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The New Realities Of The ‘Soft War’ On Women In The Workplace

Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg’s success suggests growing opportunity for women but our guests say the reality for most women is much less rosy.

*With Guest Host Jessica Yellin.

In this file photo, Adriana Kugler, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor, speaks during the Working for Women - Lansing forum at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI, Thursday, July 26, 2012. (Jeffrey Sauger/Flickr)

In this file photo, Adriana Kugler, Chief Economist, U.S. Department of Labor, speaks during the Working for Women – Lansing forum at the James B. Henry Center for Executive Development at Michigan State University in Lansing, MI, Thursday, July 26, 2012. (Jeffrey Sauger/Flickr)

Ladies, you’ve probably heard: if you want to rise at work it’s up to you. Lean in! And guys, have you seen the news that with women’s advances, boys are being left behind? Hillary Clinton. Marissa Mayer. Sheryl Sandberg. Three strong women on top means the glass ceiling is gone. Right? Wrong. The authors of a new book say more subtle forms of bias in the workplace are preventing women from advancing on their merit. They call it a new “Soft War on Women”. This hour, On Point: women at work — the facts and the fight.

Guests

Caryl Rivers, author, journalist and professor of journalism at Boston University. Her new book, with Rosalind Barnett, is “The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men — and Our Economy.” Also co-author of “The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children” and “Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children and Our Jobs.”

Rosalind Barnett, clinical psychologist and senior scientist at Brandeis University’s Women’s Studies Research Center. Her new book, with Caryl Rivers,The New Soft War on Women: How the Myth of Female Ascendance Is Hurting Women, Men — and Our Economy.” Also co-author of “The Truth About Girls and Boys: Challenging Toxic Stereotypes About Our Children” and “Same Difference: How Gender Myths Are Hurting Our Relationships, Our Children and Our Jobs.”

Amalia Miller, professor of economics at the University of Virginia.

From The Reading List

Los Angeles Times: For women, it’s not a glass ceiling but a plugged pipeline — “The direct, in-your-face gender discrimination of the past has faded, but bias hasn’t vanished. It’s just gone underground and is growing. Under a veneer of “progress,” what we call the new soft war on women is gaining momentum, based on stubborn stereotypes about what women can’t do.”

Boston Globe: Authors work to reveal hidden gender bias — “Women are still discriminated against in the workplace, they say, but the discrimination has become harder to detect, hidden in subtle biases such as mothers being seen as less dedicated to their work and less deserving of raises or promotions.”

 Slate: Women May Be Underrepresented in STEM Because They’re Too Concerned With Grades – “Focusing too hard on grades is a myopic concern, but it’s not necessarily an irrational one. I bet that women are interested in excelling at school because they know they can, and I bet they’d do the same in STEM fields if the jobs presented them similar prospects for success.”

Read An Excerpt From “The New Soft War on Women” By Caryl Rivers and Rosalind Barnett

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  • Mike_Card

    Do they count research grants to women academics to study this “problem” in the 77 cents? One of these “studies” comes barking every 2 years or so, and the number 77 hasn’t changed in decades. Maybe they should look for another demon besides white men in positions of authority.

    • hennorama

      Mike_Card — so rather than dispute the data, you complain about the frequency of its use?

      What a silly argument.

    • HonestDebate1

      They’re fishing. We should be too.

  • Coastghost

    This piece by Kay Hymowitz appeared in the WSJ almost two years ago, explains much, and the data cited continue to be ignored:

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303592404577361883019414296

    • AliceOtter33

      You raise an excellent question regarding the use of war metaphors against the actual performance of women in combat training, since the release of the romantic comedy “Private Benjamin”.

      First, the opportunity to enlist in the Marine Corps’ Infantry Officer Course was only recently opened to women in 2012.

      Second, only just this year female trainees won the opportunity to retake the physical test after failing the first time around. It should be noted that this notoriously rigorous physical test is routinely failed by 20-25% of the male Marines who are then permitted to retake the test (http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-nation/wp/2014/04/04/marines-will-let-women-try-infantry-officer-course-second-time/).

      Finally, Second Lt. Sage Santangelo , who is credited with successfully lobbying for the opportunity for women to retake the test, argued for the physical demands of the test to also be equal for both men and women. This was especially important in the endurance test, wherein women were asked to perform alternative tasks based upon the assumption that they could not complete the required 20 pull-ups (http://thinkprogress.org/world/2014/03/31/3420829/women-marine-training/).

      Like the issue of equal pay for equal work, gender parity in the military simply cannot be achieved if both genders are not provided with equal opportunity from the start.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    I have both daughters and sons and certainly want my daughters to have equal employment opportunities, equal pay for doing a given job, etc. The Democrats’ citing of the “77 cents” statistic is nothing more than a red herring, the equivalent of screaming “fire” in a crowded movie theater. It is pure politics, designed to misinform the public (many of which are stupid enough to not dig into it to understand how misleading and meaningless it is) so as to get more votes in November. The press is just as stupid and biased to cite the statistic, even if they then ask deeper questions as they have left that misleading statistic as the first impression of the person reading or watching their report. If there are pay discrepancies for the same job, then there should be digging into and correcting of that. But to do what the Democrats would like to do (create a new cabinet level department where employers need to report everyone’s wages so that the federal government can police this) is why people hate big government. Stop playing politics and deal with real issues. And don’t be surprised when the Republicans won’t work with the Democrats who are always looking for misleading wedge issues to stab the Republicans in the back with

    • TyroneJ

      Framing the question as pay rather than pay rate is, I agree, a political trick, since study after study in the US, Canada & Europe show the bulk of that “77 cents” is due to women on average, working at their jobs roughly 3/4 of the number of hours per week as men.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Conservatives certainly enjoy red herring. Not sure whether it is smoked, or in sour cream or wine sauce.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        You resorted to nonsense since you had no legitimate reply to my post.

  • jefe68

    Funny how all the negative memes so far are being posted by conservative men. Way to go guys. There is a pay gap that happens and the factors for women grow if the have children. It’s as if the man in this picture is not even part of it. A bystander in his own family, at least how the corporate world looks at it. I suspect this show will foster the usual comments from the usual suspects from the right complete with as much BS as they can muster in trying to twist this around to being a left right issues. Which it only is because the right wing makes it one.

    “Their fact-check is “mostly false” — women working the exact same jobs are paid less than their male counterparts every day, for various and often complicated reasons, and those claiming it’s all a myth offer nothing to dispute that reality.”

    –Joshua Holland http://billmoyers.com/2014/04/08/debunking-the-myth-of-a-mythical-gender-pay-gap/

    • Coastghost

      Twist as much as you like, jefe, but the Kay Hymowitz article I cited below (which, although plausibly published by men was not written by a man) points out that the “77-cents-to-the-dollar” MEME regularly circulated by you lot left of center is more accurately accounted for when tabulating the number of hours worked by women in a given year vs. the number of hours worked by men in a given year.
      Ms. Hymowitz and many a responsible economist point out that when framed as a “gender-hours gap” instead of the Left’s preferred “gender-wage gap” MEME, the issue miraculously disappears with the explanation that women are not working as many hours cumulatively as men do. –which explains why even Sweden and Iceland, with comparative pay equity vis-à-vis the US, still show persistent gaps between total wages earned annually by men and those earned by women.
      When the framing MEME is constructed in order NOT to account for the available data, we get continued episodes of whining and hand-wringing like this one is apt to become.
      Listeners can only hope that Prof. Miller, a trained economist, will be able to supply arguments that account for women’s lack of labor force participation relative to men.

      • jefe68

        Sorry, but the twisting is coming from the right.
        I predict that there will be reams of right wing screeds today that will only show how the conservative mindset is not only against the idea of equal pay, but will spend and enormous amount of time and energy trying to defend the indefensible. It’s amazing, and regressive to a fault.

        • HonestDebate1

          No one is against the idea of equal pay.

          • jefe68

            Ahh, the GOP is.

          • John Cedar

            The Democrats are against equal pay.
            They are only in favor of equal pay for womyn . It is still perfectly fine with them to throw all the test scores out of the white males, when trying to fill a firefighter vacancy.

          • anamaria23

            “throw all the test scores out of the white males” Please document your source for this statement.

          • John Cedar

            It was in the news when Obama nominated one of his two inept SCOTUS judges.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ricci_v._DeStefano#Opinion_of_the_court

          • Don_B1

            Even you WILL come to rue the two Supreme Court justices appointed by George W Bush when the grave damage they have inflicted on this country starts to affect you. You will need $billions to delay its effects, as even those in the bottom 2% will feel it in your lifetime,

            See the review of Thomas Piketty’s book, <i.Capital in the Twenty-First Century:

            http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/may/08/thomas-piketty-new-gilded-age/

            The trouble is that you will let your ideological arrogance dominate and just ad hominem the arguments away, IF you even read it.

            COWARD ! !

          • Coastghost

            Don: I know from this and earlier posts you’re sold on Piketty, but you may care to learn that many competent economists differ with his methodology and the outcomes he surmises. One being:

            http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalrevolution/2014/04/more-matt-rognlie-on-piketty.html

            You might check other blog entries on the site for further discussion, the technical aspects of which are entirely beyond me. (Apparently, even Krugman has some few reservations about Piketty’s work.)

          • keltcrusader

            its all in his teeny tiny brain

          • Shag_Wevera

            So out of 300,000,000 Americans, no “womyn” are capable of being effective firefighters?

          • John Cedar

            Yeah, that’s what I said.

          • anamaria23

            So, as New Haven goes, so goes the nation? It is the word “all” that is misleading and defeats your position.
            My Republican friend recently told me that most jobs in the public sector go to minorities, especially blacks.
            I have lived in suburbs around cities and have rarely seen a black firefighter, policeman, and only a few black teachers.
            So “all” is misleading.

          • Shag_Wevera

            Define no one.

          • HonestDebate1

            White male Conservative meanies.

          • Don_B1

            Just the achievement of that worthy goal!

            As is often pointed out, no one gives up power (which is a lot of what this is about) without a fight!

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          jefe68, if you stop and think about it, most reasonable people who have more than one child have at least one son and one daughter. They would certainly want their children to receive equal treatment. The issue that is angering so many people this morning is the use of shallow, misleading “statistics” by a shallow, left-biased press to mis-report so as to push their liberal agenda and garner votes for the Democrats in the fall.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Few if any people support unequal pay for the same job. Most of us who have children have sons and daughters, treat them equally ourselves, and want them treated equally in the workplace. However, using false, deceptive “statistics” to push a social agenda and to garner votes in November is a totally different issue and the basis for all of the angry posts this morning. But it is right out of the Democrats’ playbook.

      • PassinThru

        Absolutely – Republicans would never resort to using false, deceptive “statistics” to push a social agenda.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          Instead of engaging in superfluous hyperbole, it would be more helpful for you to deal directly with the issue at hand, namely use of lies and misleading “statistics” to push a left wing social agenda rather than actually identify an issue accurately and deal with it.

          • PassinThru

            I find that when confronted with statistical errors or selective reporting, those who agree with the overall premise refer to the errors as mistakes, while those that disagree call them lies. Hyperbole abounds throughout this discussion, and it is fairly equally distributed on both sides. To deny it happens on the side you agree with only serves to identify your views.

          • HonestDebate1

            By any definition lying requires an intent to deceive. Honest mistakes are forgivable.

          • PassinThru

            Intent to deceive is always the first explanation used for arguments you disagree with; honest mistake is the first used to explain those we agree with.

          • HonestDebate1

            Obama used it in 2012 and repeated it in 2013. He knows it’s a lie. He intends to deceive.

            I don’t know what you are implying I disagree with or defend.

          • PassinThru

            You must have greater access to information than I do to be able to determine what Obama is thinking when he speaks. The fact that someone repeats a statement more than once, even if it’s wrong, does not prove intent.

          • HonestDebate1

            When he repeats something that is proven to be wrong, it shows intent.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            There is some truth to what you say. But this is a particularly brazen lie that is very easy to debunk. In fact most reports cite it, and then go on to partially debunk it by digging deeper. Unfortunately, they have already accomplished their goal of misrepresenting the issue to the Democrats’ advantage.

          • Don_B1

            Without references so that how much the articles/reports you are hinting at have been debunked, it is hard to concisely show your deception.

            But based on almost all your previous posts, it is highly likely (>90%) that it is the opposite of what you are claiming that is true.

            It is part of your “Gish Gallop” argumentation style that is in full view here.

          • Fiscally_Responsible

            The 77% and then followup 95% figures are what I have seen in several news stories (CBS, CNN, etc.) over the past day or two. I didn’t make them up.

          • Don_B1

            The 77% and 95% apply to what?

          • Don_B1

            I only disagree on the symmetry of the two sides’ lies.

            The Republicans continue to blatantly lie about things that have been shown not true. See:

            http://www.salon.com/2014/04/05/5_things_conservatives_lie_about_shamelessly_partner/

            Democrats do not keep lying about such major issues where their lies are so consequential and obvious and easily shown to be lies.

    • Don_B1

      In a (too) short segment on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on Tuesday or Wednesday, Mika Brzezinski cited her wage history and how she found out about her “underpayment” and how difficult it is for women to determine how their wages compare for equal work with men.

