Gender pay gap is a serious topic. And to have an honest discussion about it, we must also present honest data. The “77 cents to a dollar” argument is like me asking why do I earn less than a neurosurgeon. If we are going to compare apples to oranges, we are starting out with a dishonest data. The real wage gap is 93 cents to the dollar. And we must do everything we can to abolish pay gap discrimination based on gender. It must be equal work = equal pay.
But I do want to know why does the 77 cents to the 93 cents gap exist. Do women choose fields that pay less, or are women nudged/forced/conditioned since childhood to choose fields that pay less? If it is the latter, we must do everything possible to encourage women to choose the career of their liking, not the career we think we should have.
Second, motherhood should not be penalized when it comes to pay. We need a society where we have parental leave and parental benefits, where both parents can take a break of a few months. Mothers should not be penalized when it comes to pay or promotion because they had a child. We need 2.1 children per couple to maintain the population level and prevent a world where a smaller younger population is supporting a larger aging population.
And to discard the gender pay-gay, we must all – and this includes women too – discard the idea of traditional gender roles. That doesn’t mean that everyone should be forced to do everything. But if a woman wants to be a soldier, she should face no cultural, social, or legal barriers. If a man wants to be a daycare teacher, he shouldn’t face any social ostracization. And this is where we also need women’s help. In survey after survey, across cultures and continents, majority of women prefer a spouse who will support them and be the primary provider. We cannot make a moral argument about equal pay if one gender is expected to be the provider and payer. It is neither false nor politically incorrect to say that in every survey, majority of men prefer appearance in women, and majority of women prefer money and power in men. And if we are going to ask men to move past their evolutionary preference for appearance, women must also move past the evolutionary preference for the provider. Because if the best chance to pass on genes lies in chasing money and power, men will keep doing that and keep the money and power for themselves. Equal pay is intrinsically related to traditional gender roles and ideas.

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