A problem with women's equal rights claims

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Ivan Seeking, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    I keep thinking about the issue of women making less than men. I know part of this results from women leaving the workforce to have children. Part of it allegedly results from women being less skilled negotiators for better wages. And part of it allegedly results from discrimination.

    Let's assume it's discrimination. Were that the case, that would mean that a company can hire all women to do the same job as a workforce of men but pay 30% less. Logically, were this true, companies would tend to only hire women and men would be the ones discriminated against. It would be common knowledge that men just want too much money.
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  3. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    Logically, if it was discrimination, the point is to exclude or harm women.

    Your argument has the appearance of a weird twist I see in conservative American politics. For instance, if you pass this law, then your insurance rates will rise.

    Who says? The insurance companies sending the threatening open letter telling voters that if they pass the any willing provider law their rates will skyrocket.

    They never actually explained why; it was a pure threat. And it worked.

    What was that, Washington state, '97?

    We hear these arguments a lot, and in many cases they are from the very people whose hand would cause the damage they warn against.

    It comes up. And in these United States, the pocketbook is one of the quickest ways to win a vote. Very few arguments for economic justice can withstand the, "They're comin' for your wallet!" retort when put before voters. That might be changing, but it's too early to tell if the trend I've observed over the course of my political awareness is actually breaking.

    In this case, though, I think you're just missing a step somewhere: Remember how and why the gap exists. If the whole point is to complain about women in the workplace, why staff the whole company with women?


    On edit: Anecdotally, once upon a time―circa 2000-01―an employer of mine screwed up. It's not like our names were anywhere near adjacent on the roster, nor our employee numbers. But my stub envelope, waiting on my desk, had her stub in it. I got up, walked over to her cube, and we traded stubs. She then started looking for a job, left three weeks later, and I, who was already making something like twelve percent more than she was, got her job and a raise.

    Our manager, who hired us both, who promoted her to that position, was a woman. Our HR manager and Vice President were women. How the hell did someone with twice the experience and a higher position end up making twelve percent less than me?
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  5. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    I mean implicit discrimination. No business owner worth his salt is going to ignore a potential 30% reduction in labor costs. And I have seen women win out over men in the most unlikely place. For a long time I lived on the edge of a valley famous for grass seed farming - 5 million acres or so of grass fields at that time. Then one summer I noticed young women operating the combines in the fields. The farmers, generally classic conservative, small town, old school, intolerant... discovered that young women make better combine drivers than do young men. The women tend to focus on keeping on track. Give two young men big pieces of equipment and turn them loose in the fields and you tend to have a race!

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    So now you pretty much see only young women operating the combines.

    Moral of the story: In business, profit trumps prejudice.

    Explicit discrimination as we saw with blacks in the South is one thing. But here we are allegedly talking more about implicit discrimination. But if you can get a bunch old farmers to ditch men for women, for a job that has belonged to men for a century, then I have to wonder how much implicit discrimination really exists.

    If you think there is some conspiracy among men to suppress women, then you are way out of my universe. I would argue that is total nonsense.
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  7. GeoffP Caput gerat lupinum Valued Senior Member

    I have no idea what the odd post above is about. You can't pay women less, because it's illegal - so long as one cares to prosecute. One can promote or hire women less, although I don't know if this factors into the analysis. You'd have to structure the analysis for factors like overtime worked, kinds of jobs pursued and opportunities, family choices and childrearing. I presume this has been done. If not, all prior speculations are illegitimate.
  8. Jeeves Valued Senior Member

    I envy your cozy universe!
  9. Tiassa Let us not launch the boat ... Staff Member

    While I can certainly comprehend the immediate appeal of the point, some vague notion of creeps to mind, approximately: Compared to everything else, that seems simplistic.

    If I'm wandering around the board, looking at the placement of this piece, from one side I see a shadowed sky I can't shake, something about immigration and the jobs the rest of us won't do.

