum made, as far as I could tell, exactly what the men, in equivalent jobs, made. The last boss I had in my (thankfully short) tenure in a corporate environment was a woman who made more than I. Anecdotal to be sure. Nevertheless…
Women don't get to the top jobs -even as surgeons until men no longer want these positions; There is a mass of research on this. One ploy was to to say in the fifties that women were not strong enough.
Of course, this all assumes that raising a child isn't work. As Sen Daniel Patrick Moynihan once pointed it, American society does not recognize home making and child rearing as productive work to be included in the national economic accounts. Of course, all those "productive," "overworking" men weren't raised by wolves.

Well maybe the bankers were...
In all the endless debate about gender wage parity, there is one issue I have *never* seend discussed.
And that is WHO SPENDS THE MONEY? The question is, average across the whole of society, how much of a persons income is used to support other people?
And then compare that across genders?

If a women works in the home, the family is a business unit in a sense.
Work is segregated, the man brings in the outside income in whilst the women maintains the household.
Shouldnt we really be saying for the purpose of comparison that the women has "earned" half of that income?
Shouldnt the mans wage in all honesty be 50% of the total.

I dont think this is an unjustified viewpoint...I think in a very large percentage of homes, the woman makes alot of the major decisions on how the money is spent.
Where to live, what house, what furniture, where they go on holiday and so on. So if a women does alot of work in the home, and makes significant financial decisions
she is most definitely the benefactor of 50% of that income. It is dishonest to pretend that the man is the sole benefactor of that money for the purpose of comparison.

What percentage of women have an earning partner? What percentage of men have an earning partner?


And I think this is the reality of most mens life...we are always told how much better off we are but in practice most of our income supports people other than ourselves.
And this is a different situation from most women.
Enoch Powell was a great English Conservative statesman. What he said about immigration in Britain is now being proved on the burning streets of London, Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool and our other cities.

On the myth about women being paid less for doing the same job as a man he rightly said it was an impossibility. I think I am quoting fairly accurately the broadcast where he said the following: "Let us take it that the hypothesis is true: that in many jobs women are paid less than men for doing exactly the same. The what would happen? Employers would employ only women. Anyone who employed a man would be mad. And what would then happen to the wages of women who were in demand? They would go up. This is bound to happen except where the state and trade unions interfere." Enoch was right.
The article continually refers to "work" and actually means paid work.

One of the issues that I think does not get enough attention is the "work" done by mainly women voluntarily and reduces the funds governments need and creates a civil society.
The work of creating family culture, family values, community culture and community values including looking after the sick and elderly and all the not for profit work done by women and men.
I think a re-definition of "work"- would be great in research - plus the distinction between paid and unpaid - and what work needs to be done in a civil society that isn't being done now and is leading to the breakdown of society.
There is much more to be said if we look broader !!

I am a female physician with 5 children, and I certainly work part time. I got together with some women friends from medical school recently and I was the ONLY one who was working at all. It made me sorry for all the men we beat out for those very coveted positions in our medical school class.
You see we are all latin and we CAN'T let the nannies raise the babies. It goes against the very grain.
I'm glad I have my degree and my profession. But I'm much more glad I have my children. My husband is much happier too, with me around to take care of them. He's a doctor who works about 60 hours a week. In fact, we are a couple who illustrates Mrs. Hymowitz' point.
If only science could come up with a way to genetically engineer men to develop wombs....
Subsidiarity is the key.
What an extraordinarily good article. Please send a copy to President Obama.
Why is it, women work less, not men work more? In many countries in Europe, the standard workweek is 35 hours. I think to be fair in your assessment of full-time working hours, perhaps you should have done a comparison to how often both men and women work in other developed nations. Though I do greatly appreciate this article, and I think you bring up many excellent points! But I cannot help but see a little American bias in it. ;) As a feminist, and one who believes in the equality of BOTH sexes, I believe both fathers and mothers should both be allowed to work a set amount of hours without feeling pressure to work over 40 and take away from time with their families. The more sit-down dinners kids have with both mom and dad, and time families can share together as a whole, the better adjusted kids will be and their chances of doing well in life are much increased (just look at the statistics regarding kids and family dinners versus kids who never sit down with their parents... pretty interesting stuff). It's not just about the moms.... it's about the dads as well!
It's time to think small again. Subsidiarity is the key. Downsize everything. Men and women should be independent contractors, not employees. Husbands and wives should run their own businesses from their homes. Then everyone could work as much or as little as they want -- and their income would be nobody's business but their own.
Nancy said:
"it will take a lot longer than a few decades and a few good laws to change people's attitudes about feminine and masculine behavior....it takes a long, long, long time to change women's attitudes "

I think the point of this article is that it isn't a matter only of attitudes, but of innate differences between men and women that drive these attitudes. These are differences based on genes and mediated by hormones.

