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War of the Genders

A confrontational soapbox for rants and politically incorrect manifestos regarding feminism, chauvinism, dating and gender issues.

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Location: Jerusalem, Israel

This isn't a dating site. If you wish to propose marriage or to beat me up, leave me a note.

Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Rage Gap

Having read numerous articles and arguments against the 'wage gap' issue, I assumed this myth was well on its way to being shelved as another Feminist lie. But evidently it's alive and kicking and will take much longer to die.

As classic examples of such debunking, there's Glenn Sacks's article and Warren Farrell's book.

Side Note: It's interesting to note that while women allegedly earn less than men, surveys show that women spend more than men, own 65% of America's wealth, and six times more retail space is allotted to women's personal items than to men's. Hmm...

There are numerous arguments against this Feminist lie, the strongest ones being:

1. Many women place higher priorities on their social life, families and children, or on personal hobbies. Even high-school girls, when surveyed as to their career expectations, said that they plan to drop from the workforce for at least a year when they have a baby. Now, there's nothing wrong with this. Quite the opposite. But it does have several obvious consequences on their careers and wages:

a) It means women usually spend less time at work and put in fewer extra hours. It has been proven statistically that men put in 8-10 more hours per week than women. This obviously means women are worth less to employers and that they will get fewer raises. It also obviously means that with hourly-wage jobs, men will get higher salaries.

b) Women's disappearance from the workforce will affect their seniority, work experience and industry knowledge.

It cannot be argued that just because women bring children into the world and work harder at home, paying them less is unfair, because companies are not socialist charities. Governments may impose on companies to pay social benefits and take into account basic human needs such as sick-pay, pregnancy and vacations, but not personal choices. If an employee chooses to go back to the university to find a cure for cancer, or to go home and raise a family, their career and wages must suffer.

2. Most wage gaps have nothing to do with gender. There are many other factors that are not taken into account when collecting statistics: Position, seniority, education, experience, hours, etc. Even two people in the same position and title may have different responsibilities that necessitate a wage gap. For example, one developer may be working on the product's complex core algorithms whereas another developer may be doing some web programming. Alternatively, one position may be more demanding or dangerous than the other despite having identical titles.

3. When you combine the above arguments with the fact that many women prefer more 'convenient' jobs and usually don't go after fast-track and more difficult or high-prestige positions, or usually aren't willing to be stationed in Alaska or work long hours, the wage gap is not only understandable, it may even be biased towards women. For example, as this blog argues, female psychologists often specialize in the lower-level child psychology field.

Women disproportionately major in the social sciences and enter lower paying, but more personally fulfilling, careers. Degrees in science and technology provide higher incomes than those in the liberal arts. Also, women who want to spend time with their families will obviously look for more flexible positions and careers.

Also, take the classic example of the computer and technology industry. Women's numbers in computer science have not significantly risen since 1970 despite the fact that these careers are wide open to them and nobody is dissuading them from such choices, yet we have organizations such as Women in Technology (WIT), the Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and now the ridiculous Women In Games International (WIGI). Men have always been passionate about computers and gaming and now that computers have become a lucrative industry and you can earn a fat paycheck developing games (which sounds like a lot more fun than it is), we have feminists popping up whining about how not enough women are interested in these careers and pushing for affirmative action, even blaming society for women's lack of interest. (Of course, there is no such thing as Women in Garbage Collection International (WIGCI) but that's another story.)

Perhaps one can argue that it's chauvinism that determines the lower wages for typically female careers. But this is untrue. It's the market that determines wages, not some patriarchal conspiracy.

4. I remember reading a survey that showed that the turnover for women was much higher than for men. Whatever the reason for this, it can easily contribute to the wage gap as, obviously, seniority is a very important factor for a career.

All this disqualifies these so-called statistics that show 76 female cents for every male dollar, simply because they ignore all the important variables and factors that affect a wage decision. In these surveys that have been mindlessly quoted a million times as signs of chauvinistic oppression, women and men are grouped together regardless of their actual merit and market worth. Equal opportunity does not ensure equal outcome and just because the wages are not equal, it does not logically follow that women are being treated unequally.

These same arguments shatter the Glass Ceiling lie. Most women lack seniority or make career choices that would obviously affect their promotion to upper management. An employee who disappears from the workforce, has a high turnover, or who chooses to put in minimal hours and to avoid demanding jobs will not be a likely candidate for CEO.

Personally, I've been in the workforce for over 15 years, and I've seen no evidence of the wage gap. Not only that, but in the world of hi-tech where long hours are the norm, the women I've worked with have consistently been 9-to-5 workers and have long gone home when others stay in late to get the work done in time. If women want equal wages then I'm afraid they are going to have to work for them.

I've also experienced the decision making involved in assigning wages and seen how even men with seemingly identical jobs get different wages for various reasons.

And, as Glenn Sacks argues, if companies benefit from the same amount and quality of work from women as they do from men and it is truly accepted practice to pay women less, then why aren't they exclusively employing women in order to save money?

I can perhaps accept an argument that says that chauvinism gets in the way of a woman's promotion. If men saw women as incapable of fulfilling certain roles then women would indeed be promoted less. But this wage gap argument is basically saying that millions of managers around the world, when presented with work given by a woman who worked just as hard as everyone else and has the same qualifications and position, consistently think to themselves "well I normally pay my marketing assistants 15 but since she's a woman I'll give her 11". Excuse me, but that's just extreme paranoia.

