Hey Conservatives- Let’s Pass an Equal Pay Law
I never thought I’d say this, but I think it’s time we pass an anti-discrimination law mandating equal pay for men and women working at the same job- even though I don’t think the “Gender Pay Gap” exists to the degree feminist activists tend to assume.
My reason? Proving to the feminist activists that the “Gender Pay Gap” is due not to discrimination on the part of male employers, but to current demographic differences in employment. For various reasons, including physiology, men tend to hold more physically demanding jobs than women, which tend to be higher paid than less physically demanding jobs. Men on average also tend to hold more advanced degrees- and thus the high-paying jobs that are available only to the holders of advanced degrees- than women, though that appears to be changing. The 70-cents-to-the-dollar statistic is found by comparing all male jobs to all female jobs, rather than comparing men and women who are working in the same jobs. And typically, when men and women’s wages in the same job are compared, the wage gap all but disappears.
Is there injustice here? I don’t think anyone would argue that it’s a societal injustice that more men work in heavy skilled labor than women (though some might call that a natural injustice.) There is definitely some injustice in there being fewer women in advanced-degree holder jobs, and the solution to that problem is encouraging more and more talented women to get advanced degrees and enter those jobs.
The solution to the “Gender Pay Gap,” if there needs be one, is therefore not to raise women’s wages, but to encourage more women to enter higher-paying jobs.
Suppose that in certain circumstances, women are indeed paid less than men for doing the same job. In every such case, there is most definitely discrimination that deserves legal recourse. And the employer paying women less than men is being a complete schmuck, perpetuating a great injustice, and not deserving the respect of any breathing human being. Such miscreants ought to be treated as criminals and forced to comply with the social norm of equal pay.
So let’s pass a law making sure that in those occasions, justice is served. But I predict that the legal community will discover very few of those occasions, because those occasions are only very rarely there.
In short, an Equal Pay Law would be a band-aid, meant more to make people feel good than to remedy the actual inequities resulting in the “Gender Pay Gap.” In fact, it would have a very interesting side-effect; after such a law was passed, studies on gender wage parity conducted in the same way as the study which birthed the 70-cent statistic will reveal that there is still a gender wage gap, even though employers would by then be required by law to pay women as much as they pay men. Perhaps then, the feminists would begin focusing on the actual solution- not fighting against injustice, but fighting for the empowerment of women, encouraging more and more young women to enter professional fields and make higher salaries and be more socially prominent.
And if such a circumstance were to come to pass, and feminists were to fight only for empowerment rather than also against injustice in the context of employment, they would soon discover that their end goals were no different than those of non-feminists like conservatives and moral traditionalists. They would discover that equal pay for equal work is the current reality of things, and that encouraging people to do better work, encouraging women to enter the commanding heights of power, is more effective for accomplishing the end of eliminating the “Gender Wage Gap” than passing a wage equity law.
So, my fellow conservatives, we have before us a grand opportunity to humiliate the feminists, by giving them exactly what they want. Let’s all get behind a national Equal Pay Law, and in so doing both mop up whatever few cases of pay inequity currently actually exist, and show the feminists that they’ve been believing in fudged facts this whole time. There are no negative side-effects to an equal pay law (unless you’re a paranoid libertarian) and only good benefits- winning a chip against the War on Women rhetoric of the Left, and proving to feminists that they’ve been wrong on one of their central issues for years.
And feminists, did you hear that? I’m now on the record as supporting an Equal Pay Law. Come at me.