    But on the other side, clouds above the distant landscape recall the time the British decided that, fine, okay, since women came out and did the men's jobs and kept the economy alive during the War, it's kind of hard to tell them they can't vote.

    And the resulting mess that floods onto the board when these fronts swirl together has to do with the idea that if the business community ever came out and explicitly said they were going with migrant labor because they've been getting away with stiffing these workers for years, the result would be extraordinarily problematic, and possibly sufficient to force our society to actively combat exploitation of migrant workers.

    Comparatively, what happens when it emerges that the business is only hiring women in order to stiff them?

    And amid all this, are they going to ask the men to take the pay cut in order to compete for jobs? Are the men going to sit back and take it? Can the employer really refuse to hire them at the same wage as women?

    I get the abstract point, but your context would seem to suggest a circumstance by which any number of things that should be happening actually aren't.
  10. spidergoat Liddle' Dick Tater Valued Senior Member

    And yet they tend to hire men anyway. I guess that's just discrimination. The point isn't to intentionally harm women, they prejudice is that men can do a better job, and are therefore worth more.
  11. billvon Valued Senior Member

    History has shown this to be untrue. Look at the systematic (and accepted) discrimination against blacks in the South for decades. It was well known that even if you hired a black man for 30% less, he would be inherently lazy and useless, so it wasn't worth the savings. So lots of business owners ignored that potential reduction in labor costs.
    Right. Business owners don't think women are lazy. But they do think they will take off very often for maternity leave. They worry that they will get married and quit. They worry that they will not "fit in" with the almost exclusively male directors in the company. They worry that they will be "more feminine" and "softer" and not be as aggressive as a good male lawyer. They worry that they will cry if they get criticized, and the owner will have to deal with that.

    And generally these owners don't see themselves as sexist. They are "looking out for the bottom line." They are "being realistic." They are "not going to kowtow to political correctness." They may even see themselves as protecting women from stressful jobs that will make them unhappy. What a nice guy to look out for women that way! Chivalry is not dead!

    And you mention, some business owners realize that the benefits outweigh the (perceived) negatives. But a great many do not.
    There's no conspiracy, just as there was no conspiracy in the South in the 1950's to "keep black men down." It just happened because of the zeitgeist of the time.
    Bells likes this.
  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Plausible hypothesis.

    But when checked, it turns out to be false. Business owners of the very highest repute did exactly that, in the US, for hundreds of years.
    So how did it happen that for many decades almost no women drove that big machinery - and still don't, pretty much? Was profit not a motive in 1955, 1975, 1995? What changed?

    I can tell you for a fact that many women wanted those jobs and could do them, in 1955. One of my aunts, in particular - built her own house, could not get a job building others. My mother could back a loaded hay wagon hitched behind a baler hitched behind a tractor down a 75 foot alley between two warehouses with less than three feet of clearance on each side when she was 17 - but aside from the family farm and a neighbor or two she had no chance of summer employment as a heavy equipment operator of any kind, to pay for college. So were none of the local road crews, farming operations, trucking centers, construction contractors, and so forth - employers of the highest paid summer workers in the county - motivated by profit, in those days?
  13. Ultron Registered Senior Member

    There are two important factors, which are not mentioned.
    Some studies are showing that men are acting more risky when negotiating wage and due to their more assertive approach they have bigger wages in average.

    Women are in average less attracted to some type of highly paid IT jobs and overall this can be some factor influencing the average men vs woman. But it is not because women are discriminated in these areas, just a natural gender tendency.
  14. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Are you fucking kidding? Women are not discriminated against in IT jobs? Thanks for bringing the same in-depth knowledge to this field that you bring to cosmology!
  15. Ultron Registered Senior Member

    There are many left liberal feministic pseudostudies about how are women underpresented in technology sector because of discrimination, but from my long term experience with IT companies and IT departments in several companies, I can say that those studies are pure bullshit.

