5 things feminists need to stop saying

We owe feminism for challenging the traditional kinder, küche, kirche role we had delineated for women. As more women went to work, the feminist movement helped make the workplace safer and work schedules flexible: changes that helped men too, says Warren Farrell in The Myth of Male Power. Working women commanded more respect from their husbands and children. Most women in the developed world know and exercise their rights. Efforts are being made to reduce the suffering of women in developing countries.

But feminism in the developed world is running out of dragons to slay. While Rush Limbaugh’s comment on Sandra Fluke was unfortunate and classless, the outrage it provoked and the attention it received suggest that there are few outright gender-discriminatory injustices in the Western world. Devoid of real enemies, feminist zeal and passion are becoming tools for social engineering. Truth has become subservient to the collective female emotion, which, like all forms of collectivism, is set by those who represent it. Even if most women identify as feminists, at least some women are victimized by feminism. Feminist arguments have been used to oppose prostitution and pornography even on occasions where the women were willing. Feminism has taken an ugly turn. Now it is sexist to suggest anything that might displease a woman. We are all supposed to shut up and nod along or get relegated to the doghouse. Whatever women say, say yes or you are a sexist. If you’re eloquent about it, you’re a misogynist. Fine. We surrender. But it’s time to retire some statements –

1. If women ran the world, it would be more peaceful

At the 2007 Emmy awards, Sally Field said, “If mothers ruled the world, there wouldn’t be any goddamned wars in the first place,” to tumultuous applause. Sally Field is just one person, but I’ve heard other women say this. Wendy Schiller, a Brown University professor, said on Real Time With Bill Maher that women are get-together-to-solve-problems kind of people, and hence appointing more women-leaders will make things better. (She has not read this or this. Here is the original research article.) The audience responded with a big female cheer. When Andrew Sullivan tried to argue, she silenced him with petty rhetoric. Shouldn’t any particular woman feel insulted when characterized solely as a group-member, no matter how superficially positive the characterization?

And let’s not forget that history is replete with violent female leaders. Queen Mary Tudor is called Bloody Mary because she burned over 300 Protestants at the stake for heresy. Queen Elizabeth I massacred Ireland. Indira Gandhi had operation Blue Star and imposed the national emergency during which she ruled by decree. Golda Meir had operation Wrath of God. Hillary Clinton’s vote for the Iraq war shows that she is pro-violence at least some of the time. Margaret Thatcher had the Falklands War. These records are among the bloodiest. And by the way, these women sent men to their deaths.

The lady’s not for turning … the other cheek (Wikipedia)

Good politicians need to be ruthless. They need to make tough decisions. These qualities were attributed to men. The political process simply selects for such personalities, male or female. So if only women ran the world, it would be the same. Women are capable of injustice as well. Remember Lynndie England at Abu Ghraib?

United States Army photo from Abu Ghraib priso...

Such a sweetheart (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a bonus, here’s a bunch of women laughing about a man getting his penis chopped off and thrown into the garbage disposal. His crime: asking his wife for a divorce. One woman who notes the blatant sexism is quieted with more jokes. I am for all kinds of humor, and free speech above all; but can you imagine the outrage if the roles were reversed?

2. Government must ensure women earn as much as men

Sounds great right? Who except the purest, most-distilled sack of chauvinistic excrement would disagree with this? For every dollar a man earns, a woman earns 66 cents. Surely something has to be done to fix this injustice. It would solidify women’s presence at the workplace, and cement their rights, right?

Only if you’re unaware that over 95% of the people in the professions with chronic and acute health risks are men. Firefighting, pest-control, construction and other such jobs have over 95% men. Because these jobs are harder and carry higher risk of death and almost a certainty of injury, it’s hard to find people willing to do them. So we need to offer higher salaries. On the flip side, women represent over 95% of dental hygienists, secretaries, speech pathologists, preschool and kindergarten teachers etc. (2010 census report here.) Nobody denies that these jobs have challenges, but they are a lot safer and much less grueling. Men work more hourscommute farther, and do not get pregnant. As sexist as that last one sounds, an employee going on maternity leave is a cost, and employers consider it while negotiating salaries.

