Paying Housewives...that sounds like the latest reality show.

On KGBs morning show Friday, I caught the tail end of a discussion about how much a stay-at-home wife would make if she were paid for the jobs she does.

I think the newscaster said that it would come out to around $175,000. And Dave, the main DJ, talked about how crazy that is.

And I agree with him.

This is the same as the people out there that foolishly believe women make less than men for doing the same jobs. But that's a different debate for a different day.

I have no problem if a woman stays at home while her husband works. Even if she doesn't have kids to raise. That's between them.

My problem arises when the woman starts talking about how valuable that job is in terms of money. Of course, if you had a maid come in and clean you'd pay her. Of course, if you had a private chef making you meals that would be a fortune.

But guess what?

If the man mows the yard, shouldn't that be considered?

What about the time your husband built the back deck on the patio? How much would that have cost to hire builders?

And something else to keep in mind in all this. If the woman isn't working and WAS NOT married, how would she pay for the house she's living in? Because, I'm guessing if you go anywhere and say "Can I rent this house for free? Oh...but I'll keep it clean and that's worth something." You'd probably have a hard time with that one.

So, while we're figuring out how much a wife would make for all her cleaning and cooking...let's also subtract the room-and-board she's getting.

What about that noise your Buick was making? The husband went under the hood and fixed it in five minutes. I'm guessing the mechanic down the street would've seen a million things wrong and it could've cost you a grand, easy.

So really....newspapers need to start coming up with new material. They recycle these types of stories every few years. And the logic of the premise never really makes sense.

More like this:

Comments

Josh Board May 14, 2009 @ 9:44 a.m.

Yeah, that would be a good question.

I wonder if most guys would be like Jim Carrey in Bruce Almighty, and just make womens dresses fly up as they walked by!

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 5:32 p.m.

So this is also a big challenge of the scientific method--controlling the variables, and sorting out the randoms and the "noise." You make a good indirect point that multiple variables should be considered when reading any kind of data--unfortunately, I did not take any statistics courses, so cannot get down and dirty with them. I have never designed a complex experiment. But I think I can safely say that we do accept that circumstances of any kind of test or measurement are subject to human error. (Researchers of course also have their own biases toward outcome to sort out, but we should bracket that off for now, and not drive ourselves nuts).

So, you ask, how is it that males get into more accidents, but I see that males appear to be better drivers (we need to qualify what this means, btw)? Well, you might want to consider, for example, that youth and testosterone levels make males more prone to road rages and to playing chicken with other drivers. The DMV and insurance companies are sure to do their research on driving while twenty-something and male. Tacit reinforcement of expectations of our cultural roles, such as we have discussed privately elsewhere, can play a huge part in how a male might handle a situation on the road versus how a female might handle it. It is clear that generally, twenty-something males are raised with a cultural injunction to be more comfortable with participating in or even causing confrontative situations. The very construction of one's identity as 'masculine' may be on the line. (I do not say “machismo” because it carries its own complex of ethnic and cultural identifications that would muddy the waters for us here).

We (meaning all of us bloggers on this thread) should also keep in mind that we sit in a unique position of privilege, and it can be hard, I understand, to perceive how remnants of gender bias have been articulated and rearticulated in our social fabric, within along with adjustments to the economic front, social and sexual mores, ideologies of gender identity, education, and accepted practices around childbirth, childcare, within our major social institutions.

Historically, women have been more easily exploited as a cheap labor force than men, and in much of the world this is still so. refried brought up sewing and manufacture. Have you ever heard of a sweat shop? Many of us are probably sitting at our computers wearing clothing made in a Honduran or Indonesian sweatshop full of female indentured servants, and imported by a chic American or Euro brand providing a more palatable "face" to us as consumers. They still exist here, though such manufacture concentrates heavily in third world countries.

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 5:56 p.m.

Sorry about the copy and paste repetition in #s 51 and 52, people. But hey, a little repetition never hurt anyone :)

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 11:31 p.m.

Okay, good. At least Rickey is a voice of reason here.

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SDaniels May 9, 2009 @ 1:19 p.m.

Who are these "husbands and wives" you are sampling? They sound a bit cardboard and stereotype-y, and don't reflect the experiences of many people I know.

Josh wrote:

"This is the same as the people out there that foolishly believe women make less than men for doing the same jobs."

Huh? Maybe it's a debate for a different day, but have you seen any statistics? What information do you base this opinion on, J?

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David Dodd May 9, 2009 @ 9:15 p.m.

Josh,

Leave government jobs out of it, and you'll find that you're wrong. I can give you statistics, but I think that it's more powerful if you dig them up on your own. The first thing you are going to discover is that percentages of women in high paying jobs is much lower than it should be. The second thing you discover will be that the pay scales are still horribly uneven. Keep your research in the private sector, and you'll be quite surprised.

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David Dodd May 11, 2009 @ 12:50 a.m.

Okay, Josh. Tomorrow, I'll spend all day researching and blast you with some bitchen proof in the evening. Consider it a gift. You can make money while I entertain you for free. But ultimately, you will owe me, pal (after all, I'm going to be slacking doing this when I should be writing for submission while you get to write for a check regardless) ;)

P.S. Grab some lube, this will hurt.

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thestoryteller May 9, 2009 @ 10:39 p.m.

Men and women have different roles and will never be the same. I'm not particularly in favor of female firefighters because they tend not to have the strength. If they don't, they don't deserve the same pay. Tradtionally female jobs like secretarial work or waitressing are typically low paying. Everyone deserves respect regardless of what they contribute. If you think it's all unfair in favor of women, don't forget that other than that girl turned guy in the news, only women can give birth. There's nothing men can do to make up for that!

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David Dodd May 11, 2009 @ 1:09 a.m.

Josh:

Government jobs: 100% even.

Medical jobs: 150% women make more money.

I'll gladly give you that advantage, even though I know it's not true (nurses are grossly underpaid for what they do, and most are females).

We'll simply concentrate on female vs. male in CEO's and engineers and other professions. Then we'll subtract out what you feel isn't fair.

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mike1 May 10, 2009 @ 2:45 a.m.

Josh...what did you do at the PO? And for how long? I've been a mail carrier for almost 20 years (OK, my secret is out) and I've never seen a situation where the women do less. Granted our office isn't as business oriented as one in a large downtown city, but we get a lot of parcels. Certainly most of them aren't super heavy but if anyone, man or woman, has trouble lifting something, they're to ask for help. The women in my office take out the same stuff as the men.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 4:04 p.m.

The following is from a website for a paper that is called the Everett Herald, after they did one of the usual idiotic stories on women making less then men. Please read the mans response carefully (it'll take a few posts here)

I have been reading the Herald since there were block letters on top of the building, no Sunday paper and a row of VW Beetles out in front. Cruise the hallways, and you will see the picture still hanging in your building.

Second, you should know that I have been certified as a political gadfly by the King Co. Sheriff's Dept.

Occasionally I have a lucent and cogent thought.

The other day, after reading your editorial about women making 75 cents to a man's dollar came out was one of those times.

I fired off a smarmy letter, as is my habit, to Mr. Bolerjack, who, apparently in need of a round of verbal sparring, was considerate enough to ring me up.

As is my style, I suggested that his, and yours, by extension, analysis of the AAUW report was wrong, misleading and downright the result of drinking too much Kool-Aid from the misandric and hate-filled Wimmin's Industries.

I offered to write an op-ed, and was told, no, no, booked far in advance with too many very important articles for that. He did invite me to write a letter, which is very constricted to try and develop the issue. Nonetheless, I enlisted my colleague from the Washington Civil Rights Council, Elisa Teague-Cooper, and we knocked one out. It was not published.

I noticed over the next week that those very important pieces he had scheduled included a darn near verbatim press release from the Governatrix (new press photo here), which is available daily on the Governor's website and another breast-beating puff piece from Jack Oharah, who must be a stepson of someone down there, or if not, I want to see those pictures he must have of someone in your company!

Not what I would consider urgent issues of the day.

This is the second time the Herald has printed that (un)factoid. The first time was in a Job Fair supplement shortly after Ms. Iverson came on board, and when I tried to track that one down, the ad department didn't want to respond, and when they did, through Ms. Iverson's assistance, the deferred responsibility because that article was written by ECC folks. Of course, no where in the tab was there a disclaimer that it was a production of the ad, rather than news department.

So, turning smarmy mode off for a moment, hoping you are still reading, and understanding my warped sense of humor, let’s analyze that AAUW article that was used as the basis of your corporate opinion.