    The reality is rather in this direction:
  16. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    Do you think we sit around and have meetings? How can we keep those dirty women out!?!?
  17. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    You seem to be addressing the notion of not hiring women at all and everyone seems to be missing the point. The claim I'm after is that women make less than a man doing the same job.

    As has been mentioned, that is illegal. But women's rights groups claim it still happens. If that is true, then why don't these offenders hire all women? What's more, women are said to make about 30% less across the board. So it would appear that many companies could reduce their labor costs by 30% by hiring only women. There is a problem with the logic of the claims here.

    Logic and the free market would dictate that some company would get smart and hire all women at 70% of the cost and blow the competition off the map. This should be true for any industry that has high labor costs. That or accept the claim that there is 100% discrimination so nobody ever forces market competition, which is ridiculous.

    One could then further argue that this is simply the free market doing it's job. Women are willing to work for less.

    As for a comment made earlier about heavy equipment, at what rate do women enroll in heavy equipment operators schools, as compared to men?
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  18. billvon Valued Senior Member

    Depends on the job and the person - but on average, that is correct.
    That in and of itself is not illegal. Lots of groups make less money than their cohorts for a great many reasons. However, if there is an ongoing effort to ensure that women make less (i.e. companies who have a policy of offering/paying women less) then that would indeed be illegal.
    Correct - see above.
    For the reasons listed in my previous post. Again, same reason that white companies in Georgia circa 1950 did not hire all blacks.
    The best proof of this claim is that it has happened before with other groups.. So your claim of "that could never happen; it's illogical" is invalid. It did happen.
    You may consider it ridiculous - but it has in fact happened before, so it is clearly not impossible (or even improbable.)
    And blacks were willing to work for less back in the 1950's. It did not excuse systematic discrimination by white companies.
  19. billvon Valued Senior Member

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  20. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    I love your anecdotal evidence!

    Yeah, I love your Breibart citation even more.

    You continue to impress with your research and analysis abilities.
  21. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    What happens is that women do not get the same job opportunities or offered the same raises and bonuses as men because their work is seen as less valuable. This means that they are less likely to get hired. When hiring, one does not always think only of cost, one also thinks of return on cost.
  22. Ivan Seeking Registered Senior Member

    Right. So apparently no one can produce evidence of general explicit discrimination beyond individual lawsuits. If we have a class action lawsuit, that would be an indication of general discrimination. So if there is general discrimination, then it should be relatively easy for women's groups to file suits against the offenders.

    That was blatant explicit discrimination. You already said that isn't what applies to the case of women making less than men for the same job.

    That assumes that explicit discrimination exists. Different argument. Do you seriously think men are avoiding profit to avoid hiring women?

    That was due to explicit discrimination and the world has changed. At what point do we start to consider that wage differential may be due to legitimate market forces and not discrimination? The fact that a differential exists, and that discrimination has existed, does not imply that the differential is due to discrimination. It is a logical fallacy and circular reasoning.

    I know a lot of business owners and I've never met one who turns down easy profit. Some would sell their own mother for a profit. If you can fill a job for $20 per hour instead of $30 per hour, the natural consequence would be to reduce the wages offered so that only women apply.

    I have seen many places run by racists who only hire blacks and Latinos. Why? They can pay lower wages. You can find this sort of thing all over the country, and I have. This is why you don't see many white people among agricultural workers. But I've never seen a shop or a farm or a warehouse where only women work.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  23. PhysBang Valued Senior Member

    Again, you have an absurdly narrow understanding of business and hiring. You are assuming that women just get paid less because of some decision to pay women less. In part, women are paid less because some employers think that they can get away with paying them less. However, sometimes women are paid less because employers think that women give them less value as an employee. Thus employers are willing to let women leave employment when they ask for more money because the employer is not willing to pay more for the value they will get. That same employer might replace a female employee with a man and pay more to the man because they think that they will get more value from the male employee.

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