I’m sure some employers believe that women aren’t as good as men, and therefore pay women less. But governmental action isn’t going to change them. These prejudiced employers will stop hiring women if they are forced to pay them as much as men, as Milton Friedman explains. Without the government forcing hands, a sexist employer is forced to pay a cost of the higher wage when he arbitrarily chooses a man over a woman. His prejudice costs him. If for whatever reason, a woman is less preferable for a job, the best bargaining power she has is the offer to work for less. Feminism aims to reduce this power thus screwing the pooch for female employees.

Also, one of the best ways to get a raise is to ask for one. Fewer women than men have families dependent primarily on their income. Consequently, a man is more motivated to demand a raise or else because there is a direct correlation between his raise and the improvement in his family’s standard of living. Another instance of this differential earning pressure on men and women is the evidence that self-employed women make less than self-employed men do, probably because they choose other comforts in life that are incongruous with a large profit, according to a 2001 study by Rochester Institute of Technology.

3. Women are smarter because they don’t hump everything they can

This popular refrain seems anecdotally true. Most women could go outside and suggest sex, and guys would line up to oblige. Hence we assume that men are slaves to their primal nature and that women are cerebral and ethereal beings who cannot be distracted from their goals. The most sophisticated of men, on the other hand, turn into blithering idiots by a glimpse of cleavage.

That conclusion is premature. In our society, sex for sex’s sake has consequences. People who get a lot of action are often assumed to have some moral deficit or a self-esteem deficiency for which they overcompensate with promiscuity. So people weigh the risk of getting labeled against the benefit of a dalliance.

When guaranteed a good sexual experience, women are as promiscuous as men, says Terri Conley at the University of Michigan. Of course, this guarantee is often more easily available to men. Most men can gauge with one look whether a woman will please them in bed. A quick head-to-toe scan isn’t enough for women. Given the social price of sex, the high cost-to-benefit ratio for women makes them more discerning. There goes that female philosophical high-ground, which brings us to…

4. Women are more spiritually evolved than men

This is classic question-begging. First, few people can define spiritual evolution, and they are all meditating under Himalayan icicles not to be disturbed. If we can’t even agree on a definition, how can we go about laying men and women on a continuum of spirituality. But some feminists love spouting this party line. Men are impulsive, women are thoughtful. Men are stupid, women are smart. Isn’t this what we see on TV? From Everybody Loves Raymond to Scrubs and even How I Met Your Mother, the woman in the relationship is a genius who swoops in and solves the problem while the husband is busy screwing up. (You gotta love Everybody Loves Raymond. They showed nine seasons of a housewife who never kept a clean home, couldn’t cook to save her life, but yelled at her husband for not contributing.) But it makes sense why TV shows are like that. Women watch more TV than men in any time slot. Women also shop more than men do. No sponsor would want to mess with that. Women need to see this for what it is: a ruse to make them swipe that credit card. As Bill Maher asks, “If women are more evolved, why are they so impressed by shiny objects?”

I’m trying to imagine the mixed emotions of an evangelical feminist about this pic.

Side note – No present species or sex is more evolved than any other. Humans of today are no more evolved than the chimpanzees of today. Humans and chimps  simply have common ancestors. Read The Greatest Show On Earth by Richard Dawkins for more information. (Side side note – I don’t support Professor Dawkins’ condescending reply to Rebecca Watson regarding Elevatorgate. However, the ad hominem attacks on Dawkins for expressing an opinion were disturbing. Tracy Clark-Flory of Salon.com called him a dick: sexist lingo, which apparently women are allowed to use, you know, when the guy deserves it.)

5. You can’t say that because it’s offensive to women

My favorite argument. Anything that offends women is now off the table. When Larry Summers was President of Harvard, he asked if the poor representation of women in science could be due to inherent differences in aptitude between men and women. To be clear, this was one of his theories. He was booed off the academic stage followed by crucifixion in the press, which ended only with his resignation. Such sentiment is rife in colleges today. Suggest an idea a woman might find repugnant, and you’re a chauvinistic pig.