Is it really surprising that women, whose genes could only be passed on if they carried a baby inside them for nine months and then nursed that baby for some years, have evolved a strong emotional attachment to the care of their children? Read the literature, Nancy.

Not all women have this desire, and some men do. But the numbers clearly point to more women wanting work-home balance than men. More men, (not all,) want to dedicate themselves more to work. It's doubtful it will ever equalize without our evolving new brains and hormonal systems.
Kay,

In terms of income how does child support play in this scenario, for, let's say, the wife AND husband who ran off with the Pilates instructor? Let's say they have twin three-year-olds.
This information has been available for years, yet the modern myth of the discrimination-based gender pay gap will not disappear. And as you see in the comments, some people still believe in gender neutrality. It is popular to assert that biology is not destiny. But when will people understand that biological forces trump societal dictates?

We are not going to rewrite the hard-coded programs of our genders. Children and the home continue to have an important place in female life, and women will continue to try to balance their economic needs and career ambitions with the desire to provide a loving home for the family.
Katherine MacKinnon where have you gone? What is surprising about Ms.Hymowitz"s article is that is she sounds surprised that the current state of affairs is as they are.The most radical assault on womens' progress has occurred since the November election and there is no outcry from women. wages at the middle level for women have been the pretty much the same for over 30 years.
Naomi Wolf ultimately admitted that she would accept less to be taken care of by a man. Men want to keep women "in their place" working harder for less.
I hate to rain on everyone's parade here but the gender gap is actually going away soon. The vast majority of layoffs during this recession were highly paid males. Many of these man are still looking for work (which means that their wives are now the breadwinners of the household) or took pay cuts at their current position. Also with so many women forgoing marriage and childrearing, they have become the new 12 hour a day laborers; the number of high earning females continue to increase.
Try staying or getting in shape, instead of eating bon bons watching the soaps. Then you won't have to worry about the husband running off with the pilates instructor. In order to keep a man you have to stay attractive to him. We are simple to please, really. =)
This analysis agrees 100% with what I've seen in my field, which includes many people with MDs, PhDs, and MAs. What I have observed for many couples is that, if they have more than one child, and the man has a higher-ranking degree and higher salary than the woman to start with, the woman stops working and stays home with the kids. I've seen it time and time again, and presumably they're doing it because it makes economic sense. Unless the wife has a PhD or MD and makes enough to hire a full-time nanny, the family saves money, and provides the children with more attention, if the spouse with the lower earning potential just stays home. I know plenty of women with MAs who don't work.

Another anecdote - I work with a man who has the same degree I do, who is younger than I, and has fewer years of experience than I do. He makes far more than I do, and with good reason. He works around the clock and has always been very aggressive in going after challenging (some would say impossible) tasks and job responsibilities. He does things well and so got promoted very quickly. He also supports a wife and five children solely on his salary, so his motivations are clear. I don't begrudge him his salary - in fact, I'm trying to learn from him. Thirteen years into my career, I'm now spending more time at the office than ever, I'm being more assertive than ever, and I'm getting more done than ever. It's already paid off for me financially. That's how it is in the workplace. If what you want is more money, you have to put in the hours.
The only place I would offer substantial disagreement is in the bit about "watch(ing) her husband run off with the Pilates instructor". In my admittedly anecdotal experience, it is equally or more likely that she will run off with somebody she finds "more fun" because he hasn't kept his nose to the grindstone. If by some injustice the Court doesn't then award her the house, the bank account, and a whopping share of her cuckolded former husband's salary, she goes into the statistics under "gender gap".