First, let’s apply Mark's acid test, shall we? If true, that you can pay a woman 75 cents to get the same work product you would pay a man to do, why hasn't an entrepreneur fired all the men, hired only women, and by the labor savings kicked the competition's ass?

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 4:06 p.m.

(continued) First, let’s apply Mark's acid test, shall we? If true, that you can pay a woman 75 cents to get the same work product you would pay a man to do, why hasn't an entrepreneur fired all the men, hired only women, and by the labor savings kicked the competition's ass?

Because, it 'taint true, Mr. Funk!

Now, running down the article, I offer the following, some of which I stole from those more articulate than I.

Equal Pay Day has become one of our annual rites of spring. This year the gender victimologists came armed with a new report from the American Association of University Women, Behind the Pay Gap, which purports to show that one year after graduation, women are paid 80% of what men earn.

The AAUW’s press release featured this startling statement: "Women earn less even when working in the same career field, likely due to sex discrimination." So no surprise, you trumpeted the 80% figure like it was revealed truth.

But women who are familiar with the AAUW’s long-standing gender agenda began to question the study.

Mary Kay Ham sardonically wondered why she, as a highly-educated columnist, should be paid less than a dime-a-dozen brain surgeon. To settle the issue, I suggest you download the report and see for yourself. I quickly noticed that the 80% figure is deceptive because it doesn’t take into account differences in work hours, occupational choices, commutes, danger (hence pay) of the job and other key variables.

When you do that, the wage gap shrinks dramatically. As the AAUW report finally admits on page 39: "The regression analysis of earnings one year after graduation for the combined sample of women and men shows a gender pay difference of 5 percent, controlling for educational and occupational choices as well as demographic and personal characteristics."

But it turns out the AAUW study omitted a number of important factors in its analysis, so even the 5% figure is exaggerated.

For example, many men coming out of high school enter the military and later go to college. These men command a bigger paycheck upon graduation. Likewise, men tend to accept big-city jobs with longer commute times. But the AAUW glossed over those facts.

Of greater concern is how the AAUW shoe-horned the many thousands of jobs into 11 broad occupational categories.

For just one example, take the medical profession which is evenly divided between the sexes, compared to nursing which is overwhelmingly female. The AAUW lumped all doctors and nurses into the same "medical professions" group. So you guessed it -- doctors are paid more than nurses, and that’s discrimination!

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 4:07 p.m.

(continued):

And women who major in business administration gravitate to HR, while men often specialize in finance. Employees who manage a corporation’s financial lifeblood tend to be paid well. But the AAUW put both groups into the "business and management" category. Yikes, more discrimination!

This isn’t the first time the American Association of University Women resorted to smoke-and-mirrors research to further its political agenda.

Back in 1992 the AAUW published the report, How Schools Shortchange Girls. The report purported to show that American schoolgirls were being kept down by the ever-present patriarchy. Man, they make those guys sound so powerful, I want to go to their meetings, and join up, but I just can't find them anywhere.

Diane Ravitch, former assistant secretary of education, took issue with that conclusion, saying flatly, "The AAUW report was just completely wrong. What was so bizarre is that it came out right at the time that girls had just overtaken boys in almost every area."

To redeem itself, the AAUW finally came out with a second report. Gender Gaps: Where Schools Still Fail Our Children had to admit that "National data indicate that girls consistently earn either equivalent or higher grades than boys in all subjects at all points in their academic careers."

But that oops-I-goofed document could not reverse the hysteria generated by the first report, which fueled the passage of the Gender Equity in Education Act in 1994, a law that contributes to the boy crisis I first saw near the end of my 13 year service as a school board member, and that we’re now seeing fully developed in education.

Again, this pay gap myth is perpetuated by your editorial, as it was with the Job Fair insert. You demonstrated the same tactic that the misandric and hateful Women's Industry always uses, repeat the same lie, over and over, and eventually it becomes accepted as the truth.

See: Superbowl Sunday, Rule of Thumb, Hospital Emergency room admissions, the whole Title IX issue, and the like.

Is it too much to ask that you take more care in analysis and conclusions in your editorial positions?

And I know you buy the ink, not me, but is it unreasonable to expect that when a local boy has facts and figures that shine some light on the darkness of your conclusions that you do not print even a letter to the editor? A letter signed by me and my colleague from the Washington Civil Rights Council?

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David Dodd May 11, 2009 @ 11:11 a.m.

Okay, Josh, sit down. I have the Department of Labor statistics for 2008. In almost every job category, women lose. Read this report (I don't want to hear about the Labor Department having "an agenda"), and then tell me why I'm wrong and you're right...

http://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat39.pdf

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David Dodd May 9, 2009 @ 1:55 p.m.

"This is the same as the people out there that foolishly believe women make less than men for doing the same jobs."

Dude, women make less money than men for doing the same job. Not only that, but women often don't even get the opportunity to hold that job, regardless that they are just as qualified. I don't know what planet you're living on my friend, but it isn't the same one I am currently on.

Is it better than it used to be? Sure, thanks to some people becoming enlightened. Is it equal? No way. Josh, your perception is incorrect and there are plenty of statistics to prove it.

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thestoryteller May 9, 2009 @ 6:04 p.m.

Not only are the household duties seen as a woman's responsibility, but then it's considered "not doing anything." When I was dating, guys would want to know if I had ever worked; or, before I became a mother, did I have a career. What nerve! They didn't consider being a mother a career because they couldn't be one. They'd ask me up front what I did and how much education I had, as if I was in a job interview. I can't think of a bigger turn off than for a man to discount the worth of a stay-at-home mom. It's totally unmanly.

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rickeysays May 12, 2009 @ 7:17 p.m.

It often amazes me how human beings cling to their beliefs in spite of evidence and reasoning which should lead them to reconsider, but then I remember how humans cling to religion, and I'm reminded how many people just believe what they choose to believe, not because it makes sense or evidence supports it, but just because they want to.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 8:51 p.m.

on a side note: shelly actually makes the same as Dave and Cookie Chainsaw. she's lucky, because she really doesn't deserve to.

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sattin May 9, 2009 @ 3:14 p.m.

Josh, In one sense I agree with your premise that we all have jobs to do in the home, and that we can't put a monetary value on all those things. However, I wish you would refrain from the sexual stereotyping. I am a woman who is currently the bread-winner in our household, and, especially with today's economy, that is not a unique situation by any means.

Also, Mindy is SO RIGHT! In many cases, regardless of which partner works outside the home, for some reason most of the household duties are seen as the wife's responsibility. For example, if a man does the dishes or the laundry, he is "helping." What's that all about???? And I won't even get into child care! True, the husband is often the one with the lawn-mowing duties, perhaps a once-a-week chore at most...

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Josh Board May 9, 2009 @ 8:55 p.m.

I agree with the above post. I think being a stay-at-home mom is often HARDER than a job a man has to do. I just hate when women start saying they would make X-amount of dollars to do that job.

Really? Let's check what a daycare price is, a maid, and the meals the guy would pay for and see.

And, for any of you that think women make less, you're sadly mistaken. First off...in the government sector, there are pay scales. And, from my experience at the post office...women got paid the same, and actually DID LESS WORK, as they weren't required to do the heavy lifting involved (even though they were required to pass a test showing they could lift a 50 lb package).

In firefighters and cops tests, they lowered the physical requirements for women. Why? If a firefighter has to be able to put a 200 pound man over their shoulder and walk down stairs, a woman should, too.

And, that Marilyn Von S (?) woman who does a sydnicated column, and has one of the highest IQs in the world, said she doesn't think women make less than men.

For all you that disagree, please...tell me which profession. Or which company, and I"ll gladly look into it.

Because...first off...if a woman is making less than her male counterparts, can't she ask for a raise? And if she isn't given one, she can go to where her services are more desired?

Or, can't she get the ACLU or some organization?

The simple answer is...when they do these surveys, they find out...."Oh...women lawyers on average make $125,000 a year, and male attorneys are making on average, $180,000 a year...therefore, women make less than men."

This is NOT how you figure out things like that. Because, I know a female attorney who told me she made significantly less than her male co-worker who started the same time as her, because she refused to put in the extra hours. She WANTED TO GO HOME and make dinner and be with her kids.

So....start telling me the professions and the different pay scales, and I'll do all the research.

You guys are going to quickly find out you're wrong, and yuo're buying into whatever agenda the group is that releases those bogus things.

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SDaniels May 9, 2009 @ 11:26 p.m.

"I think being a stay-at-home mom is often HARDER than a job a man has to do."

