The National Organization for Women (NOW) is celebrating victory over Wal-Mart. Well, it’s only a small victory–a class action suit alleging sex discrimination has been allowed to proceed against Wal-Mart–but they are celebrating anyway.
I wrote recently about how many mistakenly assume that statistical difference in how much men and women make is evidence of discrimination. It’s not. People should be aware of the limits of these comparisons–which tend to leave out much of the story about why someone earns what they do–when they listen to the case against Wal-Mart. Does this mean that there has been no discrimination at any of Wal-Marts thousands of stores? Of course not. That’s why we should wait for the evidence to come out.
NOW, however, has no interest in waiting for justice to proceed, having already concluded that Wal-Mart is a “merchant of shame.” Maybe NOW will get lucky and the lawsuit will drive Wal-Mart out of business… that would be great for the hundreds of thousands of female employees, wouldn’t it?