Oops, There Goes A Feminist Talking Point

The gender #paygap myth has certainly been tenacious.  Years ago someone threw out the figure that women earn 77% as much as men, and have since successfully been able to portray this as women not getting equal pay for equal work, despite the fact that the 77% is not at all corrected for equal work (when so corrected, for things like actual hours worked and differences between industries, the gap typically narrows to 5% or less).

The other day, however, the New York Post let a fact slip by that demolishes this whole gender pay gap meme.  The only explanation I can come up with is that it was in an article headlined "Childish men are to blame for women having kids late in life" so I suppose the powers-that-be assumed that the article must be OK if it was bashing men.  But in it we get this:

Women want an equal partner, but there are increasingly fewer candidates to choose from. The census reports that “the average adult woman in the US is more likely to be a college graduate than the average adult man.” Moreover, today’s young, childless female city-dwellers with college degrees are out-earning their male counterparts by 8 cents on the dollar. Their higher incomes may be why they are less likely (29 percent) to be living with their parents than single men (35 percent).

OOPS!  In the eagerness to beat men up for being under-performing, lazy, uneducated slobs still living with mommy, a meme was destroyed.  In fact, serious scholars (ie those who are not activists) have pointed out for years that unmarried childless women have no pay gap with men of similar ages, it is only after marriage and babies and other such events that some women make life and career choices that reduce their pay.



  1. sean2829:

    I think there is a lot of noise about pay gaps and rape cultures on college campuses because they don't went to address the significant education gap that has developed. Gender ratios on college campuses are now 57 women to 43 men (and rising) but in private colleges the ratio is 60:40. Women pulled even with men nearly 40 years ago and the gap has been widening ever since. Could Title IX be applied to this disparity? If it could, you'd have a whole lot of college administrators going nuts.

  2. Maks Swing:

    The article is interesting in that it shows that women are dancing around an evolutionary point. Either it is that or the fact that they really dont see it:

    Men dont care much about what girls work.

    I dont care whether my wife works as a teacher, an office-bee, a clerk, a bus driver or whatever.
    This is very unlike women, who place more emphasis on it. They might profess to prefer parenting and having children, but even the author counsels for having a career. Thats just not possible in real-life if you are not relatively rich.

    The other thing is that men still prefer youngish women to marry and rarely want to bite in the old apple.
    Even though nobody admits it publicly, I see it again and again in even my bubble as Mr. Caplan would say.

  3. SamWah:

    The NY Post? When the NYT prints it...nah, not gonna happen. 'Twould blow the whole schtick.

  4. DMK:

    Yah, they'll say, but that's just the young and childless. What about the later higher-earning years making up the bulk of one's career?

  5. joe - the economist:

    If corporations are evil and only exist to maximize profits, why isnt the unemployment rate for women zero and the unemployment rate for men 15% or higher.

  6. Estoy Listo:

    For years, feminists have danced around opposing notions that throughout history women have been both suppressed victims and remarkable (and ignored) acheivers. This is just more of the same

  7. Matthew Slyfield:

    " What about the later higher-earning years making up the bulk of one's career?"

    At all ages, women who are childless (who have put career ahead of having a family) show little to no pay gap.

  8. Q46:

    Gender pay gap is sooooooo last year now in the UK, the latest fashion being BAME pay gap, Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic. And we know it is a thing because it has been awarded an acronym.

    I suppose when that exhausts itself, we shall have a LGBT pay gap to entertain us.

  9. Mercury:

    If you really could get the same amount/quality of work out of women for .75x the cost of men you would think that, by now, some evil capitalist would have started an all-female business that took advantage of this - like one of those James Bond villains laughing at the world from his mountain lair, surrounded by a small army of bikini-clad minions...

  10. CC:

    Married women often take part time jobs or those that are less demanding or involve less travel....because they value children and their family and let the husband work the long hours. Conversely, it is often a man with kids who will accept the overtime, take the hazard pay, or get a second job. Men also commute farther on average than women and suffer 98% of workplace fatalities (h/t Mark Perry blog). Note that the most physically challenging and dangerous jobs (logging, fishing, mining, construction) are almost entirely men, and not because of discrimination. Women either can't hack it or won't do it.

  11. Heresiarch:

    It's an effect of an overwhelmingly liberal media that "seeming pitiable" has become a major moneymaker for a lot of groups. It began with unions, which are in effect closely held companies in the pitability and greed-rebranding businesses, and spread from there. It's a pity (so to speak), since the areas of policy and activism the Pitiability Machine has corrupted used to have solid arguments, albeit limited in scope, about real complaints.

    The problem with feminist policy is what it always has been with all these groups. There is never an obvious stopping spot. Egalitarianism drifts into greed effortlessly and without notice. Making college friendlier to women's ways of learning drifted into making it hostile to men.

  12. Heresiarch:

    It's not just the age of the apple. It's the freshness of the personality. Oscar Wilde once said something like, "No woman should have a memory. Memory in a woman is the beginning of dowdiness." My view is sort of related to that: that an older woman who hasn't gotten old in spirit, who hasn't dried up and lost joy in life, would (other things being equal) be nearly as attractive as a younger one-- maybe more so, in some ways.

  13. Nehemiah:

    Geez, who would have thunk?

  14. slocum:

    Not good enough. What they want is government to mandate equal pay even when (perhaps especially when) women's lower pay is due to employment gaps or different career choices associated with motherhood. They can't quite come out and say it, but that's what they want.

  15. Ben Carter:


  16. Ben Carter:

    Then there is this little fact that men are 14 times more likely to die in the workplace. Even if the 77% pay gap figure were true I'd think a 14 time more chance of dying is worth a pay bump of around 25%.

  17. Ben Carter:

    Yep. I get a different energy/vibe from a younger woman. And a lot less griping.

  18. Matthew Slyfield:

    Yes that's what they want, They can't come out and say it, because saying it would admit that the whole "equal pay for equal work" slogan is an outright lie.

  19. MJ:

    Obviously the patriarchy.

  20. MJ:

    Not just greed. Outright vindictiveness.

  21. MJ:

    Interesting that "Asian" is included in that group. I suppose it differs in the UK in that "Asian" includes groups like Indians, Afghanis and Pakistanis, who on average have lower skills. In the US, Asians aren't typically considered an oppressed minority and in fact have higher median income levels than their white counterparts. This has a lot to do with selective high-skilled migration from places like India, China, and South Korea. But even a lot of Vietnamese and Hmong (Laotian) immigrants who came here as refugees have done reasonably well for themselves.

  22. MJ:

    In the later years of their career they will have married a reasonably successful man and will live in a dual-income, upper middle-class household with a comfortable lifestyle. Pay gap concerns will have become a secondary matter. Unless they're in politics. Or academia.