As usual, angry, working women rant and rave, proving that the only real gap is between men that work hard, and women that whine.

31 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

A quick guide for men:

a. Get married to a pretty young and dumb women but most important make sure she is madly in love with you first.

b. Now, wait for her to want children (it will make it easier to dump raising them on her later).

c. Be really bad at housework. Never ever show you are capable of the technically challenging operation of the washing machine or dishwasher.

d. Never cook. If you do, do not under any circumstances clean up the mess when you’re done.

e. Stay late at work. No you don’t have to actually do anything productive there. Search the net, chat with a friend; hit on the secretary; get a beer before you go home. Whatever you do don’t come home early. She might make you work.

Assuming you have followed these guidelines, you should now be married with a couple of young kids, you at work and your wife at home most of the time. A couple of years pass…

f. Now she is upset. She feels she is doing it all alone. She wants to work, to be around intelligent normal people and do something with her life. She is smart, ambitious; she loves her children but wants more…

g. She decides to look for a job.

h. She finds one. A secretary/ A teacher / A marketing assistant… The salary sucks. It will never come close to your salary (so you are safe) but then again her work place is not a charity. She lacks the experience, seniority, she has to go home early… but it was all her choice wasn’t it?

i. Now you are not happy. You both fight all the time. You decide your getting a divorce.

j. You fight for custody over the kids. You claim fatherhood is just as important as motherhood. You also claim your wife’s low salary is not enough to support the kids.

k. You get the kids. Your ex also must pay you child support. It is just fair- after all now you have to hire a maid.

You men. You took our love for you to manipulate us to stay at home; you used us being at home to take away our salaries, you used our low salaries to take away our babies… the same babies that we stayed at home to nurture because you claimed you didn’t want in the first place.

Crazy world…
Women should be paid less. They are obviously dumber.

Here is the lie: The lie is that it is all our choice. The truth is that men had and still have most of the power and as long as men will prefer work over home women will suffer the consequences.

t-bear

January 02, 2006 1:55 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

Hey c'mon Baron 't-bear' is just a fictional figure you invented to be the perfect dummy antithesis. Don't lie, tell the truth! ;-)

January 02, 2006 4:08 am  
Blogger Baron said...

Cool! Thanks for the tips. I will be implementing this plan right away...

But seriously, a few comments:

First of all, all of this has nothing to do with the alleged wage gap. It only explains that the difference in wages is due to women being manipulated into having a weak career and therefore also a low salary (your point h). If what you say is correct, then women should be complaining that men are manipulators, not that they are giving women lower salaries. I.e. you agree that the wage gap issue is a myth and that the workplace has nothing to do with it.

But let's take a detour and discuss these manipulations:

1. You're painting one specific picture out of many and only one side of the story. Plenty of women manipulate men into getting what they want, placing priorities on their own needs. I can easily paint a typical reverse scenario (see below).

2. (e) Some men may stay at work late to play around but most late-workers I know do work hard. And I could also claim that most women that don't work and stay at home aren't working 12 hours a day either.

And if men do stay at work to avoid home then maybe it's because home is no longer a pleasant place to be? Do you really think staying late at the office is more pleasant given the choice? But of course this argument could go on endlessly throwing the blame back and forth.

3. (f-g) So women feel alone and want a social life and that's why they go looking for a job? What a silly solution. A job is just another hell most of the time. Why not get friends, throw parties, go out, study or get a passionate hobby that will make her feel she is doing 'something with her life'? A job should be the last resort if that's all she is looking for.

4. (k) The father gets the kids simply by saying that the mother's salary isn't enough? What universe do you live in? Also most fathers fight for JOINT-custody, not sole-custody-plus-child-support.

5. If what you say is true that women get these wages because they are 'tricked' into focusing on their home, then un-married women, lesbians and young women should all be getting the same salary as men. I never heard of such a statistic.


And now I shall return the favor. The quick guide for women:

a. Get married to a rich man or a man who has a great job and who has fallen madly in love (or lust) with you.

b. Work fewer hours, or don't bother getting a job in the first place, claiming that the home and children is a full-time job and he makes enough for a family anyways.

c. He obviously doesn't care about improving his home, happily living in a dump or hiring a maid for essentials, but you want a nice, clean home so you put in the extra hard work needed. Make him pay for it and stay at home to make it the way you want it.

d. Spend all of his hard-earned money on a fancier house and decorations which you manipulated him into getting, more shoes for you and the children, an extra car so you can go shopping, and a hobby that keeps you sane. Pile up the bills, claiming that your higher standard of living is basic human need and that you'd be miserable otherwise.

e. When you have children, claim that this work is too much for you to bear alone even though you are home all day, and apply pressure on him to take a 'fair' share of the chores. Don't forget to complain about the long hours he spends at the office to make enough to support you.

f. If he isn't giving you everything you need, use moods and sex as weapons.

g. Now he is miserable, working hard for money which he barely spends on himself and coming home after 9-13 hours of work to a wife who is bored and lonely, spends all his money, and complains about everything under the sun, including the fact that he doesn't do enough housework.

h. Now you get divorced. You grab the kids all for yourself simply because you were the one that put in more time raising them and are better with children. The father now has to pay even more money for alimony and child-support and you get the house, the kids and money to maintain your standard of living by yourself.

