By Jake Melkun | USA
The gender wage gap is a commonly used statistic by feminists and other social justice groups on the left to show how females in America are discriminated against and oppressed. The “wage gap” that is shown is that for every dollar men make, females make a $0.77 in their careers. To look at this, you either can disregard other variables, or you can look into the other situations that could explain why men on average are paid more than women.
This pay gap is not a pay gap. A more accurate name would be an earnings gap. Men and women’s salaries are very similar (once again, not putting in the variables) overall in the same job. Women who are also mothers take off more time than men, they take maternity leaves when they are going to have a child, many women in the workplace are single mothers, and many women don’t like to work overtime or longer hours so that they can take care of their children. This would contribute to the fact that women do not get paid more as many men would be willing to either put their children in child care, have wives at home who take care of the family or do not have children at all.
Another reason for this earnings gap is due to the fact that generally, women take lower-paying jobs. If you look at women in STEM fields, they only make up about 6% of the workforce in that area. This is because jobs in the STEM field are much more time-consuming, they are much tougher than other jobs, lots of travel, and they can require much more education and college years. While there are many qualified women to participate in these fields, it makes sense because there are many women whose lifestyle wouldn’t fit these careers. There are also many of fields similar to STEM where the type of career wouldn’t fit their lifestyle if they had children or married.
Another valid reason why this earnings gap could exist is that men do generally take jobs that are more dangerous or dirty. The people who collect trash, sewers, fight fires, construction, or any other job is made up of almost exclusively men. This kind of work warrants more pay compared to a less dangerous and physical work. People who are subject to filth all over them and horrible smells or high danger should get paid more than someone who does a job with a similar skill level but without the risk of dying on the job. It’s common sense. Men are more willing to be put in danger than women are generally.
Many men also have been known to put their careers first, like working weekends and night shifts. Many men have more seniority than women because many women started working after divorce, or once their children have grown up a bit after staying home.
According to the Census Bureau, unmarried, childless women make more money than unmarried and childless men. This shows that a large part of the issue with the wage gap is that women have more connections to home and don’t want to dedicate their lives towards work, while men do have more of a career-first attitude. This theory can also be seen when looking at how male business owners make more money than female business owners. Since there is no boss that makes men or women get paid different wages, there are reasons to this observation as well. According to a survey by the Rochester Institute of Technology, money is the main factor of the business for only 29% of women, while it is the main factor for 76% of men. Women’s main goals for the other 71% was being near kids, family, in a safe and stable place, shorter work weeks, and “fulfillment”. Similar interests for women who work but do not own businesses are at play.
Comparing the earnings of men versus women is really just like comparing the earnings of people with blonde hair versus brown hair, green eyes versus blue eyes, or by height. If people with blonde hair make more, it is not hair-colorist, it is just either random statistics or the lifestyles of blonde-haired people. The same thing applies to the sexes because ultimately, people’s lifestyles differ and that doesn’t mean that everything is sexist.