Splicetoday

Politics & Media
May 10, 2016, 10:23AM

Clinton Is Wrong About the Gender Wage Gap

The "77-cents myth" is fainting couch feminist propaganda.

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Hillary Clinton fashions herself as the champion of all downtrodden Americans. She's making wage equality a big issue for attracting women voters, tweeting out blurbs like this: "20 years ago, women made 72 cents on the dollar to men. Today it's still just 77 cents. More work to do. #EqualPay #NoCeilings."

This "77 cents" figure has become axiomatic among liberals, who generally accept that men make much more than women for doing the same job. It's hardly surprising, given how often President Obama has explicitly mentioned it. He used it while campaigning, and he brought it up during his 2013 State of the Union speech, and then repeated it in his speech one year later, saying women "still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns." His economic advisor, Betsey Stevenson, stated women are "stuck at 77 cents on the dollar," but she was forced to apologize when an informed reporter called her out on it.

Trigger warning to campus feminists: one of your treasured concepts will now be discussed factually. It may make you feel unsafe. The calculation behind the 23-cent wage gap uses raw numbers reflecting the total earnings of all male and female full-time workers. It includes no input on professions, job positions, hours worked, college majors, or any other distinguishing factors. So much for the 77-cents myth. It is not a comparison based on men and women doing the same job.

Take a look at the field of medicine. On average, male physicians make significantly more than female physicians. At first glance this sounds bad, until you know that more women tend, for whatever reason, to go into less lucrative specialties such as pediatrics or family medicine rather than orthopedic surgery.

Women make different career choices, and maximizing their salary isn't always a high priority. Third-wave feminists, because it fits their agenda, want you to believe that women are paid less, across the board, as the result of some vast patriarchal conspiracy, and they repeat the 77-cents myth like a mantra. It's been effective too, as good propaganda always is. Mention the 23-cent wage gap to anyone at Whole Foods and prepare for some earnest chagrin.

Modern feminists have no interest in revealing larger truths that interfere with their incessant victimhood narrative. They’d have you believe that, even though American and Western European women are more liberated than ever, the advances for women's equality that began in the 1960s have amounted to very little. A measly five extra cents per hour in 20 years, according to Hillary.

You won't hear the modern feminist mentioning facts like the 3:1 male/female suicide ratio, the 10:1 incarceration ratio, the shorter life spans of men, and all the brutal jobs they do. Nor will you hear about how many more women than men have received college degrees for decades now, and that some studies have shown their starting salaries out of college are actually higher than men's.

The reality is that while there are many more men than women CEOs, men are disproportionately represented at the very bottom of the economic ladder. Ignoring this fact, while constantly touting a bogus statistic, produces a distortion of reality designed to support an ideology. If you were to go on a TV show with liberal panelists and mentioned the other side of the coin, where men are suffering, they'd be condescending, and assure you with the irrelevant opinion that the patriarchy is in no danger. Well, the patriarchy isn't doing jack for all the Iraq War veterans who are homeless and taking their own lives.

At this point, the 77-cents myth is like Goebbels' "big lie." If you tell it enough, it becomes the truth. It's concise too, making it perfect for sound bites and tweeting, but advocacy data from fainting couch feminists needs close scrutiny. It's the radicals who often set the agenda in any political movement. They're shrill and militant, and their intimidation tactics work. This applies to modern feminism, and it's a reason why so many people, including women, reject it. Most women want equal rights, but many aren’t interested in a reactionary movement intent on infantilizing them with a victimhood narrative and an obsession with the patriarchy. They see through the "findings" rendered by politicized feminist scholarship, and have little interest in pitting men against women.

—Follow Chris Beck on Twitter: @SubBeck

Discussion
  • Tried making this point here and there. Same as global warming skepticism. The response is always of the "four legs good, two legs bad" at high decibel levels category.

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  • So, the statsitics about men doing crappy jobs aren't a refutation of the wage gap. They're complimentary.//One of the reasons men make more money is they tend to do more dangerous jobs. Those jobs often aren't open to women; women aren't hired for them, and can face discrimination and harassment if they take them (firefighting jobs, for example.) At the same time, workplace safety is not seen as important when men die; men are tough, and are expected to die on the job, more or less.//Gender expectations shunt women into lower paying jobs and justify low workplace safety standards in jobs that men do.// Gender scripts hurt both men and women; it's not an either/or,and the fact that men suffer doesn't mean that women have nothing to complain about when they can't get jobs they need to take care of their families.

