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The Gender Pay Gap is Not Sexist

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The Gender Pay Gap is Not Sexist

Men and women choose to earn different amounts of pay.

Men and women choose to earn different amounts of pay.

Athena Koon

Men and women choose to earn different amounts of pay.

Athena Koon

Athena Koon

Men and women choose to earn different amounts of pay.

Damian Hernandez, Staff Writer

If you ask a feminist about the hurdles women face, they will probably mention the gender pay gap as one of those blocks. The idea that women are getting paid less than men because of an oppressive, patriarchal system that seeks to keep them down is untrue as women do not earn less than men solely because of gender.

A crucial detail that feminists overlook is how the statistic of the gender pay gap came to be. The statistic, from the United States Census Bureau, is that women earn around 77 cents for every dollar a man makes and this number is derived by dividing the median earnings of women working full-time and the median earnings of men working full-time. The statistic leads to a misconception, because it does not take into account the different levels of education, type of occupation or life choices that men and women make. Calculating people’s wages accurately is difficult because it requires analysis of multiple variables, so using gender as the sole factor is not going to lead to an accurate way of determining wages.

The reality is that men and women are different, from biology to psychology. Women will make different life choices than men and this contributes to the so called gender pay gap.

“Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average,” according to a 2017 study titled The Pipeline Problem: How College Majors Contribute to the Gender Pay Gap done by economist Andrew Chamberlain at Glassdoor, a website where employees and former employees anonymously review companies and managers.

Feminists would argue that it is society that pushes women into certain careers, and yet in countries where efforts for gender equality have gone the furthest, such as Denmark, the jobs women choose are still vastly different to their male counterparts.

The data involving men and women with the same educational level, from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, shows the different choices. Danish women make up 80% of social service jobs while Danish men make up 71% of engineering, manufacturing and construction. In Sweden, another liberal haven, women make up 87% of social services while men dominate the engineering, manufacturing and construction fields with a 66% majority. If you leave men and women to make their own choices, it will inevitably lead to different results.

Now, this does not mean that we should not push for equal opportunity, but it is indicative of a pattern that shows that women have different interests from men. The vastly different life choices that men and women make lead to different amounts of pay.

If the feminist theory that an evil patriarchal system is maliciously paying women less than men for the sole reason that they are women, is true, then why doesn’t every business owner just hire women and pay them less since it would be beneficial for the bottom line?

Because the free market promotes meritocracy and the most qualified person for the job will earn it regardless of gender. In the United States, we should promote equal opportunity but we should not ignore the clear differences between men and women. The truth is that the so called gender pay gap does not take into account the plethora of variables involved in the equation that decides a person’s wage, and to blame the contrast on gender alone, is misguided. Women shouldn’t be discouraged by the depressing idea of the gender pay gap, but instead realize that they can earn as much as a man if they choose high-paying jobs.

 

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