      • keltcrusader

        I would say the vast majority of woman that you speak to will have a story about disparate pay. ONE of mine was when I was a Office Manager and I found out a male worker who started at the same time I did in a lesser position, had less experience in the field, and no degree made $5/hr MORE than I did. When I asked management about it, they increased my pay by $2.50/hr and actually told me he made more “because he had a family to support”. Yeah, like I didn’t??

  • HonestDebate1

    It was absolutely shameful for the President to go out and use the 77 cents to every dollar numbers. We have never seen such brazen arrogance. On Point dutifully follows the marching orders, does its job and parrots the divisive talking point of the day.

    • John Cedar

      Don’t know where you’ been…
      We’ve seen this arrogance since Obama burst onto the national scene. and before that the people of Illinoizz seen it first. A quote about the man from the great Joe Wilson comes to mind.

      • HonestDebate1

        I’ve been right here calling out the lies.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Never? Really? Search your memory carefully, lest you engage in hyperbole.

      • HonestDebate1

        Nope never. Obama will just lie and lie with nary a shred of reluctance.

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. PERIOD. If you like your health insurance, you can keep your health insurance. PERIOD”.

          • anamaria23

            Until the insurance companies decided differently.

  • Yar

    Statistics can be manipulated, for example I believe this to be a true, “Women in the US Senate are paid 1/5 of the men.” Okay, their individual pay is the same but men occupy still 4/5ths of the 100 seats. Want equal pay for women, elect people who understand current pay is not equal. Most women understand this.
    I have a feeling something big is about to happen in American Politics. Money, self serving politicians, exploitation of just about everybody else, it looks like we are headed for revolution, unfortunately a revolution would allow those who caused this mess to avoid responsibility. I see a another movement that might just reclaim democracy in the face of corruption. Women are very much at the front of the movement. We may find a peaceful path that returns us to Democracy where Women with equal power everyone has true representation. Lisa Murkowski won a write in campaign vote, others can use social media to counter money in politics and win at the ballot box.

  • Markus6

    It’s this kind of sloppy, agenda driven research that makes me glad my kids are in the hard sciences. Why are the social scientists always the ones who don’t seem to know how to do research? Are there any left that know how to do a proper study or analyze data?

    There may be a gap, there may not be. But you will never know what the truth is from these light weights.

    I shouldn’t pre-judge based on this short write-up and I’ll try to listen in, but how many believe they’ll hear data on the other side of the argument? And is anyone else worried that this is what passes for academic rigor, these days? On Point is a good show, but if you want to hear both sides, go to Planet Money.

    • Don_B1

      Ad hominem!

  • John Cedar

    This campaign by the left, based on fake statistics, is really intended to eventually give equal pay to unequal jobs. This may all backfire when the men decide they no longer are willing to do the most dangerous, hottest, noisiest, coldest, heaviest, tallest jobs, if they can earn the same pay doing social work.

    • Shag_Wevera

      Do you know how sexist your comment is?

      • John Cedar

        Which is more sexist:
        Acknowledging reality

        Or pretending that you don’t see what you see, for who knows what possible reason, other than to prove you are not sexist?

      • keltcrusader

        he obviously has no idea what social workers make

    • Yar

      Men have already given up child birth because it is too dangerous.

    • Don_B1

      I remember the Republican claims that the 2012 Election polls were “skewed” and Romney would win.

      I remember the Republicans accepted the administration’s numbers of 100,000 PPACA sign-ups in December, but now that it says that 7.1 million have already signed up and a few more hundred thousand will have signed up when the current “grace period” ends next week, they are all over saying that the numbers have been cooked!

      Bottom LIne: Republicans accept any numbers that support their ideology and reject wholeheartedly any numbers that do not.

  • William

    This all seems to be about distracting voters from the disaster of Obama-care and building up support for Hillary’s 2016 run.

    • Don_B1

      Obama-care is and will NOT be a disaster and Republicans are beginning to recognize this, notably the WSJ and Charles Krauthammer.

      You too can give it up!

  • Shag_Wevera

    Our economy is based on taking advantage of others. I support the efforts of women breaking out of this subjugation.

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Instead of simply allowing the shallow, liberal press to spoon feed you false statistics, why don’t you use a little initiative and dig into the “77 cents” statistic. What you will find is that it is extremely misleading as it does not equalize for the jobs actually being performed. It would be like comparing the salary of a brain surgeon to a sanitation worker. But I guess you refuse to do that because it supports your left wing bias.

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        Let me correct my previous post. I should specified “a non-union sanitation worker” as unions would probably argue that a sanitation worker should make the same amount of money as a brain surgeon!

        • anamaria23

          “would probably” or actually do. Most brain surgeons are near millionaires, deservedly so.
          I have never met a near millionaire sanitation worker, union or otherwise.

      • brettearle

        Are you refuting statistics which show that women often receive less remuneration in comparable jobs?

        • HonestDebate1

          Surely as long as that stat has been around, you have looked at it objectively but your question implies you haven’t. Why?

        • Fiscally_Responsible

          I am not saying that it doesn’t take place and that legitimate pay discrimination should not be investigated and punished. I have a daughter and a son, love them equally, and want them treated equally. What I am saying is that the “77 cents” statistic is misleading as it doesn’t adjust for the jobs being undertaken, and that the correct figure is more like 95 cents as cited in many of those same news reports. Let’s report facts, not hyperbole.

  • HonestDebate1

    It was shameful when he touted the number in the past but now after all this debunking it’s just arrogant divisiveness.

  • Fiscally_Responsible

    They will sink to lies, sexism, etc. to push their social agenda. The ends justify the means. As Jed Clampett said on The Beverly Hillbillies, “lower than a snake’s belly in a wagon wheel rut”.

    • HonestDebate1

      Obama can walk under that snake’s belly wearing a top hat.

  • John Cedar

    Why do we have separate restrooms for men and women?
    Separate but equal is not equal.
    Why do we have separate sports teams for men and women?
    Why are there so few Asians on college sports teams compared to their percentage of the student body?
    Why did the Obama administration turn to hate monger misogynist Larry Summers for economic advice?

    • Jeff

      Why is there a pay gap in the White House?

      • Fiscally_Responsible

        “Do as we say, not as we do!”

  • Yar

    When people hear equal pay, some hear more pay for women, others hear less pay for men. We can’t see the world independent of our or other’s gender. Even when advocating for equal pay, gender differences still effect the market. My smile is not near as moving as the smile of my daughter, the market monitizes things as intangible as a smile. Life isn’t fair, most of us don’t really know how we would fare if it was.

  • PassinThru

    I’m not sure which is funnier – the ad, or your belief that this is an administration ad. It’s clearly an anti-Obamacare parody.

    • Dshakes

      Incorrect. It was a pro-Obamacare ad but it was not funded by the administration.

      • HonestDebate1

        It was condoned by the administration, they own it.

        • Don_B1

          And just how did the administration do that?

          • HonestDebate1

            In the same way they issued marching orders to On Point.

          • Don_B1

            In other words, you lied about it as there were no “marching orders to On Point” issued.

          • HonestDebate1

            It went right over your head.

          • Don_B1

            And your overly elliptical non-response doesn’t deserve a response!

        • PassinThru

          This is another assertion for which I’d like to see evidence. So far people are throwing around opinions like they’re facts.

          • HonestDebate1

            Well let’s start with you positing your opinion it was an anti-Obamacare ad as if it were a fact.

          • PassinThru

            That was not my intent – that was my opinion. It turns out I was wrong; those are real ads from http://doyougotinsurance.com, a site put together by the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and ProgressNow Colorado Education organizations. They are intended to be take-offs of the “Got Milk?” campaign. While they promote Obamacare, I found no evidence that the Obama administration had any involvement with the site or the ads.

          • keltcrusader

            not the only thing they throw

          • nj_v2

            That’s the way DishonestMisDebator Greggg rolls.

        • nj_v2

          Another dispatch from the Bureau of Dissembling Weaselry, aka, delusionally, as “honest debate.”

          What evidence is there that anyone or any agency of the federal government “condoned” it.

          • HonestDebate1

            The Sandra Fluke thing resulted in the President of the United States of America criticizing a private citizen for a lessor offense by a harmless radio guy. He loves these ads.

      • PassinThru

        Is there some way I can check your assertion?

    • HonestDebate1

      It’s real.

  • http://hlb-engineering.us/ HLB

    Great. Another horse nugget show on women.
    Get Tom back!

  • toc1234

    cherry-pick data, ignore inconvenient facts, feign outrage -> sell books and receive praise from NPR and MSNBC…. and all the while head some academic dept in which its students have a small chance of paying off their debt with an actual job after graduation…

  • Bill98

    Funny how the guests mention how well women are doing in education, where they comprise 60% of undergraduates, and yet they don’t see this as an issue for men. When women were under-represented in college, we were told it was a crisis. But, when men are under-represented, we’re supposed to see it as a triumph.

    • Bill98

      I appreciate that they read my comment on the air. It’s a shame that the guests really didn’t address it directly.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        I thought they answered it well.

        • J__o__h__n

          I don’t think they did. The response was that while the percentage was not proportional the overall number of men in college was up so it wasn’t a problem. While the percentage of women in top professional positions is not proportional, their numbers have increased and that isn’t used to dismiss that issue.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            Women *are* the majority of the US population. So the 3% more women in the same age group is partly just that.

        • Bill98

          Why do you feel that way? They never disputed the 60% number, just tried to obfuscate by breaking it down by race or age, which doesn’t change the overall percentage in the least. Also, yes, it’s wonderful that more people are going to college, but indisputable that a much smaller percentage of men are than women. That is the issue, and they did not speak to it in the least. Perhaps because they had no good answer to it.

  • Bill98

    I keep hearing anecdotes about women not being given credit for their work. Where are the studies? Where are the statistics to back this up? Assertions are not arguments.

  • adks12020

    The issues they are discussing now also apply to certain men, like myself, who don’t like to self promote and aren’t very good at it when we try. I’m not saying the issue doesn’t exist for women, just that it does exist for me too. Not all men are arrogant, self promoting masters of their work places.

  • Miss_Lilianna

    This is kind of hard to listen to because I have experienced seeing junior male associates get promoted because they have “potential” and groomed for a higher position. I have never seen this with a female associate in my line of work. I’m in public accounting which is 50/50 men and women. I really wanted to disagree with this show and the guest because I’m not one to identify with being a martyr but this show is truly “on point” with what its like to be a woman in the workplace today.

    • OnPointComments

      If public accounting is 50/50 men and women, then why aren’t the senior women grooming other women for a higher position?

      • Miss_Lilianna

        I have no idea but I hope I meet some women like this at my new firm.

    • Bill98

      I’ve had precisely the opposite experience. I work in IT, and I have seen women “fast tracked” for years. Any woman with a reasonable degree of competence is promoted well ahead of men with equal or greater abilities.

      • Miss_Lilianna

        Wow, I’m in the wrong field! I guess it must be on a firm by firm basis. I think every office and upper management will have its own bias. I have started college jobs in the past and been automatically liked and almost treated like a favorite due to my ethnicity in the past. Gender is just a piece of the puzzle.

        • Bill98

          Hey, why don’t you? The pay can be pretty darn good! Honestly, though, I know what you are talking about. When I did a long-term assignment in India, I was treated very well in the office and most every place else. Folks there are friendly, anyway, but I think the special treatment was because I am white. It bothered me, believe it or not, since I really hate bias of any kind. I know that you can never get away from it entirely, but I’m doing my best.

  • J__o__h__n

    I don’t like aggressive, bossy, self-promoting men either.

    • hellokitty0580

      Hahaha, no me either. But those men are often rewarded for that type of behavior whereas women are ball-busting bitches.

  • Bill98

    Oh great. Ms. Barnett works in the “Women’s Studies Research Center”. Oh yes, she’ll certainly give the data a fair and impartial consideration.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      Would she be researching this if she worked at a “Men’s Studies Research Center”?

      Would you suspect the data from an economist working at a “Economics Research Center”?

      • Bill98

        Actually, yes, I would hope so, since this represents a societal issue, which impacts men, as well.

        As for your second point, no, I would not, since there is no inherent bias in such a center. However, I WOULD be suspicious of someone working for the “Conservative Economists of America” or the “Center for Keynesian Economics”.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          So, why does the organization she work at make you question the validity of the data, or the analysis?

          • Bill98

            Because it is “women’s studies” department at a university. Such places tend to be biased towards an extreme feminist viewpoint.

          • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

            So, women are just imagining it?

        • Don_B1

          Do you know what Keynesian economics actually is? Or that it is the only type of macroeconomics that has successfully predicted the consequences of stimulus and austerity when the economy is in a liquidity trap, which is where this country (and much of the developed world, particularly Japan and Europe) are today?

          • Bill98

            Actually, yes, I do understand what Keynesian economics is, but that was not the point of my comment. The point was that I would expect a certain bias in favor of that economic theory, were the analysis to come from a center that promotes that theory. Much like I would expect the Heritage Foundation to publish research extolling the virtues of conservatism.

  • JustEdith

    ‘Hillary Clinton and Sheryl Sandberg’s success suggests growing opportunity for women but our guests say the reality for most women is much less rosy.’ I would say the reality for MOST PEOPLE is much less rosy, men or women. What is inequality like in general and how are we going to define opportunity and success going forward? Is there really a soft war on women or is it more of the same general war on people? We’re all supposed to strive in this economy and achieve a very narrow idea of success, as defined by the media and the powerful, which leaves a lot of people out, male and female. I wish On Point would have feminist Stephanie Koontz on.

