Monday, April 23, 2007

Further Proof Feminism Is Still "Relevent"

Gender Pay Gap in U.S. Starts Right After College, Study Says .


This means that there are 25 year old men with BAs in English working in marketing who make more than I do, for no other reason than their plumbing is external.

In the words of a former co-worker of mine: "That's crap!"

Unfortunately for my wallet, I am not an engineer, nor will I ever be.

I don't know what else I have to say about this, other than "This is why feminism is still needed."

One of the theories of why Moses allowed the Israelites to wander the desert for 40 years was that he wanted to pass the time while the older generations who'd lived in slavery to die off. How many years need to pass before "the radical notion that women are people" doesn't require a complete reassesment of the world?


Paul said...

I think systems of priviledge based on ability to be identified with some group, tribe, or family will be with us as long as we form groups. I would claim it's part of the nature of being social animals, rather than social insects. I also think dominance behaviour will continue to be part of the language of our interactions at least as long as we remain recognizably human, and probably long after that.

This is not to say this is best, or even good: just that I think it is inevitable. We could avoid this by going to fascism, which I think is a worse idea than just living with it. We could also try a hive-mind approach - which, again, I believe would be worse. We could go to another form of fully centrally-planned system, with all the problems that implies, and we might be able to eradicate a behavior pattern that could otherwise be made a net virtue - labor unions, solidarity movements, positive nationalism, humanitarianism, etc. The Free Software, Open Source Software, Copyleft, and Creative Commons also seem to me to be common-cause groups that operate to the net benefit of most or all. The benefits and costs of group dynamics lay mainly in the goals and interests of the groups.

As for when there won't be some form of gender or sex-based 'old-friends-network', I don't know if I can believe it will ever be the case - I think more likely we will have parallel networks for fems and mels, as it were. For it to stop being the old-boy's-network it is now, I would say 3-4generations; with people living longer, that's going to be at least 100 years.

Michael said...


In running online communities for close to 15 years, I can tell you it's simply human nature. Cliques form. Those not in those cliques complain about the cliques as if there's some form of conspiracy afoot. There isn't. It's just how we are: we band with those we identify with. If we don't click with someone, what's there to band us together? Social contracts. Except that in ad hoc communities, those things don't exist beyond the very, very general community itself. Operationally, people will form groups that they get along with.

Can we work against it? Sure. But without a clear idea of how to do so, there's only going to be bad things following. The lack of traditional community in modern urban societies (and maybe non-urban societies too, though I'm only familiar with urban ones) is largely to blame, as if we leave people to form their own communities, we're likely going to get what we've always gotten as it's what people know. If there's a perceived issue with this, there needs to be a clear plan of what will be done instead...but if it's not being done, we can't cry about the injustice of what exists. Action, only action, will make the change.

I shudder to think of what some of the alternatives are going to be, though.

Aaron said...

I'm likely going to get smacked for saying this, but...

Speaking as a tech manager, women are a tiny bit less valuable than men to me. When I hire someone, I usually plan out the next 5 years of their career (inclusive of their risk of leaving for another job, which I rank the same for both women and men) and train/grant responsibility accordingly.

If a man has a child, then I will likely need to cover his slot for a month at most and he will almost definately return to work. If a woman has a child, I will have to cover her slot for at least a month and likely a few months past that. There is also a chance that she will not return.

It may not be politically correct to say it, but that makes the women less valuable to me. Not much mind you, but a little bit. Of course, despite that slight drop in value, I still pay the same rate no matter what, since the rate is decided long before the interview process starts. What I end up doing is keeping a slightly different (and more expensive) contingency plan in place for a woman than I do for man.


T.A.B. said...

But women statistically live longer. So in the end they make the same amount of money as men anyway.

(Runs and hides)

Mister Cool said...

Anytime the headline's impact is dicounted in the body of the article, it should give pause.

Specifically, in the third paragraph, it is noted that "About a quarter of the difference in earnings remains even when comparing men and women with similar jobs and family situations.". So if there is a 20-30% difference, then only 5-8% of that is attributable to sexism, according to the study.

It might also be useful to consider that this is not a homogenous population, with sub-populations that have different characteristics than the population as a whole. In the black community, women are far more likely to get an education and far less likely to fall afoul of violence or criminality.

And since most people end up getting married, then things tend to even out, as one spouse's loss is another's gain.

And none of you broads would be whining if you had managed to land a rich or industrious husband. Or at least you would be whining where only your hair-stylist and manicurist could hear you.

Allie said...

And since most people end up getting married, then things tend to even out, as one spouse's loss is another's gain.

And alla us lesbians and old spinsters deserve what we get for being freaks of nature? Crap, there go my life plans.