Despite the factually deficient platform they stand upon, their opinions are to be regarded as nothing but indisputable, and to object to such far-gone conclusions is to crawl beyond the cage in which my privilege confines me.
Being born a caucasian male, I’m apparently lacking the ability to see beyond my own nose. Simple interpretation of the figures, statistics, and measurables should be left to those who can extract some abstract connection to the issues by their color or gender.
As a doctor without obesity clearly cannot advise one to lay off the carbs or a historian should be restricted to teach what he was there to witness himself, there are two movements which have rolled back progress on civil discourse in this nation and effectively curtailed and retarded logical and reasonable discourse in the United States: feminism and Black Lives Matter.
The movements themselves are not without grounds. Unfortunately, the causes that underlie these movements have given birth to behavior and rhetoric that lack the same nobility, rendering the ability to side with them nearing impossibility.
I must apparently check my privilege at the door before delving into a conversation with those affected directly/indirectly, as if the conversation was some sort of game in which my beginning score is severely disabled from the beginning as to not afford me an advantage to which I was born.
The conversations are lacking the core of a conversation itself – purpose – and steadfastly rely upon an objective I cannot clearly define nor recognize. It is not the solutions which make up the nucleus of such forum, nor the conclusion of such debate, but instead a deafening, droning noise that should leave any individual with intellect unsatisfied and repulsed.
Form this point, I must insist upon dividing both of these movements, as I believe their paths diverge from this point of criticism forward.
Whilst I see first-wave feminism as a noble movement to achieve a certain right which should have been granted at a much earlier time in our nation (voting), I also see achievable goals in second-wave feminism (obviously the bra burning).
I am unable to see the same in third-wave feminism (henceforth “feminism”). It’s nothing more than an emotional monologue. Feminism has, especially in liberal circles, dominated airwaves and made its way into mainstream politics. Democratic candidates and politicians are calling for “equal pay for equal work,” and millennials have latched onto the movement with the enthusiasm of an infant at the teat.
Feminism has been effective in procreating feminists and the rhetoric that follows, yet lacks in the one department that counts: facts and solutions.
My stance on the matter would probably take on a much gentler form if the ignorance itself wasn’t recurrently laden with arrogance. Those who disagree are close-minded, those who agree must pass a gender litmus test as to not overstep their privilege, those who lack an opinion are part of the problem. Disagreement is a sin, while constructively discussing the issue is a crime.
Based upon the laws of supply and demand, the logic behind the gender pay gap is dubious, at best, especially considering the demographics of who is behind such claims (Democrats, liberals, millennials). Apparently, the same billionaires and millionaires who are “greedy” and “obsessed with money” are those who commit the business equivalent of suicide by discriminating against women in regards to their pay (in comparison to male counterparts).
The free market would dictate that those who lead companies that enforce or support such a practice would inevitably fail, or at the least, struggle a great deal. To emotionally (and illogically) pay a female less for the same work is inspire such a person to find employment elsewhere – specifically where the labor is equally (and fairly) valued. This doesn’t even take into account the fact that it is illegal to discriminate based upon gender.
Stepping away from the Austrian perspective on the matter, we can simply look at the numbers to see where the myth is extrapolated and where the myth is disproven.
The American Association of University Women (AAUW) have a few quick facts on their site that perpetuate such a myth. Let’s just look at the first (and the most prominently featured) fact:
“In 2013, among full-time, year-round workers, women were paid 78 percent of what men were paid.”
True, and taken at face value, I’m sure such a sentence strikes despair into the heart of any millennial teenage female who considered America a free, safe, and fair nation. Unfortunately, statistics are not black and white like this statement would contend. To find the truth that lies inside of statistics of this magnitude, you need to break them apart with the intensity and diligence of an owl pellet.
Feminism’s search for the truth ends here. The picket signs come up, the politicians begin to propose their ten-point plans to address the issue with further government regulation and intervention, and the droning noise takes hold. Now you have a cause, you’re an activist, and one day you’ll grow old and tell your grandkids about how you too were a feminist.
This unsettles me, and it should unsettle you as well.