You women. You put priority on your home and children and then complain when your husbands don't have the same priorities, while they have to slave to support your standard of living they weren't that interested in in the first place. Then you also complain that you earn less and want the best of both worlds - a nice home and a high salary. You complain that raising children is not fulfilling enough so you get a job, stupidly assuming that men have all the fun in life at work.

By defining these things in your guide as manipulations, you assume men are doing this on purpose, which attributes a much greater intelligence and scheming nature than many have. Have you considered that men don't cook and clean simply because they aren't interested in taking care of themselves and their homes?


Both of these guides are bickering nonsense however. The truth is, women and men simply don't know how to keep each other (and themselves) happy despite having to work hard. So they go to where the grass seems greener, complaining all the time.

In general, men are relatively more interested in earning the paycheck and women are relatively more interested in living in a nice home. Your guide for men proves this is true as does everything else people do. Men are better at earning more money and women are better at making good homes. Women need men to earn enough money and men need women to improve their standard of living.

If you want to change this and make both home and job an equally shared responsibility then you must change your and your spouses needs and priorities. If you can find a way to make women put in the extra hours at work and push the extra mile to get an executive job and earn enough for their children, and also get men interested in making their houses shiny and clean and keep their fridges full of food, then you'll be hailed as a genius.

It's either that or find an exceptional guy that's compatible with your needs. But don't expect men to change their interests and focus on where they are weaker just because you and feminists in general want a change.

Otherwise, find a way to live with these facts, share some of the responsibilities but don't expect the same interest in your priorities, and be happy. Both men and women slave at what they do best, and when they are together its both their jobs to keep each other happy otherwise they have no business getting married.

January 02, 2006 4:08 am  
Blogger Baron said...

To lanan:

Although I enjoy playing devil's advocate, to play t-bear's role in addition to mine, I think I would have to be schizophrenic.

Of course I could be a split personality and not know about it.

Let me know if you see me rallying at feminist conventions wearing pink...

January 02, 2006 4:21 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To lanan: I’m real
To Baron: I enjoyed your comments!

Baron, you are right. I kind of like detours and didn’t really argue the wage gap myth just offered one scenario of how this wage gap develops and took the opportunity to play with some annoying ideas you presented in previous posts (i.e. fatherhood and custody issues). And thank you for returning the favor! I smiled the whole time.
Now I’ll argue your points like a good girl to your original post:

1. It is true many women place higher priorities on their families and children. However, the argument of dropping out of the work force for a year to have a baby is not a good argument because most men have periods when they don’t work either (when they are in between jobs for example).

a.Just because women usually tend to take more responsibly for their families and children does not necessarily mean they put in less hours at work or fewer extra hours. I personally know lots of cases where both husband and wife worked and the wife put in more time and effort both at work and in the house. It is really down to the person and the kind of job they due. If it is someone who tends to take responsibility and do a good job he/she will do a good job whether it’s in the house or in the office. Some jobs, however, require so much over time that it is not possible to really do both. Women doctors and lawyers put in the hours at work and not at home.

b. As I’ve already mentioned disappearing from the work force for several months or even a year is not unique to women. Almost all men I know had periods of months in between jobs when they were unemployed.
Most of my female friends that have given birth took a 3-6 month vacation and then went back to work. In some cases women take a couple of years leave- that is a different story and then you have a case.

2. No argument with you here. (However, if you take all the women in the world statistically these differences cancel each other out – the woman with more experience cancels out the difference caused by the woman with less experience etc.).

3. It’s true some women, especially when they have young children look for more convenient jobs. But then again, a lot don’t. A lot of women are much more competitive then men, look for high–prestige jobs, go to the best universities to study and get a good career and a high paying job. If women choose to specialize in child psychology I’m sure that they choose this field because they are drawn to it and despite the fact that it pays less. Have you ever considered that this field is considered low-level because of the high concentration of women? (If women typically get paid less an employer can get away with paying less to a woman because he knows her alternatives are low paying jobs. If a field naturally attracts more women such as child psychology it is no wonder the salaries reflect it).


4. I agree with you about hi-tech and computers. I think this is a field that naturally attracts more men and feminists don’t have a case here. Regarding women working fewer hours I disagree. When women are part of a work culture that demands long hours, they work long hours. Check out the long hours of women doctors in hospitals for example. You won’t see any of them working 9-5. If a secretary in a hi-tech company that got minimum wage left at 5, what is the wonder in that? Also keep in mind that hi-tech is unique. Not all men work in hi-tech, not all men work crazy long hours, not all men actually work when they are in the office. For every woman who is not serious about her work I’m sure there is at least one man.

5. The glass ceiling does exist. It is extremely hard for a woman to reach high positions all women know this.

6. It is a good argument to say why companies aren’t exclusively employing women. I think the answer for this is simple, in some fields you find more qualified men and in some fields more qualified women, so companies have no choice.

7. I’ve also been in a position to see how salaries were determined, more then once. I indeed was a witness to “well, in another place she can’t get more then 7… so lets try to give her 6”. Employers don’t pay according to what the work is worth. They pay the lowest salary they can get away with.

