Pay equity faxathon

datePosted on 20:42, February 25th, 2009 by Anita

Over at The Hand Mirror Julie is co-ordinating a pay equity faxathon.

This is a great way to mark International Working Women’s day by telling Tony Ryall that women deserve pay equity, and that National should uncancel the programmes that would have addressed the pay inequality affecting female social workers and school support staff.

So pop on over to The Hand Mirror, download the fax, collect some signatures, and tell National that women are worth it!

28 Responses to “Pay equity faxathon”

  1. Julie on February 25th, 2009 at 21:48

    Thanks so much for the linky love Anita, and I note you neglected to mention your crucial role in turning it into a PDF for me and hosting the download too, you are too modest! :-D

  2. James on February 26th, 2009 at 01:22

    Oh Gawd! The poor wiimmin! Whaaarrrrr!

    Will you ladies please grow up? You have more than your fair share of advantages over men and still you bleat!

    And that pay equity thing has been discredited for years now….once it was realised Women have more time away from work due to pregnany and the type of work they tend to do.

  3. Anita on February 26th, 2009 at 05:07

    James writes,

    Will you ladies please grow up? You have more than your fair share of advantages over men and still you bleat!

    Care to list them?

    And that pay equity thing has been discredited for years now….once it was realised Women have more time away from work due to pregnany and the type of work they tend to do.

    So if it were shown that pay inequity exists within a particular profession and effects women who have not left the workforce due to pregnancy would you then think there was a problem?

  4. S on February 26th, 2009 at 09:04

    So if it were shown that pay inequity exists within a particular profession and effects women who have not left the workforce due to pregnancy would you then think there was a problem?

    Reference to such evidence? I’d like to take a look.

  5. Lew on February 26th, 2009 at 10:28

    S,

    Reference to such evidence? I’d like to take a look.

    The question was one of principle. Do you need to see evidence of a particular case before stating your position in principle?

    L

  6. S on February 26th, 2009 at 11:14

    The question was one of principle. Do you need to see evidence of a particular case before stating your position in principle?

    I’d like to look deeper. A simplistic analysis would suggest that the market would sort this out automatically. If the wages offered are too low to supply the demand then wages will go up if free to do so or there will be some other kind of rationing. Is there a market failure here? If so, why?

    The subtext of most claims of pay discrimination seems to blame some male managers for deliberately discriminating. While that may have been true I find that hard to believe in most cases (although Ledbetter v. Goodyear is just evil and has been fixed fortunately). There must be something else going on.

  7. Lew on February 26th, 2009 at 11:25

    S,

    If the wages offered are too low to supply the demand then wages will go up if free to do so or there will be some other kind of rationing

    The problem is of inequal access to the market – women’s pay is lower regardless of the economic value of their work because it is socially and legally acceptable to pay them less. Since this is broadly true across most of the workforce, women cannot simply exercise their ability to work elsewhere, and because the problem is caused by social and legal norms external to the market, it cannot be solved from within the market; it must be solved from outside it, by changing those norms.

    The subtext of most claims of pay discrimination seems to blame some male managers for deliberately discriminating.

    I think you see it too personally. The problem is not of individual scheming managers trying to keep women down – it’s of a culture which still does not value women as highly (in economic terms) as it does men. This foundational issue results in a whole lot of structures which depress the value of women’s work and participation in subtle ways – networks which tacitly require top executives to `be one of the boys’ in order to advance are an example, and I’m sure you can think of more. It’s not a matter of bagging men – it’s a matter of bagging patriarchy.

    L

  8. Julie Fairey on February 26th, 2009 at 12:07

    It’s also, crucially, about the undervaluing of work traditionally seen as women’s. It’s not just men who do that, it’s women too a lot of the time. And women workers sometimes don’t want to make a fuss (although many do of course!) when they are treated unfairly. In the union movement we often refer to it as Nice Lady Syndrome.

  9. S on February 26th, 2009 at 12:09

    The problem is of inequal access to the market – women’s pay is lower regardless of the economic value of their work because it is socially and legally acceptable to pay them less.

    If an employer who was paying women a small wage decided to pay slightly more then that employer would fairly quickly start getting more applicants and would be able to select better women (i.e. more productive). That employer would then have an advantage and make more money. Your argument requires a form of collusion across society. A collusion more powerful than the possible gains that an employer might make.