Firstly, let’s understand why these numbers are going to change with some logic applied. It’s generally understood that the females of the household are those that take care of the children. There are of course exceptions, but this is the general rule (and has been for quite some time). Therefore, when an organization like the AAUW state that they factored in education to their numbers and still come out with a massive gap in pay, this should raise red flags, because education isn’t the only considerable factor.
A mother will spend at least 17 to 18 years raising a child, which could clearly end up being more if that mother decided to give birth more than once. This mother could very well have a college degree and a career that she put on hold to raise children. Perhaps she works part time instead of full time. Regardless, the trajectory in which her wages were increasing changes at this point in time.
If you took off 18 years at work, would you expect to return with the same pay as somebody who had continued working all that time?
If you factor in motherhood to these statistics, simply by removing women who’ve had children, you’ll see a notable change. A 2007 study explains that “leave taken from a career is associated with lower income,” and another 2007 study explains that motherhood can account for a reduction in wages from 3.7% to 7.3%. (1)(2)
Matter of fact, the U.S. Census shows that females, aged 40-64, with a college education, make $47,000 a year. Men, aged 40-64, with a college education, make just $40,000. Unsurprisingly, feminist (or feminist-friendly) organizations would never mention numbers such as this, because they poke a hole in the theory that employers are (for some reason) discriminating against equally-qualified women.
There is also no wage gap for men and women aged 21-35 who live alone.
A 2009 study by CONSAD Research Corp, commissioned by the Department of Labor, found that, after factoring in a multitude of factors such as motherhood, education, career interruptions, etc, the adjusted wage gap is somewhere “between 4.8 and 7.1 percent” and that “at a practical level, the complex combination of factors that collectively determine the wages paid to different individuals makes the formulation of policy that will reliably redress any overt discrimination that does exist a task that is, at least, daunting and, more likely, unachievable.”
Going beyond this, we see that men traditionally take the more dangerous jobs, such as working on an oil rig, as a firefighter, as a police officer, etc. Matter of fact, anywhere from 90-93% of workplace deaths are men. Again, unsurprisingly, I don’t see feminists calling for “equality” in this sector.
It’s also worth mentioning that a book, “Women Don’t Ask,” written by Linda Babcock and Sara Laschever found that “men initiate negotiations about four times as often as women,” allowing them to gain wage raises at a higher rate, simply because they ask more often.
Melissa Fabello, from Everyday Feminist, wrote a scathing article a few days ago about men who play “devil’s advocate” and what they’re really doing. She makes a few points about men who defend catcalling (men who I’ve never met and wouldn’t associate with, but I’m sure they exist) and those who argue on the wage gap. Her words: “as if you’ve never heard these arguments before.”
Well, I’m sorry, Melissa, but when your movement continually ignores fact after fact and study after study, I’m not quite sure what you expect in terms of us being quiet and allowing you to continue propagandizing.
She continues, “Because your thoughts – no matter how well-intentioned, well-thought-out, or well-researched they are – simply pale in comparison to living in a marginalized body that experiences the trauma of oppression.”
I thought this was a movement of equality? I fail to remember a speech in which MLK told his white counterparts that they must shut up and sit down because their opinions pale in comparison. You think I appreciate catcalling? It makes my gender look like neanderthals, and if I ever saw it happening to somebody I know, I’ll be the first to step up.
Why not work towards ending that, rather than disregarding our entire gender as being part of the problem?
She continues some more “…when your opinion – or what you think is a fascinating new lens through which to see the world – reinforces the status quo, disrespects the person with whom you’re engaging, and takes up unnecessary space, you’re actually not adding to the conversation. You’re shutting it down…that’s oppressive as all hell.”
Thank you, Melissa. You’ve done a perfect job explaining why I can’t side with the modern-day feminist movement.
