The conversations I have in my own head, here is one for your entertainment.
Tolsander: It is Equal Pay Day! Hurray! We all get to rally and demand equal pay for equal work. <Plus there are cute ladies at the demonstration> I mean, who would ever think it is okay to pay someone less because they are male when a female is preferred, or vice versa.
Lystoy: This was taken care of legislatively over 50 years ago.
Tolsander: So today is the day America celebrates the Equal Pay Act of 1963!!! Right? Wait. What? No?
Lystoy: It is against the law of the empire to use a person’s sex as criteria to determine their compensation.
Tolsander: Evil people must ignore the law and pay women less than men. That’s it! And the government allows them to get away with it.
Lystoy: So you are proposing that employers hire women before men because employers only have to pay them 77% of what men make. If what you are saying is true, it is what any right thinking and profit seeking, money hungry businessman would do. Is that what you are suggesting?
Lystoy: Before you answer, let me point out that in February 2017 the difference in unemployment rate between men and women is only 0.2% (more men are unemployed). If what you are suggesting is true, men would be almost unemployable, right?
Tolsander: Hmm? Let’s see. So where does this statistic that women make 77% of what men make come from?
Lystoy: Well because they do!
Tolsander: They do? But, but that is not making sense?
Lystoy: When you take all of the money women earn in America and you divide it by the number of women who are working and do the same for men, it turns out women make less.
Tolsander: So DISCRIMINATION!!!
Lystoy: Easy there short stuff, there are reasons why women make less.
Tolsander: Well what the HELL are they? We need to march and throw a fit! Plus there are cute ladies at the demonstration.
Lystoy: Men work more hours. Overtime is contributing to the pay gap. Do you really want to stop paying people for working more hours than their peers?
Tolsander: No, but….
Lystoy: But hang on little brain, there is more. Men are well over 70% of the workforce in nine of the ten highest paid occupations in America whereas women are most of the workforce in the ten lowest paid occupations.
Lystoy: Men work in the most dangerous occupations in America, are more likely to work weekends, pick higher stress and more specialized occupations and are much more likely to die in the workplace.
Tolsander: So the government bean counters that inform our benevolent and honest leaders must have some evidence that supports their argument, right? I want to demonstrate! I mean, CUTE LADIES!!!
Lystoy: You would think that, but the U.S. Department of Labor released a report that stated:
“This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”
(related: “What Do I Tell My Daughter?“)
Tolsander: But there are a lot of cute ladies at the demonstration and I want to meet some, so I am going to ignore all those pesky facts and go.
Lystoy: Man, he will never let the stuff between his ears do the thinking.