8. Everything you said plays a part in the wage gap. The problem is that because there is a wage gap (even if it is partially for real reasons), even when there is no reason for a woman to get a lower salary she does just because her employer knows women’s salaries are usually lower and her alternatives are limited.

t-bear

January 04, 2006 1:31 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

@t-bear

- Women earn more than men, if they work in the same jobs under the same conditions.

- Women don't want to work, if they have a chance to choose.

- Let's have more quotas and all the other means to combine work and maternity. I really like it!

- And I 'm really amazed by the standard of your logic and what you say is logical indeed.

- And finally a little hint concerning the glass ceiling.

@Baron Sorry for my last posting!

January 04, 2006 4:33 am  
Blogger Baron said...

t-bear:

Now you're talking!

1. While it is true that men have periods of unemployment and their jobs suffer from this as well, I think the important factors are:

a) How many women vs. men drop from the workforce for extended periods of time? While both may do it out of laziness or personal issues and plans, women do it very often for their social life, homes, children and family, whereas men do it unwillingly due to hard times. I think it's obvious that the numbers here will not be equal.

b) How long do they do it for? A year is short compared to the classic and common case of the housewife who disappears for a couple of decades.

c) And more importantly, this difference in priority affects how hard they work and how many hours they work even when they do have a job. I agree that many women do work hard and it depends on the job and the circumstances, but in general, based on this premise that their priorities are elsewhere and also based on my experience working with them, women are much more prone to working 9 to 5, doing what they have to so that they can go live their real life.

There's a big difference between working hard and going the extra mile.

And this is an important point I neglected. Men have a much bigger tendency to give their passion to work. They look for optimizations, shortcuts, perfection, understanding of the inner workings and technical aspects of their work so that they can hack and conquer the system, find a way to make it theirs. This is not only relevant in more demanding jobs like computers and litigation, but even in menial jobs such as distribution of fliers, deliveries and clerk duties, I've seen many men pride themselves in completing the job faster and finding shortcuts.

This is yet another argument why men get higher wages.


2. The important things to compare are the seniority, experience, job descriptions, positions and total hours worked of women in general vs. men in general.

3. Again, men vs. women is the issue, not women in low-paying jobs vs. women in high-paying jobs.

And no, it's not a conspiracy that sets the lower wages to a typically female job - it's the market demand. You can't tell me that child psychology pays less than adult psychology just because there are more women in this field. It's obviously because adults are willing to pay more for themselves than for others.

4. Since I base my argument on my own experience with female developers, managers, salespeople, marketing assistants and even executives, and I have rarely seen women stay long hours, whereas I see men do it all the time, I cannot agree. I'm not saying that women never do it, but the figures are very disproportionate.

5. "all women know this" is by far the weakest argument you could give. Just because there are more executive men than women that does not mean there is a glass ceiling. I need proof and/or logic.

As an example, see this page for a study that shows that over 60% of executives are 'work-centric' as opposed to 'dual-centric' (work and non-work get equal weight).

6. OK so in the fields that have plenty of women, why aren't companies employing them exclusively?

7-8. This is a good point. However, if women would go for high-prestige and high-paying jobs from the start, this reasoning to give women lower wages wouldn't work in the first place would it?

So you think that women have always gotten lower salaries and men keep it that way simply by assuming they can keep paying them low salaries? Again, this would necessitate a world-wide conspiracy amongst millions of male managers - which is silly paranoia. And what about the millions of female managers and HR personnel? Why have they not helped dent this alleged wage gap?


P.S. I thought of another possible reason for the wage gap: Women in general aren't as strong or demanding in job interviews. Men try to squeeze more out of their employers more often in my experience.

P.P.S. If the surveys that show that men work 8-10 more hours than women per week are correct, in some cases a woman might even be getting MORE than a man per hour. However, research on the internet shows widely differing statistics about the difference in hours, some claiming 2-5 hours and others 8-10.

January 04, 2006 4:49 am  
Blogger Baron said...

lanan:

Thanks for the articles.

I especially liked the second one which basically confirmed the scenario in my 'guide to women'.

In the third article there is a horrifying statement:

"Swedish officials are considering whether to emulate a recent move in Norway, which decreed that all companies must have at least two women on their boards by the end of 2006."

And here I thought affirmative action was bad.


The fourth article gives this issue a new interesting twist. However, it's not fair to argue that unmarried men are exclusively motivated to get higher salaries and better jobs just in order to seem attractive to women, most of who marry up. Let's be fair, men want higher salaries primarily for the money as well as for the power.

But it does give them much more motivation, men are indeed still seen as the primary wallets, and when they are married and have to support a family and a wife who stays at home, obviously they will push that much harder at work.

January 04, 2006 5:20 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

If you liked the second article you might be interested in the author's other activities.

The norwegian law to have two female members in the board has yet to be proven sucessful in reality. I read most norwegian female managers were against it. But I had another intention in posting that article. Sweden mostly is seen as some kind of females paradise. Having one of the highest rates of employed women, having anything to combine maternity and employment. Well that serves men as well, there is no post marital alimony at all and shared parenting is commonly practised.

But something else made me curios about Sweden. It has the third best result in the creativity index, following USA and Finland, that value indicating a highly competitive economy. My idea was, since almost every woman works, and does so for a her livetime, then they compete with men for the cushy jobs, i.e. men will be driven away from these jobs. Men then will be forced to find a new terrain and that will propably not only be high tech but also high end. I oppose the article in stating women get only low- or midclass jobs, they also get highclass jobs, mostly in the public sector, where salaries are lower.