German designer Karl Lagerfeld was given the collective middle finger for calling singer Adele ‘a little too fat’. What he said was, “The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice.” I’m probably standing too far, because this looks like a compliment. (They make it sound like he camped outside her house with Atkins pamphlets.) Adele responded that she was happy with the way she looked and how she represented most women. She has since hired a trainer to help her get healthier, according to a source of the Daily Mail.

A few years ago, conservative talk-show host Dennis Prager was accused of endorsing marital rape. I immediately pictured a grinning Prager motivating a large congregation of rapist husbands lauding their tireless pursuits and egging them on while lecturing on combinations of physical force and emotional blackmail simmered to perfection.

Tomorrow: alibi practice and crime-scene cleanup.

His article (Part I and part II) was about how sometimes for the health of a marriage, a woman should consider having sex with her husband even if she’s not ‘in the mood’. Prager also argues that we rarely leave other important things in life (going to work, taking kids to school etc.) at the mercy of our moods. I don’t agree with everything he said in the article, but he never endorsed any form of force. The feminist argument assumes that women are animals who have sex when and only when their monkey-brains tell them to, and a woman having sex for any reason other than raw desire is being raped. If that’s true, all prostitutes are rape-victims. Shouldn’t it be anti-feminist not to distinguish a woman’s free will from her feral instinct? Yet, feminists were happy to take this position and over-simplify women. Prager simply suggested that women make a conscious decision to have sex in spite of their mood. He respected a woman’s volition more than his critics did. Men are constantly told to cuddle and hold their partner after sex, buy flowers, give back-rubs, foot-massages and the like, in spite of their moods or lack of them. But they comply for the health of the marriage. And they should. Being aware of one’s desire and going against it for a good reason is a sign of maturity. Women cannot expect equal treatment (neither can men) and demand qualified speech. That is injustice.

Finally, the adversarial interaction between feminists, masculists and those in between keeps everyone in check. (I ignore the squiggly Microsoft Word uses to nudge me to reconsider ‘masculists.‘) Stifling opinions for their apparent repugnance only drives prejudice and bias underneath. Say whatever you want, but when contrary evidence is presented, evaluate it, and change your opinion if necessary. Stop being loyal to a fault.

25 thoughts on “5 things feminists need to stop saying

  1. Excellent analysis, although I think you are pulling your punches.

    When you have been in the MRM for longer and seen the major misandry around us, it will be very hard to treat feminists so lightly.

    Still, this is nice to see. Intelligent and brave.

    • Thanks for visiting and for the compliment.

      I’m not really in the MRM. I wanted the tone of this article to be skeptical but nice. I guess that appears like I’m pulling my punches.

  2. Agree with everything, except for the part about skewed salaries. Women have not had a lot of the options available to men, especially when it comes to developing physical prowess, but that is changing slowly. Castration jokes are not funny, Adele is fat, and women are in no way wired to be better leaders (just as men are not really wired to be better scientists, incidentally).

    • As far as physical prowess is concerned, you wouldn’t mind (rightly) employers discriminating between a 6’2″ 200 lb man and a 5’6″ 130 lb man for a construction job. Clearly the weaker man is genetically predisposed to being who he is. When that discrimination is okay, we must also let employers discriminate between men and women. Ultimately, employers discriminate between potential good producers and potential bad producers. The typical woman is a potential bad producer in manual labor.

      As far as women being wired to be better leaders or worse scientists, I don’t know. Either one is possible. There isn’t enough research to prove or disprove either hypothesis.

      Thanks for visiting.

  3. To begin with, I’m going to throw out the supposedly ‘feminist’ claims that I–and any other feminist with half a brain– think are just stupid and buy into crap about gender essentialism.

    So it’s beyond idiotic to claim that “If women ran the world, it would be more peaceful”. Furthermore, it’s false and idiotic to say that “Women are smarter because they don’t hump everything they can.” I also don’t get ‘spirituality’ and, even if I did, I cannot see any good reason for claiming that women are more spiritually evolved than men. Frankly any statement that claims the inherent superiority of women because of some supposed fact about women or the genetic make-up of women is likely to be inane and baseless.

