Fourteen Percenter, May 2012 c
- Vol. 15, No. 2 The Fourteen Percenter May 2012
A publication for parents on the wrong side of the standard possession order.
– I see my child two days out of every fourteen; 14%. That's not enough. –
14 Percent, 15 Years!
Recital – By Rod C. Stryker
Fathers and SonsNamed them at birth
... in tears and mirth,
with strong arms of
muscle and bone,
but stretched to breaking,
pulled and forsaking
fathers and sons.
Babies and drama
cradle the heart
out of chests
as backbones remain
straight and unbroken,
blocks any token
of connection and fusion
with fathers and sons.
Twisted by hate,
blind to a faith
of acceptance and inclusion,
destined to ruin
love and truth
between fathers and sons.
Read and Reconsider – Do Women Earn Less Than Men?This is a series of 2011 letters from Mariko Chang, PhD, Independent Consultant (author of Shortchanged: Why women have less wealth & what can be done about it, www.mariko-chang.com, mchang19@...), and the fourteenpercenter regarding the Washington Post article,http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-why-women-earn-less-than-men/2011/04/11/AFXFn4iE_story.html - "Fivemyths about why women earn less than men."
Dear Mariko Chang,
The headline on your article lead me to believe it was a rewrite of an article that recently appeared in the Wall Street Journal - that yours was a discussion about the wage gap myth. As you know, there is no wage gap myth. It is a fact that women, by and large, earn less than men - but it is not due to discrimination.
Your argument that women earn less than men in any given profession may account for the fact that more men than women are unemployed. A manager may make an economic decision to fire the man and hire the woman just so he or she can stay in business.
You wrote, "One possible explanation (for women earning less after the birth of a child while men earn more) sociologists offer is that, upon parenthood, men are perceived as more committed to their work and women less." Please elaborate on this - because I see a lot of truth in this.
Statistics, to be meaningful, must be balanced. When you write, "the male unemployment rate was 9.3 percent," you must list "the female unemployment rate." Instead, you contrast it by stating "single women who maintain families had an unemployment rate of 12.3 percent." What about single men who maintain families? They are economically responsible for their children as much as single women (even more so when you consider they are often criminalized for failure to support their children, whereas the woman is typically offered State assistance).
You speak the truth when you wrote that discrimination is often carried out by well-meaning people who are not even aware of it. Indeed, The preponderance of child custody judicial decisions (more than 80 percent to the mother, less than 15 percent to the father), is evidence of blind discrimination.
And that is crucial to resolving another of your arguments. You state that "women are more likely to be single parents" as if this was such a bad thing. I have yet to hear a feminist cry for 50/50 shared parenting of children of divorce. Yet if more women were not 'burdened' with an 86 percent share of custody, they could be out enriching their lives or taking college courses to qualify them for higher earnings. The counter-side is that all the current noncustodial dads would have to reduce their 40-hour work-week so as to care for their kids.
In this same vein of logic, I wonder if you considered the deduction of the earnings of noncustodial fathers when computing their wages. Did you add the increased amounts of income from child support when you computed the finances of custodial mothers? The 20 percent deduction from a man's salary (before taxes) can be quite substantial when transferred to the recipient mother (who receives it tax-free).
The closing argument, "It’s not how much you make, but how much you keep that matters," is spoken like a true capitalist. Yet I have never heard the retiree complain, "I wish I had spent more time at the office." I guess when you get old, you will muss, "I wish I had spent more time away from my family. After all, it’s not how much you make, but how much you keep that matters."
The rest of your points are dismissed by the astute writer, Carrie Lukas (see http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704415104576250672504707048.html?mod=googlenews_wsj, There Is No Male-Female Wage Gap -- A study of single, childless urban workers between the ages of 22 and 30 found that women earned 8% more than men).
I welcome your response.
