September 28 2011
Is Men's Stagnation Good News for Women?
Carrie L. Lukas
According to feminist logic, women are supposed to root for the wage gap-that's the term for the statistic difference between what the median working men and media working women earn-to close. I've written before about how the different decisions men and women make about work (professions, specialties, time spent at work, etc) drive differences in earnings.
Women should also take a look at Figure 2 from this Census Bureau report (h/t TaxProf Blog). It shows that in real terms, women's median wages have increased by roughly 30 percent since 1975, while men's have stagnated, or even declined slightly.
Why aren't the ladies breaking out the champagne when shown this great news about how women are catching up to men? Because women outside of academia's liberal enclaves know that they aren't better off when their husbands, sons, and brothers earn less.
This brought back to mind the Washington Post's 2004 headline "Female Athletes Continue to Gain Ground," which cheered how America was sending nearly equal numbers of men and women to the summer Olympics that year. The U.S. had 282 men and 263 women representing our country in 2004, while in 2000, there were 338 male and 267 female Olympians. So actually fewer women went to Athens in 2004, but because male U.S. athletes suffered at even worse drop off (our baseball team failed to make the cut in 2004), this was supposedly great progress for women.
This may be feminists' vision of progress, but I'm sure most American women would disagree. We want the men in our lives to have good, paying jobs (as well as success in the sports arena), just as we want success for women.