The Sexist

Equal Pay Day A-Go-Go

April 20 marks the day that women's earnings catch up to men’s earnings from last year, and then we smoke so much weed. In honor of this momentous occasion, many-a blog post has been written detailing the state of pay equity today—the latest numbers show that women make 77 cents on the dollar compared to men—and why we have yet to fill the gap.

* CNN lists off the ten highest-paying jobs for women, and how much higher they pay for men. Female computer programmers made a whopping 93.3 percent of what male computer programmers make; female surgeons are paid a pathetic 64.2 percent. CNN's analysis on the wage gap:

When looking at how much women are paid vs. men in all jobs, the overall wage gap holds at 77 cents to the dollar. But that so-called wage gap doesn't take into account differences in education, tenure and industry—all factors which determine a worker's pay. Even when researchers account for those factors, at least half of the gap remains unexplained, said Ariane Hegewisch, who directed the study.

Betty Spence, president of the National Association of Female Executives, an advocacy group representing women executives, says those numbers are alarming.  Still, she says, gender bias may not be entirely responsible for the unaccounted-for part of the gap. Women may work fewer hours than men or may not be as aggressive in negotiating salaries, said Spence.

So, blatant sexism doesn't account for all of the wage gap, just inherent gender differences that cause women to make less money. Hmm.

* TIME asks, "Why Do Women Still Earn Less Than Men?" Answer: Discrimination, tradition, babies, etc. Here's a statistic that sucks: In 2008, women made 77 percent on the male dollar, but "That number drops to 68% for African-American women and 58% for Latinas." And here's some more:

Women earned less than men in all 20 industries and 25 occupation groups surveyed by the Census Bureau in 2007 — even in fields in which their numbers are overwhelming. Female secretaries, for instance, earn just 83.4% as much as male ones. And those who pick male-dominated fields earn less than men too: female truck drivers, for instance, earn just 76.5% of the weekly pay of their male counterparts. Perhaps the most compelling — and potentially damning — data of all to suggest that gender has an influence comes from a 2008 study in which University of Chicago sociologist Kristen Schilt and NYU economist Matthew Wiswall examined the wage trajectories of people who underwent a sex change. Their results: even when controlling for factors like education, men who transitioned to women earned, on average, 32% less after the surgery. Women who became men, on the other hand, earned 1.5% more.

* The Institute for Women’s Policy Research found four fields where women make more money than men. The best profession for women to enter into if they want to make more than men is ‘dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers.' However, though women in this field make more than their male counterparts, they don't make very much money in general:

The occupation where women have the highest earnings compared with men is ‘dining room and cafeteria attendants and bartender helpers’ (the female/ male earnings ratio is 111.1 percent, based on median weekly earnings in 2009 that were $400 for women, $360 for men), an occupation that ranks among the ten lowest paid occupations for men, with average earnings for both men and women well below median earnings for all workers.

* And then we smoke weed.

Photos via, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

  • Coleman

    The cannabis gap needs to be filled with cannabis. *cough*

  • Eo

    The 70c on the dollar or whatever they say is now regarded as propaganda.

    Our equality commission has suggested that men be given as many different life choices as women to close the gap.

    In the UK, Harriet Harman has been told to stop misleading the public on wage gap.

    And from your own country.

    An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity
    in Wages Between Men and Women

    January 12, 2009

    U.S. Department of Labor
    Employment Standards Administration
    200 Constitution Avenue NW
    Washington, DC 20210

    CONSAD Research Corporation
    211 North Whitfield Street
    Pittsburgh, PA 15206
    Under Contract Number GS-23F-02598
    Task Order 2, Subtask 2B


    This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the
    compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and
    that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action.
    Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost
    entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.

    I can show a list of 32 fields where women out earn men, in one its by as much as 40%, I think the Institute for Women’s Policy Research is telling us porkie pies.

  • squirrely girl

    Don't talk about it - be about it. Show the list. I'm genuinely interested to see in which fields women earn more than men.

    Also, there is a big difference between saying a wage gap is "propaganda" and that there are a "multitude of causes" for a wage gap.

    While your report states, "differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers," I am quite curious as to what these "individual choices" actually are. Are any of them childcare related?

  • Reid

    Yeah, it's shocking that an institute hired by the Bush Labor Department who counts among its clients the Family Research Council and the climate change skeptics Global Climate Coalition and the Clean Air Working Group would produce a report supporting the Republican view that women should just shut up about pay discrepancies.

  • Eo

    Yes squirrely girl, chosing motherhood over career is a factor of course, it was suggested in this country that we find a way to offer men the same choices that women have re. family to help close the gap.

