Before I make any argument, I would like to clarify my point of view should not carry as much weight as a woman’s, since women are confronted with the situation where they earn less than a male counterpart for equal work every day.
As stated in headlines across the news and proclaimed by feminists and democratic representatives, women in America make only 80 cents for every dollar a man earns. Contrary to some belief, the wage gap is real, with sound statistics behind it. According to Eurostat, a European database, women in the EU earned an average of 16.3% less than men per hour.
In Brian Deinstadt’s 4/3 article on the wage gap being a myth, he said the 80% calculation “fails to consider the various…educations and job tenures of men and women”. According to a study published by the American Association of University Women using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, women with a bachelors or an advanced degree make 26% less money per week than a man with the same degree. In all educational degrees, women are faced with the wage gap.
Deinstadt claims the wage gap was created “to fulfill a political narrative”. Lower and middle class women across the world brought attention to this issue in order to have equal pay, not political gain. Deinstadt oversimplifies the cause of the wage gap, claiming it stems from “dissimilar vocational choices”.
At a basic level, yes. An executive on Wall Street would obviously make more money than a nurse. What he fails to grasp is the underlying cause of the wage gap. There is a reason business is a predominantly male profession, while teaching and nursing are predominantly female.
These conceptions date back to the Market Revolution in the 1830’s, when the men worked in business and the women were trained for domestication. Some still inadvertently believe this today, as we found out recently with Mike Pence.
Vice President Pence, in 2002 at least, refused to dine alone with a woman or attend parties serving alcohol without his wife present. The man must have a way with the ladies, if he is scared that every interaction with a woman has the potential for breaking his wedding vows.
Let’s say Pence was a salesman, not a politician. He would theoretically go out to lunch or golf with his boss and fellow salesmen (note the use of salesMEN). If his coworkers were women, he might feel uncomfortable around them, solely based on their gender, not their intellect or diligence. Pence will build relationships and advance his career with his buddies, while the women will be ignored.
Hence, if other men act like Pence, an unwelcoming environment is created for women. Men will become the dominant gender in the field. This trend can be applied to other professions, like engineering or certain specialties in the medical field. Girls will grow up with the impression of certain jobs being for men and others for women. Therefore, a wage gap is created, with men taking better paying jobs than women.
The concept of women being paid less because they choose lower paying fields is a dangerous and ignorant delusion. For decades, men have created environments detrimental to the workplace success of women, creating the Glass Ceiling, a barrier to the advancement of women in the workplace. We, as a society, should unite to eliminate this injustice done to women, not squabble like politicians on Capitol Hill.
Freshman Biomedical Engineer
Host of Alternative Facts, WHRW radio show