    I find that hard to believe.

    It’s of a culture which still does not value women as highly (in economic terms) as it does men.

    There has to be a mechanism by which this can happen. Individual employers must go through a thought process to pay women less. What is that thought process?

  10. Lew on February 26th, 2009 at 12:47

    S,

    Your argument requires a form of collusion across society. A collusion more powerful than the possible gains that an employer might make.

    Yes, it does. That’s what discrimination is: widespread collusion against a group for ideological, cultural, political or other reasons, which aren’t necessarily economically rational.

    I find that hard to believe.

    You assume perfect (unbiased) rationality on the part of all employers and businesses. But the people making the hiring, promotion and payroll decisions are not themselves perfectly rational or somehow magically free from bias, operating outside the norms of their discriminatory society – to the contrary, they reinforce those norms by exercising their authority as employers or managers or whatever.

    If you find it hard to believe, reflect on the fact that a little over half a century ago, almost three-quarters of the US workforce – women, hispanics, asians and blacks – were subject to just such social biases, and either not economically utilised at all, or hugely under-utilised.

    According to your argument, the market has entirely solved that structural problem in principle, already – according to my argument, freer access to the market with time has come as a consequence of reduced discrimination against these groups in society. Therefore, that gradual liberation of access to the market should be promoted by government, not allowed to stagnate – both for social reasons and for reasons of economic efficiency. It’s a no-lose proposition, and I remain puzzled as to how people who claim to want greater prosperity can continue to oppose it.

    Edit: oh, I missed this bit:

    There has to be a mechanism by which this can happen. Individual employers must go through a thought process to pay women less. What is that thought process?

    There need be no such conscious thought process: bias is not rational. In general, of two equally-qualified candidates, the male will be chosen over the female for certain types of job – frequently the more senior type. Or of two jobs, an woman may be offered the more junior or the part-time job, while the equally-qualified man the full-time or senior position. The same goes for promotion and such. Substitute other discriminated-against groups for `women’ if you want. This doesn’t necessarily imply that the individual people making the decisions are necessarily sexist or racist or whatever – just that social bias clouds their ability to measure utility objectively.

    L

  11. Julie Fairey on February 26th, 2009 at 12:50

    There has to be a mechanism by which this can happen. Individual employers must go through a thought process to pay women less. What is that thought process?

    No they don’t S. It’s about the fact that our society considers much of the work traditionally done by women as of low value. For example, traditonally the younger a person/child’s age, the less valued is their educator. In tertiary education lecturers have long been more highly valued than their colleagues in early childhood, or school, and to my mind that is directly correlated to the gendered division of that labour. Yes qualifications play a part, as does experience, but that doesn’t explain the fact that there are many people teaching in the early childhood sector who have similar qualifications to lecturers in tertiary yet are paid significantly less.

    Although imho lecturers are underpaid too!

  12. James on February 26th, 2009 at 16:26

    Care to list them?

    In the Western/NZ context…

    Favoritism in healthcare funding for Womens issues…far in excess of mens issues (not that I favour State funding for ANY party)

    Women get to live longer on average than men due to the favoritism in healthcare and other reasons….one being they are so couris that6 they just have to hang around and find out what happens next.Also all that heavy lifting and tyre changing she has avoided (see below) that wore the men out and put them in those early graves…

    Women get better education due to the system being set up to favour their requirements than those of males.

    Women get to play the double standard of being “independent,in control superwomen who don’t need a man” one minute, then retreating to the “boo hoo,little girl in distress safety net the next when things go against them due to the actions of “bad men ” which requires special privilages and laws to protect the poor dears…

    Women can litteraly “get away with murder…if the victim is a man who has “abused her”….somehow. Men don’t get any such leway in reverse.

    Women get a massive bias in their favour in child custody cases where its nearly always the Dad who’s left with the scraps….and the bills.

    Women get to determine what is rape and what isn’t regardless of the law and the objective definition of a crime.If a Women gets drunk and has regretable sex with an equally drunk man its always HIS fault and HE should have acted responsibily….the suggestion that the women should have acted responsibility herself is greeted with snarling hisses of “sexism and male oppression”….making one wonder what happened to all the “Women are equal to men” blather we have all heard previously.