Uh huh. Your point was...?

" I just hate when women start saying they would make X-amount of dollars to do that job."

What are you talking about?

"Really? Let's check what a daycare price is, a maid, and the meals the guy would pay for and see."

Yes, let's. Let's check out daycare prices, Josh. And a maid, and a chef, as you mentioned before.

"For all you that disagree, please...tell me which profession. Or which company, and I"ll gladly look into it."

You should look into it before you write the column, Josh. It is--again-- called journalistic integrity. Before you make statements you regret, and conveniently decide how flexible you are when someone changes your mind.

"And, for any of you that think women make less, you're sadly mistaken. First off...in the government sector, there are pay scales. And, from my experience at the post office...women got paid the same..."

What really is one to do with this "proof"? I guess that covers all sectors, and possible variations. Check.

"Because...first off...if a woman is making less than her male counterparts, can't she ask for a raise? And if she isn't given one, she can go to where her services are more desired?

Or, can't she get the ACLU or some organization?"

Well? You're the journalist. What do you think, based on your research?

"This is NOT how you figure out things like that. Because, I know a female attorney who told me she made significantly less than her male co-worker who started the same time as her, because she refused to put in the extra hours. She WANTED TO GO HOME and make dinner and be with her kids."

How does one "figure" "things like that," Josh? Can you tell us how this example proves anything? How do you "figure?"

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 11:17 a.m.

First, refried...you tell me to throw the government sector out. Why? It's a large part of employement in the U.S. Second, let's take crappy jobs...waitressing, etc...anything paying minimum wage or around that. There's no difference in men/women, we all agree, right? I'd even bet, (I've read this anyway) that women make more at waitressing then waiters. I think it had to do with men usually paying the bill at restaurants, and tipping a waitress more than a waiter.

So, we all agree in the government and in low paying jobs, there's no difference.

So, please....give me the jobs where there is a difference. I don't need to do the research until you guys tell me where. I've already read people say there is no difference. From the people that really matter, and write the stories unbiased (not some womens group).

Tell me refried...tell me one private sector company. Geico, Pepsi Co, Wal-Mart....give me one company, where the guy makes a dollar to the womans 80 cents. It just doesn't make sense, and it's a bogus stat.

mike1: I worked for five years at the Carmel Mountain post office, doing overnights. During that time, I spent 3 years keying mail for the PB branch (typing in all the streets in Pacific Beach). I also sorted mail, would occasionally work on the dock loading the trucks. I would occasionally work in the P.O. Box section, putting mail in those. I would sometimes work in 150...which was sorting mail that didn't fit in the machines (ie post cards, or envelopes that someone decided to put an item in and made them a weird shape).

I also worked for two years on a machine that sorted the mail for the carriers.

oh, and two months delivering mail in Encinitas (boy, that is a hard job!)

And...all the things I saw women refuse to do that men had to do: Sweeping mail, when the tubs got filled from the machines that sorted them (not all women, but enough that it was annoying). When we had to "cut the mail"...which meant taking the trays off the APC's.

So again...for all you people that think this is the case, just give me one company: Qualcomm, Sony, any...and I'll look into that company. What you'll find is that the stat is the most bogus stat ever.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 11:24 a.m.

Two other things: SD, aren't you a teacher? Well, that's yet another profession. Are you guys saying female teachers make less than male teachers? No. And, what you'll end up seeing, when you throw out ANY profession, that it just isn't the case.

Writers. Do female journalists make less than men? Not at any of the publications I worked.

Radio. To this day, my friend Peg claimed that as the afternoon DJ and music director, she was paid so low because she was female. I then had to explain to her...that our morning show, which got decent ratings (we were ranked somewhere in the middle of the San Diego market), yet we were all men, and paid the lowest of any other morning show in this market.

Our program director was a man. He was paid the lowest of any other PD in the SD market.

Yet, here was a WOMAN that made the conclusion, because she was paid crap, that it was because she was a woman.

It was faulty logic.

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David Dodd May 10, 2009 @ 12:12 p.m.

Josh, the gender wage gap in 2008 was at 79.9 (men being 100), this is a fact that you can research on your own rather than for me to stick a bunch of links in here. Since this INCLUDES the government sector, and since we've established that government employees (including teachers, post office workers, etc.) show much less of a gender bias, then feel free to adjust that number DOWNWARD in order to apply it to the private sector. The historical high of the equity of gender wages was 81.0 in 2005.

One quick article you can read is here:

http://www.iwpr.org/pdf/C350.pdf

Their sources are from the U.S. Census Bureau.

You can wish to BELIEVE that women and men are paid equally, I certainly would love to hear that if it were true, but the FACT is that they aren't. If I were to write a story about there being no real wage gap, then I would have to make sure that everyone knew it was FICTIONAL.

I enjoy reading a lot of your stuff, Josh, but every once in a while you throw something like this out and I just sit here and scratch my head. Are you purposefully trying to be controversial? In this case, the facts are very easy to research, and there is no controversy about it. Facts is facts.

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mike1 May 10, 2009 @ 12:41 p.m.

Josh, How can I make the transition from the PO to radio? : ) You have put your time in and I can't argue your personal experience. However if a person is hired to do a job and has the physical stamina to do it, man or woman, then that person should do it. Anybody can slack off and if it becomes a regular occurrence, then I would think the other workers picking up the slack would start to grumble. Where was the supervisor? I can only repeat that the female carriers do the same job as the male carriers. You can't give away your heavy parcels. Believe me I try. : )

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 3:14 p.m.

mike, let me ask you this. i totally agree female letter carries do the same job. it's not like on Pennysaver day, the females don't have to lug that extra mail around. but...let me ASK YOU THIS: do women carriers make less than males?

you see, here's what I've found out over 15 years of debating this subject. i've talked to hundreds on this, and at every persons job, there is no pay difference. so please, instead of people posting links and stats, tell me what company has a pay descripency. the simple fact is, you won't find them.

when i researched this years ago for a debate...i found that what these womens groups did was they'd find out what lawyers make. and, the male lawyers made on average, a certain amount. the female attorneys a bit less. they didn't dig deeper, but once people did, they found reasons for that. there was the woman that didn't want to work the extra hours. another that didn't want to become partner. another that claimed she felt she was underpaid, but never asked for a raise because she was content and happy, whereas her male counterparts, she said, always demanded raises, and usually got them.

so again, i say this:

tell me which jobs women make less. or which companies. name them.

name a profession.

do female journalists make less than males?

i know in entertainment, it all goes out the window. the first actor to make a million bucks was Liz Taylor for Cleaopatra.

so, somebody tell me which profesion it is that they make less, or which company (i'll read the link that refriend posted right now)

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 3:20 p.m.

mike...it was the opposite. I made transition from radio to P.O (while between jobs, I decided to give my dads profession a try). My experience there also makes me not care for unions much, either. Yet another debate for another day.

refried, you are right about one thing. I try for topics like this on occasion to spur debate and discussion. So that was kind of my goal, but I never do that just for that reason. I know I take a stand on some things that most disagree with me on.

I just checked out your link. It was ridiculous. What in the world do you think the Istitute for Women's Policy Research is for? As they state: to promote the needs of women.

Yeah, that's hardly an unbiased source.

Adam Carolla used to joke about how women SHOULD make less, because unlike a man that would go out drinking until 4 a.m. and then be on the construction site two hours later (as he witnessed), they'd take two days off if a relationship ended, because they're home in bed crying.

Now, he says all that for comedic value, but he feels the same way I do on the subject. You get paid to do a job, and it really makes no sense for a boss, or employees, to let anyone get away with paying anyone less for doing the same job, based on gender. And there's just no proof it happens with any regularity.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 3:38 p.m.

Geez...you guys are making me do research. From the Washington Post:

About 10 years ago, a group of graduate students lodged a complaint with Linda C. Babcock, a professor of economics at Carnegie Mellon University: All their male counterparts in the university's PhD program were teaching courses on their own, whereas the women were working only as teaching assistants.

That mattered, because doctoral students who teach their own classes get more experience and look better prepared when it comes time to go on the job market.

When Babcock took the complaint to her boss, she learned there was a very simple explanation: "The dean said each of the guys had come to him and said, 'I want to teach a course,' and none of the women had done that," she said. "The female students had expected someone to send around an e-mail saying, 'Who wants to teach?' " The incident prompted Babcock to start systematically studying gender differences when it comes to asking for pay raises, resources or promotions. And what she found was that men and women are indeed often different when it comes to opening negotiations.