    Stephanie Koontz talks about the Masculine Mystique. I quote from one of her articles:

    “In the half century since publication of The Feminine Mystique, women have expanded tremendously the range of options and self-images available to them, successfully moving into new roles in public and private life. Today it is males who are floundering.

    In America and Britain there is talk of a “boy crisis” in schools. Real wages have fallen more for men than for women. Traditional masculine occupations are eroding but men hesitate to enter many of the fastest-growing occupations in today’s economy. Males are now less likely than females to apply to university and, if they enter, less likely to graduate.

    Attempts to explain these contemporary problems are often the mirror image of 1960s claims about women. Many experts today blame men’s troubles on the weakening of their traditional gender identity. Boys, they complain, are being forced to “act like girls” in school. Adult males have been stripped of their role as family providers and protectors. Society must find new ways to validate masculinity.

    In fact, most of the problems men are experiencing today stem from the flip side of the 20th-century feminine mystique — a pervasive masculine mystique that pressures boys and men to conform to a gender stereotype and prevents them from exploring the full range of their individual capabilities.

    The masculine mystique promises men success, power and admiration from others if they embrace their supposedly natural competitive drives and reject all forms of dependence. Just as the feminine mystique made women ashamed when they harboured feelings or desires that were supposedly “masculine”, the masculine mystique makes men ashamed to admit to any feelings or desires that are thought to be “feminine”.”

    I don’t want to define my success or that of others around me because they can become CEOs like Sandberg or political players like Clinton. They are not role models for me. I do not admire them. I think we need to change the way we think for the benefit of society in general.

  • AC

    I’m not seeing this at all in my office. If anything, I’m feeling pressured to lead projects, which means more paperwork & less research-no thanks!!!

    • AliceOtter33

      That’s interesting – are you in academia? Do you think the pressure has anything to do with gender bias? I can imagine a “leadership opportunity” translating to shifting clerical tasks to women so that men “with potential” have more freedom to further their research.

      • AC

        no, i’m an engineer in a private firm. i do think some of our offices in other countries have more of this kind of a problem. maybe some of our TX offices too, but for the most part, i’ve felt very respected. and to be honest, i think they’re looking for managers that can do both – the admin and the technical. i may just start with heading a task, not a whole project, so i’ll decide then….

        • AliceOtter33

          Thanks for sharing some specifics – the anecdotal stuff is so important in these discussions. Good luck:)

        • HonestDebate1

          I suppose anyone has the power to simply kick ass with virtuosity in lieu of letting others define them. Whoda’ thunk?

  • hellokitty0580

    Why does “emotion” automatically equivocate to “out of control”? Everyone has emotions, including men, and we are certainly emotionally attached to the work we do. Obviously there is a time and place for emotions and we need to learn how to control them, but why are we denying that emotions are a reality? Maybe men need to be more emotional with their work. Maybe men need to be more like women. We’re better communicators and better team players based on research done all of which require a high emotional quotient. Those skills are absolutely valuable too.

    • notafeminista

      Admittedly my experience is anecdotal, but it contradicts your post. More often than not, I’d rather work with men.
      Men,generally speaking, are more decisive and more analytical. As a rule, they don’t care what color shoes I wear to the office. Not so much for the women.

  • Agi M Sardi

    middle class women need ubiquitous access to high performing, secure, and convenient child care to be able to entrust their progeny to others. USA does not have this.

    • HonestDebate1

      There is no higher calling than being a mother.

    • notafeminista

      Sounds like you’re asking for a parent for your children.

      What would you be willing to pay for that?

      • injun2

        “Sounds like you’re asking for a mother for your children”
        LOL! Really!

  • spirit17of76

    I wish that people on the radio would clean up their diction. It is so distracting. I am going to shut off this show now. I cannot listen to the mushy diction of one of these two guests. (Not sure what her name is.) Awful though!

  • OnPointComments

    THE SOFT WAR ON MEN IN THE WORKPLACE
    In the U.S., men are forced to work harder and longer than women. The statistics show that men are twice as likely to be forced to work more than 40 hours per week as women. One of the non-monetary costs of these burdensome extra hours is that men are not allowed to devote more time to caring for their children.

    What happens when men are allowed to work the same hours as women? For workers putting in 35 hours a week, women make on average 35 percent more. The message is clear: if a man does not tow the line and put in the extra hours, he will be penalized to a much greater extent than a woman.

    The 10 deadliest jobs in the U.S., many of which are crucial, are overwhelmingly done by men. The houses and buildings in which we work and live, the food which we eat, transportation, refuse and recyclable material collectors, electrical power-line installers and repairers, among others, are over 90% produced and performed by men.

    The result of this harder, longer, more dangerous work? In the U.S., women live FIVE YEARS longer than men—81 years on average for women, 76 years on average for men. The long hours and the deadly jobs takes its toll–ON MEN.

    Longer hours, less family time, danger, death: the price of the soft war on men in the workplace.

    • StilllHere

      Doesn’t sound so soft.

  • hennorama

    Many commenters below are upset with the use of the “full-time working American women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men who work full-time.”

    What’s interesting is that no one disputes the figure. Instead, we see explanations of the figure, and numerous complaints that it is misleading, or more outrageously, that it is “a lie.”

    If the basic claim is accurate, how is it either misleading or a lie?

    Is anyone surprised that, in order to advance a position, someone would use the data point that is most favorable to their argument?

    • HonestDebate1

      Surely you don’t mean to make that argument.

    • Jeff

      The reason the figure is misleading is because it doesn’t take into account the difference in occupations, the actual number of hours worked at the job, the death rates between men’s jobs and women’s jobs and finally many new studies have compared childless women under the age of 30 to men under the age of 30 and have found that women actually make more money in nearly every major city.

      • hennorama

        Jeff — thank you for your response.

        Again, you are not disputing the accuracy of the “77 cents” figure, you’re explaining it.

        • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

          *Trying* to explain it …

        • Bill J Blaskiewicz

          No one disputes the accuracy of the aggregate 77 cents figure. But the aggregate pay gap does not mean – as people often assume or imply – that men or women with the same education and experience, working the same job, for as many hours earn substantially different amounts.

          If I could hire two exactly equivalent people, one of which costs 23% less, why would I ever hire the more expensive one?

          • hennorama

            Bill J Blaskiewicz — thank you for your response.

            It is inaccurate to write “No one disputes the accuracy of the aggregate 77 cents figure.” One member of this forum wrote about “using false, deceptive “statistics,” and at least one other referred to “lies.”

            What your point seems to be is more along the lines of “Yes, that’s true, but …”

            In addition, your comment seems to be pointing to how a listener/reader might incorrectly “assume” or infer a conclusion, based on what you imply is the accurate “77 cents” figure.

            Please correct any misinterpretations.

            Thanks again for your response.

          • StilllHere

            Exactly.

        • Jeff

          Yep, just like every other “fact” should be taken in context, not just blindly upheld as some unfair number. Understand the reasoning behind something and it becomes less shocking or offending.

          • hennorama

            Jeff — TYFYR.

            There is of course variation in the specific experiences of individuals, but given the large sample size used by the Census Bureau (100,000 addresses), the overall figure remains.

            What seems to be the complaint many are making is that if you only look at the “77 cents” figure, you don’t get a more nuanced view of the data.

            This is not an unreasonable view, but it does not discount or dispute the figure, which has been rather stubbornly consistent over a rather long period of time.

            Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1

          There is a deliberate attempt to deceive. Don’t defend it.

      • StilllHere

        The 77 cent number is meaningless.
        In professional football, women make 3 cents.

    • OnPointComments

      If a calculation was made for employees in a specific medical facility showed that full-time female employees earned only 77 cents for every dollar earned by full-time male employees, would you say that anything should be done to correct the disparity? What if looking at the details showed that the female employees were primarily nurses, and the male employees were primarily surgeons — would that change your answer? In your opinion, would these details make the calculated disparity irrelevant?

      • hennorama

        OPC — thank you for your response, which unfortunately ignores the questions posed in my comment, and also does not dispute the “77 cents” figure.

        The United States is quite a bit larger than “a specific medical facility,” rendering your questions rather pointless. As such, no answers will be provided.

        Here’s a quote from the Census Bureau report, “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2012,” Issued September 2013:

        The 2012 female-to-male earnings ratio was 0.77, not statistically different from the 2011 ratio (Table 1 and Figure 2).

        The same report says this as to the source of the data and estimates:

        The data in this report are from the 2013 Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC) and were collected in the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The data do not represent residents of Puerto Rico and U.S. Island Areas.* The data are based on a sample of about 100,000 addresses.The estimates in this report are controlled to independent national population estimates by age, sex, race, and Hispanic origin for March 2013. The estimates for 2011 and 2012 use population controls based on the 2010 Census.

        See:
        https://www.census.gov/prod/2013pubs/p60-245.pdf

        • OnPointComments

          “If the basic claim is accurate, how is it either misleading or a lie?” It is misleading because a simple mathematical calculation, without any attention to the details, does not explain the cause of the difference. Just as my example showed, when the details are examined, the cause of the difference may render the simple mathematical calculation irrelevant. While 77 cents on the dollar may be correct mathematically, it is irrelevant when the causes of the difference are taken into consideration.

          If all that matters is a simple average calculation, then: based on statistics provided by the IRS for year 2010, the average adjusted gross income reported on tax returns was in excess of $85,000. Based on this mathematical calculation, which no one disputes, the government should curtail all poverty welfare payments since average income is far greater than the poverty level.

          • HonestDebate1

            The offense is in Obama calling it an injustice.

          • hennorama

            OPC — Thank you again for your response.

            Your rebuttal is ridiculous, since it is false to say that “average income is far greater than the poverty level,” based on your hypothetical

            This is false because it leaves out the group that is being referred to — those who filed tax returns for tax year 2010.

            In contrast, the figure cited by President Obama, is specific and accurate for the groups to which he referred.

          • OnPointComments

            Then I’ll amend my statement to say that the government should curtail all welfare payments, including EITC, to those who file a tax return, because it is undisputed that average adjusted gross income on tax returns is in excess of $85,000.

            The figure cited by President Obama is specific, accurate, and irrelevant for the groups to which he referred.

          • hennorama

            OPC — TYFYR.

            The acknowledgment of your need to “amend” (I wonder how many non- tax pros use that word with any frequency) your earlier comment is appreciated.

            Your new statement is interesting, but it also fails, since it contains no comparison between groups, as did the President’s.

            BTW, what source are you using, and why not cite the 2011 data, since it’s available?

            Thanks again for your response.

        • HonestDebate1

          The vast majority of auto accidents are the fault of people who have eaten carrots.

          That basic claims indisputable.

          • OnPointComments

            A doctor friend of mine told me that he attended a medical seminar where the speaker made the indisputable statement that 99.99% of people in the US who have rectal cancer have used toilet paper.

        • injun2

          The reason what OPC says matter is that you can slice it all sorts of ways. The same BLS report you quote also said” The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012″ http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303532704579483752909957472?mg=reno64-wsj&url=http%3A%2F%2Fonline.wsj.com%2Farticle%2FSB10001424052702303532704579483752909957472.html

          • hennorama

            injun2 — thank you for your response.

            Sorry to burst your bubble, but the report cited in the WSJ article to which you linked is not the Census Bureau report cited in my comment.

            And of course, the article to which you linked is also in near-agreement with the “77 cents” figure:

            “… the BLS reports that full-time female workers earned 81% of full-time males…”

            Thanks again for your response.

          • injun2

            My bad- you were using Dept of Commerce figures and I was using Labor Dept figures from the WSJ. That being said, I don’t know how that diminishes my point that single women make 96 of mens earnings and that one must not paint with a broad brush

          • hennorama

            injun2 — TYFYR.

            All of the individual differences described in the WSJ article are taken into account in the overall figure.

            No doubt you and the WSJ do not mean to advocate that women never get married, so that they can enjoy earning “96% of men’s earnings.”

            Right?

  • Scott B

    Where are the men, that work under the women, backing them up, and pointing them out? I’ve been in those meetings where my superior was a woman, yet I was the one getting the questions or attention. Every time it’s happened I’ve directly told whomever was addressing me, unless it was something specific to me, to refer to my female superior, sometimes repeatedly and pointedly. A few times I found a reason to excuse myself so they’d have to talk to her.

  • Jeff

    The pay gap has first and foremost to do with career choices, in my electrical engineering courses I had at most 10% women in those upper level EE classes. Second, many women tend to take more time off to spend with their family…which is a choice and then they work fewer hours than the typical man. “Women under 30 have a higher median income than men in nearly every major city in the country” as per Farnoosh Torabi, a personal finance expert and the author of the forthcoming book When She Makes More. This is an evolving issue and with more women graduating college than men this shift has begun and will rapidly change over the next decade or two.

  • Yar

    What would a presidential race look like with Hillary Clinton paired against Condoleezza Rice?

    • Fiscally_Responsible

      Hillary would have someone that would be quite willing to “manage” the female White House intern program, if you know what I mean. Condoleezza Rice would not.

    • Omaha Guy

      I would LOVE that match up! Condoleeza Rice would be the first Republican candidate I respect in a long time. Great Idea.

