Gender Wage Gap Revisited

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“Give me a break,” John Stossel quips about the difference in wages between men and women. There’s no sexism here, he claims, citing a new book on the subject, it’s all about choices:

“Women themselves say they’re far more likely to care about flexibility,” says author Warren Farrell. “Men say, I’m far more likely to care about money.” … His research found that the wage gap exists not because of sexism, but because more men are willing to do certain kinds of jobs.

Well gee, I wonder why women need to be more concerned about flexibility when thinking about jobs. Surely not because they don’t get much support raising children, eh? And surely not because this country has wholly inadequate provisions for family leave. No, surely not. At any rate, Farrell may well be right that the wage gap isn’t due to gender discrimination—I haven’t read his book—although here’s an in-depth look at the issue that argues that the wage gap persists even after one accounts for all the usually-cited factors: job choice, hours worked, etc. etc. That’s very much worth a read. And even if Farrell’s right that job preferences account for the gap, it’s unlikely that this is because men are somehow “hardwired” to care more about money. The modern workplace, especially in the United States, isn’t exactly accomodating for women who want to try to raise a family. And pregnancy discrimination is still very much alive and kicking. Now Stossel claims that this is all “just.” But presumably he believes that the country also needs children if it wants to, you know, not run out of people. Ah, therein lies the problem.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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