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January 29, 2013

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Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to prevent hackers?

GREAT post. As a single mother of 2 (sales director at large tech company), I feel it our duty to our daughters to "represent". While I do wish my girls didn't ask "why" 4,000 times a day, I do support their curiosity. When I ask them what they want to be when they grow up, I hope to hear kind and happy and something along the lines of "gosh it will be fun to find that out."

This is why I have conversations with my kids about big stuff, phrased in ways they can understand. So that they recognize what's wrong when they see it and have the courage to call attention to it.

I'm also really glad to have married someone who sees what's wrong too. We've got a strong partnership in educating our kids.

I am so glad that we (my husband and I) aren't the only parents in the world telling our children about inequalities. My daughter asked why daddy had to deploy and we reminded her of an Afghani friend who came to dinner. Of how his one hope was that his daughters could go to school and learn to read. That's it. School and READ! Our daughter was shocked that someone didn't allow girls in school. Why not? What was their problem? Same reaction when it came to explaining MLK day, and slavery, and extreme poverty in places like Africa.

Maybe she will grow up and do something about it. Even if all she ever does is educate the next generation...that will be enough because education is the first step towards change.

Thank you for the posting of the stats. I absolutely wasn't trying to argue--I just wanted the truth and some credible references--so thank you, Ivy. I know how to find credible research in the industry I work in about the subjects I work on--I just needed to be pointed in the right direction in this case. I appreciate your time.

I love when you get angry. I love that you can get angry. And I love that you do it signing your real name to your real feelings, whether everyone will agree with you or not.

That is passion, empowerment, and integrity all wrapped into one.

If that makes you a feminist whore (huh?) then sign me up as your next paying lesbian liberal hypocrite some-other-big-word trick.

Thanks for sharing! After becoming a Mother my inner feminist came out like no body's business.

--

Ivy is my new all-time favorite commenter ever. Thank you, Ivy!

As a labor economist (who has spent a decade researching and publishing in peer-reviewed journals on gender pay gaps) I could not resist commenting on this blog. To those who need statistics:

1. The earliest documented wage data series are from 1950s. From 50-70s women earned a constant 50-60% of what men earned, for the same experience, education level, union status, region of the country, and other demographic variables. The data used are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Census Bureau.

2. From the 80s - 2000s the gap decreased rapidly, to where women were estimated to earn about 79% of what men earned (holding constant all variables mentioned above).

3. The literature has explored a myriad of reasons why women may earn less than men, beyond discrimination. The first reason includes occupational choice (women choose less risky occupations, more flexible hours, etc.). It was found that occupational choice explains about 30% of the gap. Another reason considered was the lower job experience of women, as they often interrupt their careers to care for children. It was found that experience only explains 10% of the gap. Next, it was hypothesized that women work in industries that pay less (administrative, education) - research found that industry only explains 20% of the gap. A whopping 40% of the gap remains unexplained by observable differences between men and women.

4. Many studies have focused on people with very similar careers (e.g. lawyers graduating from the same law school, MBA-graduates) and followed them over 15-20 years. Over an over again, studies have found that women earn about 15-20% less, even when you are truly comparing apples-to-apples (Wood, Corcorant & Courant, 1993; Weinberger 1998; Bertrand, Goldin, & Katz 2009).

5. Studies have experimented to see whether obscuring the gender of a job applicant increases the probability to hire a woman. When the same exact resume was sent out to restaurants, but the names were changed to represent a male in some cases and a female in others, the females had 40% lower chance of getting interviewed, and 50% lower chance of getting the job (Neumark, 1996). When a screen was used to conceal the identity of the musician during symphony orchestra auditions, women were more likely to be the finalists (Goldin and Rouse, 2000).

6. One argument is that, if men are more expensive but do just as good a job as women, this will be bad news for competitive companies that care about the bottom line. Well, studies found that the more competitive the industry and the company, the lower the gender pay gap (Strahan 2001). Also, among companies that exercised market power, those that hired more women were more profitable (Hellerstein, Neumark, Troske, 2002).

I could go on, there's 40 years worth of literature on the subject. And please, if there are other data/evidence/references anyone needs to convince yourself that the gender pay gap is not of the same nature as the Bigfoot, please ask. Or Google-scholar any of the references above and you'll pull up more than you care to read in your lifetime.