These differences, Babcock and other researchers have concluded, may partially explain the persistent gender gap in salaries, as well as other disparities in how people rise to the top of organizations. Women working full time earn about 77 percent of the salaries of men working full time, Babcock said. That figure does not take differing professions and educational levels into account, but when those and other factors are controlled for, women who work full time and have never taken time off to have children earn about 11 percent less than men with equivalent education and experience.

In one early study, Babcock brought 74 volunteers into a laboratory to play a word game called Boggle. The volunteers were told they would be paid anywhere from $3 to $10 for their time. After playing the game, each student was given $3 and asked if the sum was okay. Eight times more men than women asked for more money.

Babcock then ran the experiment a different way. She told a new set of 153 volunteers that they would be paid $3 to $10 but explicitly added that the sum was negotiable. Many more now asked for more money, but the gender gap remained substantial: 58 percent of the women, but 83 percent of the men, asked for more.

Another study quizzed graduating master's degree students who had received job offers about whether they had simply accepted the offered starting salary or had tried to negotiate for more. Four times as many men -- 51 percent of the men vs. 12.5 percent of the women -- said they had pushed for a better deal. Not surprisingly, those who negotiated tended to be rewarded -- they got 7.4 percent more, on average -- compared with those who did not negotiate.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 3:39 p.m.

(continued)

Although differences in starting salaries are usually modest, small differences can have big effects down the road. If a 22-year-old man and a 22-year-old woman are offered $25,000 for their first job, for example, and one of them negotiates the amount up to $30,000, then over the next 28 years, the negotiator would make $361,171 more, assuming they both got 3 percent raises each year. And this is without taking into account the fact that the negotiators don't just get better starting pay; they also win bigger raises over the course of their careers.

The traditional explanation for the gender differences that Babcock found is that men are simply more aggressive than women, perhaps because of a combination of genetics and upbringing. The solution to gender disparities, this school of thought suggests, is to train women to be more assertive and to ask for more. However, a new set of experiments by Babcock and Hannah Riley Bowles, who studies the psychology of organizations at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, offers an entirely different explanation.

Their study, which was coauthored by Carnegie Mellon researcher Lei Lai, found that men and women get very different responses when they initiate negotiations. Although it may well be true that women often hurt themselves by not trying to negotiate, this study found that women's reluctance was based on an entirely reasonable and accurate view of how they were likely to be treated if they did. Both men and women were more likely to subtly penalize women who asked for more -- the perception was that women who asked for more were "less nice".

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David Dodd May 10, 2009 @ 6:34 p.m.

Josh, you seem to be looking for one single story to justify your belief. Since you believe that the U.S. Census is somehow biased, I'm lost. I looked for stats on misogyny.com and gynophobia.com but they didn't list them for some reason. Unfortunately, most sites that keep these statistics are interested in the welfare of women. Imagine that.

Since you're friends with the KOGO folks, I reckon that you could find out who makes more money, LaDona Harvey or Chip Franklin. And then, consider the number of years that one or the other has been in radio. If LaDona makes more than Chip, I'll kiss your butt in public. We can sell tickets and raise money for a charity. That charity should be devoted for the betterment of male understanding of women's issues. Like how women often make less than men and often aren't hired into positions they are worthy of holding, simply because of their gender.

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Josh Board May 10, 2009 @ 8:49 p.m.

Thank you, refried. Above, you just proved my point. THANK YOU SO MUCH.

The example you gave is perfect. I'll take it a step further, using the "entertainment field". Linda Hamilton was pissed that she would be paid a mere $750,000 to do Terminator II, while Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to get $12 million. Now refried, why do you think that is?

Why do you think a no-talent like Nicolas Cage probably makes 10 mil more per film then a super-talent like Meryl Streep? Perhaps because...it's all about who brings people into the seats.

LaDonna is a newscaster. Just like Shelly Dunn at KGB. They have very little "talent". Chip did stand-up comedy, wrote for The Tonight Show, and has an amazing wit (which is rarely scene on his morning show, as it's more news oriented).

Why should Shelly at KGB, make what Dave and Cookie Chainsaw Randolph make, when they are the ones writing humorous content? Any morning show can grab a woman (or man) to read news copy off the wire, or take stories out of the U-T. It's not a tough gig.

LaDona may have been in radio 10 years more, but life in entertainment isn't based on seniority. In radio, it's ratings.

Another example, would be the traffic lady for KGB (Ruth 66). Everyone would agree, she's not the sharpest tool in the shed. Yet, when Shelly is gone, she does the news. And she sounds fine (for the most part).

refried...you fail to realize, that these groups all have an agenda when they release this statistics. Did you read what it said, about doctors and nurses being lumped into the same category? And, years ago, I heard the same thing when it came to lawyers. They lumped them all into the same category, even though the women were admitting to why they didn't deserve as much as their male counterparts.

What you (and others) have to do is, see if a story or stat passes the smell test. Instead of just having the knee-jerk reaction, ask yourself how it's possible that women would make less. Why they'd let it happen. Why a company wouldn't just hire all women, and save a fortune, ETC ETC ETC.

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David Dodd May 10, 2009 @ 11:14 p.m.

"Linda Hamilton was pissed that she would be paid a mere $750,000 to do Terminator II, while Arnold Schwarzenegger was going to get $12 million. Now refried, why do you think that is?"

This is because Hollywood is a male-dominated industry. Hamilton should have been insulted, she's twenty-times the actor that Arnold is.

"LaDona may have been in radio 10 years more, but life in entertainment isn't based on seniority. In radio, it's ratings."

Check them there ratings. First of all, LaDona never had a shot at hosting. Second, Chip should go back to Baltimore. He's terrible, she's good. Third, I want to see exactly how much better the ratings are at KOGO in that slot now as compared to four years ago. Chip and LaDona are TALENT. An interesting exersize would be to find out how many women hosts there are compared to male hosts.

"refried...you fail to realize, that these groups all have an agenda when they release this statistics."

Josh, the U.S. Census Bureau, under Bush no less, did not have any agenda when it came to gender equity in pay. I linked a simple article. Their statistics were referenced, it wasn't intended to be biased. These are real numbers.

In the future, I'll blog about my experiences over the years, seeing women in the workplace accepting less because of gender. I can't do it now, but I will do it soon. I promise you, Josh, even though it's better than it was fifty years ago, it's still there, reeking, stinking, and making me ashamed that I was tacitly a part of it.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:21 a.m.

refried...you're sinking fast in this argument. You are claiming that because Hollywood is male dominant, that's why Linda Hamilton got less for Terminator. Maybe it's because the studios pay what they have to. If they could've gotten away with giving Ah-nold only $750,000, they would've. Do you realize how insane that statement is? Hollywood would have no problem giving a woman $25 million a film, if they brought in the box office. And that's why people like Julia Roberts, or Cameron Diaz, briefly made that kind of money.

And also...what did you think after reading those things I posted? You can't tell me you read them, yet have no comments on the strong arguments presented in there.

The example of the college, where women complained they weren't giving a course to teach, only being teacher assistants. And the FEMALE that was in charge of it all wondering why, only to state that it's because the men "asked" and the women didn't.

Stuff like that is all you need to know, mixed with the other "reasons", such as doctors and nurses being lumped into the category of "medical field, women make significantly less than men."

Is that really the same thing? No, it's not. Believe me, when I first heard those stats, I believed them do. But when that Marilyn Von (?) woman who does a syndicated column, and has the highest IQ, said she doesn't believe women make less, and she brought up all the reasons why...well, I had to side with her.

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SDaniels May 11, 2009 @ 12:30 a.m.

"What you (and others) have to do is, see if a story or stat passes the smell test. Instead of just having the knee-jerk reaction, ask yourself how it's possible that women would make less."

Josh, there is a whole history behind this issue that you, my friend, seem to ignore. You are the prince of knee-jerk reactions. "How is it possible that women make less?" Do you recall taking any history courses? Sociology? This simply isn't worth arguing about. If you want to pick on a pertinent detail, and talk about social change, hey, I might be interested. Jesus.

On a side note: Dave? Shelly? Chainsaw? Damn, they are still around? I haven't listened to KGB (if that is still the call) for about 15 years...

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:31 a.m.

Here it is: Marilyn vos Savant writes the "Ask Marilyn" column in Parade Magazine. She is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records Hall of Fame for "highest IQ." This is Marilyn's explanation of why the widely-quoted statement "women, on average, earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men" is a misunderstanding and why she believes the wage gap between the sexes actually may be tiny. The results of her poll about men and women in the workplace follow it.


