Letters: What Do You Think?
Understanding the Gender Wage Gap
No law yet has closed the gender wage gap—not the 1963 Equal Pay for Equal Work Act, not Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, not the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, not affirmative action (which has benefited mostly white women, the group most vocal about the wage gap; http://tinyurl.com/74cooen).
Not the 1991 amendments to Title VII, not the 1991 Glass Ceiling Commission created by the Civil Rights Act, not the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act, not diversity, not the countless state and local laws and regulations, not the horde of overseers at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and not the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Nor will a “paycheck fairness” law work.
That’s because women’s pay equity advocates, who always insist one more law is needed, continue to overlook the effects of female, and male, behavior.
Despite the 40-year-old demand for equal pay for women, millions of wives still choose to have no pay at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women, stay-at-home wives, including the childless who represent an estimated 10 percent, constitute a growing niche.
“In the past few years,” he says in a CNN report at http://tinyurl.com/6reowj, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier….” at http://tinyurl.com/qqkaka.)
If indeed a higher percentage of women is staying at home, perhaps it’s because feminists and the media have told women for years that female workers are paid less than men in the same jobs — so why bother working if they’re going to be penalized and humiliated for being a woman.?
As full-time mothers or homemakers, stay-at-home wives earn zero. How can they afford to do this while in many cases living in luxury? Answer: Because they’re supported by their husband, an “employer” who pays them to stay at home. (Far more wives are supported by a spouse than are husbands.)
The implication of this is probably obvious to most 12-year-olds but seems incomprehensible to, or is ignored by, feminists and the liberal media: If millions of wives are able to accept no wages, millions of other wives, whose husbands’ incomes vary, are more often able than husbands to:
-accept low wages
-refuse overtime and promotions
-choose jobs based on interest first, wages second — the reverse of what men tend to do
-take more unpaid days off
-avoid uncomfortable wage-bargaining (http://tinyurl.com/3a5nlay)
-work part-time instead of full-time (“In 2011, 22 percent of male physicians and 44 percentage of female physicians worked less than full time, up from 7 percent of men and 29 percent of women from Cejka’s 2005 survey.”
These are some of the most sophisticated, educated women in the country choosing to earn less than their male counterparts in the exact same profession (http://tinyurl.com/7la747z).
Any one of these job choices lowers women’s median pay relative to men’s. And when a wife makes one of the choices, her husband often must take up the slack.
Women are able to make these choices because they are supported by a husband who must earn more than if he’d chosen never to marry. Still, even many men who shun marriage, unlike their female counterparts, feel their self-worth is tied to their net worth.
This is how men help create the wage gap: as a group they tend more than women to pass up jobs that interest them for jobs that pay well.
Funding for LGBT Programs
This just in from the Samara Fund:
Funding is now available for new or existing projects and organizations that serve lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) communities in Vermont through the Samara Fund at the Vermont Community Foundation. The Samara Fund’s mission is to help create a vibrant Vermont LGBT community and ensure that LGBT Vermonters are connected, healthy and empowered. This year, the Samara Fund will accept applications for projects or organizations that serve critical needs within the LGBT community or support HIV/AIDS services or prevention at the grassroots level. Nonprofits may apply at any time for up to $5,000; applications will be accepted through April 1, 2013. Samara also offers scholarships ranging from $750 to $1,500 to LGBT students who are committed to helping empower other LGBT young people. Visit http://www.vermontcf.org/samara to learn more.
…and from the LGBT Coalition of Western Mass.:
The LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts has received a grant from the Women’s Fund of Western Massachusetts. The grant was awarded based on the Diversity Heroes Project proposal, which aims to increase employment opportunities for transgender women in Western Massachusetts through a job fair and diversity training for businesses. “Almost half of trans people and a majority of trans women in a recent national study reported that they had been fired, not hired, or not promoted because of their gender identity,” says Genny Beemyn, a co-facilitator of the trainings. “The Coalition has also focused on collecting information and statistics on the discrimination against transgender women in the workplace.” The job skills workshop, presented by Baystate Health, will be held on April 4 at the Baystate Conference Center in Holyoke. For information about the business diversity trainings, or to register for the job skills workshop, contact the Coalition at http://www.lgbtcoalitionwma.org, 413-588-1018, or firstname.lastname@example.org.