  • lexpublius

    As a male, I have found women to be better more observant physicians; equally if not more ambitious than male counterparts; and, they are so diplomatic that these great qualities often seem invisible. I would prefer to hire women if choosing between equally qualified candidates.

  • Agi M Sardi

    As a woman engineer, I was making 6 figures in 15 years and progressed on the ladder to management. Career ender for middle class women is still lack of high quality, affordable , convenient child care. a handful of Progressive companies provide on-site child care where women can continue to breast feed and visit their children during the day after a sufficient leave (10-12 weeks). My weeks were 60 -80 hours before having a child. I could not find a child care provider and went to consulting and part time to lower my time and provide more home access ending with stay-at-home mom

    • Miss_Lilianna

      Most day cares only provide service up until 5pm-6pm so being in a field that involves longer hours will require some creativity once children are involved. The going rate per child at daycare in Boston is $2,000+ per month. Seems like a good business to get into.

  • Miss_Lilianna

    I just think I heard one of the speakers bunch in “minority women” with “45 year old social sciences majors who probably won’t make it to senate/congress”. Wow….really? As a Hispanic woman this is outrageous. I wonder if this lady would have lumped Sonia Sotomayor with the “45 year old social sciences major” back in the ’80s when she was a law student?

    Pretty much this is a show about a supposedly marginalized group that just sweeps other groups under the rug. This is not about women, its only about white women according to Linda.

  • hellokitty0580

    The United States definitely penalizes women for having children, for doing what is a natural human instinct. It’s ridiculous.

    • Jeff

      Sure, but no one forces you to have children…that’s a personal choice. Just like people who pursue a degree in engineering are penalized…it’s tougher than most other degrees and many people flunk out and set their life back by years…they may never even graduate from college all because they picked a major that is difficult. We don’t need to subsidize every personal choice…BTW, we already offer a $1,000 child tax credit and another $5,000 of tax free money for each child to access daycare right in the tax code we have today. I didn’t even mention the laws on the books that allow mothers to take multiple weeks off of work to be with their child after child birth.

      • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

        The GOP is trying very hard to deny women the ability to choose.

        • notafeminista

          Man. When all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail, doesn’t it?

        • Jeff

          Well we must have a new law then…care to write one to solve this problem?

      • hellokitty0580

        I hate to say this, but here is goes: That is so like a man. For your information, I don’t want to have children and I don’t plan on having children and so I know better than most what people think of women who don’t want to have children: “She’s clearly cold-hearted”, “She’s selfish”, and ultimately “Something must be wrong with her.”

        Oh and wow, $6000- maybe, if you have good tax accounts. Children are expensive. Economists estimate raising a child costs around 250K and that’s conservative and doesn’t include college. And a few weeks off of work after you have children? Do you know the kind of toll having a baby takes on a women after she’s given birth? Or the sleepless nights that happen for YEARS, not just a few weeks??

        So frankly my friend, women are damned if they do and damned if they don’t. You just don’t get it and you’re not even trying to get it.

        • Jeff

          It’s that sort of emotional response the keeps women from getting ahead in the workplace.

        • notafeminista

          • hellokitty0580

            I don’t care what people think of me; I was simply making a point. But the fact that people think that way is disconcerting and I think we need a cultural shift in the way we think about women and reproduction. That I DO care about.

        • notafeminista

          Are you suggesting the cost of providing care for a child is a penalty imposed by society?

    • warryer

      How are women penalized for having children?

    • Jack

      We also penalize women who cannot or choose not to have children through unofficial societal pressure. I’ve seen it happen with my own eyes.

  • Elizabeth_in_RI

    This is a very real issue made more complicated by the fact the it is so subtle that we can find arguments for why it makes sense. Even among highly educated people who one would think know better, this problem persists. For example a recent Yale University study demonstrated how prevalent this unconscious bias is against women (see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/25/science/bias-persists-against-women-of-science-a-study-says.html?_r=0 for more info).
    As a nation we pay lip service to the value we place on motherhood and children – our commercials play up Mom, apple pie and the American way – but our policies don’t reflect that all.
    And in regards to “how much harder men have to work” from the comments below – try working that hard all day at work and then going home to a full time job as a mother and house maid, particularly as a single mom (which are way more common than single dads).

    • hellokitty0580

      Amen.

  • Yar

    The queen bee is not a hive leader, she is only the egg layer. Hives are more democratic than people.

  • WorriedfortheCountry

    Will their next “study” be studying sexist hiring practices to staff and promote women the HR department? Somehow I don’t think so.

  • Donna G

    I’m a woman who leads a large nonprofit organization with primarily women on our management team. I agree that it’s still a struggle to find equality across the board, however, I really have trouble with your guests saying that their positions are based on empirical data and then saying things like, “it’s common for a male and female team to work on a project where the woman does almost all of the work and the man gets all the credit and a promotion.” Really? That’s based on empirical data? I find it very difficult to believe that there’s data to back that up and I also find it difficult to believe that there are huge numbers of employers who don’t have a better handle on the overall skills of their employees that promotion decisions would be made on a project (or two or three), which is exactly what your guests are implying.

    I also wonder about wage/salary discrepancies based on gender…aren’t we primarily talking about high level professional positions or smaller businesses with fewer employees where there is discretion in setting the compensation package? Most, if not all, larger employers…corporations, States, cities, large businesses…have set tiers and formulas for wage setting. These are based on education, experience and are arbitrary. I don’t see gender discrimination in front end hiring for most positions, but do see it in executive management and CEO level hiring and promotion.

    I’m not sure we do ourselves any favors by approaching this particular conversation with such broad strokes…

  • adks12020

    In response to the caller: I’ve been searching for a new job for over a year. I’ve had several interviews and numerous phone interviews. During that time I can’t think of speaking to a single male recruiter. I’ve interviewed with some men that were managers or CEOs, CFOs but the gatekeepers, the people conducting phone interviews and first interviews, have been all women. That didn’t even register until she called in about that.

  • JacquelineMS

    In my field, political science, there are a number of female-led movements to promote female mentoring and advising including, Journeys in World Politics and Visions in Methodology groups. These groups aims to address issues related to women in the workplace, tenure and promotion, and family-work balance. We have been slowly, but significantly drawing attention to the issues you are addressing and I would believe (hope) these types of movements exist in other fields as well.

  • Annie Flanagan

    I would like to comment on the issue facing women who choose not to have children, and work hard to have a successful career. I have never felt that I was missing out, denied, or destined to become an old maid because I did not have a family, and the many of us who choose this direction in life would appreciate that your experts acknowledge this. My life is very full and rich.
    Women should be able to make their own choices without feeling guilty or judged, and your panelists should not only defend women who choose to have families, but also a women’s right to follow other life paths.

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      Absolutely – that is the ultimate goal of the women’s movement! But as a society that depends on offspring for its future (economically as well as biologically) we can’t keep penalizing women for doing what we need as a species to continue our existence.

  • Bill J Blaskiewicz

    If the pay gap is as large as the guests claim, how do any men get hired? Surely a business that overpays substantially for employees due to sexism would get out-competed by one that doesn’t, no?

    • Elizabeth_in_RI

      Easy – a) there aren’t many businesses that don’t do this, and b) most businesses don’t do this consciously so of course they aren’t comparing “apples with apples” when they look at other pay rates.

      • Bill J Blaskiewicz

        So why wouldn’t an upstart company come along, hire only women (even if anyone cared, it’s very difficult to prove discrimination in hiring), save tons of money, and beat out their competitors?

        For any business more efficient than a state enterprise in the USSR, there aren’t many ways to save a chunk like 23% on anything. Businesses only care about the bottom line. The pull of money is very strong, and in this case works against the claimed discrimination.

        • Elizabeth_in_RI

          Who says they haven’t? There are lots of businesses that primarily have women employees (think bank tellers, waitresses, etc.)

          • John Cedar

            I believe the question is meant to ask, why hasn’t a business upstart taken advantage of the lower pay women supposedly get for doing the same work as men, and use it to steal market share from businesses that obliviously employ a standard mix of men with higher pay.

            The only answer has to be that the customers are equally misogynistic and are willing to pay higher prices to the businesses who employ men.

          • Elizabeth_in_RI

            That would assume that our system functioned purely capitalistically (and nothing involving humans is “pure”) and that humans were always rational. There are many examples where we don’t make rational choices. Also by your argument the completely ridiculous salaries paid to most top level executives are not rational and should not be supported by pure capitalism. We know there are many well educated people who would be very happy and able to run most large multi-national corporations for far less money than most of the top executive currently are being paid. But the symbolism and status associated with multi-million salaries create some sort of prestige for the companies, and validation for the individuals, which when combined with the insular nature of the upper echelon means that they don’t function according to the rules that you are using to argue that sexism isn’t a component of the wage differential. And in fact there are many people who DO choose males over females when choosing sales people, doctors, whatever assuming that they are more knowledgeable, etc.

          • StilllHere

            Do women choose male doctors when looking for someone to examine their naughty bits because of an assumption of greater knowledge?

          • StilllHere

            Mud wrestling, Asian massage, Bud Girls …

    • Rick Evans

      It’s not necessarily as large as they claim. The guests claim 77% of men’s pay. The Pew/Census number is 93%. Also, just because 23% or 7% of variation is unexplained doesn’t mean the hypothesized explanation, anti-female bias, is the explanation. But that won’t stop activists from sound biting their number.

    • OrangeGina

      because they are men and someone needs to be strong enough to lift the full bottle onto the office water cooler.

      because they are men and they “have families to support”.

      because they are men.

      because.

  • Yar

    Promoting a fellow man does not challenge the status quo, promoting women is often seen as revolutionary, It take a very confident person to openly be outside the expected main stream!

  • Scott B

    Men network differently than women, the same way men have friendships differently that women. We tend to have a wider range of friends (or even good acquaintances) we’re in contact with, or as we compartmentalize. We may have a close friend for cars, another for sports, work friends, and so on, and they often overlap. Women tend to have a few close friends, and wary be any interlopers, and I’ve seen it effect their networking. I’ve had frustrated women come to me looking for help with something, and literally walked them over to different men they work with that can help. and they had no idea this person existed because they don’t interact in wide circles. I don’t know if this is just because the way the socialize, or a fear of appearing weak if they have to go search out a man to help them, or some other reason, but I’ve seen it again and again and again.

    • OrangeGina

      and, of course, not only are you a helpful mentor and sponsor to/of these new colleagues that happen to be women, and you also encourage your male “work friends” and male work colleagues to do the same . . . . . correct?

      and you always include/invite these female colleagues along for lunch, round of golf, walk to the cafeteria for coffee, turkey shoot, etc, make that a normal part of -your- interaction with your female colleagues and encourage your male colleagues to do the same . . . . . correct?

      Be the change you want to see in the world!

  • Jeff

    Please, can we get another perspective that this is changing! “Women under 30 have a higher median income than men in nearly every major city in the country” as per Farnoosh Torabi, a personal finance expert and the author of the forthcoming book When She Makes More. But of course the facts don’t matter when you have a political agenda.

  • Omaha Guy

    Perhaps there really is a war on women by conservatives. At least there is a war on one woman. She acknowledges that secret-keepers are abusing the tax code. Abusers never want to be outed, even if they are technically within the law. Everyone knows that Crossroads GPS is not REALLY a non-profit group. Their real nature is to launder money anonymously to oil company candidates. And they want to be rewarded for their actions with a tax exemption. She called them out. How dare she! She needs to be put in her place! The prison kitchen!

    • Jeff

      Just like NPR and the NCAA are non-profits? No group should avoid taxes by claiming to be a non-profit.

      • Omaha Guy

        The only place I can hear the ENTIRE stump speech of both Republican and Democrat candidates is NPR. Only non profits can do that.

        • Jeff

          Oh, I see, so only the non-profits you like should be granted non-profit status. With logic like that you should really sign up for a job with the IRS!

          • Omaha Guy

            Well, anonymous money launderers are kind of where I draw my line. I don’t like those. So, I am not a completely neutral radio listener.

  • Jack

    One thing that struck me is the very last comment: “this is not a zero sum game” with the argument that men and women can both be successful. On a societal level, that is true, and there is no reason both genders cannot be successful. On an individual level, it is patently false, since my being promoted means there is not a promotion opportunity for someone else (usually several people); if I stay on past retirement age, that prevents someone from moving up and possibly stunting not only their career but the careers of several other people. So, on a very individual level, it really is a zero sum game and, in consequence, the problem is NOT a problem of equality or inequality but a problem of corporate culture. Is there a way to solve the problem? I don’t know; I do know that the problem is exacerbated by the fact that the ones chosen for promotion often are not only not the best person for the job but frequently aren’t even the best male person for the job.

    • http://neilblanchard.blogspot.com/ Neil Blanchard

      How does some of us giving up an advantage and making things equal change the overall benefit?

      • Omaha Guy

        When a perceived advantage is harming both men and women, then everyone suffers.

        • John Cedar

          All we are is dust in the wind

      • Jack

        I’m not saying that someone somewhere stepping aside in favor of someone else so that leadership can be more representative reduces the overall benefit to everyone everywhere of having a more equal society. What I am saying is that if I have to step aside, or I get passed over, then it changes the benefit to me directly, personally. That is why people have the perception that this is a zero-sum game and why, in the individual level, it very much is.