    Here are some articles about women out earning men.
    And among workers who have never been married and never had children, women earn 117% of what men do.
    It shows that women of all educational levels from 21 to 30 living in New York City and working full time made 117 percent of men’s wages, and even more in Dallas, 120 percent.
    (Reuters) - They may be a small minority in corporate boardrooms, but women directors typically earn more than men, a new U.S. study has found.

    I cant find the list of specific fields that women out earn men in though...sorry.

    There isnt a conspiracy against women, if women were genuinly cheaper, only women would get hired... feminist groups take the raw data and feed it back to mislead us.

  • Maggie

    Yay I'm screwed no matter what! That is, if I had a job! Yaaaaaaay

  • Ken

    I dont think its propoganda but any study and data can be manipulated to try to justify an argument and it feminists like to play up the victimization of women so they throw this one out there. The .77 on the dollar proganda includes the wealthiest 1% of Americans who make millions upon millions as CEO's. And sadly, most of them are still men. I agree that this needs to change but with most corporations acting as sociopathic as they do I wonder how quickly it ever will. But when you compare the rest of society (the 99 percent, i.e. the majority of working "stiffs", I believe the pay scales are equal. If men are earning (slightly) more it is because more women leave the workplace while children are younger than men do. Again, you can argue that is not right but its the reality we live in today. If you take all this into account I'd bet the salaries are pretty much equal, or only slightly tipped in mens favor. Its certainly not 27% less like feminists argue. Studies are easily manipulated to justify what you want to prove, not what is necessarily truth.

  • MaleMatters

    To put the wage gap in perspective, see "The Next Equal Occupational Fatality Day is in 2020" at

    Despite women's 40-year-old demand for equal wages, millions of women as wives still choose to have no wages at all. In fact, according to Dr. Scott Haltzman, author of The Secrets of Happily Married Women, stay-at-home wives, including those who are childless, constitute a growing niche. "In the past few years,” he says in a CNN August 2008 report at, “many women who are well educated and trained for career tracks have decided instead to stay at home.” (“Census Bureau data show that 5.6 million mothers stayed home with their children in 2005, about 1.2 million more than did so a decade earlier....” at

    As full-time mothers or homemakers, these women earn zero wages. How can they do this while in many cases living lives of luxury? Because they are supported by their husband.

    So if millions of wives can work for zero wages, millions of other wives can work for low wages in full-time or part-time work, can refuse to work overtime, can refuse promotions, can take more unpaid days off ... all because their husbands are willing to support them.

    (“A Response to the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act” at

  • Sarah


    Shut. The fuck. Up. You sexist. Fuck.

    Amanda: Keep on trucking! (Although perhaps not literally, since you would make 76.5% of a male trucker's wage.)

  • Eo

    Ah here it is.

    "In the 39 jobs listed below, women's median earnings exceeded men's by at least 5 percent and in some cases by as much as 43 percent"

    (Data based on 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics usual weekly median earnings.)

    Click on the link to see the list..

  • Eo

    Sarah, from the CNN article above.

    Motor vehicle operators, all other (Women) $22,412 (Men) $18,252

    Female vehicle operators all/other out earn men by 23%

    (Data based on 2003 Bureau of Labor Statistics usual weekly median earnings.)

  • notyrmama

    As a now elderly female wage earner, I've found that the "aggressiveness in negotiation" is more complex than I've heard stated. Even when women negotiate aggressively, in my experience they are denied raises or the same level of raises as men, even when the "denier" is a woman.

  • Sarah

    MaleMatters, let me take the time to address your arguments.

    1. You "put the wage gap in perspective" for us by linking to a chart which proves that men suffer the majority of on-the-job fatalities. The implication is that because they work jobs where their mental or physical health is at risk, these men should be paid higher wages. I agree.

    However . . .

    a. Not all men work hazardous jobs.
    b. As Amanda's original post illustrates, wage discrepancies exist in non-hazardous jobs.
    c. Are you saying that because some men work hazardous jobs, all women should be willing to accept lower pay for equal work? Because that would just be crazy.

    2. I am thrilled that you dug up Scott Haltzman, a self-help author who has found a handful of women who love being full-time housewives. The problem is, Haltzman does not give proof that women are defecting from the workforce in record numbers to become full-time housewives.

    Feminism enables women to make choices about their careers and home lives, such as, but not limited to:

    a. Higher education / some higher education / no higher education.
    b. Household chores / some household chores / no household chores.
    c. Children / no children.
    d. Full-time work / part-time work/ no work.
    e. Meal preparation / some meal preparation / no meal preparation.

    Are you saying that because some women enjoy being full-time housewives, ALL women should leave the workforce to become full-time housewives?

    Are you saying that because some women have husbands and some of those husbands are willing to financially support their wives, ALL women should refuse promotions, accept low wages, take unpaid days off, and scale back to part-time work?