    Especially because I think misogyny hurts men, male non-men and female non-women a huge deal too. Stereotyping on the basis of gender roles is a hideous thing and, while women are conditioned to think awful things like being weaker and meeker and dependent etc. are good things, men are also conditioned into oppressive gender roles that make it unacceptable for them to, I don’t know, have feelings! Not to mention how this harms *queer* men [and women too, obviously].

    So yes, I will be deeply suspicious of, and hostile towards, any attempt to establish the superiority of women. Especially because most of the people spouting that nonsense are antithetical to the spirit of what I think feminism is and they reify gender roles and binaries instead of doing all they can to destroy them. And it’s all the more pernicious because they do it under the guise of feminism.

    I see at least part of this post as a response to poor thinking and a certain brand of female chauvinist rather than a response to feminism which, as the saying goes, is the radical notion that women are human beings. I take being a feminist [as opposed to being a misogynist] meaning that you do everything you can to combat overt gender discrimination in your domain [home, workplace, school, etc.] as well as being aware of what micro aggressions are and doing everything you can to keep yourself [and others] from committing them. [Cf. http://www.microaggressions.com]

    The second point, however, IS a legitimate and justified worry.
    Yes, a lot of dental hygienists are women and a lot of fire-fighters are men. In the first place, THAT’s a problem. We live in a society where women are encouraged into certain kinds of jobs and men into other kinds of jobs. And the kinds of jobs that women enter into are devalued because they are perceived as “feminine” and therefore “lesser”. So we already have a situation in which it is VERY hard for a woman to make it in a male-dominated field. And, even if she gets there, her experiences are likely to be FAR from positive.

    And a lot of cases of women earning less than men involve them being in the *same profession*. Women are less likely to be promoted than men, for instance. This is anecdotal, but the procedure for a woman getting tenure in a university is likely to be harder than it is for a man simply because of implicit gender biases.
    It’s not OK to declare certain jobs as less important and deserving of less pay because they have historically been jobs that women have held. And it’s not OK to not take steps to rectify the hostile environment that women face in male-dominated fields. And it’s not OK to treat men and women in the same profession unequally. Again, this also affects men in a negative way. Talk to any man who’s wanted to be or has been a care-giver of some kind [a nurse, a ‘nanny’, etc.]

    And really, LARRY SUMMERS?!?! A man who has a history of not just sexism but also racism. *This* is someone you wants to defend?! Summers claimed that there were innate differences between men and women in the context of explaining under-representation of women in science. I don’t think I need to spell out why that is both wrong and hideously offensive. An MIT biologist said that the speech made her physically ill. He claimed that there were gender differences in *aptitude* which is as wrong as it is deeply harmful especially when coming from a man who is in such a powerful position.

    Also it is beyond awful to claim that “sometimes for the health of a marriage, a woman should consider having sex with her husband even if she’s not ‘in the mood’.” NO. No one should EVER have to have sex if they don’t want to. NEVER. EVER. Having sex is not on par with reluctantly going to class or work. Going to class when you don’t really want to does not inflict the kind of psychological damage that unwanted sex can. Nor does it require *women* to see themselves as vessels for sexual gratification and for them to see themselves as culpable for failing to fulfill that role. You are working with a ridiculously narrow notion of consent and rape. I could point to the copious literature on the topic, if desired. “Prager simply suggested that women make a conscious decision to have sex…”. Right because nudging someone to make a particular decision is totally treating them as a free agent. Absolutely respecting their autonomy. There’s nothing wrong about coercing someone into saying a) while telling them that they can say a) or b) but that they’re selfish and evil for saying b)!

    Also, I might explode if I hear the term ‘masculist’ again. This portrayal of men qua men as an oppressed group is beyond idiotic. When I have the time and energy, I can summarize the (copious) literature on what it means to be an oppressed group and respond to that point but, for now, I’m all written out. Enough outrage for the morning! [Also forgive the typos and solecisms…this was written in a bit of a hurry]

    • The fact that more men take up harsh and dangerous jobs is a sign of men being oppressed as well as women. True, women are socialized into thinking that certain jobs are meant for them, but the real reason there aren’t many female coal miners is that there is no societal imperative on them to go to those lengths to earn money. A man is expected to do anything he can, do any job possible to bring home the bacon. That shows that men are oppressed too.