Regards,
Ric
Tom Leykis used to say the same exact thing. Thanks for backing his statements up with cold, hard, truth-with-no-mercy facts Kay.
In 2009 %93 of work place fatalities were suffered by men, and yet women constantly complain about an imaginary wage gap. Don't you think that such an obvious differential in assumed risk warrants the pay gap?
another factor overlooked is that men also work harder to earn more money as children arrive in order to be a good provider. so as the women cut back to keep and eye on the home men surpass their former standards to be a better provider.
I've seen a small number of similarly devastating critiques of this all-too-persistent myth of the Gender Gap. The unfortunate aspect of it is that it serves the role of ideological battering ram too well to be given up simply because it isn't true. Nonetheless, great articles like this one can chip away at these falsehoods. The hope is that in doing so one can make it even marginally more difficult to present such distortions with unblinking confidence. Thank you!
intelligent
This entire article is well-written, with thoughtful, well-reasoned and well-supported arguments that provide a refreshingly clear challenge to overly-subscribed-to-assumptions.

But one question: why is the abadonning husband taking a Pilates class? It just doesn't make sense.
Don't forget in many countries with national conscription (Singapore, etc), only males are drafted. The government(s) require many companies to inflate wages for men because of that gender bias.
Very good article, based on fact rather than emotion.

I hope the author is prepared for the barrage of criticism from the Left that is bound to hit her.

Uh, Oh! Incoming!

Curmudgeon Killjoy August 04, 2011 at 2:27 PM
Nancy, Iroquois society and our society share something in common with other just societies: the people who do most of the work, regardless of gender, own most of the wealth.
Curmudgeon Killjoy August 04, 2011 at 2:23 PM
Nancy, Iroquois society shares with ours the people who work most own most of the wealth.i
Nancy Kallitechnis August 04, 2011 at 1:45 PM
The title is wrong to say "the Gender Gap Won’t Go Away. Ever." I have read about societies where women have more wealth than men.

For example, in early Iroquois (Native American) society women worked longer hours than men and owned most of the wealth. Colonial documents often reference colonists complaining about Iroquois men being lazy. But in that society a "real man" was a hunter, warrior and politician- a combination of jobs that required significantly less work hours than women's traditional role of farmer.

Also, Western society has suffered thousands of years of patriarchy and it will take a lot longer than a few decades and a few good laws to change people's attitudes about feminine and masculine behavior. That's why countries like Sweden still have a gender pay gap with women more interested in non-paying work, because it takes a long, long, long time to change women's attitudes and the big focus on ending sexism is a brand new thing for Sweden, Iceland, Norway, etc. But examples like the Iroquois show us that women can want to work more hours than men and that it is possible for women to be richer than men.



Some men also prefer the less stressful, fewer hours of the Mommy-track. But all of us should be adult enough to take responsi-bility for our own career. Ladies(and gentle-men), if we think we are underpayed, for whatever reason, we can (a) talk to our boss about it, or (b) look for another job.
I agree with your view on the lack of injustice in regards to women not breaking the glass ceiling more often and apparently not receiving the same compensation as men. It is unfortunate that women should be attacked for taking a "mommy track." When I was working and had a family, I would have gladly traded money for more time off--especially in December, when it is mostly women's work that creates the holiday season for everyone. More money could not make up for the reduced quality of life in the home because of my working full time. Thank you for this article.
Thanks for your article, Kay. God bless!
Nowhere in this article does the author ask the question as to WHY women, on average , work fewer hours... Extra hours (with the extra pay, sometimes at overtime rates) are often "awarded" to more senior workers. Thus the favoring of the senior workers with extra hours may extend the effects of prior exclusionary or discriminatory hiring on the basis of gender or race. These things are considered in discrimination cases.

The author did not directly address the discrimination inherent in sex segregation in the workforce which long dominated employment in the US. WW2 opened many jobs on the domestic front to women while men were serving in the military. This led to the first discussion of "comparable worth" when the men came home and wanted their jobs back, finding some employers were quite happy with their female replacements whom they paid LESS than the men for the same job. Comparable worth was debated and used to evalutate jobs to reduce the bias reflected in paying women's jobs less than men's in the 1970's ..this time not to fight to replace women with men but to set pay more in keeping with the skills, efforts, education, and responsibilities required of the job (not allowing the male/female domination of the occupation to set pay ). This resulted in many adjustments of civil service job classifications and pay. As sex segregation in the workforce is reduced in the private sector, the pay for jobs may become less tied to the gender domination of them. To ignore the sex discrimination inherent in traditional assignment of pay to male dominated vs female dominated occupations is a major flaw in any analysis of why women earn less than men. It is surprising that this article which contains so many worthy points ignores it.
I might suggest one additional factor. Women in general, and mom's in particular, have a tendency to prefer "safe" options. They avoid risk because they have (I believe) a biologically motivated desire for security. And the secure job, the one that's NOT cut first when times get tough, is the one that generally pays less.