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  • And despite all the nuance, the 77 cents figure is repeated ad nauseum, just like is was again yesterday on the Bill O'Reilly show. It's a very effective lie. I noticed Hillary pegged it at 79 cents yesterday, so she must have new data.

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  • Noah. One of the issues with jobs like cops, firefighting, and the Infantry is that women can't pass the physical requirements. Now that those have been reduced or eliminated in the case of women applicants, more women will be in those roles. Roughly the same goes for women in construction. Eventually, there's something she can't lift, heave, pull and she needs help a guy might not. In addition, women's joints are more susceptible to orthopedic injuries and heal more slowly. So, even if she got hired, she's more likely than a guy to be disabled, or to seek another job while she's only temporarily limping around, favoring a shoulder. Many of the jobs in which there is a gap--law and medicine, ex--show more hours and more rigorous specialities for the men, leading to more promotions, and more billed hours. Example: I recently had a heart operation. The surgeon and his partners are all guys. My primary care doc is a woman as is one of her two partners. They don't make as much as the surgeons. Their choice. Women drop out of the work force to have families, leaving them behind men who don't, and women who don't.

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  • richard, most studies show women doing a better job as cops than men do. Men tend to escalate conflict; women deescalate them. Not always or anything, but most research suggests we'd have a much better police force if it was primarily composed of women.// Manual tasks are more and more automated; it's just not the case that only men can perform them. For that matter, in terms of endurance, women are often more physically fit than men. The "physical requirements" argument is used to say men are tougher, so it doesn't matter fi they get hurt or killed. It's ultimately used to increase violence against men.// The fact that women leave to take care of families is indicative of (a) the fact that women are often not promoted, so have less investment in careers, (b) the fact that men are expected/encouraged to focus on work and work and work and grind themselves down to nothing for work, and never care about their families. The solution to this problem is not to just shrug; it's more time off, and more mandatory time off, for everyone. // Again, in an effort to deny discrimination against women, supposed advocates for men refuse to confront or care about gender roles and expectations which do real, horrible harm to men.

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  • In other words, these supposed advocates for men do the exact same equivalent of what modern third wave and intersectional feminists do.

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  • Noah. Firemen's tasks aren't automated. Watching some construction nearby. The shovel and hauling simply would rule out women. Check out Olympic track and field records and compare them to boy's high school records. Studies about escalating conflicts as cops leaves out whether the perp walks away or...a male cop has to do the dirty. The physical requirements thing is used to see if applicants can do whatever it is that needs doing. Like carry an unconscious adult. Forklifts have been around a long time, but the jobs are still tough and a loading dock is higher than the parking level for a reason and gravity isn't giving women a break. So to speak. Everybody wants indoor work with no heavy lifting. Women got it. Whose right is it to force women to take a job they don't want in order to satisfy the bean counters? Further examples: Having some remodeling done. An electrician drove a fixture into exterior stucco. He had to lean on it really hard--he was a big man--which I doubt a woman could have done, even if she could have reached that high. The drywall guys were hauling armloads of sheetrock around. I've carried that stuff. The average woman's arms aren't long enough to carry the piles of used stuff the way the guys did, nor are they strong enough. They'd have to make two trips to the guys' one. So, sure, a woman could do it, but more slowly. Means she needs more assistants, takes more time to do a job, fewer jobs done in a quarter. Less revenue. SJW doesn't beat physics or biology.

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  • There may be some jobs that have physical barriers, but less and less. And if there's real physical reasons, you don't need to resort to harassment to keep women away...right? http://www.vice.com/en_ca/read/20-male-firefighters-quit-after-only-female-colleague-complains-of-harassment-in-newfoundland-town

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  • Could we keep the comments here under 500 words so that they actually are comments? Thank you.

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  • Also, the topic is the 77 cent myth and why feminists use it to mislead people and that it's very effective propaganda. The general assumption is that it applies to the same job, which it does not.

