Tuesday, April 7, 2009

First ladies and gender insanity

Penelope Trunk has some choice words on the awkward gender dynamics of the present day:

What is up with the constant photo ops of the wives of the men running the financial universe? What about the two women in the G-20? Do we put their husbands in the midst of this group of women? No. It would look insane. And that is exactly the reason that all the other women in the group should feel insane. ...

The G-20 Wives’ Club photos are particularly insulting because these women are being associated not by their special interests, or particular education, or common background, but merely by who they are sleeping with. Seriously. When, other than when rounding up prostitutes for jail, has this approach to grouping women been acceptable to society? ...

While I write this post, Adam Toren has the unfortunate timing of sending me an email to tell me I have been named one of the top 100 women bloggers. I email him back immediately to ask him if he has a similar award for the top 100 men.

And here's my point: women do not need to be called out just because they are women. It's bullshit. Women are doing fine competing with men. Women are earning more than men in corporate America, women are keeping their jobs at a higher rate than men in the recession, and, Adam, when it comes to making money from blogging, the mommy bloggers knock the ball out of the park. So what's up with segregating women? What is the point?

As a reminder, I'm still looking for data on men's vs. women's salaries in America. I asked this question before, and LemmusLemmus pointed me to a 1999 study cited by Steven Pinker in The Blank Slate that suggests it's dead even. Based on Trunk's examples, women actually make more than men. I'm interested to see if anyone has data showing that women make less than men for comparable work.