Yes, yes, just as I\’ve been saying for years

Gaby Hinsliff on the gender pay gap.

Amongst the young it is in favour of women now. Overall it is in favour of men but that\’s down to two things.

1) Overall is comparing women in their 50s etc, people who did not receive the same education or career opportunities as the men of their age group. This is a problem that will be solved simply by time.

2) Motherhood. The pay gap appears at the average age of primagravidae. We don\’t actually have a gender pay gap any more. We have a motherhood pay gap. To change this you\’re going to have to change biology and good luck with that in a mammalian species.

So, can we please decalre this problem over and get on with solving some of the others that plague us?


10 thoughts on “Yes, yes, just as I\’ve been saying for years”

  1. One to bookmark and bring out next time the Fawcett society bring out a report and the Guardian gushes over it.

    The way she gloats was annoying, though. I liked the comment by MacGyver: “Men paid more than women, “stonkingly, grievously unfair”.
    Women paid more than men, “shaft of sunlight in the gloom”.

    Someone explain this to me.”

    Finally, you are worryingly fond of the word “primagravidae.” I saw this on my notes when in hospital to have my first baby, prefaced by the word “elderly” – at the age of twenty eight, thank you very much. It made me feel like a praying mantis hungry to devour a fresh young husband.

  2. As usual, lefties and feminists only look at one side of the issue, engage their prejudices, and scream a load of nonsense.

    Is the gender pay gap a problem? If so, why? Surely consumption is more important than earning when measuring quality of life.

    Women probably have greater overall spending power and consumption than men do, because they live longer, and because the person who earns the money isn’t necessarily the one who spends it. High earning men tend to have wives and daughters enjoying the fruits of their earnings.

    Also, in a relatively free market economy, men are always likely to be “overrepresented”, to use that favourite leftie term, among the very high earning. The choices women make to become mothers and spend more time with the kids and less time at work is a huge factor, but isn’t the only one.

    Even if we abolished motherhood, the Bell Curve distribution for IQ is shaped differently for men than it is for women and means that the very high earning outliers in society will tend to be mostly men. Women tend to be more clustered towards the centre of the curve.

    Men are also more likely than women to take greater risks for greater rewards. Lots more men gravitate towards starting their own businesses or going into sales or stressful, high-earning-potential jobs in the City than do women. Lots more men are inventors or pioneers in new products or services, and naturally reap the rewards when they are successful, and suffer the losses when unsuccessful.

    Think of all the inventions that have created the modern world: cars, telephones, computers, electricity, etc. There just aren’t many female equivalents of Steve Jobs, Henry Ford, Alexander Graham Bell, Thomas Edison.

    This may be entirely because our evil, capitalist, patriarchal Western society has oppressed women and tried to stifle their genius, but I doubt it.

    But even if it is all a male conspiracy to ensure that women live longer and enjoy more spending power and get to work fewer hours and spend more time with the family than men do, I’m still not sure this is a “problem” for women.

  3. I think it’s fairly clear that the old straight-up prejudicial attitudes to women are leaving the workplace with the people who hold them. There’s not much of that ‘women belong at home’ or ‘women arent as good as men’ stuff around.

    So we understand that the pay gap arises because women make different choices.. and it’s nonsense to expect that gap to disappear again once the childbirth days are over.. pay progression will always reflect experience, and if women take a few years away from the workplace then they will lag behind equally skilled men who do not.

    So is everything OK then? Well, not necessarily. Why do women make the choices that they make? Is it nature or nurture? Do we, as a society, have different expectations which, intentionally or otherwise, divert women along a different path?

    Our maternity/paternity rules clearly discriminate, by treating mothers and fathers differently. To whose advantage (if either) is entirely moot. Is it rational for women to want to be the ones who choose child-rearing over career progression? If so, then are men therefore being irrational in not wanting to do that? If not, then why are women making the choice if not because, all their lives, our culture has led them to that irrational decision.

    So yes.. we don’t have a pay gap for the reasons that many think we have a pay gap.. But we do have one. There’s more than one way to miss the point.

  4. “Is it rational for women to want to be the ones who choose child-rearing over career progression?”

    Yes, there’s this small thing about breast feeding

  5. @Emil: And having nurtured a living being inside them for 9 months. That’s got to be a bit more of a bond than just being present (or even not present given modern fertility treatments) at the time of conception.

  6. Emil – indeed, though that is a choice (albeit, I understand, a generally accepted good one.. at least for the spawn).

    Jim – That’s just supposition. Common sense? Perhaps.. but such a bond could just as easily be ‘imposed’ by culture.

    And in both instances.. how long do these influences need to last? 6 months? 12 months? How long, on average, do mothers spend away from the workplace after having a child? At what point could mum and dad happily swap if it wasn’t still seen as a slightly odd thing to do?

    Tim adds: well, anyone who wants to have two or three kids (as those who actually do have kids seem to have) will have spent the best part of a decade out of that cut and thrust of the workplace.

    Gotta have an effect, no?

    Hey, I’m all for house husbands if hat’s what people want to do. I even know a couple here online. But the uterus, stiches and tits thing really does have an effect.

  7. She’s read the statistics wrongly, even though I tried to explain them. Men aged 22-29 earn 2.6% more per hour across all jobs, she’s looking at full time only (women also earn more part time, but their part time share is much higher). You can argue why this is.

  8. The number of men who are sole breadwinners is significantly greater than the number of women who are, so unless you want major relative poverty on an “equivalised” basis in single-earner families, those guys have to go out and earn more, whether it is by taking tougher jobs (how many trawlerwomen do you know), working overtime, continually selecting career paths that will bring more pay rather than easier working conditions, or whatever.
    Also, the headline data ignore the significantly higher value of employers’ contributions of DB pensions for women (20% of salary for middle-aged female civil servants).
    Pay gaps due to discrimination are wrong, but they also result in the discriminators (in any competitive business) suffering because more enlightened employers will get a superior quality workforce. So virtue has its own reward in this case. We shall never totally eliminate them because some pay awards involve subjective judgement by the boss, but these are by now outweighed by the “reverse discrimination” produced by “anti-discrimination” campaigners who demand equal nominal pay plus more expensive pensions plus maternity leave plus more time off for uncertified “sick leave” plus flexible hours (so male colleagues have to fit their hours around her convenience) plus …

  9. John 77, you’ve misunderstood the data. We’re talking here about hourly rates – of course men work far more hours (market-based, to keep Tim happy) and hence ‘earn more’.

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