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  • Well, that's not how I tend to see it. There's a lot of discussion about what pay disparities mean and why. Discussions of how women work in different jobs and family leave are often part of the conversations I've seen.//To me it seems like you're doing a bit of straw-womanning here.

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  • I'll leave the straw woman thing alone, although all I was trying to do was provide some context that gets purposefully ignored, instead of doing that, but until this 77 cent lie stops, no actual debate on whether there is an actual gap that could have solutions is possible. So modern feminists have a choice, and I know what that choice will be.They will continue to play the victim card, because that's the game now. Hillary can get elected and say she'll fix it, but of course she won't even come close, because she can't change choices people are going to make that are based on things she doesn't even understand.When you try to change humans to fit your ideal of society, which is the hallmark of the left, you are destined to fail.

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  • Hah; well, I think everyone is interested in trying to change human behavior, pretty much. Even libertarians; otherwise they wouldn't try to push to pass new laws, you know?// Clinton seems to be pushing now for some federal funding for childcare, which would in fact I think have an effect on some of these numbers. And of course, HRC hardly speaks for all feminists; lots of feminists hate her! (often for good reasons.)

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  • Libertarians are mostly trying to get rid of many laws, not trying to change human behavior, unless it involves the impulse, which the left is fond of, to over-legislate.

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  • Libertarians have lots of different goals, many of which involve getting people to do stuff libertarians want, and changing human behavior. Changing human behavior to regulate people less is still changing human behavior. (I share many, though not all libertarian goals, so it's nothing personal against libertarians.)

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  • Anyway, the 77 cents figure is still bullshit propaganda, no matter how you cut it or how much you think libertarians are just like leftists.

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  • Not just like lefties! Quite different policy priorities. But yes, I'm skeptical of the unique rationality and virtue of libertarians.//The 78 cent figure is inaccurate, but note that experts do believe there is a pay gap, and one not just summed up by different life choices. "Few experts dispute that there is a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women ā€” such as women tending to leave the workforce when they have children ā€” make it difficult to make simple comparisons." https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2015/04/02/the-equal-pay-day-factoid-that-women-make-78-cents-for-every-dollar-earned-by-men/

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  • I"m also quite skeptical of this claim: "men are disproportionately represented at the very bottom of the economic ladder." What's your source for that? Most discussions I've seen say that women are much more likely to be poor than men. This article for example. And note especially point that women are segregated into lower paying occupations, and that occupations dominated by women are low paid. Are you sure you're not massaging the facts yourself? https://www.americanprogress.org/issues/women/report/2008/10/08/5103/the-straight-facts-on-women-in-poverty/

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  • Plenty of evidence. Start with homeless stats.

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  • Harassment is a bad thing and ought to be stopped. That said, some of what is called harassment is guys complaining that a woman can't do what is needed because the physical requirements have been lowered. If everybody is "qualified", then you have, by administrative fiat, what you need in every slot. Since women can be "qualified" without being as capable as the guys, that means we don't have any room for an extra guy. They're all "qualified". If--it's been a while--a guy can max out the mile run at 6min, 15 seconds and get a "100" for his PT score, while a woman gets "100" at, say, seven and a half, then they're equally "qualified". That the guy can run faster is administratively irrelevant and any differentiation about why there aren't so many women in whatever group it is must be the result of discrimination because they're all equally "qualified". Says so right there in the personnel jacket. So, yeah, when the women get on the truck during a route march and the guys don't, when the guys heave and haul putting up the big tents and the women watch...there's going to be tension.

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  • Could you elaborate a bit more on this, guv?

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  • I think homeless stats are very misleading. I just read Matthew Desmond's book Evicted, which talks about housing precarity. Women in his study were more likely to get evicted, because they had lower paying jobs, because they had children, and because they were less good at negotiating with male landlords. However, they usually ended up doubling up with relatives, or finding some sort of temporary housing short of homelessness, again in part because living on the street was less of an option with kids. //In any case, it may be that men who are poor are more likely to be homeless, but that more women are poor. That in fact seems to be the case as far as I can tell from looking around, though why that is is unclear (to me at least., and perhaps in general, since I haven't seen a good explanation.)

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