March is Women’s History Month, and the protesting Left has been hanging as much of their anger and resentment as possible on the cause of women. In particular, International Women’s Day (IWD) this year—March 8, for those who don’t have it on their calendars—was marked by events showcasing the victim status of mostly elite women. Typical was American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten, who spoke at the Women Workers Rising rally outside the Department of Labor in Washington. “The wage gap is real,” the fired-up union leader told the throng. “Wage theft is real.”
Weingarten repeats the enduring myth that women make less than 80 cents on the dollar compared with men. In aggregate, men do tend to earn more than women, but the difference virtually disappears when comparing men and women with similar education, experience, and jobs. The disparity comes about because men work longer hours and take more dangerous jobs. Also, men typically go into higher-paying fields. Eighty-seven percent of petroleum-engineering majors, for example—the highest-paying major—are men. The worst-paying college major, counseling and psychology, attracts 74 percent females. Yet even the aggregate trend is changing: James Chung, president of Reach Advisors, an analytics firm, found that young women are earning median salaries 8 percent higher than those of men in their peer group in almost all major American cities.
(Weingarten’s “pay-theft” crack is especially absurd since that’s exactly what unions do to men and women in 22 non-right-to-work states. Unions force workers to pay them as a condition of employment; the worker gets no choice in the matter. If that isn’t wage theft, what is?)
A Day Without a Woman, an action designed to demonstrate the importance of women to society, was meant for women and their allies to act together “for equity, justice and the human rights of women and all gender-oppressed people, through a one-day demonstration of economic solidarity.” In reality, it was a day for radicals, including many teachers, to skip work. In Chapel Hill, Alexandria, and elsewhere, teacher participation in local rallies forced schools to close. The women who took part showed where their priorities lie—not with their students and certainly not with parents, many of whom had to scramble to find last-minute child care or risk losing a day’s pay.
In Philadelphia, hundreds of teachers played hooky, using their absence to bring attention to the fact that they haven’t had a salary increase for five years. Philadelphia Federation of Teachers president Jerry Jordan, playing the woman card, said the “The overwhelming majority of our members are female.” Okay, but women teachers make the same salary as men in Philadelphia—and everywhere else—so the mini-strike had nothing to do with pay inequality. It was better understood as a cynical attempt to get a wage hike for all teachers.
The pink-hat brigades may not know—or care, if they did—about the socialist origins of International Women’s Day. National Woman’s Day was initially observed in the United States in February, 1909, in accordance with a declaration by the Socialist Party of America, and its radical nature hasn’t changed. One of this year’s organizers was Rasmea Yousef Odeh, a Palestinian convicted in 1970 for her part in two terrorist bombings in Israel, one of which killed two students while they were buying groceries. Having spent 10 years in prison for her crimes, she lied about her past and finagled her way into U.S. citizenship under false pretenses. Avowed Communist Angela Davis, who managed to beat a murder rap in 1970 and then ran off to Cuba to meet with soulmate Fidel Castro, is also on board. Another IWD honcho is Tithi Bhattacharya, an apologist for Mao Zedong who, when he wasn’t bedding young women, was busy murdering them. And finally, there’s the matter of funding: according to the Media Research Center, left-wing bankroller George Soros has given $246 million to groups behind the protest.
Based on distortions and inaccurate data, led by far leftists, and co-opted by teachers’ unions for their own purposes, International Women’s Day sits at the cross-section of elitism and radical politics, the combination of which sent the country reeling during the Obama years. If anyone is still wondering how we wound up with Donald Trump as president, an examination of IWD’s politics, tactics, and arrogance is a great place to start.
Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images