    Because that's what it sounds like you're saying. And that's one of the most absurd things I've ever heard.

  • Just another cat

    Such shallow analysis that makes it dishonest to the core. Take the bit about female surgeons making less than male surgeons whoopie it is meaningless though unless you do the crazy thing as control for specialty. It might come as a shock but a general surgeon means at about 290K while a Cardiovascular surgeon means at 560k so with out this bit of information any general statements about pay between surgeons salary is worthless.

    Then you have the dishonest bit implying inherent sex differences cause a difference in salary when it is education, tenure and industry. These same differences in wages would appear if it is just men. A man a year after getting his MBA and working in a non profit is not exactly going to be pulling down the same salary as the CEO of Boeing. Than of course your implication that half of it is still sexism despite the clear warning from Spence that hours worked was not taken into account. In other studies done on the wage gap this alone accounted for 40 percent of the difference. Using the census data on a full time worker women work on average about 37.5 hours compared to the 41 hours of a man. Over the course of the year that adds up to over a month of labor.

  • Ken

    Sarah I respectfully disagree with the disertion that women earn 23 percent for the SAME JOB that men do. I think its an outdated statistic that feminists are still throwing out there because modern feminism has morphed into portraying women as victims. Im in agreement we need more female CEO's -- that would balance it out because the wealthiest 1% control a lot of the wealth in this country... But too often when feminists yell about the 77 cent on the dollar remark they make it sound like it its Universal across the labor force. I dont buy it.

  • J

    Once upon a time I worked at Ann Taylor (a women's clothing store). I was paid $9.25 an hour. I worked the register, the sales floor, the dressing room, re-stocking, and unloading incoming shipments. All of the managers were women. We only sold women's clothing. One day, my boyfriend also became an employee, by my referral. He unloaded incoming shipments, and on the rare occasion, re-stocked the floor. He was paid $9.50 an hour.

    The end.

  • Dorothy

    @all the "wage gap is feminist propaganda"-trolls:

    Did you ever think that maybe your cited "facts" are caused by sexism?
    When a heterosexual couple decides to start a familiy, one of the two (in most cases) just has to suffer a career-lag. But, of course, it is just so natural that women stay at home and want to stay at home!

    Btw. the argument about the husband paying for the wife? It's a deal where he gains as much as she is. Yes, she might not have a job like he does. But she is doing everything in the household including raising his (! they are his, too!) kids. I bet, if he didn't have a wife but nonetheless two kids, he would have to pay a nanny more.

  • Eo


    Motherhood is largely a choice. Mothers in this day and age generally chose to become mothers. Its not very fair to direct resentment at men as a group because of outcomes generated by women exercising a life choices that they have that men generally do not not have, women looking for house husbands are rare.

    Single women out earn men, do you want women that choose to persue motherhood as a lifestyle choice and are supported by men in doing so to out earn men too, all the while owning half of everything he aquires anyway? Men are your slaves Dorothy.

  • Eo


  • diggery

    Seriously, everyone, please stop replying to this Eo person. He's a troll of major proportions, and we shouldn't waste our energy debating him :/

  • DirkJohanson

    The truth hurts, doesn't it, Diggery?

  • Just another cat

    To diggery and Dorothy.

    What is with the ad hominem attack calling those that disagree with you trolls? A internet troll despite the best efforts from people like yourself are not those that disagree with your position but someone how posts posts inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages. Eo nor myself have done any of these things. Eo has posted links to the newest research on the exact topic up for discussion and has responded on topic to the discussion at hand. My post is in direct response to the piece pointing out the short comings. If you disagree with these statements fine show me the evidence that refutes it or use the rules of logic to refute it and we can have a real discussion but using a childish conversation ender does nothing but give the impression that you use emotions instead of facts and are immature and not ready to talk about adult issues. You do not win an argument by running around yelling I'm not listing too you.

  • Jeff

    The fashion industry for example. Starting at the bottom, the highest payed Male model only until recently made around $500,000. On the other hand, female, up to 35 million (2009). That trickles into many branches of the fashion industry.

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  • mojo

    Try and ask a woman, any woman, giving birth, if she would be willing to go back to work, but a few days after giving birth, ensuring no "career-lag" would be suffered. Quite a few would tell you to buzz off. They understand well the value of the experience they are embarking.

    No one mentions this miss of experience that men miss on. We often forget to view one lag against the counter miss, when gazing at our navels. Remember then, grass only looks greener on the other side.

    Much closer to the truth of the ask, is the desire to experience closeness to your child during those critical years, aaaaaaand no loss of wage for time out of the market. Yes. And I want chocolate and ice cream for breakfast.

    Government child care
    paid maternity leave

    What else?