      To your point that women in the same job earn less than men, let’s not forget that men in the same job earn different amounts as well. It is a function of salary negotiation. Some people negotiate their starting salary better, that’s all.

      Workplace performance in blue-collar jobs is usually a function of strength, speed, agility and stamina: fields where men outrank women. Paying a woman the same hourly wage as a man who produces more in that same hour is an injustice to the man. Two women with different work output wouldn’t expect to earn the same money as each other, but somehow they believe that men earning more is a form of injustice.

      Larry Summers put forth an idea, a hypothesis. That’s all he did. Inherent gender differences in science-aptitude might be a repugnant idea, but that alone doesn’t make it false. The scientific method often begins with speculation. The speculation is declared true or false by experimentation and analysis of the results. A society isn’t free if one isn’t allowed to speculate.

      Prager did not legitimize marital rape.

      You said, “No one should EVER have to have sex if they don’t want to. NEVER. EVER”

      I agree. But not being in the mood is not the same as not wanting something.

      As for women being seen as vessels of sexual gratification, please…men are constantly seen as vessels of material gratification. Almost all men are expected to pay or offer to pay for their dates. If they don’t they aren’t getting a second date. Almost any show on TV tells men to buy an expensive engagement ring, wedding dress, and promise to take care of her all her life like she’s some child. Most men want to do this in spite of them not being in the mood. Most men are more in the mood to watch sport than romantic comedies, but they want to do it for their women. Most men would rather go out drinking with friends than go shoe-shopping with the wife, but they do. Most men would rather read and travel or do something else that gives them pleasure than work overtime to buy houses and cars, which attract women, but they do it. They do these things to for the health of their marriages.

      As for the harmful effects of unwanted sex, I think you’re talking nonsense here. You’re muddling the line between rape and sex.

      Again, I never said that nudging someone is the same as treating them as a free agent. Prager never said that men should emotionally blackmail their wives so. Neither did I.

      All I’m saying is that reducing the frequency of sex to suit the female sex-drive is unjust to the male, for the health of the marriage. Women who heed this are helping their marriages. Women who discard this advice are free to do so, but the consequences to the marriage are theirs. Their decisions are being respected through and through. They want their decisions to be respected in a vacuum with no consequences. That cannot be.

      And lastly, you not being open to the idea that men are discriminated against is chauvinistic. You refuting the oppression of men with rhetoric like ‘beyond idiotic’ is childish. I would love to read the copious literature on what it takes to be an oppressed group, but please take the time to read Warren Farrell’s “The Myth of Male Power.” If you keep an open mind, I think you’ll find it informative and thought-provoking.

      Thanks for visiting.

  4. Sorry read “There’s nothing wrong about coercing someone into saying a) while telling them that they can say a) or b) but that they’re selfish and evil for saying b)!” as “There’s nothing wrong about coercing someone into saying a) *by* telling them. & etc.”

  5. Pingback: Three Things Feminists Do Not Say and Two Things Modified to the Point of Meaninglessness (a response) | Stumps for Teeth

  6. This is nice . I do agree with a lot of points here, however the whole “favour women more” thingy started off because of the indian mentality – which treats women like dirt of their shoes. But nice stuff!

    • Indian culture can be misogynistic, but I’ve noticed that most Indian men my age believe that every woman is their equal. So things are improving.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting 🙂

