Tuesday, February 24, 2015

How can Obama decry the gender "pay gap" without accusing his own White House of discrimination?

Mollie Hemingway writes:

The only way to continue to use the statistic that women are paid 77 or 78 cents on the dollar for the same work as men is if you believe all work should be paid exactly the same, no matter the skills or education required, the hours worked, the risk involved, the experience accumulated, or any of the other factors that go into wage determination. This so-called gap is calculated simply by comparing the average amount of money men make and comparing it to the average amount of money women make.

If that’s your standard — which is a joke of a standard, but let’s leave that aside — the White House suffers from a deeply alarming pay gap. And a pay gap that hasn’t gotten better since Obama took office.

We have two possible scenarios here. Either the White House — the headquarters of Mr. Equal Pay himself — suffers from a whopping pay gap of 13.3 percent, practicing unconscionable sexism by paying its female staffers an average of five figures ($10,100) less than the male staffers, or the White House is guilty of deception about pay gaps.

It’s actually the latter, but it’s not like our media will press them on the matter. Either way, it would be nice if political types stopped shaming those of us who think there is more to life than work for pay. Some of us have chosen different career paths because we value vocations that pay in ways that are not monetary. We’re kind of sick of being made to feel bad for wanting to be homemakers, spend more time with our children or simply have more flexible schedules than we would otherwise be able to in a different career.