The Pay Gap: Between Fact and Fiction

Within the last 10 to 15 years, there has been a distinct shifting in regards to the appearance and goals of  feminism. Modern feminists, or third-wave feminists, were born in western society that was already transformed by the accomplishments of the feminist movement. Intersectional feminists burden rational feminists and the masses with their radical gynocentric activism, and their humorously bitter ignorance. They are desperate to prove that women are victims. Modern feminists seek to reveal misogyny and sexism within every aspect of our society, even where it does not still exist.

Today, many third-wave activists highlight a handful of (what they believe to be) indications of the presence of the patriarchy, and the subliminal role it has within western society. Possibly the most popular claim is that of the gender wage gap.


With the help of women’s organizations and federal agencies, third-wave feminists directly relate the difference in wages to discrimination. The most restated claim is how women “still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns”. Misleading statistics such as this promote the idea that a woman will make less money than a man working just as long, and just as hard, solely because of their gender. This simply is not the case.

The blatant truth is that men and women typically make different choices in terms of their lives, education, and employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men are almost twice as likely than women to work more than 40 hours a week. Woman who do work a 40 hour week were found to earn 88% of male earning. With this, the “pay gap” myth begins to unravel.

Men’s and women’s earning are also different for many of the reasons that make them separate genders. Many women who are married and working take time off to have and care for their children. These women thus return having less work experience than their male counterparts. The B.L.S. reports that single women who never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012. The fact is that working mothers desire to obtain employment that provides flexible hours, and thus receive lesser pay than if they worked a more rigid job.

Perhaps the most obvious of contributing factors is risk. Men choose to work occupations known for being more dangerous. For risky jobs such as logging, iron working, and deep sea welding, there are little to no women involved. These industries pay extremely well in order to attract workers in spite of the uncertainty. In a B.L.S. news release from 2014, men suffered from 92% of work-related deaths. Men and women often decide to pursue different careers. Women control professions that satisfy the life of being a worker, as well as a household manager. When one assesses the different decisions of men and women, there only remains a small percentage unaccounted for that could be due to discrimination; but it is unlikely. Thinking economically, if a woman was paid 77 cents on the dollar for the same amount of work, a company would substitute male employees with female employees in order to save costs. Companies do not ignore this opportunity because it is frankly not an option.

Contrary to popular belief, woman are actually  rapidly surpassing men in education and the workforce. A recent Cornell study shows that university professors in STEM prefer females two to one over male candidates equally qualified for the position of teacher’s assistant. Prior second wave feminist efforts to combat sexism in hiring is obviously paying off.

Not only are women more likely to be hired for tenure tracks in scholarly fields, but they are also enrolling in colleges following high school 10% more than male graduates. Even beyond an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, in 2012, women earned 61% of master’s degrees, and received 51% of doctorates.

Brazen untruths such as the gender pay gap are proclaimed by third wave feminists in an attempt to essentially justify their hatred for men and capitalism. Attributing the wage differential solely to discrimination is imaginative and illogical; women in western society are flourishing.










Author: Stephen Abramowitz

Stephen Abramowitz is a Communications major with a concentration in Public Relations. Originally from Doylestown, Pennsylvania, Stephen chose James Madison for the beautiful views and community-based environment. Outside of the Daily Duke, he serves on the executive board for JMU's Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA) chapter.

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