The Therapy Sessions
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
World ends! Women and minorities hardest hit!
Oh yeah, it's about time to trot this story out again:Women, particularly minorities, lag behind white men in pay.
Like many stories about the pay discrepency, it mentions the problem with little discussion about the reasons for the problem. Politically motivated? Maybe. Outright sexism may be one reason, but the others are more benign.
First, women tend to work in fields that pay lower in the first place. Teaching and nursing are female dominated. That is changing, but it takes time. Most non-profits are staffed with women, and women tend to be drawn to fields involving arts and music, which generally pay less. Women engineers are rare. This is changing, but it is changing slowly.
Second, women tend to take time off to raise children. My wife took six months off for each of our children and she currently works four days a week. Staying home with children is not easy, and it is not for everyone. My wife does this because she wants to (I don't think she would be able to stay home all the time - her sanity around children has limits). Many women I used to work with have quit their jobs entirely - in some cases permanently - to be at home with their kids. This causes 70's-style feminists to roll their eyes, but it is really a cause for rejoicing: in our society, people have the freedom to live the lives they want to lead, and they aren't held hostage to their jobs.
Paleo-feminists! Repeat after me: THIS IS A GOOD THING.