In the Iowa State House on Tuesday, those of us who work on the House floor were obligated to listen to an emotional point of personal privilege made by Representative Marti Anderson (D-Des Moines). The subject? Disparity in the wages paid to women in comparison to men. She spoke about women making only 77 cents to every dollar men make, and gave a passionate discourse about how we need to fix this great inequality. I am glad you’re passionate Representative; however, the question remains-are you right?
To begin, let me say that I am not neglecting the fact that in some places of employment in the United States there is sexism when it comes to wage inequality. If a man and a woman are doing the exact same job, have been there the same amount of time and have the same amount of education and experience, yet are being paid different wages, that is sexism and inequality. There is a valid case at this point to discuss discrimination in the workplace and to help change it.
With that clarification out of the way, we have two questions to answer: is there widespread wage inequality in the United States, and are women truly only being paid 77% of what men are? To begin, let’s start with a couple of facts. Men are nine times more likely than women to be killed on the job, and they also account for 60% of all non-fatal work injuries.
Men are also more likely to enter higher paying professions (for example, 89% of software developers are male compared to 11% female). Women are dominant in many lower paying careers, one example being elementary school teachers (86% female, 14% male). The careers of women are also much more highly influenced by their children, many leaving the workforce for at least a period of time for maternity or child raising purposes, and others working jobs that provide flexible schedules or options such as telecommuting. Women also work fewer hours a week than men on average, with a rough calculation being 36.5 hours in a typical workweek for women and 40.5 for men (calculations made using the lowest provided hours and not taking into account men are more likely to work overtime as well).
I could give many other statistics, such as the fact that young, single women generally start to make more than their young, single male counterparts, but throwing statistics in your face is not my intent behind this piece. What I truly wanted to get across is the fact that the left has taken over this wage disparity issue, grabbed rough and ill-based statistics and has used them to launch their concept of the right’s war on women even further. Do not be deceived.
Whenever I hear someone who leans to the left politically discuss the supposed wage gap, it is always with blanket statistics, lofty statements and no actual problem solving. Ladies, let me ask you a question-do you want the government solving all your problems for you? Think long and hard about this.
One of my biggest problems with the Democratic Party is that it claims to be the champion of women, the true defenders of all American females. However, the last time I checked, having to rely on the government to solve my problems, being spoon fed canned facts on how I’m being ‘oppressed’ and being told that only one party truly supports my gender is not my version of freedom. Big government and the left claim to make women independent and ‘equal’ while truly demolishing any sort of authentic independence by creating women who are reliant on the very people and ideals that claim to set them free.
Do not simply choke down a lie that claims women are oppressed and unequal in the workforce; why should women accept being victimized for political agendas? If you are a woman and feel you are being compensated unfairly for the work you are doing (such as the scenario I laid out in the second paragraph), guess what? You are able to do something about it as an individual without having the government do it for you! Negotiate with your employer, seek employment elsewhere, change careers or get more education. You have options and you, not a political party, are the one who gets to choose if you will be a victim or if you will stand up and use your freedom and your voice.