Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Equal Pay? Please.

I wanted to let this go. Really, I did. But since Patricia Arquette used her acceptance speech at the Oscars to proclaim it’s time for equal pay for all women, I've heard this nonsense several times, including at a dance show at my daughter’s college. (Yep, the director of a dance show used her platform to proclaim this, and all kinds of other, nonsense. Sean and I looked at each other and said, “How much are we paying for Amy to be exposed to such drivel?!”) And while others have written more eloquently than I, I have to add my two cents’. Here goes:

This. Is. Stupid.

(I told you others were more eloquent.)

I am sick to death of this “equal pay” nonsense. Sick. To. Death.

Where, exactly, are women not paid the same as men? And before you answer that, ask if both of those employees have the same qualifications, skill level and number of years on the job.

I am married to a manager in one of the Big 3 car companies. He can see the salaries of the employees he manages, both men and women. In this major American corporation that employs over 200,000 people, there are black-and-white rules regarding pay. And the employee’s sex is not one of them.

Time on the job is.

That’s not all, of course, But time on the job leads to experience which (in theory) leads to better performance. And better performance is a major factor in determining pay.

Whether or not the employee has a penis: not a determining factor.

In January, The Boston Globe printed a fascinating article about this very issue. And while the Patricia Arquettes of the world would have us believe the 77-cent pay disparity is a simple fix, it clearly is not, at least not when facts are involved. I found this paragraph extremely significant:
  
Given that women are disproportionately responsible for child care and home duties, it’s not surprising that women are more likely to trade compensation for work flexibility and work-life balance, leading to gender pay differentials. Interestingly, this logic suggests that the gender pay differential would decrease substantially if men and women were equally likely to take on primary child care responsibilities. (This hypothesis is bolstered by the observation that the gender pay differential between men and non-married women without children is almost negligible.) 

Did you read that? Women are asking for lower pay: …women are more likely to trade compensation for work flexibility and work-life balance, leading to gender pay differentials.

You know what? That’s great! That’s freedom. That’s a mom deciding she would rather have some flexibility than more money. Sounds like she's making a choice. 

A choice.

Women, we look so dumb when we cry about this 77-cent idiocy. Let’s take responsibility for our choices and admit that taking care of a family decreases our earning potential. If you aren't interested in losing that potential income, don't plan to be a mom. Or at the very least, don't plan to be the primary caregiver. You can't have it both ways - we're paid for what we produce. If we aren't there to produce, we won't be paid. 

If this math-challenged writer can get it, seems like Patricia Arquette could, too: When you’re not making a movie, Ms. Arquette, you aren't producing anything. No paycheck for you.

What is so hard to understand about that?