Q - Some time ago, you polled your readers for their opinions about men and women in the workplace, and I put in my 2 cents. I’m still waiting to read the results. Can it be that they are too controversial to publish? - Herb Millspaugh, San Francisco, Calif.

A - No, but they’re surprising, all right! Before the survey, I replied to a question about the claim that women are paid less than men for equal work by writing: "But if their work is equal, why aren’t employers slashing their payroll costs by hiring women instead of men? In a free market, businesses are highly competitive, and if they’re paying men more than they pay women, there must be a reason."

One reason, I wrote, might be that women often have less experience because of years spent at home raising children. During that time, men and women with unbroken careers have built customer bases, cultivated professional relationships and stayed in touch with developments in their industries. Those employees are going to be worth more, and that’s only fair.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:33 a.m.

(before continued)...SD, why does everyone think there needs to be "social change"? To what? Having nurses make as much as doctors? Or to having a female teacher make as much as Kobe Bryant? The world doesn't work that way. Now, back to Marilyn (a woman, by the way):

The National Committee on Pay Equity wrote to complain about that assessment. It blamed sex discrimination instead: "Women, on average, earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to men. Some of the gap is attributable to experience, education and time taken out of the workforce to raise children. But there is plenty of evidence that shows wage discrimination exists. We routinely hear from women who discover that they are paid less than equally qualified men."

This is a common misunderstanding, based on an inflammatory misinterpretation of Census Bureau survey statistics: The "77 cents on the dollar" figure is simply the weekly median (meaning middle: an equal number of women above and below) earnings figure ($473) of all working women divided by the weekly median earnings figure ($618) of all working men. These figures include everyone from dishwashers to physicists and have nothing whatsoever to do with equal pay for equal work. Yet the misleading phrase "77 cents on the dollar" has been the impetus for lawsuits and legislation, not to mention the source of unnecessary fury on the part of both sexes.

In short, much of the "wage gap" is due to experience, education and delayed or broken careers, plus the fact that women are concentrated in lower-paying occupations. It is possible that very little equal-pay-for-equal-work gap exists at all. Note: Equal qualifications don’t produce equal performance in the workplace. Just because employees complain that they’re not being paid as much as others doesn’t mean their complaints are justified: Both male and female employees routinely fail to recognize their own personal shortcomings, and both complain about not being paid as much as fellow workers who they believe are equal or inferior to themselves.

To be convinced of any real equal-pay-for-equal-work gap, first we must see unbiased studies that show men and women working in the same jobs and producing the same results but with unequal pay. And even that isn’t enough. Then we must consider relevant additional factors, and there are many. For example, employees with management potential may be paid more. If women are perceived to have less ability to handle positions of more responsibility, they could lose some ground here.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:34 a.m.

(continued) To see if women are considered equally capable and valuable in other ways (that is, excluding management potential) by the public itself -- not by employers -- readers were asked to fill out a questionnaire. The results (shown below) were amazing. There wasn’t a single job for which the vast majority (say, 90%) of the readers answered that "it made no difference." And the only job for which even a simple majority (over 50%) of the readers actually preferred a woman was a babysitter, and that turned out to be the vast majority (about 90%). The runner-up (and still under 50%) was soothing angry customers -- handling complaints! So that’s how we see it. Are we right or are we wrong? Are men and women equal or unequal?

If any unfair gap exists, litigation can help with situational inequities, but lawsuits make the stereotype worse, because they imply that women, as a group, need special help and are incapable of competing with men on their own. (For example, forced hiring and promoting has cast a cloud of doubt over all women.) On the other hand, if employers are not seriously biased -- and the pay differences are for good reasons -- I believe that forcing equality in pay is unfair to men.

In my judgment, women are capable of far more than they currently demonstrate, but to realize their full professional potential -- whatever that may be -- they would need to give up the home values they cherish, and I doubt that will happen. As I once wrote, "Money, power and fame are not most mothers’ goals." Nor should they be.


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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:36 a.m.

(to me, the following survey she did doesn't show me much. I was more interested when she asked to hear from bosses and workers, to tell them stories that supported either side. I never saw that, but would like to). The survey: Survey Results: Here's how 7,758 readers felt about men and women in the workplace:

Q - Whom would you rather hire as a full-time babysitter while you work?

Of the men, 4% chose a man, 91% chose a woman, and 5% said it made no difference. Of the women, 2% chose a man, 90% chose a woman, and 8% said it made no difference.

Q - Whose voice do you trust more when you call computer tech support?

Of the men, 57% chose a man, 4% chose a woman, and 39% said it made no difference. Of the women, 44% chose a man, 7% chose a woman, and 49% said it made no difference.

Q - Whose voice do you prefer to hear when you call a complaint department?

Of the men, 18% chose a man, 43% chose a woman, and 39% said it made no difference. Of the women, 14% chose a man, 27% chose a woman, and 59% said it made no difference.

Q - Whom would you prefer to pilot your airplane when you travel?

Of the men, 69% chose a man, 2% chose a woman, and 29% said it made no difference. Of the women, 51% chose a man, 3% chose a woman, and 46% said it made no difference.

Q - When buying a home, with which owner would you prefer to negotiate on the price?

Of the men, 40% chose a man, 23% chose a woman, and 37% said it made no difference. Of the women, 28% chose a man, 22% chose a woman, and 50% said it made no difference.

Q - Whom would you prefer to perform your heart surgery?

Of the men, 59% chose a man, 2% chose a woman, and 39% said it made no difference. Of the women, 38% chose a man, 6% chose a woman, and 56% said it made no difference.

Q - If you could have an agent negotiate for your pay, whom would you prefer?

Of the men, 64% chose a man, 9% chose a woman, and 27% said it made no difference. Of the women, 51% chose a man, 14% chose a woman, and 35% said it made no difference.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:39 a.m.

The last segment of the survey. And SD, I'm curious as to WHY you think Marilyn (in Guinness with highest IQ on the planet), would feel this way. Is she just naive? Is she a woman hater? What? What reason does she have to feel this way? I think she just uses logic perfectly, and knows this whole debate is a crock of s***. Survey continued: Q - If necessary, which could the workforce more readily do without?

Of the men, 3% chose the men, 77% chose the women, and 20% said it made no difference. Of the women, 9% chose the men, 37% chose the women, and 54% said it made no difference.

Q - Should we teach our daughters that they have a choice between having a career and staying at home?

Of the men, 83% said "yes" and 17% said "no." Of the women, 77% said "yes" and 23% said "no."

Q - Should we teach our sons that they have a choice between having a career and staying at home?

Of the men, 28% said "yes" and 72% said "no." Of the women, 40% said "yes" and 60% said "no."

Q - Say that you’re an employer hiring a new college graduate for a career position. Over the first few years, you will spend $250,000 on this person as he or she gains experience. Which -- a man or a woman -- do you think is more likely to quit for personal reasons? (Say, to become a full-time parent, follow a spouse to a new location or stop work after marriage.)

Of the men, 11% chose a man, 83% chose a woman, and 6% said it made no difference. Of the women, 7% chose a man, 82% chose a woman, and 11% said it made no difference

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 12:55 a.m.

I loved the last line. I actually did LOL, and think I woke up my girlfriend!

Just keep in mind, refried, before you do all this hard research...think about what it is you're posting. Is it some womens group, that is just spouting facts? Because, you've yet to answer, why it makes sense that they are saying "medical professions" and lumping (mostly) male doctors, with (mostly) female nurses, and then acting so dumbfounded that women make significantly less!

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 10:07 a.m.

Here's the problem, yet again. Let's say nurses are underpaid. I have NO PROBLEM conceeding that point. I have no problem saying teachers are underpaid (and I'm guessing a majority of teachers are female). But so what? What does that mean? Should we pay nurses $100,000 a year? What about teachers? It's the same argument I get in with people that think athletes make way to much money. Well, if a plumber, or nurse, teacher, can hit a 90 mile an hour fastball, they could play for the Dodgers.

If we lived in a society where we share the wealth (I'll avoid saying that dreaded "s" word that Republicans like to throw out when talking about Obama)...that just wouldn't work. You can't pay doctors the same that you pay nurses, or teachers the same that you pay a lawyer.

If you don't like your pay, you can go to school, or do whatever it takes to go into the profession that pays more.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 1:06 p.m.

I'll read this in a little bit. I'm swamped right now. Obviously, I don't think the "labor department" has an agenda, but I will say this. If I read what you have posted a link to, and they didn't do the stats properly, you'll lose ALL CREDIBILITY.