    No really attractive women has any need to carry anything heavy or change her own flat tyre when any semi red blooded male is nearby…..men are helpless pawns (porns?),enslaved to the feminine/hottie sexual blitkrieg. (;-p )

    So if it were shown that pay inequity exists within a particular profession and effects women who have not left the workforce due to pregnancy would you then think there was a problem?

    Nothing a free market can’t and won’t address.If Women think they are getting a poor deal they will agitate for change or leave for other fields….as normal people do.And lets not forget that it IS an employers right to discriminate…even if the law says otherwise.

    Its a fact that men are horribly underpaid compared to women in the adult movie industry…will you ladies be protesting this gross injustice too…?

    :-)

  13. James on February 26th, 2009 at 17:14

    Ps…..Women get to overtly discriminate against men in the case of “Women only Gyms,Only women employed at massage parlours,breatfeeding facilitys etc….when the reverse happens its all over the media and the harpies are screaming about their “right” to go into any “male bastion’ that they want to. Imagine if men stared to apply the letter of the law and agitated for this discrimination to end and to claim THEIR “rights’….and demanded employment at massage parlours and to train at these gyms or,…the horror! :-o….want to breastfeed in public!!!!

    What could the Femo/Lefties say….?

    LOL

    ;-)

  14. BLiP on February 26th, 2009 at 18:52

    James

    Its 2009. Wake up.

    Women get to live longer on average than men due to the favouritism in healthcare and other reasons….

    The fact that women live longer than men is because they are smarter than men.

    Your statement that women have a greater share of the health vote is bollocks. Men suck a greater share health because they are paid more than the women working in the health system. They also take up more hospital beds, require more operations, participate more in dangerous sports and pursuits, suicide more often, have more accidents, abuse more drugs, and bash other people far more often than women.

    You wanna talk about crime? Men suck up vastly greater proportion of taxpayer funds as a result of their crime which, apart from the cost of jailing them, results in far more cost to the community via insurance and replacement of the damage they cause. Also, the men working in the legal/crime industry are paid more than the women doing the same work.

    I can easily imagine you struggling to change a tyre, but would you rather give birth?

    Your comments on discrimination are indicative of hypocrisy and misogyny. Isn’t it you’re position that individuals should decide how they want to run their businesses without government interference? Why, then, mock the only sector in the population that has actually achieved a part of that by refusing membership and employment to those they don’t want? Unless you are a hypocrite, you should be celebrating their achievements and advocating more it.

  15. Lew on February 27th, 2009 at 10:49

    Ok, since nobody’s given James a thorough fisking (thanks BLiP for your bit), I’ll do it.

    Women get better education due to the system being set up to favour their requirements than those of males.

    Proof? Generally the explanations I’ve read have been mixed between: women’s cognitive development through adolescence is quicker; women work harder because they know they need to in order to succeed; women are enculturated to be quiet and take instruction, rather than to demand attention and fight authority; and women have less incentive to leave education early and enter the workforce (for the reason in my second point).

    Women get to play the double standard of being “independent,in control superwomen who don’t need a man” one minute, then retreating to the “boo hoo,little girl in distress safety net the next when things go against them due to the actions of “bad men ” which requires special privilages and laws to protect the poor dears…

    If women play this dual role, it’s because men allow them to. Not that they should, or should be allowed to. But it’s just another strategy to overcome generations of oppression.

    Women can litteraly “get away with murder…if the victim is a man who has “abused her”….somehow. Men don’t get any such leway in reverse.

    Men literally get away with murder, rape and prolonged and repeated violent assault against their partners and children all the freaking time. The cases you hear about of a woman killing an abusive partner are notable for their rarity. If you want to argue this point, start by naming ten cases (that’s just one a year) from the past decade.

    Women get a massive bias in their favour in child custody cases where its nearly always the Dad who’s left with the scraps….and the bills.

    Since men (especially those who aren’t having to bring up kids) have greater earning power, the bills make sense. The matter of determining custody is a matter for the courts – in light of the prevalence of domestic violence and abuse perpetrated by men, rather than women, it’s reasonable to take a precautionary approach in this regard.

    Women get to determine what is rape and what isn’t regardless of the law and the objective definition of a crime.If a Women gets drunk and has regretable sex with an equally drunk man its always HIS fault and HE should have acted responsibily….the suggestion that the women should have acted responsibility herself is greeted with snarling hisses of “sexism and male oppression”….making one wonder what happened to all the “Women are equal to men” blather we have all heard previously.

