Monday, May 01, 2006
another brain buster: do women work less than men?
over at this thread, PV has made a startling pronouncement: women work less than men, therefore, it's ok to pay us less.
when i recovered from my brain bleed, it took me the whole weekend to decompress from the intense discussion of female submission, so i'm just now getting to this little brainbuster.
do we women really work less than men?
i tried to count how many meals my mother planned and cooked for our family between kindergarten and my sophomore year in college: i estimated that was roughly 20,000 meals cooked in a 14-year period. and she had a job for roughly the same period, outside the home. and that still doesn't count the other types of labor she contributed: housecleaning, shopping, food preparation, accounting, household administrative duties, child care/rearing, home repair (my dad was sort of helpless with this), and gardening.
folks, this is all labor. it's work. if it wasn't work, then it would be called fun. since it's not called Fun, then it's Work.
in the april issue of The Economist there are a couple of articles that examine the role of women on economic growth globally in rich nations (i guess we just got rid of that whole First/Third World thing, huh?) and they come up with some interesting ideas:
- in rich countries, we do better in school, are getting more university degrees and are filling most new jobs
- since 1950 men's employment in the US has slipped 12 points to 77% while women's employment rate increased by 1/3 (in America this growth has stalled though there's hope that we can use this market share in new ways in the future, especially as male-dominated industries like manufacturing and manual labor shrink, giving way to jobs requiring more brain power than muscle power)
- women working around the world have contributed more to global GDP growth than new technology or nations like China or India
- women make better investors and make 80% of all consumer decisions
- greater partcipation by women in the workforce could help offset effects of an ageing population and support growth
- the under utilization of women in developing countries stunts economic growth rather than the opposite
- it is untrue that in countries where women work, birthrate shrinks in the long run; rather, in countries where the decline in fertility is high, female unemployment is also high.
needless to say, i think this problematizes at the very least, the idea that wage inequity is ok simply because we 'work less.' the only time my mother 'worked less' was when she got sick and stopped working altogether. and i don't know about you all, but i work my ass off.
ok, discuss! (rules for this discussion: it's not about divorce! in other words, let's try and stay on topic. and if your main source of information is from a guy who could be considered by most academic sources a 'nutjob', i advise using other, less crazy, sources!)