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April 13, 2016

Equal Pay Day Is a Misleading Feminist Statistic

Feminist advocacy groups missed the real Equal Pay Day.

Yesterday, April 12, was “Equal Pay Day,” according to women advocacy groups. You might have seen the news stories, or your liberal Facebook friends posting about the day that is supposed to be a visualization of the wage gap between men and women. According to the feminist groups, April 12 represented the amount of additional days women must work to earn the amount men earned in 2015.

But Equal Pay Day is statistical abuse, according to National Review’s Carrie Lukas. The American Association of University Women (AAUW) floated out statistics this week that said black women are paid 63% and Latina women make only 54% compared to what white men make. That’s misleading, Lukas writes, because Latina women make 84% compared to Latino men. Black women earn 95% of what black men’s salary. Honest statistics highlight the need for better education opportunities for minorities.

One of the factors with any wage gap is that men tend to work at more unpleasant jobs than women. Men tend to labor under more dangerous or generally worse conditions for longer hours and for longer durations of time. It’s not about inequality; most women don’t want to work those jobs. And then there’s motherhood, which often takes women out of the workforce for some time.

“Most women don’t want one-size-fits-all jobs that misdirected equal pay legislation would produce,” wrote Senior Policy analyst at Heritage Foundation Rachel Greszler. “Contentment in work — and life in general — is about more than comparing one’s paycheck to another’s, and oftentimes, men and women alike are willing to sacrifice higher pay for job conditions that match their own priorities.”

Controlling for these career choices, the Department of Labor conducted a 2009 study that found the wage gap was only five cents — five cents. Using that measure, the feminist advocacy groups missed the real Equal Pay Day. It was Jan. 18.

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