    You’re trying to use this as an argument that women are simultaneously more privileged than men, and worse than men, a peculiarly warped and contradictory position. Women do not, in any way, get to define what rape is – they may make an allegation, as is anyone’s right, and that allegation is held to the same standard of proof as any other allegation. This is why only a tiny fraction of sexual assault cases are ever brought to trial, let alone result in a conviction.

    No really attractive women has any need to carry anything heavy or change her own flat tyre when any semi red blooded male is nearby…..men are helpless pawns (porns?),enslaved to the feminine/hottie sexual blitkrieg. (;-p )

    I hope the ;-P was a marker that you’re extracting the urine, but in case not:
    Oh, poor men, enslaved to the Feminazi sex goddesses. Women bear no responsibility for the actions of weak-willed men who simultaneously adore and resent them. Frankly, if you’re led around by your gonads you deserve what you get.

    Nothing a free market can’t and won’t address.If Women think they are getting a poor deal they will agitate for change or leave for other fields….as normal people do.And lets not forget that it IS an employers right to discriminate…even if the law says otherwise.

    Except the free market hasn’t addressed it. And hang on – if the law says otherwise, how is it the employer’s right to discriminate? Are you going to witter on about non-contradictory rights again? I already debunked that one.

    Its a fact that men are horribly underpaid compared to women in the adult movie industry…will you ladies be protesting this gross injustice too…?

    Shouldn’t the market be sorting this out, too?

    Ps…..Women get to overtly discriminate against men in the case of “Women only Gyms,Only women employed at massage parlours,breatfeeding facilitys etc….when the reverse happens its all over the media and the harpies are screaming about their “right” to go into any “male bastion’ that they want to. Imagine if men stared to apply the letter of the law and agitated for this discrimination to end and to claim THEIR “rights’….and demanded employment at massage parlours and to train at these gyms or,…the horror! :-o….want to breastfeed in public!!!!

    Now you’ve become a caricature of yourself. Private clubs and associations are within their rights to allow or disallow membership, so rights for men to join a private women-only gym don’t necessarily exist. You, as a propertarian, must understand this, so by arguing the contrary you are simply being capricious.

    L

  16. James on February 27th, 2009 at 11:34

    Now you’ve become a caricature of yourself. Private clubs and associations are within their rights to allow or disallow membership, so rights for men to join a private women-only gym don’t necessarily exist. You, as a propertarian, must understand this, so by arguing the contrary you are simply being capricious.

    Ahhh….he gets it…just.I having a tounge in cheek laugh…that this seems to have gone over your pointy head doesn’t suprise me…;-)Im sure Anita realised that far sooner so didn’t get sucked into a pursed lipped prune response like yours proving that yes Women may be smarter than us blokes after all. ;-)

    The fact that women live longer than men is because they are smarter than men.

    Maybe thats one of the “other reasons ” I referred to Blip…do pay attention.

    I can easily imagine you struggling to change a tyre, but would you rather give birth?

    No….thats one up for the guys…thank Rand! But then Women have claimed this as an “asset”,the miricle of birth….this is one “miricle” that they can have all to themselves thanks…

    Your comments on discrimination are indicative of hypocrisy and misogyny. Isn’t it you’re position that individuals should decide how they want to run their businesses without government interference? Why, then, mock the only sector in the population that has actually achieved a part of that by refusing membership and employment to those they don’t want? Unless you are a hypocrite, you should be celebrating their achievements and advocating more it.

    Blip…Since you are as dense as Lew and not able to recognise satire when it smacks you in the face I’ll spell it out for you…I was trolling in jest.Sure there are real examples of women getting an advantage….just as men do in other areas…its swings and roundabouts people…we win some and we lose some…but it usually balances out which is why this femi hissy fit nonsense bores me to tears and makes me want to mock it….we have had Women Prime ministers etc for Gods sake…the glass ceilings been smashed already….get a life!

    But then its not about that…its about State privilages being awarded….again.Same old leftists.

    I have no issue with “Women only” whatever….as long as the reverse is also allowed…and in NZ it isn’t….not without drama.Thats the real point…is the State using force to disperse privileges to one party and the expense of another? If so thats wrong and I oppose it…if not then thats that….

