Dear feminists, put a lid on it

Do you want to know the most annoying and overused statistic on the planet? I’ll tell you……

Women are paid about 77 cents for every dollar that men are paid for the same work.

You know how I know that statistic? Because every feminist quotes it and it drives me INSANE.

WHY WOMEN ARE PAID LESS THAN MEN

First off, of course women are discriminated against, and so are men. But discrimination isn’t the real reason why women are paid less than men.

Most women navigate their careers differently than men do: women choose their career path by taking their family, or future family, into consideration while most men don’t.

Studies show that the main reasons women are paid less than men is women choose careers and jobs that are less risky, less stressful, and less demanding, and those jobs pay less. And, women don’t ask to get paid more, so they don’t. Funny how that works.

There’s a trade off between risk and reward so if women are choosing careers and jobs that are less risky, less stressful, less demanding, and they’re not asking for more money, women are putting a self imposed cap on the amount of money they’ll make.

WHY MOST WOMEN AREN’T RISK TAKERS

Out of a sample set of MBA’s, 57 percent of the men worked in “higher risk” jobs, like investment banking or trading, compared to 36 percent of women. The women who took these risky and demanding jobs had higher testosterone levels than the rest of the women – their testosterone levels were actually closer to the guys’ testosterone levels (and I thought my arms are hairy because I’m Italian… Ah ha ha ha!)

Both women and men who are willing to take financial and career risk tend to have higher levels of testosterone.

So this link between testosterone and risk taking helps explain why men are more interested in taking the jobs that women don’t want, and it also helps to explain why men are more comfortable sticking their neck out and asking for a raise: testosterone increases risk taking and men have more testosterone than women.

I guess that’s where the term “grow a pair” comes from.

Men are naturally more comfortable taking risk, and risky, demanding, stressful jobs pay more. So why all the complaining about pay, ladies?

IF YOU WANT TO GET PAID MORE, START TAKING RISKS OR STOP COMPLAINING

Before all you feminists start egging my house, I want to tell you that I’m thankful for all the ground work you’ve laid for my generation. Women have equality in the work place now that was unimaginable even just 20 years ago.

But that was then and this is now.


Feminists who are still running around telling Gen Y women – which sadly I’m not a part of –  that they’re paid 77 cents for every dollar that men are paid, need to explain why they’re paid less: women make different career choices than men, most women prefer low risk low stress jobs, and so women are paid less as a result.

Stop ranting about sexism and inequality. We need to move on, puuuuleeease ENOUGH WITH VICTIMIZATION. We need to encourage accountability for this next generation of women so they can use all the progress that’s been made to help them spring forward in their careers rather than fall back in a victim trap.

-Marilyn Monroe

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of facebook, explained it best at her alma mater, Barnard, during her commencement speech:

“Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce. It doesn’t happen that way. They make small little decisions along the way that eventually lead them there. Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day. Maybe it’s the fifth year in a commercial law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually. These women don’t even have relationships, and already they’re finding balance, balance for responsibilities they don’t yet have. And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back… So, my heartfelt message to all of you is, and start thinking about this now, do not leave before you leave. Do not lean back; lean in. Put your foot on that gas pedal and keep it there until the day you have to make a decision, and then make a decision. That’s the only way, when that day comes, you’ll even have a decision to make.”

Do you think Sheryl feels discriminated against? I’m gonna go with, No.

Facebook HQ

 

But she made a decision that most women aren’t willing to make; she deviated from the comfortable risk averse path.

If women want to get paid more, stop acting like victims, start taking more risk, and lean in!

PS Carnival of Wealth included me in their June 19th edition where I explain how to freeze your credit. You’re a moron if you don’t do this!

Post Author

This post was written by Kathryn who has written 22 posts on KATHRYN'S CONVERSATIONS.

6 Responses to “Dear feminists, put a lid on it”

  1. Meaghan June 27, 2011 at 8:51 am #

    another amazing post, kc! love it. so true.

  2. Jennifer June 27, 2011 at 10:15 am #

    Kathryn-

    Perfect post for me to read on a Monday morning! I especially love the lean in part. I always thought I would be a stay at home mom but decided to “lean in” to see if I could both work at a job I love as well as have kids and a family life. Thank goodness I went back after my maternity leave to try as I have been able to achieve a great deal of success at my job and risen in the company while also having a great work/life balance. A bonus is that my daughters are growing up with a strong mother who will hopefully inspire them to pursue their own dreams.

    Keep up the fabulous posts!
    Jennifer

  3. Jacq June 27, 2011 at 10:30 am #

    I used to be more interested in feminism – about 25 years ago when the topic was more relevant than I think it is today. What I have observed in my friends and colleagues of both genders that are in their late 20′s to late 30′s is that the women have a general tendency to underestimate their capability and the men have a tendency to overestimate theirs. I think this is changing so that many Gen Y’s just overestimate their capabilities regardless of gender. Maybe that’s an age thing and they’re just unconsciously incompetent – ie. aren’t really aware of all that they don’t know. Or maybe I’m just getting old and cranky.

    I don’t know how many women I’ve tried to help get other jobs that will look at the job description and say “oh, I can’t do X, I’m unqualified” – whereas most men will bluff it – as do I, I suppose, just because most things you don’t know you can learn pretty quick.

    One thing that I think holds some / many women back is the fact that they don’t actually HAVE to make a lot more money. Once I got that concept through my thick head that I had to do it to achieve my goals quickly, I just said f*ck it and played the game that had to be played.

    Just as a haha – I took education in my first year of university (thinking of all that wonderful balanced life) – sadly, I don’t like babysitting other people’s children that much so switched to business. :-) Best decision I ever made.

    • Kathryn C June 28, 2011 at 8:05 am #

      ah ha ha I never liked babysitting, one time this kid bit me and wanted to pee on me so that was enough. I washed cars for money when I was little, and ironed clothes.

  4. Bonnie June 27, 2011 at 12:59 pm #

    Kathryn great post. I am the example of taking the safe and balanced road is choosing my first career as a school teacher: what better profession than that to stand by your man? Things got boring (not the man, the career). Even the second time around (in the job, not the man…that came later) I created a career that was safe and allowed me time off and freedom, over $$$. I was once told that the three things most people consider in choosing a career are, 1. time off, 2. enjoyment of job, and 3.$$$. Each of us puts them in a different order—this may be outdated thinking. In hiring women and men over the years I agree that women complain about being paid less than their male counterparts. Usually it is the female that leaves work when there is a problem at home, a sick child, a problem at school etc. This taints my thinking. Your posts are thought provoking and filled with lots of advice that your readers can pick and choose from.
    Congratulations!!! you know I am objective.

  5. Mark June 29, 2011 at 9:05 pm #

    To start, great article. Still, as a guy, it is hard to know exactly how to comment on something that I have felt for a while but feels like it would come off as chauvanistic to ever state aloud. I do agree that there are certainly specific scenarios where women are openly discriminated against, but I do deplore the $0.77 fact that gets thrown around without any sort of asterisk.

    …and as an endorsement of Kathryn’s post above, I am married to someone very successful career-wise, with 2 kids, who is quite certainly not getting paid $0.77 on the dollar.

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