Friday, April 20, 2012

The Rebuttals. Or Why The US Economy Is Not Biased Against Men

As opposed to being biased that way. It's important to remember that the initial argument goes like this: The US Economy Favors Women!

The Atlantic Monthly posted two rebuttals. One is by Bryce Covert:
Is there hard data we might examine in order to determine what's causing the gender wage gap he thinks is so misleading? In fact, there is. A GAO report tried to account for the difference in earnings between men and women and found that factors like work patterns (experience or time in the workforce, for example), industry, occupation, race, marital status, and job tenure do come into play. However, it then stripped all of those factors out, and it still found that women make 80 percent of what men earn. It concluded, "[W]e were not able to explain the remaining earnings difference." One of the possibilities, it said, is discrimination, pure and simple.
This is the study I use in my gender gap series.
The second rebuttal is by the Catalyst Inc. and makes the point that family-friendly policies benefit both men and women, what with men starting their lives as babies and then often becoming fathers themselves. So they are not a sign of reverse discrimination against men. And, astonishingly, the zero-sum game between men and women in the MRA view of the world is not zero-sum in the real world because (lo and behold!) men and women sometimes live together, help each other, even (gulp!) love each other:
But here's where it gets even more interesting: Men now have more personal reasons to support equality too. Take fair pay. Of the more than 25 million married couples with children in the US in 2010, 57.7% were dual-career couples. And in 2009, working wives contributed 37.1% to family income. Yet many women today still earn less and get promoted less frequently than men from day-one of their careers--regardless of their aspirations, credentials, work experience and parenthood status. Over the course of a 40-year career, this can add up to an average of $380,000 in lost wages. For fathers who rely on their partner's income, support for pay equity is a no-brainer. Equal pay equals more money for the family.
I still also recommend my direct rebuttal of the Nemko article below. Because it's almost as nasty as Nemko's piece and addresses his specific arguments.

Then to the media politics in all this: The Nemko piece has over 400 comments, which means that it was good piece for the Atlantic Monthly! That about half of them are misogynistic comments (all about what's wrong with those billions of women in the world) is of no consequence to the editors. Or perhaps they were babes-in-the-woods and never thought that the intended audience of a misogynistic piece might be misogynists?

What's extremely ironic is that the comments thread to the Nemko piece offers such strong evidence of misogyny among one group of commentators that it would outweigh any kind of evidence of bias against men in the actual article (had it offered such). Just imagine one of those guys in charge of the hiring process at some firm!