  17. James on February 27th, 2009 at 11:38

    Except the free market hasn’t addressed it. And hang on – if the law says otherwise, how is it the employer’s right to discriminate? Are you going to witter on about non-contradictory rights again? I already debunked that one.

    No you haven’t…try again if you think you can.The right to liberty IS the right to discriminate…to NOT deal with those you don’t wish to.Its a natural right that preceads all man made law…if man doesn’t have that right then there is no moral case to made against slavery…which is the end result of that line of thinking.

  18. James on February 27th, 2009 at 11:46

    Proof? Generally the explanations I’ve read have been mixed between: women’s cognitive development through adolescence is quicker; women work harder because they know they need to in order to succeed; women are enculturated to be quiet and take instruction, rather than to demand attention and fight authority; and women have less incentive to leave education early and enter the workforce (for the reason in my second point).

    So….if you are right and women are indeed doing all these things then supposed problem solved…the market IS working and will eventually women will rule the world….so lets all breath a deep sigh of relief and get on with life eh?

  19. Ari on February 27th, 2009 at 13:21

    James:

    And that pay equity thing has been discredited for years now….once it was realised Women have more time away from work due to pregnany and the type of work they tend to do.

    Actually, most of the objecting arguments I’ve seen are very poorly researched- even the highly respected ones. Let me list some:

    * Men select more dangerous jobs.
    – Women get paid less when they select dangerous jobs too. This isn’t a factor.

    * Men don’t take leave to have children.
    – This has a point in that women who don’t take maternity leave generally catch up to men’s pay more than women who don’t.
    – Sometimes men do take paternity leave, it just hasn’t been an option in the past. I need to find facts on this one, but I’d guess men who take paternity leave are not paid in a fashion similar to women who do.
    – Women who took leave in the past are paid less than men with similar levels of experience, even if they have no plans to take maternity leave again.

    * Men have more experience when they take less leave.
    – Studies supporting pay inequity normalise for this sort of thing. That is, women are paid less than men of equal experience.

    * Women select more flexible jobs, which pay less.
    – Why shouldn’t every job be flexible enough to attract both men and women for quality of life reasons?
    – Why should a job pay significantly less because it is more flexible? You still do the same amount of work.
    – Jobs which have mostly been held by women for a long time are paid less even when they aren’t more flexible.

    * Women are less qualified and/or select easier jobs for quality of life concerns.
    – Jobs mostly held by women requiring high levels of qualification are still paid less than comparable jobs mostly held by men.
    – Women are still likely to be paid less when in exactly the same job as a man.

    * Men are promoted more and get better bonuses because they’re more skilled or have better social skills.
    – By every objective measure we can think of, women are under-promoted on average.
    – Men get paid more in bonuses when they take on less work requiring less qualifications than women.
    – “Better social skills” can often mean not disrupting a boy’s club. There’s no objective way to measure this so it can’t be used as any sort of proof either way.

    There has to be a mechanism by which this can happen. Individual employers must go through a thought process to pay women less. What is that thought process?

    Have I mentioned blind auditions on this site yet? I think I have. Women got chosen a lot more in classical music when they have auditions conducted behind a screen. Without realising it, selectors thought women were not playing as well as they actually were. Unconscious biases do effect our decisions, and even employers who try to give everyone a fair go can make mistakes.

    In short: we are not homo oeconomicus. We make decisions for bad reasons sometimes, often without being fully conscious that we’re doing it.

    Now you’ve become a caricature of yourself. Private clubs and associations are within their rights to allow or disallow membership, so rights for men to join a private women-only gym don’t necessarily exist. You, as a propertarian, must understand this, so by arguing the contrary you are simply being capricious.

    Heh. I actually have to disagree with this one. You ought to have the ability to deny anyone membership without giving a reason, I agree. But there is no right to discriminatory membership practises, and I disagree that you can have a women’s-only gym. I especially disagree that it ought to even be legal to advertise as such. You should be able to have a gym that is (a safe space) for women, but that does not necessarily exclude men in every case.

    So….if you are right and women are indeed doing all these things then supposed problem solved…the market IS working and will eventually women will rule the world….so lets all breath a deep sigh of relief and get on with life eh?

    I doubt misogynists will give in that easily ;) Women are already more qualified than men in many generations, but pay inequality hasn’t reversed itself among those generations yet. It might by the time the current generation of 20-somethings is in charge of most everything, but that’s unlikely to be for another 40-60 years, and it is no guarantee at all when there is so much time for the older generations to beat their prejudices into people.

