Skills gap 2

Quillette is a gem.

I find this, A Victory for Female Athletes Everywhere, a compelling, thoughtful (fairly long) article from a person highly qualified to comment (emphasis mine):

“As an academic, I appreciate the value of intellectual inquiry that challenges our socially constructed defaults. As someone born into a mixed-race family steeped in the civil rights movement—my father was black and my mother was white—I was nurtured to recognize the harm that social constructions about race and sex can do to subordinated individuals, groups and societies. As the wife of a black man and the mother of two black sons, my radar for both explicit and implied racism is finely tuned. As a woman, a feminist and a lawyer, I have an abiding commitment to anti-discrimination norms, and to race and sex discrimination laws in particular. As a humanist, I believe that each one of us has the right to self-identify.”

She doesn’t even mention her pioneering, elite athletic background. She is highly likely to vote Progressive (‘socially constructed’, ‘implied racism’, ‘subordinated individuals’), so the usual SJW ad hominem counter arguments are blunted – and she deals with them, IAC.

I am struck by the implications for the core political debate about what the word “equality” implies. There’s a faction insisting it means equality of opportunity and a faction insisting it means equality of outcome. Gender feminists have been in the latter group, claiming different outcomes ipso facto prove discrimination based on sex. However, there is some tension (you might say cognitive dissonance) for that subset of those gender feminists (the so-called Trans Exclusionary Radical Feminists) who want to preserve a traditional definition of the word “female” in the face of trans-sexual attack. And attack is the right word… If anyone can decide, moment to moment, that they are female without reference to biology – what’s the point of “Women’s Studies.”

It turns out, in the case of female athletics (a proxy for the ‘real world’), that you can’t even approach equality of outcome without equality of opportunity. No XX has the opportunity if XY is allowed to directly compete, so the outcome is no females on the podium for one definition of “female.”

It’s delicious watching them hoist by their own petard. If they stumble upon a bit of introspection, maybe they’ll apply the lesson to their prattle about the “wage gap.”

James Damore is laughing.

Closing the skill gap

U.S. Women’s soccer team sues for equal pay

There are a couple of ways to look at this. The logical way is that we can agree on “equal pay for work of equal value.” If women’s soccer provides paying customers with value equal to men’s soccer, arguments for higher pay could be put to the customers.

Oh, wait. Those arguments have already been put.  Case closed.

The other way is a lot more fun: Men who identify as women should be encouraged to play women’s soccer. Maybe they could get that group of 15 year old boys who trounced the US Women’s National soccer squad to defect, gender-wise.  (There was a similar result in Australia.) This would raise the quality of “women’s” soccer, though it wouldn’t do much to increase actual women‘s pay.

Alternately, women soccer players could decide to identify as men and compete in the men’s league. We would see how many get hired.

Both of those solutions should easily be approved, since sports organizers are already letting males wrestle, run track, and lift weights in competition with females.

Where’s Bobby Riggs when you need him?

Bait and switch

Google Finds It’s Underpaying Many Men as It Addresses Wage Equity

Here is the core point from that NYT article:

When Google conducted a study recently to determine whether the company was underpaying women and members of minority groups, it found, to the surprise of just about everyone, that men were paid less money than women for doing similar work.

Now, that’s a blockbuster, right? Feminists should be rejoicing. They aren’t. They are still whining, and the goalposts are being adjusted as you read this.

From Google’s point of view these results are a happy thing. If you wanted to spike some private suits, fire a shot across the bow of crazed employees, and stick a finger in the eye of the Labor Department all at once… you might want a study just like this.

For example:

The Labor Department is investigating whether the company systematically underpays women. It has been sued by former employees who claim they were paid less than men with the same qualifications.

However, according to critics, it isn’t enough that Google has been paying women more for equivalent work – they were started at lower salaries.

Google’s critics say it doesn’t come close to matching what a woman would make if she had been assigned to the appropriate pay grade in the first place…

This is a strange objection, because the data imply the opposite: Either men are started at lower salaries than they should be, or women get more substantial raises more quickly. Otherwise, how is it that men at Google are more likely to be underpaid?

Men disproportionately received raises and bonuses. Google apparently found that it’s men who are hired at lower than “equitable” salaries. Italics mine:

The company has done the study every year since 2012. At the end of 2017, it adjusted 228 employees’ salaries by a combined total of about $270,000. This year, new hires were included in the analysis for the first time, which Google said probably explained the big change in numbers.

