Every year on tax day, we get a reminder of the gender pay gap, and the counter-reminder from the “well, actually” douchebags on the right about “the gender pay gap is a myth“: That women choose to earn less money by going into less physically demanding, safer, and lower-paying positions, and men choose to go into more physically demanding, dangerous, and higher-paying positions overall.
But that cannot explain the gap when comparing similar positions:
It is well known that in 2013—the most recent year for which data are available—women working full time, year round earned an average of $0.78 for every dollar earned by men working full time, year round. Since this statistic compares all working women and all working men, it does not control for the different types of jobs that individuals hold. In all but one of the occupations for which data are available, however, women earn less than men.
Also note that these are occupations with wildly different percentages of women in each field, ranging from women comprising 17.49% of production and operating supervisors to 84.8% of general office clerks. There’s not an issue with burly manly strength and size needed to be a personal financial advisor last time I checked, but women earn only 62 cents on the dollar compared to men for that occupation. The one job where women earn more? Stock clerk, even though they make up roughly a third of them nationally.
And please take note that three jobs among those with the worst gender pay gap are physician, teacher, and CEO, successful jobs that require education and only one of the three is considered “pink collar”, teacher. The counter to that is again, “Women choose to have kids and be caregivers, so they’re not working as much. They’re not working as much, so they have less experience and fewer hours worked. They have less experience and fewer hours worked, so they get paid less.”
But that can’t explain the gap either. We know women in the US are having fewer children, and waiting longer to get married (if at all) particularly those women who are more educated (you know, like doctors.) And if anything, as more and more jobs move away from physical work towards information management, working from home is becoming more popular and more feasible for everyone.
Not only does the gender gap still exist, but when you factor in race it gets even worse. No, the gender gap is not 100% “discrimination”. But it’s not a myth either, and there are some serious structural problems in society that make this gap persist. Pretending that it’s something “bitchy liberals made up” doesn’t mean it’s not real, and that people aren’t getting hurt by it.