Gender Inequality? Fair Pay Is a Lifestyle Choice

Jenny Erikson

jenny erikson
Jenny Erikson
On Wednesday, the Senate voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act, which supposedly would have closed the gap between the amount of money that men and women earn in similar jobs. If passed, the bill would have required small businesses to submit data on sex, race, national origin, and earning to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

Naturally, the Huffington Post reported: Republicans Block an Up-or-Down Vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act. Which is a very silly sentiment for a Congress that is striving for compromise and bipartisanship. The vote went straight down party lines, with the Democrats voting for it, and Republicans voting against it. Only one senator, Ben Nelson (D-NE), crossed the aisle with his vote. If a bill can’t get a single "yea" vote from an entire party, it probably shouldn’t be passed.

It is true that on average, men earn more than women. I view that as a triumph. It means that women are actually choosing their own lifestyles; some are choosing to work while others are choosing to stay home and care for their families.

The fact of the matter is that women actually make more money than men, when all factors are considered. If you look strictly at education level, time on the job, and training, women come out ahead of men in income. The studies that spout the false idea that women are oppressed in the workplace don’t take those factors into consideration.

Let’s say two college graduates get a job in the industry of their choice. One is a man, and the other a woman. A few years after entering the workforce, they decide to get married and start a family. The man continues to work in order to provide for his family, while the woman decides to stay home for a few years with the babies. After 10 to 20 years, the man will have had more time and training on the job; therefore, his pay will be higher than a woman that decided to take time off for mommy-hood.

I’m not saying that all women should work at a job instead of in the home, and I’m certainly not saying that they should all stay home. I’m just stating simple facts that women have more freedom than men to choose their own lifestyles, and that the result of some women choosing to stay home equals a "pay disparity."

Let me repeat that. The kind of wage gap we have in the United States is a testament to the free choice we American women enjoy. We are not forced to stay home, and we are not forced to work. We all make our own decisions.

The last thing we need is a law on the books that would not take into account productivity, experience, or other intangible attributes or qualifications. By saddling small businesses with mountains of paperwork, taxes, attorney fees, and uncertainty, Congress would be killing more jobs in a time we need them to be created, not destroyed.


Image via TechAskew

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