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Effeminition: Equal Work

One of the more oft heard complaints of the radfem brigade is the touting of the wage gap myth in support of the "equal pay for equal work" battle cry. This continues despite the fact that said myth has been debunked. This is the highlighted by questions introduced by the Consad report, which indicates that much of the difference in average earnings can be attributed to the worker's life choices and willingness to sacrifice other perks in life for the benefit of higher earnings.

It is also especially important to note the collective effect of anything that can be considered hazard pay on the numbers used to support the wage gap myth. The hazard pay effect is attributable to the difference in job choices between the sexes. Among the higher paying items in the job market are The Most Dangerous Jobs. These are not jobs which women are being kept out of due to discrimination. These are jobs women are not actively seeking to take. On top of the prohibitive risk factors, this is in part due to the time demands. Seasonal jobs often mean daily work for weeks or months, with long hours, hard labor, and no days off in between. Further, the labor demands for these jobs require physical strength, labor endurance, fatigue endurance, and a brand of emotional toughness which is beyond what most women possess or seek to test within ourselves.

Among the results of the discrepancy in representation between the sexes in the most dangerous of jobs is what I would refer to as The Risk Gap and The Death Gap. The first thing that stands out in these statistics is the huge difference in the number of male workplace fatalities, versus female fatalities. While this accounts for only a segment of the whole workforce, it skews the numbers on both sides of the argument, creating an apparently higher average pay rate for men, and an apparently lower average injury and fatality rate for women overall.

In addition, this effect spills over into the regular workforce, including professions more evenly populated by both sexes. Higher injury and fatality rates in first responder professions can be attributed to greater risk-taking by male first responders. Higher rates in the private sector can be attributed to heavier workload requirements given to men, including higher weight assignments and riskier positions in manufacturing and construction, and even in hourly, bottom-rung positions such as retail sales and health care aide positions. Right or wrong, employers and coworkers in general do have higher performance and labor expectations for men.

Taking into account the various factors affecting women's earnings, can we honestly continue to use the phrase "equal work" to describe women's contributions in the workplace? In light of the body of work which women will not do, whether that discrepancy is caused by life choices or unwillingness to risk, or inability to perform, are we really justified in demanding legislation to artificially boost our pay? Is the feminist concept of fairness in this case not incredibly biased? How does the assertion that pay should be artificially evened out via legislation not add up to ungrateful beneficiaries of risk-takers and hard-laborers demanding to be handed undeserved recognition and rewards on the basis of sex?

Addendum: Speaking of the body of work that women will not do, I just ran across the following related article. I want to tell you a story

1 comment:

Mitschu said...

Excellent work, as always. :)

Looking forward to the next entry.

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