    Society doesn’t always just right itself automatically. There’s a lot of effort involved.

  20. James on February 27th, 2009 at 13:28

    Another thought…Islam….and its soooo enlightened stance on Women….how are you morally relative leftist/feminists dealing with that one….?

    Ps I should have added earlier that as a Libertarian I am by default a feminist also…(pauses while Julie et el pick themselves up off the floor)but in its individualist tradition….not the boo hoo collectivist one expoused here and at the hand-wringing mirror.

    Try reading the works of Wendy McElroy and others to get a grasp of REAL feminism is about….and it ain’t fear of men …or of personal responsibility.

  21. James on February 27th, 2009 at 13:45

    Heh. I actually have to disagree with this one. You ought to have the ability to deny anyone membership without giving a reason, I agree. But there is no right to discriminatory membership practises, and I disagree that you can have a women’s-only gym.”

    There most certainly IS a right to discriminate in membership practises…or any other practises on private property…its that right to liberty and property thing again.If you choose to have a rule that says male patrons of your service must wear pink tutus whilst women could wear what they liked that would be fine…the market (all of us out there) would judge you and deliver our verdict…you would either loose all your male cliental or attract a total gay one maybe…who knows? As long as free choice and consent are respected there is no issue with discriminating in this way….no ones rights are violated…there was never a “right” to go to this gym “on your own terms”…it was never your property.

    …”Why not? I especially disagree that it ought to even be legal to advertise as such. You should be able to have a gym that is (a safe space) for women, but that does not necessarily exclude men in every case.

    You are mired in contradiction….and advocating fascism….the illusion of private property rights whilst the State/others get to dictate how you may use it….I get critised by some here for the use of the term fascist but is it not a 100% accurate discription of Aris view? If the owner wants to allow men in on certain condictions or exclude them all of the time thats their right…and in any society that calls itself civilized and just it would be respected and enforced by law.

  22. Anita on February 27th, 2009 at 16:01

    James,

    If we had a free market, and we still had a gendered pay imbalance (even when corrected for things like time out of the workplace to raise children) would you think that pay imbalance was just?

  23. Lew on February 27th, 2009 at 16:34

    James,

    Satire is only satire when it differs substantively from things you say in perfect seriousness.

    L

  24. Ari on February 27th, 2009 at 20:47

    Another thought…Islam….and its soooo enlightened stance on Women….how are you morally relative leftist/feminists dealing with that one….?

    There is a significant difference between pluralism and moral relativism. Are you trolling?

    You are mired in contradiction….and advocating fascism….the illusion of private property rights whilst the State/others get to dictate how you may use it….I get critised by some here for the use of the term fascist but is it not a 100% accurate discription of Aris view? If the owner wants to allow men in on certain condictions or exclude them all of the time thats their right…and in any society that calls itself civilized and just it would be respected and enforced by law.

    No, I am saying businesses may have codes of conduct and refuse service to people they have good reason to think won’t meet those codes- so long as they don’t amount to arbitrary exclusion, for example along the lives of race or gender.

    As in, I don’t believe a right to refusal of service amounts to the right to discriminate, but I do believe it can be used productively.

  25. James on February 27th, 2009 at 22:53

    If we had a free market, and we still had a gendered pay imbalance (even when corrected for things like time out of the workplace to raise children) would you think that pay imbalance was just?

    “IF….we had a free market”….nice to see you agree we don’t….unlike some of the comrades who claim we do and blame it for al;l our ills…;-)

    If employers and employees are negotiating without force being a factor than its not an issue.Plenty of Women are out earning men….(me included at the moment!)…but again its alll swings and round abouts…with women becoming more involved in business and starting their own the non issue of pay parity will be redundant in short order.

    Satire is only satire when it differs substantively from things you say in perfect seriousness.

    lew….admit you were pinged and save some face…;-)

  26. Lew on February 28th, 2009 at 11:50

    james,

    lew….admit you were pinged and save some face…;-)

    It’s not a matter of face, it’s a matter of whether to be bothered trying to have a serious discussion with someone who wants to eject screeds of tragic libertarian dogma, and then disclaim it as satire when its absurdity becomes apparent. Whether you’re serious or not, I’m not interested.