Those who don’t get that relationship are probably not good candidates for high level software engineering jobs. They do better at diversity consulting.

Joelle Emerson, CEO of a company which profits by convincing its clients ‘increasing diversity’ is so hard it can’t be done without ‘woke’ consultants, explains:

Google seems to be advancing a “flawed and incomplete sense of equality” by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work, said Joelle Emerson, chief executive of Paradigm, a consulting company that advises companies on strategies for increasing diversity. That is not the same as addressing “equity,” she said, which would involve examining the structural hurdles that women face as engineers.

Google, “by making sure men and women receive similar salaries for similar work” is doing it wrong.  It needs to hire Ms. Emerson’s consultants.

You have to admit this is a nice twist on planned obsolescence. The “structural hurdles” will never be exhausted in the search for equality of outcome and the righteous battle to prevent diversity of thought.

A good example of Ms. Emerson’s definition of diversity would appear to be equal pay outcomes for those who can’t code, but only if they are female, or members of some other identity group not white or male.

“Equity” is a code word for equal outcome. In the ’60s, it was equal opportunity that drew sensible people to support changes in how women were treated. That’s all gone.

See also: Asymmetries in the workplace do not necessarily reflect gender discrimination for more examples of denialism from the Feminists:

  1. In countries with little to no institutional barriers to employment on the basis of identity, men and women often make choices (involving their own family and vocational priorities) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings (whether among Uber drivers or graduatesof prestigious MBA programs).

  2. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in the most dangerous jobs. This also doesn’t indicate that discrimination has taken place.

  3. While unequal treatment before the law and corruption should not be tolerated, different career and family choices (as well as preferences and aptitudes) that result in asymmetries in workplace representation and earnings neither result from conspiracies nor from oppression.


Charlemagne or Casanova?

King Arthur or Jay Gatsby?
Don Quixote or Humbert Humbert?
Howard Roarke or Ellsworth Toohey?

In writing Magnanimous millennial males it occurred to me that some millennial males claim to value selflessness, openness, and empathy over physical strength, competitiveness, and independence because they think it improves their chances of getting laid. If so, they’re apparently going to be disappointed.

This is an interesting article, though it suffers from donning the straight-jacket of Feminist terminology: Feminists Think Sexist Men Are Sexier than “Woke” Men

Men frequently complain about being “friendzoned,” the idea being that men who are respectful toward their female interests get placed into the role of friend, rather than potential boyfriend…

These are complex, highly politicized dynamics that foster conflicts and finger pointing between the genders. Unfortunately, research suggests that women do in fact find sexist men attractive.

That quote benefits from a little parsing. First, are women more attracted to men they respect? I’d be interested in that answer.  Second, what exactly is meant by “respectful” here? At one time opening a door for a woman was considered respectful by both parties.

And why “unfortunately?” Wouldn’t that depend on the meaning of sexist and sexier (and respect)? Oh, I know “sexism” carries heavy, despised bags. This implication is so obviously true to the author he doesn’t even examine it. But he does recognize something called “benevolent sexism.”

Maybe chivalry is a better term. But, chivalry, of course, is sexist. A man might get an earful if he opens a door for certain women. One assumes certain women don’t respect men who would open a door for them, but who knows?  It’s a “highly politicized dynamic.”

One perhaps overly simple way to define sexism is, “treating women differently from men,” and it’s the definition Feminists use when they decry the non-existent “wage gap.” It doesn’t matter how dangerous the job, how many hours are worked, level of education, length of job experience, etc.: If women aren’t paid the same amount across the board, it’s because of sexism.

What definition is in use often depends on what point a Feminist is trying to make.

Since women are different from men, perhaps there’s a benefit to sexism. For both sexes.  As Tom Lehrer was wont to say, “When correctly viewed, everything is lewd.”

La différence: C’est leur choix

If political and cultural pressure for sexual equality in employment outcome has the effect the Feminists predict, then STEM employment in Scandinavian countries should be closer to 50/50 than it is in supposedly more “patriarchal” societies.

The precise opposite is the case. The social experimental results are in:

“[G]reater availability of material and social resources facilitates the independent development and expression of individual-specific preferences, and hence may lead to an expansion of individual differences in more developed and equal-opportunity countries.”