I just like it to be an amazing example, that when you follow the feminist script, you almost certainly will find them screwing up themselves in the end. I really love that feminist kind of humor.

The fourth article I didn't read from the perspective of an unmarried man, but more from the perspective of an unmarried woman. If the game is hypergamy, they shot themselves again in the end.

January 04, 2006 6:30 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To lanan: Thanks for the articals they were amusing.

To Baron:

1. (a,b) It is true that the classic case used to be a housewife that disappears from the workplace for an extended period of time (or for that matter didn’t appear in the work place to begin with) but I’m not sure this is the common case any more. Like I said before, most cases I’m familiar with are of relatively short maternity leaves.

c. An important point is this alleged difference in priority you keep mentioning. Who says women prioritize home and children while men prioritize work? You keep saying how work is just another hell hole and that men slaving at work is just another sacrifice they make for their children and wives. Doesn’t that make their families their real priority? On the other hand, how can you be sure women prioritize children and home and don’t just take on these responsibilities because men don’t and they have no choice.

If both husband and wife work, why should the wife be the one concerned about the house and children? Why can’t it be a shared concern? The longer society continues to perceive this as primarily the women’s concern it will continue to be a self-fulfilling prophecy.

Some people make work their life and some people have a life beyond their work. It is not gender specific. It depends on the kind of job, work culture, passion and obsession the person has with his/her work. Children should shed new light on both their parents’ priorities and how they perceive life beyond work. Sadly, many men don’t shift their priorities at all resulting in a bigger imposed shift on women.

Regarding passion for your work and going the extra mile- again this is not gender specific. You really think women don’t try to perfect their work? Don’t look for shortcuts? Don’t take pride in what they do? Some women are not happy with their jobs, but the ones who find jobs in fields they are passionate about put in their hearts and souls into it. And as perfectionism goes, some women are perfectionists some women aren’t, the same as with men.

2-3. When you say wages are determined by market demand, you are half right. Wages like all prices, in a competitive market, are determined by market demand and market supply. According to neo –classic economic theory employees’ wages are determined according to the marginal revenue product and marginal cost. Marginal cost is the workers’ supply curve (representing how much money they ‘sell’ each hour of labor for), marginal revenue product is the market’s demand curve (how much money a firm can make from each extra product sold). A company will continue hiring as long as extra revenues exceed extra costs (until MRP=MRC) and that will determine the wage equilibrium (MRP= real wage). Of course, according to economic theory, prices are determined in the aggregate markets and companies and individuals are only price takers. External factors can shift both graphs to make either of them higher or lower (Number of people, trends, belief systems and more). Bottom line: If it is generally believed that women’s market price is lower , it will cause their wages to plump regardless of how productive they really are.
Your explanation that adults are willing to pay more for themselves then for others is a possible explanation, however in my experience parents went to extreme measures to ensure their children's health- a lot more then they ever spent for themselves.

4. If you really work longer you should get paid more. I don’t know the figures.

5. I’m tired so that is my argument. I could search the web and bring tons of statistics but you would just claim it is feminist propaganda anyway and wouldn’t trust the figures. All of your ‘logic’ that explains the wage gap is the logic that stands in the basis of the glass ceiling. Sometimes the best proof for something is experiencing it. I suggest the next time you go for a job interview try to go as a woman an see if you’ll be offered any executive jobs or big pay checks. I know you won't do this but at least imagine yourself, with all your experience and everything, the only difference now is that you are a woman. knowing you you probably wouldn't even hire yourself.

6. They are, or almost are.

7-8. Women try to look for the jobs and work places that discriminate less.

I never suggested there was a world-wide conspiracy to give the prettier sex less money for the same work. I do think there are several mechanisms in place that are responsible for this situation. Female managers and HR personnel can’t do anything about it and neither can individual men managers. They are all just price takers, it is much bigger than them.

t-bear

January 05, 2006 2:40 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ t-bear:

Your interpretations of "neo classics" are jolly fun, as any first semester knows, the paradigm shifted from cardinal to ordinal logics some 100 hundred years ago. It's called Pareto optimum. In that sense the preferences individuals have are deciding the outcome. Only within one and the same preferential curve the outcome should be the same, having an equilibrum at any piont on this curve.

So if you choose another preferential curve you are on another level concerning the outcome. I.e. not some mysterious mechanisms calculate the salaries in a branch, but normal people decide to enter a certain branch, well knowing it's prices, that is the reason why - at least among grown ups - they don't complain.

As Baron said, excellency is mostly based on the will to understand a system, hacking it, owning it. The way you treat the problem, you're just talking about "several mechanisms" you haven't understood. Being that the archetypical ground for any conspiracy theory, I believe you any word, there is a glass ceiling that you suffer from.

January 05, 2006 4:04 am  
Blogger Baron said...

t-bear:

1. US Statistics show that over 7% of US women stay at home and this number is on the rise (300m total, 6.8m stay-at-home women = 2.3% of the population of which half are female and probably over a third of these are children or unmarried).