        By way of example: if a university decides it is not going to open more tenured professorships but will only hire nontenured professors to teach until a tenured position opens up through death or retirement, if no one in the tenured class retires, it can delay my career progression for up to a decade; because of that, once I’m in the seat (provided I ever get there), I’m going to hold on to it as long as possible to make up for that lost time, thus delaying someone else’s opportunity.

        Now, a lot of people agree about the benefits of having and promoting dynamic young professors and rewarding them with tenure, including many tenured faculty in their 70s and 80s, but they keep on because it benefits them personally and to leave their position before they have to (because of death, impairment, or desire to do something else) would result in tangible harm to themselves, despite being for the greater good. Someone wins (gets a benefit) and someone loses (does not get a benefit) on an individual level, but society as a whole is better off, and that’s my point: what is good for the society will cause pain to some individuals and convincing an individual that they should put aside their comforts or advancement for the good of society is a hard thing to do.

    • Agi M Sardi

      yes, you as a senior insightful contributor can create an additional position/job/need to employ another person

      • Jack

        Sometimes yes, sometimes no. You can only have so many people in the c-suite, after all. But, even assuming you could create a new position for the sake of diversity, is tokenism really the way we want to go about promoting diversity?

        • Agi M Sardi

          would not equate job creation with diversification … just commenting that you might be valuable beyond your early retirement age by enhancing the company bottom line and creating jobs rather than displacing each other. Many senior staff are quite insightful on what would benefit the company moreso than a new hire. Also, the human race is now double what it was in 30 years ago … there is certainly room for job creation. (ATMs did not end the human race as my grandmother was so fearful of)

          • Jack

            I think I understand your point a bit better. I will say that perpetual employment at the top, even if it adds value to the company, does impede promotion opportunities for juniors of all genders and ultimately hurts the company in the long run because there is no one qualified to take over for the old man when he dies or finally retires. Notice here I’m not saying the new hire should be made CEO tomorrow; I’m saying that people in the c-suite hanging on to their jobs prevents people in management from moving to the executive level, which further impedes the progression of the professional staff and, ultimately, the wage workers.

          • Agi M Sardi

            If the CEO can’t train and hire her replacement, she isn’t a good CEO… planned obsolescence is first lesson in good management practices

          • Jack

            Agreed; but I’m not talking about managers who can’t train their own replacement, but managers who, capable of training an army of replacements, never step aside.

    • John Cedar

      As a white male who was victimized and passed over for advancement, due to affirmative action, I finally quit my job and started a company which I’ve grown into a hundred million dollar enterprise. I did put a few others out of business on my journey, but I am sure I created much more than I obliterated.
      ~not a subscriber to zero sum theory.

      • Jack

        On a macro scale, you are right, you created more than you destroyed. On a micro scale, well, we know how it affected you, but not everyone can be entrepreneurial. In my case, I wouldn’t have the market savvy or a product to start a business. I think I should emphasize I’m not saying that I have been victimized in any way, but with the work I do (managing a lot of contingent faculty and graduate teaching assistants), it is something I think about. A lot of these individuals would be great full time faculty, except there are no full time slots for them. Perhaps my perspective is coloured by my field of work and I would have a different opinion if I worked in the private sector.

  • Emily4HL

    So many of these cultural problems could be solved by realizing the roles of men in childcare, changing the stereotypes, and encouraging men who want to participate more in the childcare to do so.

    • Agi M Sardi

      still – look at scandanavian countries: both men and women get 1 year of leave for childcare to split up as the family sees fit. – ONE year!!!

  • Colleen Palmer

    The elevation of “male” qualities and suppression of “female” qualities in people, business, and public life is the root cause of many cultural and environmental abuses.

    I think it’s important that we begin to discuss emotional intelligence. Our patriarchal culture considers the showing of emotion as weakness. Instead of women trying to prove that they are rational and have traditionally male qualities, it is time we advocate for the importance of bringing the suppressed “female” qualities to the table.

    Qualities such as emotional intelligence allow individuals to consider the results of their actions or business practices. If success was measured with big picture -global- thinking, which is a “female” approach, we would stop ruining our environment and exploiting others in pursuit of “success”.

    • J__o__h__n

      Being rational is not a male quality and we need more of it not less.

      • hellokitty0580

        Of course it isn’t, but it is portrayed as a more masculine quality despite the fallacy of that idea. And so because it is considered a more masculine quality, men are viewed as more desirable employees regardless of whether they are actually rational beings or not. And what’s more is according to most psychology neither the emotional mind nor the rational mind in the extreme is considered stable or healthy. A mixed balance of both are desirable.

        • J__o__h__n

          And that perception of men being more rational is irrational so more rational thinking would solve the problem. An unemotional mind isn’t healthy but neither are most emotional decisions.

    • notafeminista

      I disagree. Women are equally capable of being wasteful and exploitative.
      I’m going to assume you didn’t mean to say women are trying to prove they are rational.

      • Colleen Palmer

        Women and men are both rational and emotional… Ideally we would, as individuals, balance one with the other. My point is that we have elevated rationality and suppressed emotionality as a culture… And in the workplace.

        Since being emotional is viewed as a weakness we can feel, both men and women alike, that we must prove that we are rational, so as to prove that we are not “weak”. This can force us to make shrewd decisions that a balanced person with a global outlook would not make.

        All of us, regardless of our gender, should aspire toward personal balance. To balance our current culture we must elevate the importance of qualities that are traditionally considered “female”.

        • notafeminista

          I’ve not had that particular experience, nor have I felt the need to “prove” I am rational.
          As for being “emotional” in the workplace, there is a time and place for all things – this may be the balance of which you speak. Professional people maintain a professional demeanor.

    • Agi M Sardi

      roi on win win v zero sum mentality shows win/win (e.g. emotional intelligence) has significantly higher returns over long run and creates healthful communities be they social or work related

  • injun2

    My future wife and I were in the same MBA class in the early 80′s. While it’s true that when we both got our first jobs I started out making double the salary. However, as time went on she far outstripped me in a male dominated business (she is still the only female executive in her industry worldwide, in a global industry) and now is one of those maligned top OnePercenters. While she has had many tough inside fights with her male counterparts and superiors, they would all eventually come around to seeing her not only as equal, but also as a good ally. The worst treatment at every step up the ladder came from the women, all in lower staff positions. With the men she would come home sometimes pissed, but the women were so vicious she’d come home in tears. Now that she has risen as high as the big dogs (the men exec’s) they respect her. Ironic.

  • KAH

    This topic is near and dear to me. I am a new mother, and recently left my fantastic career to stay home with my child. I asked to work part time and was told my position was full time. I find this so frustrating as I am an educated, successful, professional woman. I want to contribute to the success of an organization. However, I want to contribute to the success of my family. I felt I could not be successful at both as a full time working mother. Thank you for shedding light on this topic.

  • l84wrk

    While I know it’s illegal, if I’m hiring a worker whom I hope will spend a career with me (yeah, I’m a dinosaur, but I’m specifically referring to professional-level work, not more “interchangeable” type workers), I’m going to be reluctant to hire someone for whom there’s a really good chance they will be gone for a significant period of time rather early in their career (relatively speaking), want to return to work part time or worse, not return at all.

    I’m thinking of a world I’m familiar with – medicine. There is almost parity in admission to medical school these days between males and females. But statistics bear out that women overwhelmingly prefer primary care specialties (pediatrics, internal medicine) AND work fewer hours on average than their male cohorts. I see this as a dangerous trend for patients.

    Additionally, many female physicians tend to not return to work after childbearing or return on a part time basis. I even know several who never practiced at all after completing their residencies! Yes, it’s anecdotal, but smaller practices are understandably reluctant to spend the effort, time and money it takes to recruit physicians, invest in their needs in the practice only to have that physician drop out of the practice after only a few years. The years following residency are the primary child-bearing years for women (ages 30+ by the time residency is completed, and many have not had children during med school/residency). The number of residency spots is not fungible, and it seems unfair to me that those spots are filled by people who either will have a very short career, none at all, or actually be one-half or so of a full-time doc (speaking in hours-of-work terms).

    Here’s an interesting study that was done by some Yale Management School folks: http://www.anderson.ucla.edu/faculty/keith.chen/papers/GenderNPV_WorkingPaper.pdf
    While it doesn’t address specifically the area of the tendency toward truncated careers of female physicians (the NHS in the UK is turning its attention to this problem now; they are currently facing a primary physician shortage due to the higher percentage of female primary care docs), this study finds that, on average, women come out better financially by becoming physician assistants rather than physicians. The short explanation is number of hours worked – the women just work fewer hours than men.

    • OrangeGina

      glad I’m not a doctor! On the other hand, I like my female doctors and health care providers. Your post here is very troubling, however it totally demonstrates how employers are so biased against females b/c they reproduce.

      Did you ever think that female doctors drop out, want to be part time, .etc. because of the pressure, negativity and disdain they get from attitudes like yours?

      Did you ever think that a woman’s childbearing years are really just a blink in a career that could span 5 or 6 decades?

      Did you every think that society as a whole benefits when women/mothers are supported by the community?

      Did you ever think of how much loyalty and appreciation a working mother has for an employer who has empathy for her family role, and how she would walk over hot coals for him/her?

      The whole “too few spots in medical school” thing was a recently revealed as a ploy to increase doctor’s wealth/value by restricting their profession. Other countries support doctor education as a public good.

      On the other hand, any good woman would not have fun working for you, Dr. Dinosaur, no matter what.

      • l84wrk

        Women docs drop out or cut back because they want to spend time being moms, not because of me!

        As a patient, I’d like a doc who I know will be there, not one who only works 2 days a week, and I happen to get sick on her day off.

        As the partner of a doc I might hire, I don’t want a higher workload dumped on me because someone who joined us to help lighten the patient load decides to cut back or quit, and that load is put back on the remaining physicians. How does that help patients, especially in an underserved area?

        While the number of medical school spots has expanded, the number of residency spots has not. That number is set by CMS, since most of those spots are funded by Medicare (see the 1997 Balanced Budget Act). I can assure you that docs have very little voice in policy regarding this (the AMA is NOT the voice of rank and file docs – only about 17% of practicing physicians even belong). Whose “ploy” was revealed, and by whom?

        You must be the most magnanimous employer ever – let everyone work as few hours as they want, drop out for a decade or so and come back at their same or higher salary, and oh, by the way, the customers or clients just have to suck it up when there’s no one available to help them.

        • Elizabeth_in_RI

          These are exactly the attitudes that cause these problems., What about the male doctor that is off at a medical “junket” and not available the day that I’m sick?? What about the male doctor (or executive) that if off golfing all afternoon or on his honeymoon with his much younger wife?? We can argue stereotypes all day long. Until men are as invested in parenting as women are expected to be these problems will continue. And again they go back to the fact that while we profess to valuing “children as our future” that we aren’t really willing to “put our money where our mouth is”

          • l84wrk

            In this special instance regarding physicians, I guess it really does come down to priorities. I’m not a doc, but I’ve been married to one for over 30 years.

            My kids and myself have always and will always be second in my husband’s life, until he stops seeing patients. Being a physician is a calling for my husband, and his patients will always come first. I think that’s what patients want and need – health issues don’t always happen at “convenient” times, and so caring for folks happens when it needs to happen, not on Mondays and Wednesdays from 8 – 12. He’s not off on “junkets.” (are you kidding?? We barely take family vacations!) He’s not dealing stocks while patients wait forever in the waiting room. He’s not on the golf course every week. His priority is his patients, as it should be. His patients (and his staff) love him. I’m proud he’s seen as an admired and trusted member of our community.

            What he IS doing is working through lunchtime almost every day so he can get to everyone. What he IS doing is staying late every day and bringing home stuff to work on at home, including learning all the onerous new regulations required (of which lay people have zero knowledge). If he’s out of town, it’s usually for a medical conference to earn the required CME’s. I don’t have a problem with that – in fact, I admire that. I believe it makes for a caring and dedicated doctor. He’s able to do all this because I want his patients to come first; I’m at home with our son, taking care of everything else so that those patients *can* come first. I’m no martyr and don’t expect any awards. Yes, he’s missed school programs, but I’m always there. Yes, he’s missed the soccer games, but I’m always there. Our kids know he loves them, but that hurting and scared patients come first.

            BUT – I’ve seen new partners come in – not as employees, but partners who are there to help lighten the load for all. New office space is built out, new equipment is purchased, new support staff is hired. All this costs a lot of money, borne by the partners already there since a new one earns in by “sweat equity” under their arrangement. The other partners make nothing off the new person – in fact those new partners are an expense until they build up enough of a practice to cover their own expenses (shared equally, in their arrangement, and they are “salaried” until they get going so that they do have an income from the start). Then – boom – that partner cuts back to 2.5 days a week. Or they decide to stay home completely. Their patient load goes down – and who has to pick it up? The ones who wanted help in the first place. How does this help patients?

            A new doc who comes in and can work 60+ hours a week along with the others – every week, all year, for years – benefits everyone, the patients most especially.

            Someone who quits after they have a child is a huge cost to everyone. And their rare residency space ends up being wasted. All that training for what? A five year career? A part time career? You’d need 2 part-time docs to fill the need, hours-wise of one who works full time.

            Call it a war on women if you like, but I feel the same way if it were a man doing this. Medicine is just different, IMO.