In other words, a higher standard of living and a cultural (Western Civilizational) emphasis on individualism provides more choice for everyone. The Enlightenment values of “dead white men” empower women, and when offered that advantage women act less like men than they do without choice.

Duh. But try to convince Sen. Mazie Hirono, or Dr. Catherine McKinnon, or Sen. Elizabeth Warren, et. al..

So long as our institutions operate as if the lack of a 50/50 split by sex in a given job category is evidence of oppression (of females, not of males – nobody is complaining about nursing or bricklaying), the Feminists have it both ways. The results they decry are increased by the policies they favor, so they can continue to demand more laws favoring females.

James Damore was fired for asking Google to consider this. Jordan Peterson is routinely excoriated for explaining it. Brett Kavanaugh was almost destroyed in servicing the idea.

Further evidence from Harvard of choices as determinative, not a “patriarchal conspiracy:”
Why Do Women Earn Less Than Men? Evidence from Bus and Train Operators

Even in a unionized environment, where work tasks are similar, hourly wages are identical, and tenure dictates promotions, female workers earn $0.89 on the male-worker dollar (weekly earnings). We use confidential administrative data on bus and train operators from the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) to show that the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by the workplace choices that women and men make. Women value time and flexibility more than men. Women take more unpaid time off using the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and work fewer overtime hours than men. Men and women plan to work similar overtime hours when they are scheduled three months in advance, but men actually work nearly 50% more overtime hours than women. Women with dependents value time away from work more than do men with dependents. When selecting work schedules, women try to avoid weekend, holiday, and split shifts more than men. To avoid unfavorable work times, women prioritize their schedules over route safety and select routes with a higher probability of accidents. Women are less likely than men to game the scheduling system by trading off work hours at regular wages for overtime hours at premium wages. Conditional on seniority, which dictates choice sets, the weekly earnings gap can be explained entirely by differences in operator choices of hours, schedules, and routes.

“My body, my choice;” it’s the Feminist mantra. Except when it isn’t.

Feminists will counter that the patriarchy operates in a larger societal context, one which places the burden of child care mostly on females, and we have to do something about that. Well, we did:
The Long-Run Effects of America’s First Paid Maternity Leave Policy

Abstract: This paper provides the first evidence of the effect of a U.S. paid maternity leave policy on the long-run outcomes of children. I exploit variation in access to paid leave that was created by long-standing state differences in short-term disability insurance coverage and the state-level roll-out of laws banning discrimination against pregnant workers in the 1960s and 1970s. While the availability of these benefits sparked a substantial expansion of leave-taking by new mothers, it also came with a cost. The enactment of paid leave led to shifts in labor supply and demand that decreased wages and family income among women of child-bearing age. In addition, the first generation of children born to mothers with access to maternity leave benefits were 1.9 percent less likely to attend college and 3.1 percent less likely to earn a four-year college degree.

H/T Marginal Revolution for all these references.

"Equal Pay Day" is December 31st

…if you consider occupation, hours worked, experience, education, job security, work safety, working conditions, and continuous length of time in the workplace. None of which factor into the feminist mythology of “equal pay day.”

For Equal Pay Day: Evidence of employers paying women 19.5% less than men for the same work is as elusive as Bigfoot sightings

If women did the same work as well or better than men for lower compensation, why would the patriarchal capitalist oppressors hire men?

Put another way, women as a group would rather have a Masters in Education than in Engineering.


There is a definite discrepancy in pay between male and female Uber drivers.

Based on data covering almost 1.9 million Uber drivers who provided more than 740 million Uber trips over 2 years, we know that male drivers earn about 7 percent more than Uber’s female drivers. Uber has given us an almost perfect experiment. Unlike comparing wages for lumberjacks to salaries of kindergarten teachers, it is precisely controlled for job description and execution.

With only that information, feminists might be momentarily overjoyed that their “wage gap” claims have been justified. However, no fair-minded person could claim this discrepancy results from misogynistic discrimination. The pay is solely determined by a sex-agnostic algorithm. Can you imagine what would happen to Uber if there was code saying, “If sex = “male” then wages = wages * 1.07?”

I’m sure (because I’ve written about the academiots who promote the idea, notably here and here), that radical feminists will claim the algorithm is nonetheless biased because math and science are racist, sexist creations of the heteronormative patriarchy. Really. That’s no exaggeration.