In addition, lanan's article says that more women prefer to stay home rather than work, and this article claims that since the 90s, stay-at-home motherhood has become a trend again.

c. You're right that men probably value life outside of work as much as women but men still put in more effort at work. This statement is backed up by the consistent statistics that show that men work more hours than women in every country, that 7% of married women stay-at-home, that 7 out of 10 women say they would prefer staying at home rather than work, that most women put priority on flexible hours, by the fact that men have to work in order to support their family or be eligible for marriage whereas women have a choice, and by my experience with the way men work.

Regarding you wanting to change the world and make both genders share home and work equally, see my previous comments. Claiming that society is making us see men and women like this is tantamount to claiming that society has made women disinterested in computer engineering.

Regarding men's higher passion for the technical details of work, I see what I see. We'll just have to agree to disagree here.

3. Again, it's a matter of whether you believe that almost all managers all over the world believe women should get lower salaries, including female decision-making managers. If you believe this then it would explain the gap but I find this a ridiculous notion. I think that even if only 20-30% of companies gave women equal salaries, this trend and the perceived market worth of women would change rapidly. But why go to extreme theories such as these when the wage gap can be explained much more easily using my other arguments?

5. The glass ceiling: I trust statistics up to a point, but I claim that they don't prove anything. Just because many more men are executives than women that doesn't mean women are being discriminated against.

6. Nonsense, I'm not talking about fields such as nursing and teaching, I'm talking about marketing, sales, management, medicine, etc. There are plenty of women there and yet men are employed equally or sometimes more than women in these positions.

That said, like I said in the original article, I agree that chauvinism and the way men see women could play a part in blocking promotions and executive positions. But I'm also sure this is not the sole or primary reason for the fewer female executives.

January 05, 2006 6:32 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

Reviewing t-bears comments on glass ceiling and housework, I came up with some other amusing articles on marrying strategies, choice feminism, mommy wars and opt-out strategies. So being that rather hostile grounds, I especially liked the idea at least children will grow up with robust immune systems. And yes I certainly could do my part in providing this. There is a further link on the site in which this article is bashed.

Another research for successful strategies on the marriage market could be found here.
Of course all this is helpful in getting a fair share when it comes up to smash the glass ceiling, though it could leave you homeless.

The first article mentioned the anecdotical character of data, stating that two anecdotes will provide data. Well I think looking on the different data being provided in this discussion, the statistics are anecdotical.

Having read so far that almost half of US female elite students opt-out but that only 7% of the population become stay-home mothers, it could indicate opting out is indeed an elite privilege. Though again I learned college educated women work more than others. It also could indicate there are statistical flaws. There was information about 45,3% of American women holding managerial positions as opposed to only 29,2% in Sweden. That could indicate there is gender equality in the United States without any quotas, or it could mean Sweden actually provides more than a fair share to women, given the fact that 75% of Swedish women work within the public sector. It could simply mean Swedish women choose other choices than female OECD executives would like them to do.

So the equation is freedom of choice vs. wage gap. The funny thing about it is that discreting these two variables from the equation will yield arbitrary ways of multiple screening which again gives pass to multiply privileges, the only and foremost concern of various feminisms.

Looking on the method VAWA style laws are introduced to fight shared parenting even where it already had been implemented successfully, which in turn is - besides loving their children - a male expression to give housework a fair share, might be a slight hint on how multiple screening works to gain privileges. As t-bear already said this choice of the other is not contributing to a feminist view on female freedom but just annoying.

So (mostly) being polite I just took choice maskulism and opted out marriage and children and will remain so as long it's presented to me as some sort of St. Petersburg Paradox.

January 05, 2006 3:55 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Anonymous: Answering first semester economics with second semester economics (price theory and utility functions) hardly proves you hacked the system.

To Baron:

1. 7% of women stay at home - that’s all?! I would have assumed a lot more! That is really good news!

I did some statistics checking myself and here is what I found: US statistics show that in 2004 22% of fathers were stay at home dads and 56% of all men in the US were considering at home fatherhood http://www.rebeldad.com/stats.htm

Lanan’s article was a subjective consultant’s viewpoint regarding women gold diggers. It doesn’t prove anything. You know what, even if there was a real statistic that showed that when asked women said they would prefer not to have to work and have a supporting wealthy spouse, what is the wonder in that? Wouldn’t most men answer the same?

c. I am not arguing that men emphasize work and women take more responsibility for the home. I am arguing that both may be doing this despite their real priorities, or despite their optimal living situation if they really had a choice. If that is the case, making it easier for women to work more and making it easier for men to spend more time at home will benefit everyone. And by the way, global trends are moving in that direction, so fortunately I don’t have to change the world, it’s changing even without my help.

You write: “Regarding men's higher passion for the technical details of work, I see what I see. We'll just have to agree to disagree here”.
But that is not what you originally claimed. You claimed that men have a much bigger tendency to give their passion to work, look for optimizations and perfections and understanding of technical aspects. I can agree with you on the technical aspects, not on the rest.

3,5. I obviously don’t think all managers believe women should be paid less. I think most managers know they can pay women less and get away with it. Even a women manager will prefer paying an employee less if she can. All the reasons you stated play a part and they also turn any woman employee into a riskier worker, hence lowering all women’s wages reflecting that risk premium. A woman has to work a lot harder to prove her worth. She can be an executive but it will take much more convincing and proving of worth than for the average man. It is not a glass ceiling but it is a mighty tough ladder to climb.

