Monday, September 05, 2005

Another one for my scientific reasoning class

This NYT article, really an ad for a new book, claims that women make less money than men because they choose other job perks, like flexible hours.

The author sounds like a cretin, having written a book called The Myth of Male Power. And this excerpt from the publishers weekly review of the book makes the authors agenda clear.
he considers men the real victims, taken advantage of because of their innate chivalry and social expectations that they trade earning power for love and sex and be "willing to die to support the wives and children." He decries anti-male discrimination in occupations like teaching, nursing and cocktail-waitressing, and pillories comparable worth initiatives as "spoiled-brat economics." A whole chapter is devoted to "genetic celebrities"-i.e., beautiful women (exemplified in photos of same) whom men shower with free dinners, gifts and home repairs and who "marry up" into cushy lifestyles paid for by workaholic husbands. Ostensibly a road-map to workplace equality, Farrell's portrait of pampered, ungrateful women and stoic, self-sacrificing men may strike some readers as an unhelpful caricature.
Even if the pay gap did disappear when you control for other benefits, that doesn't mean that job discrimination doesn't exist, because the forces that drive women to look for more flexible hours and similar benefits are themselves a form of discrimination. They are features of society created by peoples attitudes that they affect men and women differently. At the very least, the pay gap is hardly the only piece of evidence for the existence of the patriarchy.

That said, I would be interested to see if the pay gap really does disappear if you control for other factors they way Farrell says they do. I think I will assign this project to my scientific reasoning class next semester.

Switching to unjustified personal attack mode: Can someone who hates women this much have a good sex life? (I'm assuming, for no good reason, that Farrell is heterosexual.)

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