    The answer to Anita’s question,

    If we had a free market, and we still had a gendered pay imbalance (even when corrected for things like time out of the workplace to raise children) would you think that pay imbalance was just?

    … is an important one. The deeper question embedded within it is “which do you trust to determine the value of women: your own conception of their value, or the market’s conception of their value?”

    I argue that declining to support cultural change on the grounds that you must accept a market’s determination of the value of women’s work is a clearly anti-feminist position. Formally thus:

    Premiss 1: The employment market efficiently and correctly assigns economic value to merit.
    P2: Women are, on average and ceteris paribus, assigned less value by the employment market than are men.
    Conclusion: Women possess, on average and ceteris paribus, less merit than men.

    I believe it is self-evident that women are equally meritorious to men (if you want to argue against this, please do), so therefore I reject the first premiss: that the employment market we have is necessarily correct. If they were correct they would pay women the same. You can argue the counterfactual all you like, and say that if there really truly were a really truly free market it would pay women the same – but my contention is not against markets in principle. I think they generally are the most efficient way to assign value to merit, just that the one we have is not doing so, because it is an expression of the culture which created it – a culture which systemically undervalues women. That being so, I return to the main point of the post, which is that the culture needs to change, to allow the market to function as efficiently as it can. Trying to free the market without changing the surrounding culture will have the opposite effect.

    L

  27. James on February 28th, 2009 at 14:31

    … is an important one. The deeper question embedded within it is “which do you trust to determine the value of women: your own conception of their value, or the market’s conception of their value?”

    My conception IS the markets…or the small part of it thats me…But I value individuals…not collectives…some women are great and I love em…others are scum and can die in a heap for all I care….not because they are women but that they are individual humans with their own values or lack of them..as i judge based on my set of values, as we all do….if someones wearing a penis or a vigina it’s irreallavant to me on most issues…

    Premiss 1: The employment market efficiently and correctly assigns economic value to merit.
    P2: Women are, on average and ceteris paribus, assigned less value by the employment market than are men.
    Conclusion: Women possess, on average and ceteris paribus, less merit than men.

    You are missing the fact that the employment market is not a free one and it is layered in red tape and Regulations that distort the outcomes…case in point:paid parental leave.This has had the effect of making women of child bearing age appear as liabilities to employers…they are a time bomb of added cost and inconvience waiting to go off….a risk that makes employers extra wary in considering employing them….hence no doubt scewing the stats that make it appear that women are underpaid…when it may be the pro women policies enacted by the State that has caused this to happen…..every action has an equal and opposite reaction.Same happens with minimum wage laws that actually act to keep the poorest and most desoperate people out of the work force by making them appear liabilities in the eyes of employers…and on it goes..

    I argue that declining to support cultural change on the grounds that you must accept a market’s determination of the value of women’s work is a clearly anti-feminist position. Formally thus:

    I would agree in principle but answewr this question….are you saying that if the market (free people) isn’t “valuing women” (and I disagree that it isn’t….and by what /whos standard of value?)then State regulation/affirmative action (force) is required to redress the balance? Tut tut!

    I believe it is self-evident that women are equally meritorious to men (if you want to argue against this, please do), so therefore I reject the first premiss: that the employment market we have is necessarily correct. If they were correct they would pay women the same. You can argue the counterfactual all you like, and say that if there really truly were a really truly free market it would pay women the same – but my contention is not against markets in principle. I think they generally are the most efficient way to assign value to merit, just that the one we have is not doing so, because it is an expression of the culture which created it – a culture which systemically undervalues women. That being so, I return to the main point of the post, which is that the culture needs to change, to allow the market to function as efficiently as it can. Trying to free the market without changing the surrounding culture will have the opposite effect.

    I agree with pretty much everthing you said here…where I think we disagree is HOW that change is made….I argue for education and the process of time that is working as we debate that is ironing out the wrinkles….women becoming better educated etc….

    I suspect that you as someone of a leftist persusion is more likly to argue for some State intervention (force)in the form of affirmative action/regulation and thats the crux of our debate.Am I wrong?

  28. Because we’re worth it: Pay Equity Hub…

    I’m going to try to keep track of a variety of stuff about the pay equity programme cuts that the National-led Government has made. This will be where I attempt to do that. Please do feel free to email me, or post in comments, about things I’ve misse…

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