  7. For the most part I do agree, though there are some parts where I have my doubts. As far as the skewed salaries go, take the case of nuclear reactors. Women aren’t allowed to work in there (in the operating room or something, a particular section of the reactor) because they could get pregnant and the radiation could affect their baby. So for that role, women are usually not selected. Guess what, even Sikh men are not usually considered for that role. Because their religion does not allow them to cut off their hair and if they get exposed to radiation, again it’s a problem. If this is how you do it, I think I am OK with it. But if you give a man and a woman the same job but then pay her less salary, that’s where I am not OK with it. Men work more hours. Why? Because the women go back home to take care of home chores – cook, attend to children etc. That’s how it’s always been – it’s been ingrained into the society and traditions. For generations, that’s how it’s been happening. This is like comparing two individuals in a company who do the same work – one does it for 12 hours the other for 8 hours and leaves by the general shift bus. At the time of appraisal, the boss tells the 8 hour guy: Look at your colleague, how much he works! He’s so dedicated and passionate about his work but you have to run away every time. – so the 12 hour guy gets paid more but the 8 hour guy doesn’t? Some might talk about productivity too! But I just think that’s setting a wrong example and I have seen a lot of that happen! As far as Debra goes – why even expect the woman only to keep a clean house and cook? Only if she does that and “proves” herself, she can expect a contribution? How about both of them working to keep their house clean? 🙂 BTW, I do agree about the leaders and stuff. There’s nothing wired in there. If you’re in politics and have to lead, got to be ruthless and aggressive, man or woman! As far as making statements like ‘women should have sex even if not in the mood’ a true feminist would only argue that the statement be applied to both. ‘men and women should give in to sex even if not in the mood’. True feminists are only about equality of the sexes not about special treatment of women.

      • Actually let me correct myself. Religion is the last thing that should stop someone from getting a job as long as there’s merit and an interest to work. Awarding a job and paying a salary should be solely on merit and not on gender and definitely not on the basis of the number of hours put in because you and me both know that if salary were to be based on number of hours, every other person would be spending his weekends at work. As far as maternity goes, biology has already made it such the new mother would need the time off, the last thing she needs is for the company to also mess with her using biology as a shoulder to fire the gun.

      • Paternity leave and money aren’t as much as maternity. Also, paternity leave isn’t legally enforced in many countries. Maternity leave is. Companies can be sued if they don’t provide maternity leave. Which I find to be bullshit.

    • I agree that women shouldn’t be prohibited from working in dangerous places. A person should have the right to control his or her risk in exchange for money. The childbearing risks are the woman’s to bear. Same goes for Sikh men. If their religion is more important to them than getting a particular job, that’s their choice.
      It is not the employer’s concern which employee needs to go home early to cook. Salaries are subject to negotiation between employers and employees. If for whatever reason an employee is producing less (by working fewer hours or by not being as strong as other employees), they will be paid less.
      As far as Debra goes, she is a housewife. Her husband is the earning member. Her way of contributing is taking care of the home. She cooks like crap and doesn’t keep a neat house—as evidenced in the show. If she had a job too, she could expect her husband to share the home-workload. And if her husband was a house-husband, I would expect him to make good food and keep the house clean.
      In most cases, men seem to be in the mood more often than women. Women want to talk and cuddle and hug more than men do. But men acquiesce to what women want.

  8. I do agree to a certain extent. But just because a mother or a wife is a housewife, it doesn’t give everyone else in the family the right to automatically become slackers or dump every single activity on the person does it? She might still do a large portion of the housework, maybe like laundry and stuff, but making your own bed, washing your own plates and fork is always supposed to be the sign of a good responsible person, even for kids. I always remember that’s how it was in our family – and to a large extent still is – even though my Mom’s now retired. Plus it avoids the chance of this dependency setting a precedent. What if the mother or the wife gets a job later and then everyone has to pitch in with house work? Then what happens? The extra work starts feeling like a burden and everyone ends up hating the mom/wife having to work. . Which isn’t really fair.

    As far as cooking good food goes, leave aside Debra for a minute. I hate to cook – I cook to live and i probably try cooking exotic stuff once in a rare while – but for the most it’s cook to live. My MIL and my Mom both love to cook and enjoy cooking. Maybe my husband thinks of my food as crap sometimes, what the heck – even I might end up thinking of it as crap IF I compare it to my MIL’s or my Mom’s cooking. It’s all about expectations. And let’s not forget that Marie is always over with her dishes to rub it in. Everybody Loves Raymond is just another Englicized version of Indian saas-bahu serials in that manner. The smothering doesn’t stop! Maybe this is a good case for the Indian arranged marriage system, if you want excellent food then make sure you specify that as a requirement 🙂

    And as far as maternity leave goes, I do not have any experience so I will not comment on whether or not physically it’s a requirement. I remember having a surgery and not being able to move much or walk for about a week. I hardly know what bodily changes occur with a pregnancy. When we talk about childbearing risks, religion is a choice. Biology is not a choice. But if we’re saying that women shouldn’t get maternity leave because they chose to have a baby, then it’s almost like going back to the 15th century. Too bad you’re a woman! Sorry – you can either have a baby or go to work! If that the case, you should first be arguing against the paternity leave – because hey, that now does not have a biological constraint! 🙂 But as a species to procreate and also to encourage a health work-life balance, I think having both in there is actually good.