            I might have gotten OT a bit, but medicine is one area I can speak knowledgeably about. And I’m serious about checking out the problems in the NHS regarding female physicians.

            This is an area of work that probably doesn’t translate well under the equal pay debate, especially since most docs are paid by insurance and Medicare/Medicaid. In fact, it’s probably the most equitable pay scale in the working world. The pay is whatever the “code number” says was done, docs have no leeway, and coding has no gender. ICD-9-CM 795.39 is a diagnosis code for a non-specific positive culture. The code doesn’t care if a male or female determines the code; the reimbursement is the same. The number of times a doc submits that code (i.e., how many pts he or she sees) will determine how much that doc makes (using just one code as an example). Where so-called inequality of pay comes in here is very much the choice of the physician – how much he or she works. All I’m saying is that the considerable investment made in creating new physicians should be taken seriously, and I feel it’s unfair (to pts and other docs) – in this arena – to try to make a work environment fit a “lifestyle.”

        • Bill J Blaskiewicz

          You’re not wrong – your conclusions are rational – but what you’re advocating is bad for society generally. We need families to have children.

          I say give parents of all genders a generous amount of guaranteed paid leave on the birth of a child. This way the “risk” of an employee taking time off to care for a child is spread out over all mothers and fathers. This breaks us out of the current situation, where women are assumed to be the ones who will take time off to have children. Canada does this, as does a lot of Europe, the Scandanavian countries in particular.

  • Markus6

    Maybe I’m a bit over the top on this comment, but it’s these types of academics teaching critical thinking that enables people to believe that childhood inoculations cause autism, playing mozart for pregnant mom’s creates brighter kids, we should eat food according to the food pyramid, etc.

    I’m repeating myself, but whatever happened to academics doing real research instead of twisting facts and finding cute supportive anecdotes to further their agendas. Scary to think of them in teaching positions, but it does explain a lot.

    And btw, I don’t know if there is a gap or not, or how big it is. But I know we won’t get the facts from these people.

  • HonestDebate1
    • twenty_niner

      And by the way, where do these two women work? Where do you see waistlines like that?
      How do you get a job there?

  • Jeff

    Neat, did you read the reference I had on my comment…Farnoosh didn’t pull the figure out of thin air. BTW, no need to denigrate Dr. Seuss.

  • HonestDebate1

    I love Sarah Palin and certainly Hillary cannot hold a candle to her accomplishments but I’d go with Condi Rice.

    • JS

      Can you answer what are Sarah Palin’s accomplishments without resorting to mentioning anything about Hillary?

      • HonestDebate1

        I wasn’t the one that brought up Hillary.

        Sarah Palin was a concerned mom going to PTA meetings and decided to take a more active role. She was elected to the City Council then mayor of Wasilla. She cut taxes, improved roads and increased funding for police, She was appointed the chair of the Alaska oil and Conservation Commission where she outed corruption in her own party. She then when on to defeat the incumbent of her party for governor. As Governor she engineered a deal with the gas companies to pay the citizens of Alaska. She passed sweeping ethics reforms.

        She also worked in the private sector with her husband as a commercial fisherman. She can field drew a moose. The woman has many accomplishments made on her own with our having to be her husband’s doormat.

        What has Hillary done?

        • JS

          See, i knew you couldn’t do it

          • HonestDebate1

            I didn’t mention anything about Hillary. But if you are going to accuse me of it then I may as well. She rose to prominence by shady deals (Whitewater, Madison Guarantee, Cattle Futures, etc.) horrible treatment of people like Billy Dale, and riding the coattails of her husband who is a serial abuser of women. She taught young women to endure humiliation. As Senator she sponsored no legislation and had an unremarkable tenure after being elected because she was a former first lady. She played the victim when Rick Lazio challenged her at a debate. As Secretary of State she was a failure with the Russian reset, Iranian nukes and the Benghazi debacle. She has done nothing to qualify herself worthy of the highest office in the land but neither did Obama.

          • JS

            I knew you couldn’t resist lol

          • HonestDebate1

            I’m blamed either way. Are you a Hillary supporter. If so, why?

          • JS

            Yes, because no matter how vile, evil, and unworthy she might be, she’s still better than any Republican alternative so far. Now, when she was going to run against the old Gulianni, I was waiting to see who I would support. Unfortunately he got cancer, dropped out, and dropped his values after 9/11 to try and get the Republican nomination.

          • HonestDebate1

            That’s quite an endorsement.

          • JS

            Politician’s are politician’s. I believe the current Democratic Party will leave me more scraps* than the current Republican Party would. Redistricting reform is one thing that would start us down the road to better choices.

            * by scraps I don’t mean handouts.

  • Oh bummer

    ‘Hillary Clinton’s success’? (LOL!)

    The only thing she’s been successful at is refusing to answer questions under oath regarding the death of the American Ambassador in Benghazi.

  • Adrian_from_RI

    It seems to me that workplace-equal-pay is only an problem for economic illiterates and community activists. I have been told time and time again that businesses are only interested in making money. For instance, a company will scourer the world to shave a penny of the price of the steel it buys. Yet, now I am supposed to believe that that company pays its male workers a dollar for jobs that females would do for 77 cents?

    I am sure there might be some irrational company CEO that pays a male worker a dollar instead of $ 0.77 for an equally competent female worker. However, a company with such an irrational CEO has a competitive disadvantage and would, in due course, go belly up. Cannot Onpoint and its guest understand that to irrationally discriminate cost money? A free market, that is, capitalism is the best guarantor of equal pay for equal work.

    May I suggest another Onpoint program to explore a market niche? Discuss how companies run by females and only hiring 77 cents on the dollar female workers are beating the pants of their “irrational,” “discriminating” all male competitors.

    By the way, the prospect of President Obama adding more anti-discrimination laws on top of all the anti-discrimination laws already on the books must make ambulance chasing lawyers salivate.
    There is already a whole industry of shaking down companies by threatening them with a discrimination lawsuit.

    • dfg

      So what are you saying, men are superior employees, worth the extra money? I find it odd to even have to ask a question like that. It reminds me of the bad-ole arguments some used to make that black were intellectually inferior. It’s unbelievable, and sad, that so many are still stuck with beliefs like that.

      Yes, President Obama advocates anti-discrimination. There was another president, Lincoln I think his name was, that also advocated the same thing. Heck, just think of not the low wage, but the ZERO-WAGE labor force you’d have in your… what? “pro-discrimination” utopia if he didn’t win that war and get his way.

      • Bill J Blaskiewicz

        “So what are you saying, men are superior employees, worth the extra money?”

        No, he or she is not. T grandparent poster was saying that if women are really 23% cheaper than men with the same abilities and experience, we would expect companies to hire more women to save money. But we don’t see that, so something else must be happening, like perhaps it’s not that much more expensive to hire men.

    • Bill J Blaskiewicz

      Hear, hear. I’ve asked the same thing several times here and in other conversations. I never get a straight answer; I suspect this is because women really aren’t 23% cheaper, all other things being equal.

    • hennorama

      Adrian_from_RI — you have to be rather inattentive to interpret what President Obama has said — “Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…” — as meaning what you wrote — “[a] company pays its male workers a dollar for jobs that females would do for 77 cents.”

      When reporters questioned the “77 cents” figure, according to WaPo’s The Fact Checker blog (emphasis mine),

      Betsey Stevenson, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, acknowledged to reporters that the 77-cent figure did not reflect equal pay for equal work. “Seventy-seven cents captures the annual earnings of full-time, full-year women divided by the annual earnings of full-time, full-year men,” she said. “There are a lot of things that go into that 77-cents figure, there are a lot of things that contribute and no one’s trying to say that it’s all about discrimination, but I don’t think there’s a better figure.”

      Source:
      http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/04/09/president-obamas-persistent-77-cent-claim-on-the-wage-gap-gets-a-new-pinocchio-rating/?tid=hpModule_f833

      • HonestDebate1

        Glad to see you did a 180 and now realize the basis of the claim is not true.

  • StilllHere

    The solution would appear to be to pay men less, starting with manual laborers and government employees.

    • JS

      And why should manual laborers be paid less? For the record I don’t think most govt. workers should be paid less either, but I don’t want to open THAT can of worms.

      • StilllHere

        Why should manual laborer men be paid more than their female counterparts?

        • JS

          They shouldn’t, and for the 10 years that I worked construction, they weren’t, thanks to our strong union. They should be paid the same. If the women are being paid less, their pay should be increased instead of men’s wages lowered, IMHO

          • StilllHere

            It’d be easier to lower men’s wages.

          • JS

            How so? For who? Not for the workers obviously. And easier isn’t necessarily better

          • StilllHere

            You could hit a single key at ADP or whatever payroll processor, cut men’s wages and get parity right away without worrying about whether there was cash to cover it.

            America should get behind this.

          • JS

            Yes, America should get behind lower wages for a day’s hard labor. Lets make it even easier and lower all wages for every job to $1/hr. Imagine the employment we would have ….until nobody can buy anything.

          • StilllHere

            Why do you need to take your argument to nonsensical extremes?

            Anyway, it seems like the case for lowering men’s wages to parity with women’s is made and we’ve arrived at an elegant solution to the problem addressed today. Thanks for your input.

          • JS

            You elegant solution would hurt more than it helps. I took it to extremes to show that easier is not always better, sorry you didn’t get that.

          • StilllHere

            It helps achieve parity and doesn’t cause inflation. I think this could be done over two to three years, to lessen the mild disruption. In this case, easier is better.

          • JS

            I guess the question is: better for whom? For the business owner, most certainly. For the majority of workers and their families taking a cut in pay, not so much.

            And why start with labor and govt.? Why not start with CEO?

          • StilllHere

            Society.

          • JS

            Aren’t the people whose wages would be cut a part of society? The store owners in their neighborhoods who rely on their purchasing power?

          • StilllHere

            Some will be negatively impacted, but we are righting a wrong and benefiting society as a whole.

          • JS

            I don’t see the benefit to society as a whole in lowering men’s wages. Thw rong can be righted by increasing woman’s wages. Glad I worked a Union job, where this wasn’t an issue.

          • notafeminista

            The quarrel is about equality, not about giving women a raise. It’s about men and women being paid the same for the same work. Pay men less, problem solved.

          • JS

            Pay women more, problem solved.

          • notafeminista

            Women are already managing on their salaries. Clearly men have more money than they need.

          • JS

            I may be new at these forums, but isn’t that an example of trolling?

          • notafeminista

            So really this isn’t about equal pay, it’s about helping out the store owner?

          • JS

            You’re a late comer to the conversation. We somehow got around to discussing benefits to society as a result of raising women’s wages or lowering men’s, not as a reason for raising or lowering them.

          • notafeminista

            And yet that is exactly what you did.

          • JS

            No, I did not give ‘helping out a store owner’ as a reason for equal pay, but as an example of the ‘benefit to society’ that could result. Stillhere suggested lowering men’s pay would be a benefit to society, I suggested lowering men’s pay would not be a benefit to society, and gave the ‘store owner’ as an example of someone who might be negatively affected by a lowering of wages. All this was obvious from the preceding posts.

          • jefe68

            Considering that most wages in this country have been flat for the past 30 years lowering them seems pretty inane to me.

          • hennorama

            jefe68 — it’s a ludicrous and non-serious idea, but given the source, it’s not even slightly surprising.

          • HonestDebate1

            Stillhere is laughing at you.

          • Oh bummer

            I’m sure that’s what the democrats have in mind.

    • J__o__h__n

      The guests didn’t spend much time on lower and even middle class women. They talked mostly of board representation, law partners, upper management, etc.

      • StilllHere

        Not that’s gonna move the needle much. Time to think big.

    • jimino

      Why stop there? Cutting every worker’s wages would certainly be rewarded by big CEO bonuses and stock price increases for those lean and mean businesses, and that’s the true measure of the economy, isn’t it?

      • StilllHere

        Were talking about solutions. Try to be practical.

        • JS

          Your solution is practical, but not helpful. And I imagine once men’s pay was cut, new women would probably be hired at an even lower rate, so 10-20 years from now, you could propose lowering men’s pay to get rid of the discrepancy.

          • jimino

            I think you’re catching on to his view of how the world should work.

          • JS

            Amen brother

          • StilllHere

            Why would this happen once parity is achieved? Public pressure wouldn’t allow it.

          • notafeminista

            Not helpful to whom exactly? Men?
            See, it’s all fine when women are agitating for pay equality because the assumption is women will get a raise.
            But suggest men be paid less to achieve the (presumably) same pay equality and the wheels come off the wagon.

          • JS

            No wheels are off any wagons. If the job is worth X, pay anyone who does it X. If men are paid X for the work, the work is worth X. (everything being equal: time, education, experience, etc. Which accounts for a portion of the wage gap, I understand this, so no need to point it out)

          • Government_Banking_Serf

            “If the job is worth X, pay anyone who does it X”

            I thought letting the market determine pricing was mean?

          • Guest

            Classic example of the either/or paradigm.

        • jimino

          Not surprisingly, from your comments here, you obviously have no touch with what is actually happening in the world if you don’t think my proposal is practical. It is PRECISELY what is termed “success” in our economy and your world. Pop the champagne!

          http://www.testosteronepit.com/home/2014/4/5/this-chart-is-a-true-picture-of-how-qe-solved-the-unemployme.html

          • StilllHere

            You don’t see to have any concept about our economy’s structure or how it works. Most of it is private, not publicly traded. Moreover, the public sector is most egregious when it comes to wage disparity across the genders.

