Blogger pal Chris Wysocki of the great Wyblog notes that we're entering a very special season.
Yes, it's that time of the year again. Time for the feminuts to whinge about Lilly Ledbetter and having to work for slave wages just because they don't have a penis.
Except it's not true. None of it. There is no male-female wage gap.
Recent studies have shown that the wage gap shrinks—or even reverses—when relevant factors are taken into account and comparisons are made between men and women in similar circumstances. In a 2010 study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30, the research firm Reach Advisors found that women earned an average of 8% more than their male counterparts. Given that women are outpacing men in educational attainment, and that our economy is increasingly geared toward knowledge-based jobs, it makes sense that women's earnings are going up compared to men's.
I want a raise.
Haha, you and me both homie.
First of all, you should be reading Wyblog because he rules, so get to it.
The popping of the male/female pay differential myth is a needed reality check for the ultra orthodox feminist left. As necessary as this story is, it's just as important to recognize that the Feministing/GloriaSteinem cohort absolutely will not budge from their militantly wrong assertion that men get paid more then women. It's a foundational doctrine of feminism; going against that sacred text would be like asking David Brooks to stop writing hand-wringing mush-mouthed columns for the New York Times.
The thing is, the popular understanding of feminism (as opposed to the far-left campus version) got a few things right. Women should be paid the same as men for the same kind of work. That's just fair.
However, the further down the reading list you go on the Sisterhood of The Snarling Harridans' syllabus, the more incorrect stuff you find. From the role of men to the bizarre confused ideas about abortion, lefty feminists can't create paradigms that even sorta resemble reality.
The worst mistake that feminists have made in the last 40 years is their relentless denigration of motherhood. Remember when Academy Award-winning actress Natalie Portman described becoming a mother as "...the most important role of my life"? For many people, this was a charming sentiment. For at least a few feminists, this was simply not kosher. Check out Salon's Mary Elizabeth Williams' reaction to Ms. Portman's announcement (quoted from The Other McCain):
Why, at the pinnacle of one’s professional career, would a person feel the need to undercut it by announcing that there’s something else even more important? Even if you feel that way, why downplay your achievement? Why compare the two, as if a grueling acting role and being a parent were somehow in competition? And remind me — when was the last time a male star gave an acceptance speech calling fatherhood his biggest role?
For now, forget the tin-eared insensitivity. That's a feature--not a bug--when it comes to feminist writing. More importantly, Ms. Williams' sentiment is a symptom of fundamental misreading of the importance of being a mother.
The Left in general, and feminism in particular, has spent a great deal of time, effort and money infiltrating the commanding heights of the culture. From the universities to the federal bureaucracy, feminists have carved out a sphere of influence from which they can push their ideas. In the course of a few decades, radicalized women (and not a few indoctrinated men) have become a sizable part of the national discussion on any number of issues.
The problem is that even with all the influence feminists currently wield, it pales in comparison to the power that mothers have in shaping the future. If feminists really wanted to create a society where, in the words of Gloria Steinem we raised girls like boys and boys like girls, feminists would be squeezing out children by the cart-load and raising the kids from the nanosecond they're born. Mothers have the kind of 24/7/365 access to a child's mind that a feminist ideologue can only dream about in her fevered fantasies.
Imagine if feminism hadn't drifted into BettyFriedan/BarbaraEhrenreich employment-centrism in the early 1970's, but instead had focused on actually changing American culture at its roots. The results would be stark. In fact, if that had occurred, the US would be hardly recognizable.
Conservatives and traditionalists often become angry when feminists demean the vital importance of motherhood. It's an understandable reaction; nurturing matriarchs are central to the emotional life of almost everyone and it's hard to hear it when some campus theorist makes it seem like mothers aren't important. Instead of being angry when feminists dismiss motherhood, we should just politely nod and move on, rather than give these leftist maniacs any bright ideas.