    And no, the woman isn’t leaving early to cook – she’s leaving on time to cook. Men (or for that matter women) staying longer than required only end up setting bad examples for later appraisal cycles where bosses use them to downgrade other people who choose to leave on time! A large majority of us still have to learn that work is only a part of our life, not our entire life. Regardless of whether the spouse (man or a woman) works outside the house or not, spending more than required time at work is not healthy anyway!

    In all of the above, I think it’s largely to do with the couple’s expectations of each other, and the earlier in a relationship those get ironed out the better. I have known ladies in good positions happily giving up their jobs because their husbands wanted housewives. Sure, as long as it works for both of them! In US, house-husbands is becoming a trend too – as long as both parties are happy, that works!

    I know you’re hardly convinced, but hey, let’s just agree to disagree 🙂

  9. I will admit that I didn’t read your entire article, but I do disagree with your take on the reason for the discrepancy between male and female salaries and feel strongly enough that I want to leave a comment. It’s true that manual labor jobs are male-dominated, mostly because your average male is better equipped to handle manual labor than your average female. But I don’t think that that section of the work force is all that raises mens’ wages so much higher than womens’. True, it might be a part of it, but the vast, vast majority of people heading large corporations, taking positions of power and leadership in government, etc. are men. If you believe that men dominate all of these industries and positions because they are somehow better equipped to handle them, biologically or whatever else you might claim, you’re essentially saying that men are superior to women in most respects (physically, mentally, whatever else you would argue). I would argue that the reason for the wage gap is more about the bars women face in higher paying industries (read: industries where males are prevalent) than it is about just manual labor jobs and maternity leave, which makes it a legitimate feminist issue.

    • The prevalence of men in positions of power and affluence isn’t evidence of discrimination—however tempting it might be to conclude so. A lot of men and women choose different balances between career and life, leading to more success. Women typically cohabit with men who make more than they do. Hence, an increase in such a woman’s salary doesn’t have a huge impact on the family income. Therefore, the woman might choose to spend more time on her home or the kids. Such conscious choices affect salaries.
      I’m not convinced that prevalence—or assumed dominance—of men in an industry is reason enough for male salaries to be higher on average.
      Thanks for visiting and commenting.

  10. I find it funny that so many people see a discrepancy in the workforce between men and women, and then automatically jump to conclusions that it MUST be discrimination. Well, all we’re noting is that there is a discrepancy, while YOU’RE the one claiming that it MUST be due to discrimination. So prove it. Cause from what i’ve seen and read, there is no wage gap in which women are paid less than men for the same amount of labor, but rather an EARNINGS gap in which the majority of workplace deaths are men (above 90% i believe), in which women are part time more than a quarter of the time (26% of women was the last stat i read and men only 13%), and in which men commute longer hours and are more likely to work overtime. There are MANY things which affect how much a job pays, but for simplicities sake, ill use one factor. Availability of workers. An industry which has a low availability of workers has to offer a wage high enough that will make it so people will want to work there. What factors go into availability of workers? Commute time, risk, education, exposure to elements or lack thereof, and how desirable the job even is which is in and of itself influenced by these factors and other factors as well (factors such as how clean it is and level of stress involved). The fact that most jobs are these low level, non-CEO positions or positions which are high stress and that more women than men dont want these, just proves that men are conditioned into picking more dangerous, less comfortable jobs which have to pay more to keep their workers does not mean there is discrimination and would probably be more than enough proof of the earnings gap. After all, the comparison wasn’t even made between men and women working the same full time job as men, it was made between all men and all women. And if that isn’t enough to show you how disingenuous they are about the whole wage gap, i dont know if anything will be. Great article by the way. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

    • The assumption that women outperform men because of natural superiority and men outperform women because of discrimination is as disingenuous as it is self-defeating. Thanks for reading.

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