Yesterday, as many feminist groups across the country commemorated Equal Pay Day, Carrie Lukas had one message for them all- cut the bull.
In her Wall Street Journal op-ed, Lukas, executive director of the Independent Women’s Forum, argued that feminist groups that lament a gender pay gap are not telling the whole story. She writes:
“Feminist hand-wringing about the wage gap relies on the assumption that the differences in average earnings stem from discrimination. Thus the mantra that women make only 77 percent of what men earn for equal work. But even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false.”
The numbers Lukas cites show a picture of women in the workplace that few feminist groups cite. For instance that during the recession the percentage of unemployed men has continually outpaced the number of unemployed women. Or that in 2010, researchers from the Reach Advisors firm found that among urban, single, childless professionals ages 22 to 30, women earned on average 8 percent more than their male counterparts.
Additionally, the higher numbers of women graduating from college are filling a void in the economy, which is now trending towards knowledge-based jobs more than ever. For women, this is good news- as we bring more and more to the table, our compensation is being rewarded the way it should.
So if the gender gap is closing, why are feminist groups still championing Equal Pay Day? Well, because in many fields, from corporate to labor intensive, the disparity between men and women’s pay remains miles apart.
For her part, Lukas offers a different explanation saying:
“Perhaps feminists feel awkward protesting a liberal-dominated government—or perhaps they know that the recent economic downturn has exposed as ridiculous their claims that our economy is ruled by a sexist patriarchy… Few Americans see the economy as a battle between the sexes. They want opportunity to abound so that men and women can find satisfying work situations that meet their unique needs. That—not a day dedicated to manufactured feminist grievances—would be something to celebrate.”
Do you agree with Lukas’ views? As the gender gap closes, are feminists unwilling to admit they’ve won? Tell us what you think Clutchettes- share your thoughts!