  • Sy2502

    I remember in college while studying for my Computer Science degree, I took a Game Design class. The final project was a group project to design a videogame. I was the only female in a group of guys. Immediately, they agreed to give me the design of the characters. When I replied I felt more comfortable handling the Artificial Intelligence part of the game, they all looked at me like I had grown a second head. It hadn’t even crossed their mind that I, a female, may prefer a technical role over an artistic role. In my experience, most males with strong gender bias have absolutely no idea they in fact have a gender bias.

    • notafeminista

      Seems more likely (and more equal) to say most humans with a strong gender bias have absolutely no idea they in fact have a gender bias.

      • Sy2502

        Yes sir, it does go both ways.

    • PaulD

      I also went to college for computer science, at a well known technical university. It sounds like your school was similar to mine in that there were few females in the CompSci program (and the engineering tracks).

      Lately, there’s been a lot of talk about how few women are in executive positions in high tech companies. If women want to be executives at a software company, shouldn’t they first get the appropriate education?

      • Sy2502

        I absolutely agree with you that women have to start doing their own part by choosing degrees that will get them high paying positions.

        • PaulD

          To be blunt, I think women bear some amount of fault in this whole problem as well. I’ve seen mothers be slightly upset when their daughters are interested in technical subjects. I’ve heard other women, when confronted with a technical problem like fixing a car, tell their husbands “I don’t care, just make it work”. My own wife’s eyes glaze over when I explain how I fixed my project car.

          I don’t know if it’s somehow nature or these women were nurtured to be that way, but that’s a bad attitude. Being technical requires being curious about things that are technical.

          If a woman has no interest in technical subjects, that’s fine, but don’t complain when women have a hard time advancing in technical fields. Thankfully, my young daughter wants to take a class in robotics.

          • Sy2502

            Is it a girl’s fault if daddy takes pains to teach how to fix a car to her brother but not to her? My father never taught me to fix anything, every time I tried he’d tell me to stop “because I may hurt myself”. That is a gender bias I had no control over. It’s all fine and good to tell women to take their part of responsibility, but please don’t make the mistake of just putting ALL the blame on women.

          • PaulD

            My father never taught me how to program a computer. My wife’s father *did* teach her to fix a car, and it seemingly didn’t take. I have other technical interests that my father knows little about.

  • Oh bummer

    Hillary Clinton, Sarah Palin, Samantha Power, Condi Rice, and Susan Rice, have all proven that they are just as capable as their male counterparts, of being war-mongers (war criminals).

    Add ‘Fu** the EU’ (Victoria Nuland) to that inglorious list as well.

    • J__o__h__n

      I never thought I would defend Sarah Palin, but as she had absolutely no authority in foreign policy, how is she a war criminal?

      • HonestDebate1

        Thank you.

      • Oh bummer

        Bill Kristol, endorsed her voraciously after (let’s bomb Iran) John McCain got the GOP nomination. Palin was chosen for the sole fact that she would have followed the Neo-Con playbook, had she become President, of initiating war on every Middle East (Muslim) nation, that refused to be subservient to Washington.

  • StilllHere

    Ask Vince Foster about the whole “kill first, cover up later” strategy.

  • OrangeGina

    It’s your old employer’s loss. A happy and motivated employee of either sex is way more productive part-time, than a phoning-it-in employee that is full time. That’s EVERY time!

    You will find something way better when the time comes, or perhaps start your own company. Success /IS/ the best revenge!!

  • OnPointComments

    PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PERSISTENT ’77-CENT’ CLAIM ON THE WAGE GAP GETS A NEW PINOCCHIO RATING
    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/wp/2014/04/09/president-obamas-persistent-77-cent-claim-on-the-wage-gap-gets-a-new-pinocchio-rating/?tid=hpModule_f833

    Excerpt:
    We also called out the president when he used this fact in the 2013 State of the Union address. And in the 2014 State of the Union address. And yet he keeps using it. So now it’s time for a reassessment.

    There appears to be some sort of wage gap and closing it is certainly a worthy goal. But it’s a bit rich for the president to repeatedly cite this statistic as an “embarrassment.” (His line in the April 8 speech was almost word for word what he said in the 2014 State of the Union address.) The president must begin to acknowledge that average annual wages does not begin to capture what is actually happening in the work force and society.

    Thus we are boosting the rating on this factoid to Two Pinocchios.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/posttv/president-obamas-77-cent-pay-gap–truth-teller/2014/04/09/8bca49e0-bf76-11e3-9ee7-02c1e10a03f0_video.html

  • Oh bummer

    Since many of the comments have focused on cutting wages as way of achieving parity in pay, let’s start with the over-paid kleptocrats in DC (of both parties) who have run up the nation’s national debt to $17.5 trillion.

    • StilllHere

      It would be a worthwhile symbolic gesture, but the real money is in the klepto-bureaucrats. Cutting those men’s wages will do a lot for parity.

      • jimino

        What is a “klepto-bureaucrat”?

        • jefe68

          Someone who keeps stealing bureaucracies, or a new super hero.

    • Don_B1

      Start with requiring them to donate to a (state) local charity all their income derived from their holdings at the time of becoming a member of Congress and donate an amount equivalent to the value of any conferences they go to that are paid for by a lobbyist or other organization.

    • JS

      One guy’s comments equals many?

  • JS

    I think the problem is he DOES want certain men to earn less: manual laborers and government employees.

    • HonestDebate1

      I can’t speak for Stillhere but he (or she) seems to be having fun with Democrat dogma. On the economy when Obama was told capital gains cuts brought in more revenue he said it was a matter of fairness to raise them. In other words, just take the rich down a few notches instead of lifting up the poor. As a matter of fact all the talk about tax hikes for the rich was politics. It won’t help squat. Standards are lowered in the military to allow women to compete. Ditto colleges for minorities (but not asians).

      The Democrat’s view is never to lift people up it’s always to cut those at the top down.

  • jefe68

    He’s big on those.

  • Oh bummer

    You bring up some good points, I would take issue with you over Hillary Clinton. She was all to eager to have Libya bombed (Operation Odyssey Dawn). Now Libya is a shattered, divided nation, ruled by jihadi warlords with AK 47 rifles. Gadaffi was no angel, but he was certainly better than the al-Qaeda friendly thugs who are ruling the country now. Lastly, the fact that Hillary refuses to answer questions under oath concerning Benghazi, reveals that she not hold public office again.

  • brettearle

    Sebelius is resigning–which is likely for the best. But, nevertheless, it will, likely, be sending the wrong message.

    • notafeminista

      Eh? Either it’s for the best or it’s not.

      • brettearle

        There are many people–savvy ones, I might add–who do not see things in black-or-white extremes or all-or-nothing terms.

        There are fine grades of distinctions to decisions–where there are both positive gains and negative repercussions.

        But the most remarkable part of my answer is that you even had to ask for an explanation in the first place.

        • HonestDebate1

          The really savvy ones recognize the existence of gray areas does not mean some things aren’t black and white. It’s the ones who believe truth is just a continuum of perspective that bother me most.

        • JS

          Right on brother. Too many are caught in an either/or paradigm. If you say anything supporting Obama or Republicans, you have drunk the cool-aide and it must be assumed that you agree with anything and everything that person ever does, says, thinks, thought to have done, said, or thought.

          • brettearle

            ‘Tis the polarization of our times….

        • notafeminista

          Negative repercussions = unintended consequences.
          I’m surprised you thought Secy Sebelius resigning was in any way a positive.

    • WorriedfortheCountry

      “Toto, we’re not in Kansas anymore” — Kathleen Sebelius, circa 2009.

      • brettearle

        I will admit to the exquisite distinction that ACA has, at times, mimicked a Cyclone

    • hennorama

      brettearle — “for the best” or not, her resignation was inevitable.

      • brettearle

        Agreed. She’s the Fall guy–or perhaps the Fall woman.

        But one has to recognize that if she didn’t drop the Ball, she dropped something.

        • hennorama

          brettearle — absolutely. After the PPACA website rollout, a Head Needed To Roll. The “resignation” was only delayed to avoid the hassles of the confirmation process during the initial sign-up period.

          The confirmation process will still be a circus, but it won’t complicate the sign-up period.

          • HonestDebate1

            Are you seriously saying the website rollout was an accident?

          • brettearle

            I agree with this analysis.

            [Of course, if it were psychoanalysis, then I might have to reserve judgment to see if Sebelius had allowed NAMI to participate in expanding policies, for the standard coverages, for ACA.]

          • brettearle

            Bist du bereit?

          • hennorama

            Natürlich.

          • brettearle

            Bleibt hier und wacht….

            OK?

          • hennorama

            Ja.

          • brettearle

            Werden patienten

          • brettearle

            Es sollte nicht lange sein

          • hennorama

            Keine Sorge.

          • HonestDebate1

            Not that I’m complaining but you two need to get a room.

          • brettearle

            Wann Ich dich etwas hier geben…..

          • brettearle

            Gehst du dann zu dem Ort, wo du weist das du findest konnen wo mein Nachricht ist?

            Broken German, but hopefully you will understand it.

            Let me know, if you do understand, before I proceed….

          • hennorama

            Righto.

          • brettearle

            warten sie hier, bitte

          • brettearle

            OK, Gehen! Jetzt!

            lassen sie mich wissen, wenn du es verstehst….

            und dann a Test Run

            Tell me first, here, now, that you’re headed on assignment

          • hennorama

            Sprechen Sie mit mir?

          • brettearle

            Bitte?

            Am I clear enough above?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — done and done.

          • brettearle

            Meaning…..

            We can try a test run?

          • hennorama

            see the forum with my V.I. reply

          • brettearle

            Don’t understand V.I.

          • hennorama

            your presumed satire locale

          • brettearle

            Now I understand.

            I think I know. Let me check. Very good concealment.

            Stay here

          • brettearle

            If `Spitzname’ is what I think it is, the answer is yes.

            Can we please try a test run?

          • hennorama

            Fertig. Wie angegeben. Übrigens werden wir wahrscheinlich bald an dieser Stelle abgeschaltet zu werden.

          • brettearle

            Switched off?

            Don’t fully understand above.

            Can we try a test run?

          • hennorama

            Mr. Alexander Graham Bell has already placed the call, Mr. Watson.

          • brettearle

            Fabulous….

            Stay there….

          • brettearle

            Noch nicht.

            Ich warte

          • hennorama

            Zut alors!

          • brettearle

            Go back to where you originally think you got my `point’.

            And indicate the `Alexander number’ that you used.

            I have since put in the word, ‘DISQUS’ just below where I wish to see your reply to this.

            OK? Am I being clear enough?

          • brettearle

            I was delayed because I had to look up Zut alors!.

            [A little humor, there....]

          • brettearle

            Ich habe nichts.

            Du das wir haben es richtig denkst?

          • hennorama

            brettearle — we’ve made progress, and can pick it up again later.

            I need to go watch a Jason Reitman/Michael Cera movie, at this time. COMbine that with my faithful companion lobbying for his dinner, and you know …

          • brettearle

            Sure….

            But I’m not sure how we crossed our signals.

            When and how shall we continue?

          • hennorama

            Used your prior suggestion, despite it being disgusting ;-)

          • hennorama

            “Go back to where you originally think you got my `point’.” Ja.

          • brettearle

            I went to the `point’ and added confirming clarification…..

          • brettearle

            It was shot in Vancouver.

            I kid you not.

          • brettearle

            By the way, `Spitzname’ was somewhere else.

          • anamaria23

            Kathleen Sibelius is a fine human being. She had the best interests of the country at heart. She erred badly in going for the lowest bidder, however did not deserve the contempt shown her by a do-nothing bunch of losers in Congress. I suspect that if she has an ounce of sanity left, she is one happy woman today. I wish her a long and happy life away from D.C

          • hennorama

            anamaria23 — Thank you for your response.

            I agree.

            She did her best and with good intentions, but the disastrous rollout sealed her fate. On the plus side, she gets to leave on a high note, with the enrollment projections being exceeded in the end, despite all of the problems.

            Thanks again for your response.

  • Carla

    Stealth bias alert with Off Center with Tom Leftbrook. Starting the 2016 campaign for Clinton here. Women can’t fend for themselves and can be saved from their difficulties today by more Democratic policies

    • brettearle

      Typical hackneyed, Right Wing Mentality to see Democrats promoting Dependency rather than to recognize that the Democratic party looks at Entitlement as targeted policy, based on specific and justifiable need.

      The Typical Right Wing cultural bigotry is to dehumanize everyone, who is in need, to be pathetic parasites–so as to justify their own lack of Compassion.

      Your Off Center satiric flourishes don’t cut it.

      • Carla

        And your nasty insults don’t impress me. What has Obama done for women. That’s why we have this show, the Dems can’t win women without fear-mongering about war on women and dependency promotion

        • brettearle

          I didn’t criticize to impress you.

          I criticized you to demonstrate your callous bias.

          • Carla

            Oh, I thought all the caps were to impress. I identify a bias without an insult like “callous” and you explode. Angry Left again.

          • brettearle

            It isn’t my fault that you can’t recognize Literary Devices.