You understood my point about the medical profession. Well, there better not be stuff like that, we're they are lumping all teachers into one category, when there may be more male college professors, then there are female pre-school teachers, and we all know which of those two should make more, right?

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rickeysays May 11, 2009 @ 11:27 p.m.

Josh has done a great job proving his point in these posts, which shouldn't even be necessary. You can figure this one out logically. In a free market people get paid what they're worth. If a woman is worth more than she's making she can ask for a raise or seek a new job, same as a guy. Many jobs have pay scales where everyone in a position makes the same. The jobs where your compensation is based on what you bring in to the company (sales, etc) it makes no sense for there to be discrimination, because a company would be hurting itself by not treating a productive woman the same as a man. The people who cling to this belief of disparity in spite of logic are those with a particular world-view. They see a difference in outcomes as proof of a difference in opportunity. It is not. This country does not promise equal rewards. It promises equal opportunity. What you do with it is up to you.

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Josh Board May 11, 2009 @ 11:27 p.m.

Okay refried..I looked at the chart. The problem with it is...it really doesn't tell us the details. And, why have you not answered about all those posts I have above. About women not asking for raises. Or not asking to teach classes at the university. As I said...when that Marilyn looked into the lawyers, since she constantly heard that female attorneys made less, or were less often asked to become partners in the firm...she found it was THEIR OWN CHOOSING. They decided they didn't want to put in the long hours their male co-workers did (not all women, but the majority she surveyed).

And tell me why a woman wouldn't ask for more money, if she's so grossly underpaid.

Basically, women are not paid less for doing the same job. If you think that, you're simply naive.

And you've yet to tell me of one company that does this. I'm tired of bull**** stats at this point. You tell me a company. Coca-Cola, Geico, UPS, any company. And I'll look into if that's the case. On my own time.

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David Dodd May 11, 2009 @ 11:46 p.m.

Josh, you're sort of openly dismissing true statistics at this point. Would you enjoy a couple of empirical observasions I received today?

  1. Merchant seamen and seawomen make the same wage, according to the position they hold, and despite their accumen and/or skill level. In fact, I find that in such a masculine profession, women who are negligent and/or unskilled are, more often than not, tolerated to the detriment of a vessel's saftey in order to avoid the appearance of sexism or bias.

However, in my former profession, community mental health, I was paid a higher wage simply because I was a male in a female dominated field. And the unspoken reasoning was that they could stack my caseload with the violent and the sex-offending "clients" that female caseworkers would be "at risk" being alone with. Of course, when I was assaulted in the course of the day it was more of a joke, and less of an "incident" to my superiors than when similar things happened to the females. I feel I earned that extra 1,500 a year simply because I did suffer injury and insult at a much higher rate. Which begs the question: Does machismo count as a qualification?

  1. In my accounting practice I see the financial gender gap played often. My corp clients will still state the old "a man has to support a family and a woman is only earning 'second salary'" line. "A man won't get pregnant and have to take long leave." On and on come the excuses for the level of wages and the percentage of wage increase year after year. Chills me to the bone.

Odd how many rationalizations there are for the containment of second class citizenship, whether it be in regard to the workplace or social environments - whether the second class ruling is bestowed on gender, race, or economic bracket. Chills me to the bone.

  1. The first time it happened to me, I worked at a bronze foundry once as a wax pourer. Loved the job. The only other woman who worked there was the receptionist. One day, a guy who had been hired the same week as me mentioned that he had gotten three pay increases since he had been hired. I had received none. I went to management, mentioned the discrepancy, and asked if my work needed improvement. They insisted that they loved my work, I was fabulous employee, and it was merely an oversight that they would correct. They fired me three days later saying they had received numerous complaints from artists about my attitude. Complaints that they failed to mention earlier from artists I rarely if ever interacted with.
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David Dodd May 11, 2009 @ 11:46 p.m.

Josh, I read what you wrote. You want a woman to beg for a raise because that's what a man is expected to do? I supervised a lot of people in my years. I gave them regular reviews. As many women as men came to me in between their reviews asking for raises. I never made a distinction of sex when considering such requests, and I mostly stuck to company guidelines when granting them. But the women made less money. I was overruled many times wanting to grant raises to women.

Josh, buddy, it's 2009. Much of the corporate world still lives in 1955. Just sayin'.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 10:43 a.m.

refried...I have spoken to 100 women on the subject. A majority of them feel women make less, because they hear these stats. But guess what? When I ask them about their jobs, they ALWAYS told me they were paid the same, or more, than male co-workers. Why do you think that is?

Am I saying a woman has to beg for a raise? Are you insane? Most companies don't just give raises, people ask for them. And, if there's a difference (and the stats I provided show there is)...men ask for them more often. Whether that's playing a game of Boggle for money or becoming teachers, or whatever.

And, think about what rickeysays said. Why would a woman not ask for more money if she's underpaid? It's a free market. If you aren't paid what you're worth, go to another place of employement.

The problem you, and most of society, have is that you hear these stats, and just immediate think the world is a horrible place. Instead of analyzing what these stats mean.

Now, when I hear that businesses won't hire African-Americans as much as Caucasians, I thought about that. And I figured that was probably true. Becuase if most bosses that do the hiring are white, they probably felt more comfortable hiring a white person, even if they are no more qualified then the black person they interviewed the day before. So I totally support programs that make sure businesses have a certain percentage of African-Americans working for them (although I sometimes fault the way they go about these things, or the way someone like Jesse Jackson tries to bully companies into paying him, instead of actually hiring more African-Americans, or he'll threaten boycotts).

So, with race...this country still has problems in the hiring. With gender, they do not.

As we all know, a business is in the job of making money. And 90% of the time, they don't give a crap about the employee. They just want to make money off them. If they could pay them minimum wage, they would.

So, if they can get away with paying someone less (a woman, or a meek man that won't ask for a raise)...they're going to do it. It's up to a woman, to ask for more. If she doesn't, it's really hard to have sympathy. Or to act like there's some kind of problem with the world.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 10:48 a.m.

...also refried, do you realize the example you used about being fired, totally proved my point? You see, had you been a woman, you would INSIST that is why women make less. Because when they ask for more, they are fired. Yet, the reality is...if you ask for more, two things happen. You'll either get more, or you'll be fired (or, you'll be told no, and just be an unhappy employee, which both parties know won't work well).

When I worked in the post office (as I've said before, the females paid the same, often did less work)....one cute gal named Makia, got weekends off. She had just started there, and everyone was mad about this. Everybody else got two days off, but they weren't on weekends. Only people with high seniority got those.

She made the mistake of telling someone that the reason she got weekends off was she told them in the job interview, that on weekends she takes care of a disabled aunt, which was a lie.

When other employees saw her at clubs on weekends, they ratted her out to the bosses, who did nothing about it. THey were all upset. And as I told them, "Don't be mad at Makia. It's not her fault. She made a demand, and they gave it to her. You can tell the bosses you have a sick relative. Or, you can tell them you've worked here 3 years longer than Makia, and should have the option of getting weekends off." They're response was, "Well...they won't care." Well then...you can quit. Or you can first tell them they'll be losing some good employees, because they are treating them unfairly.

Now, Makia was a woman. And she was African-American. Those two things had NOTHING to do with why she was getting special treatment from bosses (three of which were black, two were white, two were Latino, two were Philippino). It had to do with her asking for something and getting it. It's what makes the world go 'round.

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 10:51 a.m.

rickeysays wrote:

"The people who cling to this belief of disparity in spite of logic are those with a particular world-view. They see a difference in outcomes as proof of a difference in opportunity."

Gosh, rickeysays, where'd you go? We had nature v. nurture to get out of the way first, and you left me chilling on the shower mat.

I would like to hear rickesays's interpretation of these two sentences. They are prettily constructed, but a little enigmatic.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 3:32 p.m.

refried...I have a number of questions for you. First, as was brought up earlier -- why doesn't a business open and hire all women? They can pay them significantly less, and make a huge profit. Now...why do you think that logic wouldn't work?

Second, if you bought a company that had two accountants. One was a male, making $70,000 a year. The other was a female, making $60,000. You look into it, and both are great employees, have both been there the same length of time. And, your business pulls in close to a million a year in profits. What do you do in this situation?

Third, here is the problem with all your stats. I think (wait..scratch that), I know that men are better drivers than women. Yet, I know for a fact that women get less tickets and are involved in less accidents. Now, do I need to explain why those stats are that way? I don't think I do, but I hardly think it shows which gender is the better driver.