Don Mathis, Editor, The Fourteen Percenter, A Newsletter for Noncustodial Parents
Thank you for taking the time to share such thoughtful comments. In particular, I think you raise very important points about caregiving and also about custodial fathers. I do believe that unconscious bias against fathers in child custody cases is a serious problem and that the rights of non-custodial fathers are often overlooked. In fact, I recently served on a panel with Prof. David Pate at the University of Wisconsin who does work on this very topic and we are in much agreement that the current situation does not benefit mothers, fathers, or children.
With respect to our different points about what the research shows about the reality of the wage gap, I think we will have to respectfully disagree. I simply cannot overlook studies that show that when people are shown identical resumes in which only the name differs (common male name vs. common female name), they view the male as more qualified and are more likely to hire him and offer him a higher starting salary. Research in economics and sociology also demonstrates that women are just as committed to their jobs as men and that women are not in fact choosing more "family friendly" jobs over higher pay.
I think that we are all in agreement that we need to support a society in which both men and women can be judged (in work, family, society, and the courts) as being equal.
Thank you for taking the time to write.
Please identify the "studies that show that when people are shown identical resumes in which only the name differs (common male name vs. common female name), they view the male as more qualified and are more likely to hire him and offer him a higher starting salary." Such documentation from a credible source would cause me to rethink my position.
Back in the daze of my wedded bliss, I was the stay-at-home dad -- the worst-paying job that I'll ever love. When I re-entered the salaried work-force, I had to accept a job that paid less than the one I held two years previously. It was years before I attained earnings equivalent to my pre-fatherhood period.
Another thing that held back my ability to earn a pre-dad salary was my choice of employment. Because I only got to see my son Wednesdays and the 1st, 3rd, & 5th weekends (the standard period of possession in Texas), I accepted a job that enabled me to pick him up when school was released at three o'clock. Not only did I earn a smaller wage, I worked fewer hours.
I think that if more men were just as committed to their families as women, the pay gap would diminish. I would also like to view the research in economics and sociology that demonstrates that women are just as committed to their jobs as men and that women are not in fact choosing more "family friendly" jobs over higher pay.
Have you noticed that most teachers in public schools are women? This is certainly true in every school my 18-year-old son has attended. Do you believe that school districts discriminate against male teachers? Me neither. The personal choices made by each individual must be reckoned with; it cannot be written off as discrimination.
I would like to read your book, "Shortchanged: Why women have less wealth & what can be done about it." In the meantime, may I suggest a book by Dr. Warren Farrell? An overview of "Why Men Earn More" can be viewed at http://www.warrenfarrell.net/Summary/. He too recognizes that women have less wealth and recommends what can be done about it.
Thank you very much for your reply. Many so-called feminists would respond to any argument as 'misogynistic' and go off on a spiel about 'the patriarchy.'
And yes, we are in agreement that we need to support a society in which both men and women can be judged (in work, family, society, and the courts) as being equal.
Don, the 14%er
I'm happy to give you the information you requested. I am on vacation right now, however, and won't be back until the 23rd. When I return and have access to my files and research, I will send you the references.
I have read Why Men Earn More. It has been at least a couple of years since I have read it and so I cannot comment on specific items in the book. I do remember that he made some good points, but that I found many of his arguments to be flawed.
Your experience with respect to fatherhood and work shows how committed you are as a parent. I think we are seeing more and more committed fathers such as yourself. Your experience is a perfect example of what happens to many mothers. In my book I argue that one of the solutions to the women's wealth gap (which is related to the income gap and something I didn't address much in the op ed) is for men to do just what you are doing--participating in caregiving. However, men's and women's commitment to family and children is not the only cause of the wealth gap (or the income gap). I am sure that personal choices that men and women make in terms of family do affect incomes (which we both agree on), but what I disagree with are arguments that if women made the same choices as men with respect to family and work that the income gap would be closed. I sure it would narrow, but the reason I disagree is that at least for the way our society is right how, mothers face more job discrimination than fathers, which impacts their wages.
