Monday, 24 November 2014

Feminism's dishonesty - pt 2: the pay-gap, and jobs in science and politics

The pay gap debate - lies, or just sins of ommission?

My previous post concerned #shirtstorm, which touched on the fact that there are fewer women working in science. Now I think the argument about women being or feeling excluded in scientific disciplines resembles that of the gender pay-gap. Men measured by a certain average, earn more money than women - just as there are currently more men in senior positions in science departments and, for that matter, political parties all over the world.

I think it's fair to say that feminists hate these facts, but they can't seem to argue a case consistently or at all honestly. With the pay gap, they will repeat the basic statistic, but not the more detailed work showing WHY the gap is there. There is a wealth of research showing that women work fewer hours than men, they choose different types of jobs, and make career choices for different reasons. They choose safer work, nearer to where they live, that doesn't interfere with their social lives, and they take a great deal of time off to have and raise children.

Thus there is no reason to suppose that discrimination lies behind the pay-gap. We have an excellent idea what lies behind it. So feminists can't say it's discrimination so easily. The problem is that they love to imply as much, or to carefully phrase things so that you might mistakenly conclude that discrimination was at work. 

The fact that anyone paying men and women different rates for the same work risks being prosecuted under the law is also swept under the carpet.

So many a time I've read or heard feminists mentioning that there is a pay-gap, and that this is a blatant injustice. But as said, the reasons for the pay-gap don't seem to be discrimination, but the results of women's own choices, so where is the injustice?

Feminists don't answer this, of course, but, like any politician, quickly move on to state that getting the numbers equal would be a desirable outcome. But it's pretty clear that if men are working more hours, doing more dangerous jobs, and taking less time off for children, then you've basically have to pay women more, or enforce quotas, or some such measure that would entail discrimination against men.

Not that feminists mind this part all that much

Jobs in science - same old same old...

Very similar considerations apply with the argument about fewer women working in scientific posts. There is less data, but there could be a number of reasons for this disparity. It may simply be that fewer women may be interested in these jobs in the first place - a heretical suggestion, but quite possible in reality. Then there is the small matter of the chunk taken out of one's life by having children.

...and there may be an issue with the atmosphere in the workplace. It's hard to say, and even if there were such an issue, why should we blame men? Science departments are very competitive places, socially and professionally - making a stressful work environment. It's quite likely that a female scientist might negotiate in a different way from a male, and be more likely to complain about an atmosphere.

And there will be considerable pressures to join a feminist organisation working for women in this field - after all they are a ready-made social network (or guild perhaps?), and you wouldn't want to make enemies of these people.

Lies, damned lies, statistics, and political debate

But my point is about dishonest political debate. Despite the difficulty in finding evidence for discrimination or a sexist atmosphere driving women away, Feminists

a) repeat the numerical discrepancy in scientists by gender - as though it were an obvious evil.
b) they forget to mention that fewer women apply for such posts
c) if this fact is mentioned, they imply dark forces of discrimination against schoolchildren, with no solid foundation in evidence,
d) they then claim - again with little evidence - that the reason for any women not succeeding brilliantly in science is not that there are fewer in the first place (again they often forget to mention this), but because of malign forces of sexism in the office.

So that's one set of evasions and baseless claims. But as with the pay-gap, feminists then seem to want to influence what is done about the gap. They claim that nothing short of 50/50 parity between the sexes is acceptable. But how on earth are we to achieve this if women make different choices? Well, feminists say either

a) that women should be encouraged to make different choices (possibly by incentives for women only to do science) or
b) that there must exist subtle underlying discrimination, and that the only way to battle this is by positive discrimination in recruitment.

So, based on no evidence, and starting from the premise that gender discrimination is evil,  they end up lobbying for discrimination in favour of women - which of course means AGAINST MEN. It's political genius, but also disgustingly dishonest and runs against any sort of fairness. It's one of the main reasons why I strongly oppose modern feminism.

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