Black Lives Matter
The Black Lives Matter movement is predicated on the idea that African-Americans are targeted at a greater rate due to racism and institutional racism, therefore killed and subjected to brutality at a greater rate. Before I divulge my personal issues with this movement, let me be quite clear where I stand on issues that led to this movement’s creation
Firstly, I believe that the Zimmerman ruling was the correct ruling. I do believe Trayvon Martin’s death was due to self defense. I also believe that Zimmerman made the asinine decision to follow a potential criminal (I use potential lightly, because I cannot ascertain with what certainty Zimmerman believed this to be the truth, and we know now that he was not) after receiving orders not to. Unfortunately, Martin’s decision to attack Zimmerman was a much worse, and fatal, decision.
At first, I agreed with the Ferguson decision to not charge officer Darren Wilson with murdering Michael Brown. Due to the fact that it was a grand jury case (simply seeing if charges should be brought – not necessarily if he was guilty), I can see a strong argument against that decision. That being said, based upon testimony and forensics, I fail to see how Darren Wilson could have been found guilty of any crime.
I disagreed with the decision to not charge Daniel Pantaleo with the death of Eric Garner, though I do believe he should have been charged with manslaughter – not murder. He violated police protocols in his arrest of Garner, causing his death. I believe that much is enough for a manslaughter charge, regardless of the intention.
Many of my feelings were recently stolen (joke) by the National Review in an article less than 24 hours ago.
“Consider the BLM demands. Some are anodyne. Who is against ‘better training for police officers’? We already have independent (usually elected) prosecutors. The law already ‘limit(s) the use of force by police.'”
While I believe that special prosecutors should be brought in from out-of-area (to avoid conflict due to police unions and their political power/contributions), I believe the message is still quite clear in that we all want what you do, but you’re not getting us any closer to it.
I don’t think the status quo is perfect. Far from it. Police need reform, they need training, and they need oversight. The legal system needs to be changed as to not favor police officers, and our mentality needs to change in this nation.
It’s astounding that a phrase such as “all lives matter” is somehow offensive to members of the BLM movement, especially when the most recent deaths linked to the movement are white. Sheriff’s Deputy Darren Goforth and Journalists Alison Parker and Adam Ward. Obama and the BLM movement’s silence with these deaths are astounding, and the double standard applied to white-on-black deaths sends a frightening message.
Cities have been burned, murders have risen dramatically in Milwaukee, St. Louis, Baltimore, and many other large cities (while arrests have gone down), and an artificial race war has been flared. Corrupt police officers haven’t been shamed – all police officers have been shamed. Forgive me – it’s not shaming – it’s bullying. Our police forces have been bullied into submission to the point where they have to consider lawsuit or scrutiny if they’re pursuing an individual not of the same race, putting more lives in danger.
I support body cameras for police officers. It’s affordable, and with technology today there’s no reason why we shouldn’t have them in each police department. I’ve yet to meet somebody who doesn’t support that, yet I’ve never been asked to sign a petition to support them in my city, nor have I seen practical solutions ever take center-stage of the BLM.
Instead, all I see is rhetoric. A great opportunity to bring the nation together has been missed. If BLM leaders had come forward and loudly condemned the rioting, the killing, and the destruction, and instead called for peaceful protests and constructive legislation being brought to the table, I cannot see articles such as this being written.
To those who mean well as part of the BLM movement, get rid of your leaders. Sharpton and Jackson are nothing more than self-promoting profiteers. Be voices of reason – of the democratic process – and join hands with every American you can get to agree with you.
Perhaps these cultural movements have paralleled the political climate. Complete gridlock and polarization. Immediate dismissal of middle ground. Any mention of solutions is too little, too late. Anarchy.
I cannot possibly place blame on those who are part of these movements. Today’s day and age leaves little room for understanding and compassion. I suspect that my own anger on the matter stems from a depressed knowledge of my own generation’s path.
At such a young age, lines are being drawn and duels are being set. America is yet again becoming black and white, left and right. No longer are we proud of the great nation our grandfather’s built before us, and as such, our ability to become angry at an institution rather than attempting to fix it feels natural.
To those who actually want to make change – step away from the noise and make some progress.
(1) Dey, J.G. & Hill, C. (2007, April) Behind the pay gap. Washington, DC: American Association of University Women Educational Foundation.
(2)Budig, M. J. and England, P. (2001, April) The wage penalty for motherhood. American Sociological Review, 66(2):204-225.