I have always been someone to question authority even to a fault. Sometimes I am dismayed to see my daughter is too but at others times, nothing makes me prouder!

I'd love to see more stats. And if anyone has them, point me to them. First of all, are we definitely comparing men and women who have the same background and who are in the same jobs?

If so--if all things are truly equal between m/f employees--do men negotiate more and better? Do women, especially those who are parents and the primary caregiver, automatically ask for less because they know they will have more child-related absences and therefore they feel guilty about pushing for more at the negotiating table?

And has anyone compared men to men with the same background in the same job? I've heard that taller men, or more attractive men, or white men tend to make more than men who aren't those things.

Lastly, maybe this is too facile, but if women get paid less, are there significantly more women than men in the workforce? It seems to me that hiring men would be a bad idea for the bottom line.

So nice to see how far women have come--and yet there's still a ways to go.

To be clear, I don't think the BIBLE itself suppresses women. I believe that the interpretation of it by some people does. They are the ones I'd like to thunk.

And I agree, Muskrat, that we have it better than many countries, but that doesn't mean we can't be angry. "Well at least we can go to school" works well when they don't want to go to school in the morning, but the inequalities are still pretty vast.

This is very well stated. I couldn't agree more. Women have come a long way in the last 30-40 years and we need to teach our children to continue advancing our society so that none of that is lost.

Love the comments by Charla and Sarah. I think the same way. I want my daughter to come from those perspectives. I'm so tired of the "things are so unfair to women and we should be angry about it." Women in the country have so many rights and opportunities. It didn't seem like being a woman limited your career options in Academia. However, you chose to limit your career options in Academia by choosing motherhood instead of continuing with your career. Are you saying that you should be able to go back after your children are raised and make the same amount as the professor who decided to continue working? You put in time as a mother, so that should equal the time the professor put in?

I just want new discussions. I want to discuss with my daughter the importance of tradition in keeping her grounded. I want my daughter to recognize the immense opportunity that she has in America vs. any other place around the world. I want her to be grateful for the opportunities. I want her to know that violence will never, ever be tolerated. Lastly, I want her to know that she should feel empowered as a woman. She IS different than a man. She has skills and abilities that men do not have. Should she choose to use them, it will be unfair to the men because she can compete on a level that they can't. When she is grounded, grateful and sure of herself I want to support her as she fulfills her dreams.

Most of all I want her to know she can choose whatever she wants. All those career women who look down their nose because she decides to stay at home with her children and not further the "women's cause" or all those militant stay at home moms who make her feel like crap for deciding to work full time can kiss her ass because she is her own person.

"We can kill and get killed equally in war, but we can't get paid the same wage as men" Is it really true that we CAN'T get paid the same or is it just that we DON'T get paid the same. I believe any woman who performs to the same quality of a man who goes up to bat for herself in negotiating her salary - CAN get paid as much as any man.
Now, if you want to talk about a woman who is also a mother - you are comparing apples to oranges. Women have total equality in the workforce. Working mothers do not. Why? Because so often (and more often than men) mothers will sacrifice being the best in their field for being there for their children. Employers pay accordingly. It's business - business is not about fairness, it's about business and motherhood is a handicap in business. Maybe you haven't felt this way in your careers yet, but for most women at some point in their lives as working mothers, their kids will slow them down.
If I am right about this, then it makes my heart glad to know (unfair or not) that mothers are still willing to sacrifice promotions and raises for the sake of their children - because taking care of our little ones should be the priority of our entire society. (check out The Price of Motherhood by Ann Crittenden - best book on motherhood you'll ever read) Hopefully we mothers continue to set an example for all the men out there who still don't understand that family IS more important than money and work.

H8 Hypcrites - thank you so much for your thoughtful insight into this discussion. Wow. Way to contribute to the conversation. How enlightening.

That said, I know that the history you've shared here on your blog tells me that the Bible was used repeatedly to mentally and physically beat you up as a child. It stands to reason, then, that given where you live (as Sarah mentioned) and your history with the dark side of people using God as an excuse to 1) perpetuate evil and 2) do nothing, which is perpetuating evil, your view of all things Bible would be exactly what it is. And you wouldn't *necessarily* be wrong. There's a lot of crazy stuff in there that men AND women have been using as an excuse to justify bad behavior since time immemorial.

