Each year, left-leaning feminist activists celebrate the faux holiday “Equal Pay Day.” This year, it falls on March 15th, meaning that in aggregate, women have to work until March 15, 2022 to catch up with men’s earnings from 2021. March 15th is the earliest Equal Pay Day on record, meaning that despite the disruption of the COVID pandemic, the wage gap continues to shrink.
Equal Pay Day purportedly represents widespread sexism and discrimination against women. Progressive activists argue that in an ideal world, men and women would earn the same amount of money each year. They suggest that our economy and laws need to change to facilitate this.
This argument overlooks the many factors that contribute to the wage gap, such as profession, seniority, education, hours, and working conditions. In other words, the wage gap is not a metric of “equal pay for equal work.”
Instead, it’s a comparison of average wages that is not useful for policymaking, and not worth recognizing with a special holiday. Because wage discrimination is already illegal in the U.S., American women can celebrate that they can expect to be paid fairly and can make choices about their lives that accord with their personal preferences and needs.