And last, remember, the more you block us, the lower you pay us the more you will have to work.

t-bear

January 05, 2006 7:17 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To t-bear

Well forgetting the first semester courses just when entering the second doesn't seem to be a big hack neither. Utility and cost functions are computed along the prefential curve, anyway.

A couple of weeks ago I read a former female costudent of mine had become an university professor. I was pleased to see that, while I became a drop out. I droped out late but not too late to make a career.

I just had to smile when I saw that her basic salary would be equal to the amount of money I would be forced to pay as alimony if I would have been dull enough to marry. Of course that doesn't prove I hacked the system, but it might be a hint that one shouldn't forget the first semester courses ;-) ...

January 05, 2006 8:02 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

T-bear what's that, no more glass ceiling? Where has it gone?

But halt, since when do average men become executives?

January 05, 2006 8:41 pm  
Anonymous mo0n said...

oh, for abba's sake. isn't questioning the existance of a wage gap just a wee bit pointless? why should i care about what someone else makes? besides, you need to make yourself valuable to your company if you want a bigger salary. capitalism has very little to do with the red cross. if you really are the best at what you do, you'll get both a promotion and a bigger salary, whether you're male, female or martian. yes, they will try to give you as little as they can get away with, but if you're the person behind some of the company's success, you'll have them eating out of your hand (and throwing bonuses left and right - i have a couple of those ridiculously successful people in my family). at any rate, i don't think generalisation should be applied to this issue. some people are simply more capable than others.
yes, i realize that i didn't just invent the wheel with this comment. i simply think that a person's salary can be (remotely) gender related only up to a point where that person starts doing serious work and giving something to their company.

as for home versus work - hire a bloody housekeeper if you can't juggle the two.

January 06, 2006 12:23 am  
Anonymous lanan said...

Guess Baron was even right about that:

January 07, 2006 1:46 am  
Blogger Baron said...

t-bear:

The link with stay-at-home fathers makes no sense when it says 20%. Using its own source of information from the Census Bureau, I did my own math:

Out of 23,209,000 married couples with children under the age of 15, 5,388,000 women stayed at home and 98,000 men. That's 23% and 0.4% respectively. Not even 1% of men and a much higher percentage of women than my estimate.

What lanan's article proves is:
a) Women prefer doing housework and leaving the bread-winning to the husband, which is what we've been saying all along.
b) This thing about men and women wanting to share the work/home responsibilities is hogwash.

Unless he's an outright liar, it proves it because he's a career consultant and when he asks his female clients, most answer that they would stay at home and let their husband work if they could. He also mentions a political poll done by women that says 7 out 10 women "would stay home with their kids if they could afford it". Which proves they don't need a job to 'do something with their life' and don't believe that work should be shared. There's a big difference between wishing to be able to stay at home and be lazy, and working hard at home while your husband works hard at his career.

Again, it's obvious to me that by nature, men and women have different priorities and tendencies.

Regarding passion for work, I understand your distinction between technical details and non-technical. But most jobs have a technical side and if not, men tend to make it technical.

Again, I'm not saying that women don't work hard or that there aren't many lazy men who barely do anything at work. It's just that these women work hard then go home whereas I find that men sometimes work harder and even keep working when they go home. It's about the extra mile and how often men do it vs. women. It's a general trend that I see all the time and I'm backed by the above statistics and facts.

Your viewpoint on female wages being lower in the market and managers using this to save money is interesting. But:
a) I doubt female managers would screw themselves this way. I mean it only prolongs their own lower wages not to mention that it negates everything they believe in if they're feminists.

b) The reason the wages for women may be lower in the first place is probably due to the arguments I mentioned. Like you said yourself: "All the reasons you stated play a part and they also turn any woman employee into a riskier worker". Only I believe they play the pimary part.

January 07, 2006 6:15 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

moon:

The wage gap issue isn't about who earns more, it's about whether women are being discriminated against just because they are women.

January 07, 2006 6:23 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

Discrimination? Well to tackle discrimination towards women within the educational system and the workplace, they put enormous effords to push womens education in reforming schools and universities using all forms of "affirmative action". So far so good I wouldn't like women to be in a position of inequity. The problem then there is, that chances of boys dropped, that boys became discriminated at schools and universities leaving them mostly off fair chances for qualified jobs. In fact the way gender equity was maintained it created social inequity shifting money from mostly poor black men to mostly wealthy white women. In Europe they weren't black but immigrants. And even where gender equity is mostly created without social segregation as in Sweden they cry gender wage gap. Given the fact that masses of underprivilleged chanceless men create social uproar, I think we should stop our feminst sisters before they have spoiled our contries.

January 07, 2006 7:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@lanan

I see blaming a third party for spoiling the country is still big in Germany

January 07, 2006 9:50 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

@Anonymous

It was really interesting these days. One of the most left winged and feminist newspapers released an article about the discrimination of boys in school, which was described as an urgent task to be solved. In a liberal weekly a female sociologist of an economical think tank near to trade unions said there is a wage gap but men couldn't be blamed, we should stop gender wars. In the same weekly a female journalist wrote that narrowing the gender gap lead to spreading the social gap.

I just wonder if they have come to the conclusion there will be no gender equity without gender solidarity? Let's see what happens next ...

Oh btw it shouldn't be a german problem only.