The rest of us will wonder what the bona fide reasons are. Turns out that they are the same reasons discovered by studies going back decades: There is no wage gap when differences in industry, occupation, continuous years in the workforce, level of education, field of study, experience, and number of hours worked are considered.

In Uber’s case, on average:
Men take higher risks (they drive 2.2 percent faster).
Men have more driving experience; which they develop by driving longer hours over a longer Uber tenure.
Finally, men drive in more lucrative locations.

That last may be a result of more experience (better location value awareness), and lower risk aversion (driving in less safe locations at less convenient times).

In any case, the Uber “wage gap” is unequivocally a result of different choices made by male and female Uber drivers, and it is a confirmation of Jordan Peterson’s point to Cathy Newman: “You have to ask why there’s a gap.”

As noted, this isn’t new information, but the Uber experimental data is as pristine as it can get. One could reasonably call it definitive confirmation of those earlier studies mentioned above.

Equality of outcome feminists will likely insist on changing the Uber algorithm: “If sex = “female” then wages = wages * 1.07.” Just so it’s “fair.”

More on Peterson’s interview

Some more buzz on Jordan Peterson’s recent BBC interview. Jordan B Peterson, Critical Theory, and the New Bourgeoisie

1,713,144 views of that interview as I start writing. I’m 3 of them. ;)

1,749,983 as I post.

I linked to it yesterday. I should have embedded it. Better late than never:

But, to the article. Progressives hold (and contemporary society ignorantly acquiesces) that equality and liberation are “unquestioned moral good[s] that no reasonable person could disagree with.

Well, as JBP points out, it depends on your definitions. If those definitions are informed by Critical Theory the outcomes are, as Peterson says, “sub-optimal.”

I would say “morally indefensible.” The interviewer was so immersed in prejudice(s) immune to moral distinction that she couldn’t follow Peterson’s points and kept trying to put words in his mouth: To wit, her unthinking, reflexive arguments against positions she imagined he held. This is not the interview she was looking for.

And readers of Christina Hoff Sommers will recognize that she (Sommers) pointed this out – “boys and young men are now becoming increasingly alienated from the educational system” – long ago in The War Against Boys: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men (2000).

As Peterson says at 22:10 of the interview, when asked why freedom of speech grants him the lattitude not to use transgender pronouns under force of law: “In order to be able to think, you have to risk being offensive.”

Peterson has done an interesting one-on-one conversation with Camille Paglia, I think he should also sit down with Sommers and Dr. Steven Pinker.

A case can be made that the main problem with GOP politicians (they are hardly alone), is an unwillingness to offend. Too agreeable. To the extent this is true, it argues that a Trump is necessary – if still not sufficient. It does not argue that you have to go out of your way to offend everyday, however.

An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women

In a decade, I’ve become tired of writing about the lie of the “wage gap.” So, here’s all the information you need to make an informed decision. Call it an appeal to the authority of the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics.

To do equal work, on average, women would have to toil 7 hours more per week, increase their exposure to job related injury and death by a factor of 13 and substantially increase their risk of being laid off during economic downturns.

The “wage gap” promoters ignore such relevant variables as industry, occupation, continuous years in the workforce, level of education, field of study and experience. No significant study has ever found that women with the same education and experience, who work the same number of hours, earn less than their male colleagues.

There is no wage gap.

Senate won’t vote to stop the tax hike

…but they will vote on the so-called “Paycheck Fairness Act” before the elections: Another business tax hike, gift to trial lawyers and regulatory quagmire.

On September 14, TOC noted that the male/female “wage-gap” is non-existent. Christina Hoff Sommers also pointed this out on September 21 in the New York Times. Fair Pay Isn’t Always Equal Pay

… a 2009 analysis of wage-gap studies commissioned by the Labor Department evaluated more than 50 peer-reviewed papers and concluded that the aggregate wage gap “may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

…Universities, for example, typically pay professors in their business schools more than they pay those in the school of social work, citing market forces as the justification. But according to the gender theory that informs this bill, sexist attitudes led society to place a higher value on male-centered fields like business than on female-centered fields like social work.

These apparent choices, made by smart women, are actually forced on them by the patriarchal conspiracy:
And this is how those choices manifest themselves in the workplace:

The usual suspects support this legislation, because they think only their choices are the right choices. Call Senate Now for Paycheck Fairness 

And tell them to stop the Bill.