It’s a celebration! For those of you who didn’t know, today is “Equal Pay Day,” a day feminists use to mark the day that women have earned enough to account for the wage gap in last year’s pay. Forbes reports that while there is still a gap in pay between the sexes–data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics observes a 19 percent gap—there is some flawed logic behind the feminist day. First things first, the difference in pay would take women through March 10 to make up, making the day’s celebration over a month overdue. But aside from the date mix-up, there are reasons why some women make less than men, and they have nothing to do with discrimination.
Reason #1: According to the Department of Labor’s Time Use Survey, men spend 8.14 hours a day at work on average, while women spend an average of 7.75 hours. Longer hours generally mean higher pay, so this explains about 25 percent of the gender wage gap.
Reason #2: In general, men take on jobs with higher pay. While some feminist argue this is because women are socialized to take on lower-paying jobs, research shows women like jobs with personal fulfillment, regular hours, comfortable conditions and little travel. They don’t care if they have to sacrifice a bit of pay to secure their ideal working environments. Men on the other hand, often take jobs with long hours and overnight shifts. A majority of men drive trucks across country, work in sewer systems, act as prison guards and take high risks production jobs. These jobs often pay more because no one really wants to do them.
Reason #3: Children do play a big part in how a woman decides to work out her professional goals. More often not, women will take on lower level positions, part-time roles and jobs with flexible or shorter hours to take care of their little ones. Once children come into the picture, men tend to do the opposite. They strive to find jobs that allow them to earn the maximum amount of income to support their family, even if it means odd hours and less-fulfilling roles.
Let’s not forget that a 19 percent gender wage gap means that 81 percent of women are earning a full-time income on par with men. In addition, the wage gap is simply the big picture. That means that it doesn’t take into consideration two co-workers in similar positions and fields, working the same amount of hours who differ only in gender. So while we applaud the feminists for not allowing us to forgive any of our fellow women workers, we acknowledge the fact that most women are working hard, and they’re getting the pay they deserve for it.
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