Monday, June 25, 2012

Pay gap is now running the other way?

The latest news on the "pay gap" is this:
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, single women between 22 and 30 years old earn an average of $27,000 a year.

That's 8% more than comparable men.

What was the media response to the existence of this pay gap? Was it condemned? Was there a gnashing of the teeth at the inequity and social injustice of it all?

No, it was presented as being an inevitable result of young women's efforts and ambitions:
Genesis Hernandez is studying English and culinary arts at Miami-Dade College.

She isn't surprised to hear single women in their 20s are earning more than young men.

"A woman has more motivation to study, to get a degree, to be somebody," Hernandez said. "For me it's really important to get a degree."

Education is key. Both Time Magazine and USA Today say more women go to college than men. Once there, women are more likely to graduate or earn advanced degrees.

"I do believe that," 28-year-old Jorge Oquendo said. "I have two sisters. Both of them are going to college. A lot of girls actually go to college and stay in college."

Model Amber Lawson wasn't expecting to hear women are starting to make more.

"That's good to hear women are getting their head on their shoulders," Lawson said. "I would think it would be about the same, but I guess men kind of go with the flow."

But what happens when men don't just "go with the flow" but get more motivated? What happens when men start to take on family responsibilities and settle into a stronger work ethic? At that point in time, men start to earn more than women, many of whom are downscaling their work commitments.

But when men in their 30s and 40s start to earn more, do we get the media cheering them on for their strong work ethic? No, it gets presented as a great social injustice that has to be rectified by state intervention.

Once again, it's that problem that men are targeted as an oppressor group in liberal society and so their achievements are always pinned down to some kind of unfair advantage, to "sexism" or to "discrimination", whereas the achievements of women are always their own.

We shouldn't accept it or get defensive about it. If men end up working harder for longer, and therefore earning more money, we should present it as a positive aspect of what men do. If men end up earning a dollar for every 80 cents earned by women, then that should be thought of as a credit to the male work ethic.

Finally, it's a little sad that Genesis Hernandez believes that you have to get a degree "to be somebody". The human person is a lot more than a career.


  1. Men (in the bigotted regressive oppressive patriarchal past) worked to live. Women (in the enlightened modern liberal world) live to work.

  2. No one is going to do anything about this emerging disparity, it is after all what both the feminists and the plutocracy have been working towards for decades.

  3. Answering Elizabeth Smith: you are mistaken - men live to work; after all, someone has got to be out there making money to support lazy women's lifestyles and their spoilt offspring. If women want to live to work, it is their well deserved prize for being feminists.

  4. Anacoreta,

    When the children are little women have a lot do to. There's enough work there that ideally there's a grandmother around to help out.

  5. You can find similar news from an article published in 2000.