Many men, myself included, have no problem "job shopping". When we find an opportunity which stretches our skills but earns more money, we are (again, I believe) much more likely than a similarly situated and skill woman to make that move. I've seen this over and over in my wife and other women I've known both personally and professionally.

In my anecdotal observations, this preference for security is much less pronounced (though still present) among women who's offspring are grown (or at least in their independent teen years), but by that time the women are far enough behind in both skills and advancement that they very rarely catch up to men in the same age and education group.

One thing I'd like to see studied is how the distribution of income looks overall. I suspect that the tails of the bell curve for men are longer than for women. In other words, while women of similar skills and experience ("doing the same job") don't have the highest pay, I suspect that they also don't have the lowest pay. This would be a consequence of the security seeking mechanism I mentioned above, and would be parallel to studies I have seen on the placement of women and men in other quantifiable technical categories such higher education STEM programs.
No discussion of the Recession Gender Gap or the College Acceptance Gender Gap? Leads to a credibility gap for Chang & this article.
Thank God women prefer the "Mommy track". There is noone more qualified to be a mommy than women. And there is no job more important than being a mommy.
Thank you for saying what most people are afraid to say. It's not "politically correct," but it's completely true.
Fantastic article
This is a fantastic article. Thanks for taking the time to dive into the statistics without bias.

I work at a large corporation in a team of hundreds of engineers, many of them are women. I have noticed over the years that once young female engineers start having having children, they are out of the office far more than their male counterparts. The company allows us to work from home if needed, but women still tend to be offline more.
"Thirty-three percent of female pediatricians are part-timers..."

Leaving the whole male/female question aside, it costs just as much to train a part time doctor as a full time one. Seems like a poor allocation of our precious limited health care resources to have such things as part time doctors...
This is totally absurd. As a female who never had children I was constantly discriminated against in favour of men with families. You should be ashamed of putting out this spittle.
I think this is a correct article in general. And I agree that it is very hard to track exactly how much each professional earns when career positions vary from company to company. But what I have a problem with is the tone in which Ms. Hymowitz writes this article; its as if she's suggesting that women don't work harder or longer than men at all. Also its suggested that all men want to do is work. That's completely not true. Walk around my department after 6pm and its all women. More men are attending the PTA meetings and bake sales.

In this new economy, I've realized 2 things:

1. Pay is not tied in with how much you work; its tied with the industry, the company and what type of position someone is in.

2. The "mommy" track includes men as well as women. I'm seeing more and more men leave at 5pm to be with the kids. The male who used to sit in front of me left for a job that was closer to his house and required less hours.

What I believe the "gender gap" really is is if I have two people (one man & one woman) who have similar education, experience and responsibility levels - yet the man gets paid more than the women. That's the issue that needs to be resolved.
I always wonder when someone decides to write an article like this if they decided what they wanted to prove before they did their research. People are opinionated, have strong beliefs and their own personal agendas. Just once, I'd like to read an article from a "liberal" publication that had a "conservative" opinion and a "conservative" publication that had a "liberal" opinion. Why is our media in this country completely predictable when you consider the source? It makes one become a very critical thinker, but also very skeptical. I think this article was written well and she made some very convincing arguements- I was definitly influenced, but I can't help but wonder if she compensated well and equitably for her editorial.
Interesting - it's how statistics are misused for political purposes - to confirm assumptions that become the basis for policy.

The left has made such misuse into an art form, which is one of the reasons we are in such a mess. Phony statistics support policy which becomes the foundation of statutes, regulations and court decisions. In the meantime, the assertion upon which the statistics are based become entrenched assumptions.

It's not only sickening, it's plain dishonest. Then again, the left is usually a stranger to truth, which is utterly irrelevant to their goals.