It's not the Bible itself, it's the people reading it; cherry picking what they like and don't like that makes them feel powerful. (Hi, there, Todd Akin! Yeah, stop.)

So, I think misogyny is less about religion and more about human nature. Religion is the coat that misogynists put on to justify what really is a deeper, darker evil lurking: the need to subjugate another human being to feel powerful. It is truly a sign of a fatal weakness IN THEM. Look in countries where women are still bought and sold - they are not Christian nations per se. The male leaders in these countries are using their religion, their economic circumstances, etc. to further an evil agenda that keeps them in a position of power.

And it pisses me off, too. My daughter is anyone's equal, and my son isn't so insecure to think that anyone isn't.

Ahh, and that's part of it. Because the area of the country I live in it's exactly opposite of Founded on Christian Principles and Still Living that Way... It is indeed viewed through the lens of where we currently live and how we were raised.

However, I also wonder if its also an easy "go-to" group to use as an example for whenever "those people" are offensive and judgmental. Because I know you as both highly educated and very thoughtful (obviously, look at all of your posts) it sometimes seems like an easy finger-pointing move rather than a chance to discuss the issue and the wide range of people/beliefs/systems that perpetuate the problem.

Of course, I realize that this is your blog and not really the forum for huge "change the world" discussions so...carry on. I'll continue to read.

Re: Amy's comment about the "front lines," that's great, as long as the women have the same physical fitness requirements for those combat positions as do the men. Currently, they don't. I'm all for equality, but I don't want my ass in jeopardy because it's reliant on someone who's lacking in the strength and speed the job requires, regardless of gender.

And, I don't think the Bible perpetuates subjugation for women. Jesus was a feminist. Look at how countries where other religions are dominant treat women and children. Not well. As a dad with 3 girls in my house, I'd rather them live here than anywhere else in the world.

I'm sure there are lots of other groups (religious and non) that are judgmental, Sarah. In fact, I know there are, many of which suppress women.

But for me personally and this issue, particularly in this country, which was founded on Christian principles and I believe is still strongly Christian, it's bible thumpers.

I get the hating how its used to judge - can't argue with that at all, just join you in it. I just wonder if you find any other groups/writings/beliefs judgmental...because I'm not sure that I read that balance from you.

Here, here. I had a similar conversation with my daughter just this weekend. I explained to her that women had to fight for the same rights afforded to men. She also thought it was ridiculous that women earn less for the same work, didn't always have the right to vote, used to be considered property...
It is my mission to be a thruth-teller for my children and I am proud to be a caller of bullshit.

I recently read that for humans to continue as a species, we only need one man for every 4 women.

I think that men secretly know that.

And that's the only reason I can think of for all the subjugation.

Exactly. And it's so hidden and normalized that many don't even see it. Or they DEFEND it. Or say things like I h8 hypocrites say. My children will not grow up thinking its okay... even if everything my daughter owns is pink.

take a hike you feminist-from-hell whore...all women like you do is bitch about how you are so treated unfairly all the while engaging in the vilest misandry and throw all kinds of barbs to everyone who doesn't fit your mold...go back to your pathetic women's studies courses and suck it sister..

I don't hate the Bible, Sarah, but I do hate how it's used by some to judge, to spread hate, and the suppress women.

Angry, yes. Tired, yes. In agreement that women deserve every respect men currently receive, yes. I'm work in Clinical Research, with a science degree and a whole lot of expertise and don't get paid the same...

All that to say, yes, I agree with you. I just don't get how the Bible comes into it...cause it seems to always come up with your posts and yet, I happen to like the Bible and see the inequalities coming from all sides. Maybe an acknowledgement that the Bible isn't the only source for stupid thinking???

But now we can go get killed on the front lines with all the other soldiers! So that's progress right?

We can kill and get killed equally in war, but we can't get paid the same wage as men.

What. The. Fuck.

I know you're right, that without hope there's anger. And yet, here I am. Stuck in the anger phase. Because I can't fucking believe that we are still debating abortion. Didn't I already march on Washington? Isn't that settled?! OMG. So angry. So furious.

My mom told me that she once complained to my dad about us kids asking "Why?" all the time. He (who rarely lost his temper) got angry. "When they ask "Why?" they want to learn," he said.

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