One of the more revealing moments in last night’s presidential debate came when John Kerry cited 76 cents on the dollar as what women make compared to men.
This figure–beloved of the women-as-victims crowd–has been widely debunked as deliberately misleading, by, among others, the Independent Women’s Forum, first in a ground-breaking study entitled Women’s Figures and in subsequent work on women and economics.
Perhaps the most concise refutation of the figure was in IWF’s famous campus ad on the top ten feminist myths. The wage gap was Myth Number Two:
Myth: Women earn 75 cents for every dollar a man earns.
Fact: The 75 cent figure is terribly misleading. This statistic is a snapshot of all current full-time workers. It does not consider relevant factors like length of time in the workplace, education, occupation, and number of hours worked per week. (The experience gap is particularly large between older men and women in the workplace.) When economists do the proper controls, the so-called gender wage gap narrows to the point of vanishing.
Kerry seemed distressingly unaware last night that he was using a figure (he did add a penny) that comes not from research but from feminist mythology. Kerry’s approach to the so-called women’s issues simply didn’t seem to take into consideration the real status of women in American society.
Rip Van Kerry is still promoting an old feminist myth. Want a more up to date, facts-based agenda for women? See “Women Want More Freedom, Not More Government” on the IWF homepage.