Thank you for articles like this which can be used to shine the light on this nonsense!
Do you never weary of this twaddle?
This is a fine piece of analysis. Still, I think it is worth remembering the fundamental assumption in public policies intended to deal with gender discrepancy. This is that it is the job of government (usually the federal government) to intervene in our society and do away with all categorical inequalities, or at least inequalities among the officially recognized categories. I'd reject this assumption as not simply beyond the power of government, but outside the legitimate functions of representative government.
Excellent article -- well researched and insightful, as usual.

When will feminists accept human nature? Men and women are different and always will be, no matter how hard feminists try to re-educate us. We make different choices and want different things out of life. Ergo, the state of the world.

Most men are not excited about nursing and most women are not excited abut construction. Is this sexism or reality? Or both?

The concept of "sexism" should be deeply suspect at a time when science is catching up with common sense and proving beyond a doubt that there are huge differences between men and women. Not just physically but also psychologically.

But then again, everybody but the feminists already knew that . . .
Not only is working less hours a privilege, the mere notion of woman as a caregiver at home is a tremendous privilege for mothers and children. Industrial age mothers would certainly think so, as Marrilyne Robinson argues in the essay Economy ( The Death of Adam.)
Not only is working less hours a priviledge, the mere notion of woman as a caregiver at home is a tremendous prvilidge for mothers and children. Industrial age mothers would certainly thinks so, as Marrilyne Robinson argues in the essay Economy ( The Death of Adam.)
May be there's no solution, because there's not a problem, now..
Brilliant. That Kay proves once again what a wiz she is and whose prose ranks up there with the best.
Just the fact that women have to "legislate" equality is unbelievable. I prove my equality with another man by being equal, by lifting as much as he does, or being as smart as he is, or earning as much as he does, or accomplishing as much as he has accomplished. If I cannot run as fast as another man, but I make a law that says I run as fast as that man, I'm doing the same thing that women do. Real equality is earned, not legislated. Men are not equal with each other unless it is an earned equality. Why should women be different than men?
This is absolutely TRUE. My husband does put in more hours than I am willing to, and we have similar positions.

Women simply have more to do besides work than men typically do. We have a life besides work-we have hobbies, friendships, we raise family, we are project managers of our households. We tend to spend more time talking to our close friends and nurturing family relations.

However, men mainly identify with their jobs and their work. Women do not have their identities entirely by their career or job.

I'm not mad about my wages being less. I expect to make less because I don't put in the same time. That matters.

We don't need government controls on employers, further hindering businesses.
One solution is for more businesses to adopt a ROWE. That way families can work when and where they want/need to yet are held accountable for outcomes, not hours. Checkout www.gorowe.com

The very first crusade of the Left in the USA was for the establishment of the Bureau of Labor Statistics ("statistics" comes from the word "statist" -- or it might as well have). The purpose of labor statistics was never scientific. It was only political. This has not changed, and never will.

Excellent commentary.

The only way to close the gender wage gap is to pass a law that prohibits men from sharing their money with women.

Think about it. If men were prohibited from supporting women, every unemployed wife in the country would be forced to get a job. And millions of employed women would be forced to obtain a better one, raising women's average pay immediately and dramatically. “Without husbands," says Farrell, "women have to focus on earning more. They work longer hours, they're willing to relocate and they're more likely to choose higher-paying fields like technology. Women who have never been married and are childless earn 117 percent of their childless male counterparts." (See http://tinyurl.com/nm6t6s.)

And how would this prohibition affect men? Millions would no longer feel the need for a high-paying job to attract women and gain and hold a woman's love. A good number of the men already holding a high-paying and likely stressful job would gleefully walk away, sending employers into a recruiting frenzy, perhaps to recruit mostly women.

Men wouldn't have to earn as much, and women would have to earn more. Presto — the sexes' wage gap would snap shut with a thunderous clap. An ideological feminist fantasy come true!

(Adapted from “A Male Matters Response to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” at http://tinyurl.com/pvbrcu)

See also "The Next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020." The year 2020 is how far into the future women will have to work to experience the same number of work-related deaths that men experienced in 2009 alone. http://tinyurl.com/yab2blv
Kay,

In terms of income how does child support play in this scenario, for, let's say, the wife AND husband who ran off with the Pilates instructor? Let's say they have twin three-year-olds.
This is my new 'forwarding' article. Well written, well researched and just provocative enough: Excellent stuff!