And lastly...I think women have it tougher in the work place. They have sexual harassment (even mild forms that you wouldn't be able to complain about). I think when a woman boss is mean, she can be labeled a "bitch" where a man doesn't get that label if he's tough. And there are lots of other reasons. I just think, in this day and age, it's silly to think women make less. I've yet to speak to a woman that has had that experience.

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David Dodd May 12, 2009 @ 3:43 p.m.

Josh,

I don't think that the world is a horrible place. I don't think that everyone is guilty of gender bias. I didn't invent the statistics from the D.O.L., but they are what they are.

As per your questions:

  1. "First, as was brought up earlier -- why doesn't a business open and hire all women? They can pay them significantly less, and make a huge profit. Now...why do you think that logic wouldn't work?"

Many business do hire more women than men, especially in areas of assembly and small manufacturing. This is precisely because they earn less and are generally content earning less. I once supervised a sewing department. I once hired one man, and he was a very good sewer, but he constantly pestered me for raises. The women only occasionally would ask about a wage increase. He finally left because he could earn more money somewhere else doing something else.

  1. "Second, if you bought a company that had two accountants. One was a male, making $70,000 a year. The other was a female, making $60,000. You look into it, and both are great employees, have both been there the same length of time. And, your business pulls in close to a million a year in profits. What do you do in this situation?"

This is easy. If I have the money, I give the woman a raise. If I don't have the money, I cut the man's salary to $65,000 and give the woman $5000 more. This is presuming that they are equally talented, as per your premise.

(continued...)

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David Dodd May 12, 2009 @ 3:49 p.m.

  1. "Third, here is the problem with all your stats. I think (wait..scratch that), I know that men are better drivers than women. Yet, I know for a fact that women get less tickets and are involved in less accidents. Now, do I need to explain why those stats are that way? I don't think I do, but I hardly think it shows which gender is the better driver."

I'm not sure how you can admit the statistics are correct yet choose to not believe them. Women are safer drivers. I don't want Jeff Gordon driving my bus, even if he's a better driver than the proven safer one. It doesn't mean that I won't ride a bus with a male driver, but the fact that women bus drivers make less money is sort of insulting.

  1. "And lastly...I think women have it tougher in the work place. They have sexual harassment (even mild forms that you wouldn't be able to complain about). I think when a woman boss is mean, she can be labeled a "bitch" where a man doesn't get that label if he's tough. And there are lots of other reasons. I just think, in this day and age, it's silly to think women make less. I've yet to speak to a woman that has had that experience."

Again, Josh, I think we both agree that women get the shaft in the jobplace. My contention, proven by statistics, is that they are paid less than men. I don't want it to be this way, but I can't deny the statistics in the link.

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Josh Board May 12, 2009 @ 5:20 p.m.

Well, women being "safe" drivers...I don't think you realize that defensive isn't always good. Just watch women try to merge with traffic. It's a scary thing, them wanting to be "safe" instead of speeding up and just jumping into the lane as you're supposed to.

Your sewing example just proved a very important point. If anyone (man or woman) isn't happy with their wage, they can leave.

I don't go to Wal-Mart, as I don't approve of a lot of their practices. But ya know what? It's hard for me to have sympathy for their employees not getting health benefits or anything else, as the same logic applies. If you aren't happy with it, you don't have to work there. And, if the argument is "They might not be qualified for any other job," my point becomes "Get qualified, or tough s***!"

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 5:31 p.m.

Josh, I think in a lot of your examples there is a missing factor that makes it difficult for you to read and interpret statistics against your own experiences and anecdotal experiences you've gathered.

Btw, remember my practical advice (which you echoed) to magicsfive about tending to read and build arbitrary significance into "signs" in the world around us? Such activity becomes unconscious, hence the knee jerk reactions and the reactionary’s typical position, and the formation of narratives of meaning about life that seem to feel "right" but are often really symptomatic of our emotional needs, or originating in unquestioned beliefs about ourselves and the world. We must also examine how we do this with our politics, with our social assumptions at large, with our private dealings with individuals in terms of complex interactions of perceived gender and sexual identities, racial and cultural identities, and levels of ability. I always ask myself, 'What's in it for you, SD? How does this opinion or impression automatically, unthinkingly uphold some larger cultural bias or superstition I am clinging to? What big and little narratives do I live by that might be shaken by considering or accepting this new information or paradigm?' And I do make a habit of asking myself these questions :)

So this is also a big challenge of the scientific method--controlling the variables, and sorting out the randoms and the "noise." You make a good indirect point that multiple variables should be considered when reading any kind of data--unfortunately, I did not take any statistics courses, so cannot get down and dirty with them. I have never designed a complex experiment. But I think I can safely say that we do accept that circumstances of any kind of test or measurement are subject to human error. (Researchers of course also have their own biases toward outcome to sort out, but we should bracket that off for now, and not drive ourselves nuts).

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 5:33 p.m.

Wait, you say, we are talking about legitimate, blue and white collar workforce here, not in the third world. I pose that yes, male-dominated power networks are still in place, but pay discrepancies and difficulty of advancement still experienced by women in this country are mostly the result of automatic, unconscious bias, in the form of unquestioned assumptions about ability and psychological stability, as well as the usual fears about providing costly leave for childbirth and childcare. Try to think of it in terms of the infamous "trickle down" theory, except that what is trickling here is the remnants of social inequality that we do not want to examine, because as I've said, we are not a nation of overly introspective folk, prone to self-examination, and we do not want our land of the free, and our patriotic values to be criticized.

Consider the existence of the fields of cultural anthropology and sociology, in particular. What do you think they are doing in subsets of these fields? When I feel better and have more time, I can get you into some academic databases, and you can have a field day with avalanches of decades-long studies and reports on issues such as you discuss here. You can find plenty of evidence in the life's work of many an anthropologist, sociologist, and cultural studies researcher to support the existence of remaining bias in the paychecks of women and minorities. One might argue that progress has been made since the 60s and the intensification of the civil rights movements; no one who is serious, and without a strong ideological agenda, can effectively argue that such bias does not exist, socially and materially. Acceptance of the facts does not mean that you have to call yourself a sexist or a racist, or give up your pride or belief that we are better off in this country or have made some progress.

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 5:33 p.m.

There are a lot of old boys’ clubs out there, and I have been on the periphery of some of them. I do not feel at liberty to discuss particulars in this forum, but will say that in my experience, women are often forced to work harder to prove their worth and levels of competence. More trust is automatically granted males of many professional services. I don’t know what women you’ve spoken to, but it is also true that many women choose narratives provided by their heavily paternal churches and social upbringing, which create psychic unease about complaining about these issues-- or even an inability to identify them.. Many women also fear being labeled as unreasonable and opportunistic, for exposing and denouncing the subtle and not-so-subtle biases they experience.

Since no one here objects to easy, anecdotal evidence, there is that well-known doctor riddle about a doctor and son who is also a doctor, with a seeming paradox, but it is resolved, and makes sense only when you allow the doctor in the scenario to be a "she" rather than a "he." Yet we resist--it makes no sense. I fell for it myself.

Does anyone know this riddle?

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David Dodd May 12, 2009 @ 6:02 p.m.

Yes.

A young boy was playing in the backyard when he fell and critically injured himself. The father of the young boy gently took his son into the back seat of one of the family cars and sped off to the nearest hospital, where the emergency crew quickly prepared the boy for immediate life-saving surgery while his father waited in the waiting room.

The doctor, meanwhile, was paged from other duties in the hospital and called immediately in to perform surgery. As the doctor finishes scrubbing up, and as the latex gloves are being applied, the doctor looks at the patient and is horrified.

"I can't operate on this boy," the doctor says, "he's my son!"

And then, of course, the storyteller challenges the audience to figure how this is possible.

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David Dodd May 12, 2009 @ 6:49 p.m.

In order to get into the issue of gender pay inequity, I think that one must toss aside ideology. This is a difficult thing to do. A few months ago, I was writing about the economy, and a friend challenged me to get a better understanding of economics. In this quest, I am coming to realize that even in economics the ability to toss aside one’s ideology is key in understanding basic macro, and the differences between Keynes and Hayek, among other approaches. I think it applies here as well.

When examining the data, it is an absolute truth that men generally make more money than do women. In trying to assign a cause for it, I think that the important thing to do is not try and find justification for it (which is ideological), and in fact not to enter into the process of sorting through the data with any preconceived notion. I would be willing to attempt it, except that the data has to be accepted as fact. And then, there are decisions to be made concerning how to treat the data.