To put it a different way, I'll draw an analogy between what mothers experience in the work place and what fathers experience in the family courts. Because for various reasons we assume that women are less committed to work (or cannot be both good mothers and good employees at the same time), women face unconscious biases in the work place that affect how much we think they should be financially compensated (and how far they climb the "corporate ladder"). It's these very same unconscious biases (that men are more committed to work and that their commitment to work makes them a better worker but a worse caregiver--and that men cannot be just as good parents as women) that affects men negatively in the family courts and why non-custodial fathers have such a difficult time. They are both the result of the same problem.
I think the causes of the wage gap between men and women is a result of the way that our society is organized and what is financially rewarded are things that affect men and women differently. For example, one of the reasons why men and women have a different financial situation is that men are more likely to have jobs that come with fringe benefits such as paid sick days and employer-sponsored retirement accounts. Women are less likely to have these types of fringe benefits because they are more likely to work part-time (and often part-time employees are not eligible for fringe benefits) and also because they are more likely to work in the types of jobs that don't offer fringe benefits. For example, men are more likely to work in jobs that are unionized and hence generally come with more benefits.
I think we actually agree more than we disagree. Most feminists, myself included, are not "against" men. They just think that women should have the same opportunities as men in society, that tasks that have been traditionally done by women (such as taking care of children) should be valued socially and financially, and that men should be able to share the responsibilities (and rewards) of caring for children without facing the negative economic consequences that you have described. Given what you've explained to me, I expect that you would agree.
I will get back to you about the references when I return.
As promised, here is a list of some research showing that when only the names are different (male vs. female) and all else is the same, people view males and more qualified and are more likely to hire him and offer him a higher starting salary. All are published in academic, peer-reviewed journals. I list the author's institution when the information is published with the article.
(1) David Neumark, Roy J. Bank, and Kyle D. Van Nort. "Sex Discrimination in Restaurant Hiring: An Audit Study," Quarterly Journal of Economics Vol. 111, No. 3, pp. 915-941, 1996.
(2) Melissa J. Williams (Stanford Business School), Elizabeth Levy Paulk (Princeton), and Julie Spencer-Rogers (UC Santa Barbara). "The Masculinity of Money: Automatic Stereotypes Predict Gender Differences in Estimated Salaries" Psychology of Women Quarterly, Volume 34, pp. 7-20, 2010.
(3) Cole, M.S., H.S. Field, and W.F. Gillis. "Interaction of Recruiter and Applicant Gender in Resume Evaluation" Sex Roles vol 51, pp. 597-608, 2004
(4) Foschi, M., Lai L., and Siegerson, K. "Gender and Double Standards in the Assessment of Job Applicants." Social Psychology Quarterly Vol 57, No. 4, pp. 326-339. 1994.
(5) Rhea E/ Steinpreis, Katie A. Anders, and Dawn Ritzke (all from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). "The Impact of Gender on the Review of the Curricula Vitae of Job Applicants and Tenure Candidates: A National Empirical Study." Sex Roles, Vol. 41, No. 7/8, 1999.
(6) Budden, A.E., T. Tregenza, L.W. Aarssen, J. Koricheva, R. Leimu, and C.J. Lortie. "Double-Blind Review Favors Increased Representation of Female Authors." Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Vo. 23, No. 1, pp. 4-6, 2007.
(7) Paludi, M.A., Bauer, W.D. "Goldberg Revisited: What's in an Author's Name." Sex Roles, Vol. 9, No. 3, pp. 387-390. 1983.
You may also be interested in the Association of Medical Colleges summary of unconscious biases and list of research studies:
Moreover, there is some interesting research, published on what happens to salaries for transgender people--how they change when a male becomes a female and vice versa--so it's the same person with the same qualifications and experience, but salaries change: Kristen Schilt (University of Chicago) and Matthew Wiswall (New York University). "Before and After: Gender Transitions, Human Capital, and Workplace Experiences." B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy, Vol. 8, No. 1. 2008.
For a related anecdotal experience, a neurobiologist at Stanford University who had a sex change operation (from female to male), shares how people react to the same work when they think it was done by a man or a woman: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/07/12/AR2006071201883.html.
I wish you the best.
Editor's note: The debate continues. See the Wall Street Journal article by Kay S. Hymowitz, "Why the Gender Gap Won't Go Away."