            You’d do a lot better at trying to win an argument–which is what you seem to be trying to do–if you weren’t being so defensive.

          • HonestDebate1

            Carla made a good point, you can refute it or you can hurl insults in lieu of rebuttal. Your choice does not bode well for you on this topic.

  • http://www.linkedin.com/in/cwhardenbergh/ Caroline Hardenbergh

    Another woman’s issue in the workplace is ageism.
    I just got a bachelors degree to fill gaps in my extensive career experience, and although I get interviews that reveal that I have all desired qualifications – I don’t get hired because I am middle aged.

    There are more baby boomer women than men able to work
    Thanks to several wars we are on our own with a very small pool of healthy, mentally stable men available to share our lives.

    We have to support ourselves – and our families of 20-30 somethings who can’t get a decent job themselves!

    • brettearle

      There so many biases that go into evaluation, these days, that you either have to be the Pope or the Dali Llama to be hired.

      Even then, they might disqualify you, if you’re either one –because they might not agree with your religious views.

  • HonestDebate1

    My wife is at the top of her field. She is brilliant. She is compassionate. She is beautiful. People come from all over the Country to seek her advice. They pay and are happy to do so. I pity the fool who tries to hold her back in any way. She eats macho man cowboys for lunch.

    • Dana85

      I was with you until we got to the “she is beautiful”. Is this really an attribute – an accident of genes and bone-structure for which a person can take no credit and ads nothing to their competence – that we want to be trumpeting?

      This is one elephant in the room you will not hear ladies openly discuss and they are fully complicit in perpetuating: Their emphasis on their own physical appearance while at the same complaining of not being taken seriously, to being objectified and all the rest of it.

      Here we have today’s host, by all accounts a top notch professional, interviewing the president:
      http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-ih0ycqkN20w/UEZ9rkKPKpI/AAAAAAAAAqM/YBrEIYqYX0Y/s1600/obama-yellin.jpg

      Could the heels be any higher, the dress any shorter and tighter-fitting, the makeup anymore garish? Well perhaps on Fox News.

      • HonestDebate1

        I don’t look at beautiful as a bad thing. Some people may look at my wife and say she is ugly. I would disagree. It is not my standard, it’s my opinion based on my definition of beautiful. She is beautiful to me. No apologies.

  • HonestDebate1

    Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a true champion for women. It seems to me her recent snub is more indicative of the real struggle women across the world face. How nice it is to complain about no government childcare, or to demand businesses put place holders on jobs for months all the while expecting equal pay that is completely unrelated to consistent job performance and based on sex alone.

    The Al Qaeda flag now flies over Fallujah, how does that help women? Where is the outrage over genital mutilation? Women in North Korea survive by eating grass. Who cares? A doormat who endured untold humiliation and never stood up for herself is the frontrunner for President, what kind of message does that send to young women?

    We have no idea how blessed we are.

  • HonestDebate1

    Monikers are confusing and many times commenters don’t want to reveal their sex. Fine. It seems to me the Conservatives on this blog who are, or who I suspect are, female are no shrinking violets. I am happy to defer to them without a concern for equality. No problem at all.

  • Karen

    Problems for women in the workplace
    - MENTORS
    I worked as an electrical engineer before I had children. There were no mentors for women. Women can only get so far on their own and our careers stall. No one took me under their wing. I went as far as I could in one group at work and had to change groups to advance, having to prove myself competent over and over again, above and beyond the men.
    - FAMILY FRIENDLY work environment
    Didn’t exist. I had to leave at a certain time to pick up my son. It was looked down upon even though I got in earlier than others and my work was done. It “looked” better to leave late.
    - NO VEHICLE FOR REENTRY into workplace
    After I was home for a couple years when my children were young, I spun my wheels looking for another job. I ran into many roadblocks including daycare. There’s no support.
    - EQUAL PAY
    Why are men paid more for the same job???

    It’s not rocket science. Listen to women. We are telling you what’s wrong.

  • StilllHere

    I’m gratified by the groundswell of support the idea of lowering men’s wages has garnered from loyal On Point listeners, and so I’ve created a petition on change.org. Let’s make wage parity a reality! Thank you for your consideration.

    • Karen

      Who is proposing that men get lower pay for the same job?
      Women want equal pay. Let’s boil it down to what it is. It’s discrimination.
      We don’t pay African Americans or Latinos or Asians less than Caucasians. It’s discrimination. In this country we have correctly come to this conclusion.
      We are paying females less because they are “different” than men. So what? If we can do the same job?

      Supposedly we have all these tech jobs to fill. Has it dawned on people to look at all the females who graduate from technical schools and address the issues behind why they don’t stay in these tech jobs?

      • jefe68

        I hope you’re aware this troll is trying to make a joke out this issue.

      • Don_B1

        As Jefe68 says, making a joke, deflecting to a strawman claim, outright lying, are all tools in the trade of these trolls, but the Gish Gallop, where as soon as (or even before) you post a debunking of their (false) argument they post a complex of othe false arguments that keep you from contributing to the discussion of the real issue.

  • J__o__h__n

    Advocating for war and criticizing a president are not war crimes.

  • G. B.

    Indeed, Rivers and Barnett would have a stronger case if they were more willing to show their research methods, instead of just telling us that they did a lot of research and that we should simply believe them. Did they conduct interviews? Did they rely on statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics? How big were there samples? How were they arrayed geographically? And how do other factors enter in? Race? Sexual orientation? Gender identity? We heard generalizations about “the man” and “the woman,” but the discussion felt a little detached from specifics. Also, can’t we now ditch hackneyed essentialist notions that women are inherently more conciliatory, emotional, communicative, etc.?

  • Carla

    ah, but you, mountaingal – or guy?! – can be indignant all you want. Angry Left again (Angry Left is the most dog-eared)

  • Alchemical Reaction

    The disposal of feminine care products in women’s restrooms is the problem no one wants to talk about.

    Many tampon manufacturers label their products as flushable, but people in the plumbing industry, and those paying the bills, know better. Tampons, which can swell to 10 times their size and do not break down like organic material, are major culprits in clogging toilets and plumbing infrastructure, resulting in expensive repairs and time consuming cleanups.

    Worse, though, is the commonly accepted method for disposal of soiled feminine care products in public restrooms, a metal or plastic hinged receptacle, poses a health risk to patrons and janitorial staff. Since hand contact is required to open the lids, disposal can be dangerous.

    Dr. Charles Gerba, professor of Microbiology at the University of Arizona, has been studying bacteria growth in restrooms for more than two decades and has found that the number-one bacteria hot spot in a woman’s restroom is the “sanitary” napkin disposal unit.

    Beyond the contents placed in them, contaminants in the mist that emits from toilet flush can coat partition walls and the disposal units with hepatitis A virus, E. coli, salmonella, cryptosporidium, staphylococcus, and C. diff. And the findings of a recent study conducted by Ethox International for The Scensible Source Co. are consistent with Gerba’s analyses.

    Additionally the study showed that unlined interiors of these disposal units yielded more than ten times the microbiological contamination of the exterior surfaces. Let’s not forget, either, the aesthetics of the finest restrooms can be ruined by the unsightliness of the sanitary napkin disposal units.

    Restroom users and custodial workers are exposed daily to potentially harmful germs and blood borne pathogens with only minimal precautions available to protect them. Both hepatitis B and C are extremely hardy; and may survive outside the body for several days, even on a dry surface, and still be infectious.

    Since it is impossible to identify infected individuals before they use the restrooms, facility management should follow standard precautions that treat all blood and bodily fluids, including menstrual blood, as if they are infected and potentially harmful.

    For example, the Hepatitis Foundation International recommends that bloodstained material such as tampons and menstrual pads be placed into sealable plastic bags before disposing of them in waste receptacles.

    “Even OSHA does not significantly address this issue, although it clearly is a blood and body fluid of concern and a common blood-contact opportunity,” said Lynn Kraft, a building services contractor and ICAN/ATEX associate. “Used feminine hygiene products present a health concern for the custodians and others who have contact with the receptacle before it is disinfected, assuming that it ever is. This is an area demanding more attention and some advances in disposal technology.”

    Receptacles are a perfect breeding ground for odor-causing bacterial growth, especially because the units are covered with a lid, trapping moisture; and the insides are rarely, if ever, thoroughly cleaned.

    Additionally, there is nothing more offensive for conscientious restroom patrons than having to discard products in a visibly dirty sanitary napkin receptacle, overflowing with smelly, unsightly items.

    Tampons that do not disperse or disintegrate and maintain their structure throughout the sewer system can damage pumps and other waste treatment equipment and may contribute to raw sewage overflows into local waterways.

    It is common to see signs posted in female restrooms stating, “Stop flushing tampons down the toilet.” A recent janitorial services blog confirms that if no acceptable alternative for disposal is offered, women ignore the signage and flush anyway. “There are four signs in the bathrooms, on the door, near the mirror, on the tampon machine and even on the bathroom door. And (women) keep flushing.”

    Darrell Cole, a quality control manager for Mechanical Partners Inc., Dallas, Texas, has seen the problems feminine care products cause in sewer and septic systems first hand. “Any solid matter put down a toilet has the potential to cause blockages. With a variety of piping systems used throughout the US, each has its own inherent attributes that result in blockages caused by feminine care products-such as tampon strings catching on tree-roots and “scale-up” inside cast iron pipes, and pads and tampons stacking-up in bellied sections of PVC or ABS plastic piping.”

    Outside of health care facilities, there are no regulations in place to protect housekeepers or janitorial staff from exposure to blood or other potentially infectious material. OSHA guidelines simply dictate that feminine care products be discarded in waste containers that are properly lined to prevent contact with the contents.

    The most common product on the market used for this purpose is brown waxed paper bags. Since the bags do not hold their form to line the receptacle, soiled product piles up outside of the bag and does not remain contained to prevent direct contact during removal. Cleaning staff must be cautious when reaching into containers to remove used products to prevent accidental puncture by needles and other sharps disposed of in the stall waste receptacle.

    Another significant problem occurs when custodial staff place stacks of clean waxed paper bags inside the receptacles. This sends a mixed message to restroom users that the receptacle is a trash can to discard feminine waste not a dispenser of disposal bags. Once the first user discards waste, subsequent users are reluctant to reach in for a clean bag for fear of touching dirty items. This results in an unsanitary mess.

    Innovative Solutions

    Users expect the most hygienic restroom fixtures; facility managers want fewer plumbing problems and are taking steps to create greener environments; and cleaning companies want to protect their crew from high risk exposure. As distributors such as Harvey Hiller, president of Liberty Paper and Janitorial Supply in Bayonne New Jersey, says “until you bring it up to customers, you don’t realize how big of a problem it is for facility managers.

    It is our responsibility to introduce new and improved products to our customers that are the solution to real problems.”

    Some manufacturers have responded to this need with innovative products. A new personal disposal bag system for feminine care products is being installed in restrooms across the U.S. The singleuse biodegradable bags with a tie handle closure to conceal the contents are dispensed from refillable units that mount to the partition.

    Perry Shimanoff, a cleaning consultant who has worked with public sector organizations for the past 31 years believes that safe, green alternatives to traditional disposal methods need to be adopted.

    “Although no one likes to discuss disposal of feminine products, with new replacement systems – everyone benefits: customers, custodians, and the environment,” says Shimanoff.

ONPOINT
TODAY
Jul 30, 2014
Smoke and fire from the explosion of an Israeli strike rises over Gaza City, Tuesday, July 29, 2014. Israel escalated its military campaign against Hamas on Tuesday, striking symbols of the group's control in Gaza and firing tank shells that shut down the strip's only power plant in the heaviest bombardment in the fighting so far. (AP)

Social media is changing how the world sees and talks about Israel and Gaza, Israelis and Palestinians. We’ll look at the impact.

Jul 30, 2014
Janitta Swain, Writer/Exec. Producer/Co-Director Dinesh D'Souza, John Koopman, Caroline Granger and Don Taylor seen at the World Premiere of 'America: Imagine The World Without Her' at Regal Cinemas LA Live on Monday, June 30, 2014, in Los Angeles, CA. (AP)

Conservative firebrand Dinesh D’Souza says he wants an America without apologies. He’s also facing jail time. We’ll hear him out.

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Jul 29, 2014
This April 28, 2010 file photo, shows the Colstrip Steam Electric Station, a coal-fired power plant in Colstrip, Mont. Colstrip figures to be a target in recently released draft rules from the Environmental Protection Agency that call for reducing Montana emissions 21 percent from recent levels by 2030. (AP)

A new sci-fi history looks back on climate change from the year 2393.

 
Jul 29, 2014
The U.S. Senate is seen on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, July 16, 2014. (AP)

The “Do-Nothing” Congress just days before August recess. We’ll look at the causes and costs to the country of D.C. paralysis.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
This 15-Year-Old Caller Is Really Disappointed With Congress
Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014

In which a 15-year-old caller from Nashville expertly and elegantly analyzes our bickering, mostly ineffective 113th Congress.

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Our Week In The Web: July 25, 2014
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

Why the key to web victory is often taking a break and looking around, and more pie for your viewing (not eating) pleasure.

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The Art Of The American Pie: Recipes
Friday, Jul 25, 2014

In the odd chance that our pie hour this week made you hungry — how could it not, right? — we asked our piemaking guests for some of their favorite pie recipes. Enjoy!

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