January 07, 2006 11:15 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lannan is a WOMAN!!! see proof bellow:

1) Always rants arround the same "time of the month"

2) Reads feminist magazines

3) Never writes to the point and always argues.

4) Probably under paid... (roams around here all day...)

January 08, 2006 4:17 am  
Anonymous lannan said...

Sure am I a woman, what else?

January 08, 2006 8:05 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To Baron:

So what you are saying is that by will and by nature fathers and husbands are essentially wallets…Hmm…

I’m sorry, but lanan’s article proves nothing. It is amusing but nothing more. It has no statistical value because it is not a random sample. I’m assuming the women that appeared at this consultant’s doorstep were not the ones with successful jobs and careers, only the ones that were struggling. The article didn’t talk about women wanting to work hard in the house while their husbands work hard at work, as you suggest. As the title of the article indicates, it is talking about women gold diggers that would prefer not working at all, not at home or anywhere else. Everyone jokes at least once in his or her life about marrying a wealthy spouse and not having to worry about work. Nothing-new here. Show me one real statistic that really asks women about equality. About sharing both.
(And don’t quote me again the 7 out of 10 women- if you ask women that have both responsibilities, women that work but are also the primary caregivers, as most working women are, of course many would prefer not having to work).
Some women are brought up to think their main goal in life is to marry, keep a clean house, cook and raise children. These women may find this life fulfilling. They are the house tyrants, their husbands- wallets, and everyone lives happily ever after. The problem is that this was a typical family in the 50s and turns out the women didn’t really appreciate the situation. They did nothing about it except make their daughters study really hard, nag them about reaching economic independency, postpone getting married or in short the way I see it, this is what started your beloved feminist movement.
Modern women today have been brought up to seek fulfillment beyond the boundaries of 4-bedroom apartment. They take pride in the success of their children, but they want to be successful in their own right too. ‘The need to do something with their life’ that you mock or don’t understand is a deep or even basic need, a real thirst to do something important, something that makes a difference. They want to say: my name is... I am the mother of... but I am also a scientist working on finding a cure for Aids. I think all humans have this need, but of-course not all are lucky enough to be in situations/countries/ cultures/ religions/ jobs that allow for self-fulfillment. You can live a practical life, have a practical job, get a practical wife and work hard your whole life. Or you can find things you love and never have to work another day in your life.

P.S- Hey lanan who is in the picture?

t-bear

January 08, 2006 5:46 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

t-bear:

To call a man a wallet implies that this is his sole purpose. This I did not imply. I do agree however that one of a man's primary responsibilities is to be the financial provider.

Regarding the article:
1) Random sample: the poll that said 7 out of 10 was presumably random.

2) When a woman says she wants to stay at home with the kids she means she wants to take care of them, which means hard work.

But I must agree with you that the poll didn't ask whether women wanted to share both responsibilities. So you win here.


Regarding 'making something with her life': I sound like I'm mocking this because this phrase is used as a synonym for finding a job. There are dozens of other possibilities that can be much more enjoyable and fulfilling than a job.

You used researching a cure for AIDS as an example, but most women don't do this. Most get a job as an office manager or marketing assistant. Or they teach, which is basically a part of mothering only they do it for other kids. These can hardly be considered occupations that give them that extra important boost you mentioned in addition to building a home and family.

Unless they're merely bored, lonely or want more money and can't find anything better to do.

But you said "they want to be successful in their own right too". How does working for a boss and making her successful differ from making her children successful? At least she's her own boss at home. The only extra she gets at work is a paycheck.

I agree that many women need more than their homes. I don't agree with this emphasis on stupid jobs.

In any case this is another detour and doesn't affect my points about male/female priorities.

January 08, 2006 8:27 pm  
Anonymous lanan said...

@t-bear

I don't know the one on the photo, I'm not lannan!

But yeah, I've to confess you gals caught me, so I've to tell you a secret.

Yes, I like to argue and especially I like to have the final word, though that shouldn't be a secret anymore. And yeah, that's a real big challenge to any relationship to a woman. I mean they aren't used to it, it drives them insane. Let me tell you, the results aren't funny.

So I had to consider it, if I wasn't able to change women, which I couldn't, and if I wasn't able to change my mindsetting towards woman, which I could even less, then there was only one way to cope with that problem: getting transgendered.

What should I say? It works, it works great, no more bashing, no more discrimination, preferable laws, a greater ammount of choices. It's wonderful, I even found the partner I'd ever dreamed of. He's so calm, mature and empathetic ...

I'm so happy, I choose my choice.

January 09, 2006 5:55 am  
Anonymous Post scriptum said...

Might be interessting

January 24, 2006 12:04 pm  
Blogger Baron said...

Interesting, but what that article can't show is the reason why those employers chose to invite women to interviews four times more than men with identical CVs.

Perhaps it can be argued that the employers were men who were hoping for a date, or that they expect women to demand lower salaries.

Then again, the fact that more men than women were invited to apply for engineering jobs proves that the motivation is work-related.

Or perhaps the employers are simply afraid to reject female applicants due to pressure inside the office, affirmative action, political correctness, and/or fear of lawsuits.

No matter what the reason, it does prove bias towards women in several careers. Interestingly, this includes computer programming.

January 24, 2006 4:00 pm  
Anonymous post postscriptum said...

Maybe one bias simply follows another

January 24, 2006 5:59 pm  

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