But I’m not going to waste my time if it goes back to arguing ideology, because as entertaining as ideological differences might be it serves no purpose if the idea is to arrive at some truth by building a model based on data.

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 7:03 p.m.

That's the problem, refried. Ideology influences everything--and is very real, not just an entertaining issue. It is also a challenge to bring some things to the layman's perspective, just as in any field. I am often too tired to get into it, unless I'm talking to someone in the know about it, and I can take the usual shortcuts.

You take over the data--I'm more than happy with that :)

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David Dodd May 12, 2009 @ 7:40 p.m.

Josh,

It's a good article. And it supports my position, that the data is correct. It also offers some possible reasons why women make less money than do men, on average. But remember where our discussion started, from your statement:

"This is the same as the people out there that foolishly believe women make less than men for doing the same jobs."

Now, assuming that we have both arrived at the conclusions that on average women DO make less money than men for doing the same job, it might be interesting to construct a model of this, and possibly find out why this is true. Some of it is absolutely assignable to various factors that have nothing to do with gender inequity (although certainly there are employers that still exploit gender and pay differences), such as an unwillingness to relocate or attempting to raise a family while working, among other factors.

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SDaniels May 12, 2009 @ 8:35 p.m.

rickeysays wrote:

"The people who cling to this belief of disparity in spite of logic are those with a particular world-view. They see a difference in outcomes as proof of a difference in opportunity."

And:

"It often amazes me how human beings cling to their beliefs in spite of evidence and reasoning which should lead them to reconsider, but then I remember how humans cling to religion, and I'm reminded how many people just believe what they choose to believe, not because it makes sense or evidence supports it, but just because they want to."

rickeysays, what is your world view? You are amazed by choices made to cling to belief--ok...

Perhaps you can pony up and tell us what "evidence and reasoning" means to you, and what we should "reconsider?" Josh may have dubbed you the "voice of reason," but I'm still waiting. Remember that until you offer some logical argument of your own, you are just giving straight opinion, i.e., belief-based expressions of agreement or disagreement.

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Josh Board May 13, 2009 @ 9:34 a.m.

Okay refried, we'll agree women make less than men. But, I can't say it's for doing the "same job" as they stats prove they compile them without always looking at exactly what the job is.

But, we can also agree that...in at least 95% of these cases, it's the womans fault ("fault" for lack of a better word). That either means they didn't ask for a raise where the men did. They didn't ask for as high of a starting salary, they didn't want to work the overtime the guy did, or they didn't want to have a 45 minute commute to work, or whatever).

I would guess it's only 5% of men having a gender bias....so the stats all, basically, become meaningless. This now becomes something that IS NOT a problem.

Because, just as Mr. Salary said...when the woman working with him found out he made $3,000 a year more (because he asked for it during the hiring process)...she asked for that, and got it.

Every woman has that same opportunity.

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bluenwhitegokart May 13, 2009 @ 10:22 a.m.

Gringo: for an otherwise intelligent, articulate individual, you sure are an idiot when it comes to this particular subject.

You've not only drank the kool-aid, but you've snorted it, injected it, and bathed in it.

Let's start with your statistics from BLS. They are just that, as Josh rightly points out. They are just numbers, with no narrative. Without qualification, quantification alone tells you nothing.

Josh has defended his position extremely well, and has asked you to elucidate any flaws that you allege in his arguments, yet you refuse.

You don't have a leg to stand on, you don't know what you're talking about, and you're starting look like you're not only devoid of any common sense, but are lacking in anything like morals. In other words, you've gone beyond the line separating ignorance and disengenuousness, and are treading into complete and total dishonesty.

Normally, I attempt to operate from an objective position that gives the person on the other side of the issue the benefit of the doubt.

You've made it impossible to do that. I am absolutely astounded that in the face of incontrovertable evidence, that you could still espouse the things you do. Nobody could be that stupid; especially you. That only leaves one conclusion: you are being deliberately obtuse, and therefore dishonest.

You are just as dishonest, and frankly, more dishonest, than the people who are using flawed logic and tenuous statistics to try and prove their point.

You are using their lies, and espousing your own to cover up their lies and your own lies to try and prove "your point." That makes you doubly, maybe even a triple liar.

If it's your ego driving this (who knows why, since you allegedly have only one X chromosome), let it go. Admit you're wrong, acknowlege you cannot win this argument, and move on. We'll forgive you.

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David Dodd May 13, 2009 @ 11:02 a.m.

gokart:

Your post is a classic set-up. Let's analyze it. From top to bottom, you've called me an idiot, devoid of common sense, lacking in morals, dishonesty, deliberately obtuse, dishonest (again), more dishonest (apparently there's a trend), a double (and maybe a triple) liar.

What I've done to deserve this must be horrible!

I don't want your forgiveness. Instead, perhaps you should turn your efforts against the Department of Labor. Write them a nice letter (or else one like the wonderful comment you posted above) and tell them this about their report: "They are just numbers, with no narrative. Without qualification, quantification alone tells you nothing."

Of course, they are likely to remind you that data isn't qualified, it's analyzed. Good luck with that.

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Josh Board May 13, 2009 @ 4:13 p.m.

Regarding blues comments, I do think the word dishonest applies. obtuse - yes. But I don't agree with the "lack of morals". Regarding ego, I'm not sure. Because refried, at this point...you should be able to easily state: women being paid less than men is not a problem that needs addressing.

Believe me, I felt the same way you did. Because I'd read the story in the paper ever year or so, and I just believed it. It wasn't until someone told me why the stats were that way, and how it's completely BS. They then asked me why a woman wouldn't asked to be paid more, and I had no answer. Within half an hour of that debate, I agreed with him. But I found so many people didn't hold that position. People that have opinions I generally respect (like a childhood friend that's a professor, my stepdad, etc). So I started asking (this was 15 years ago), every woman I knew, or would meet. None of them have ever been underpaid in the work place. A few of them had the opposite thing, though. They told me they were able to get away with stuff they wouldn't have if they were men (leaving work at lunch because of a bad break-up, etc). But again, I think that each situation is different. I'm not so sure the woman that told me that, doesn't realize that maybe her male boss would've given the same break to a guy that was going thru a nasty divorce.

And, after asking countless people, and from my experiences in the work force, I just saw that this wasn't the case. And, nothing wrong with admitting your initial position was wrong.

Colin Powel did it. Many people do. And, I think your heart is in the right place. You don't want women being underpaid. The problem is...when you find out that they really aren't (as you admitted to in the medical fields and government sector), it's not hard to own up to the rest of it. But like I said...if you have friends that have experienced this, I'd like to hear their stories. Or, I'd like to know of the businesses in the private sector that do pay women less. I'll do a story about it and expose them.

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David Dodd May 13, 2009 @ 10:55 p.m.

Josh,

I'm not being dishonest. Statistics are what they are. But note that I never said that something should be done about it, that's impossible unless government decides to do something about it, and I'm very much against that. I will meet you halfway: Women are paid less than men sometimes for performing the same jobs, but the best that we can hope for is that this recognition of it eventually changes that statistic. My greatest hope is that it eventually levels out.

And, here's the real point, I don't want ANYONE being underpaid!

The United States of America, on the whole, has historically tried to equalize the gender pay gap, and in the best way, which is simply by promoting awareness that it still exists. It's slowly improving, and I'm encouraged by it.

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Josh Board May 14, 2009 @ 1:25 a.m.

The problem with this debate is on your last few lines of your above post. You say "...which is simply by promoting awareness that it still exists."

It exists on a level that is so small, it's a non-issue.

If God came down tomorrow (if there is a God), and he (or she) told me that 100 things would be changed tomorrow. All things I could pick....and I'm standing there with him, looking at his long, white ZZ Top beard and thinking about those 100 things. And I'm doing my best answer, trying to not sound like a beauty pagaent contestant as I say "End world hunger" and "give all the homeless people homes," "Stop global warming"...I'm guessing the gender pay gap wouldn't make the top 100, or even top 1,000 on things I'd have fixed! Because there simply isn't something there to worry about fixing.

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David Dodd May 14, 2009 @ 1:36 a.m.

Josh, I'm not disagreeing with you here. As I've pointed out from the start, I simply took issue with one line from your entry. So, then, let's take this opportunity for a good blog entry: Challenge your readers, if they were God for a day (if there is a God), to name the top five things that they would change if they had the power...

Not only should it be interesting, but the data could be quite entertaining.

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