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August 30, 2005

Well Isn't This Just Like A Man...

I just knew this was going to happen. The vile wretches!

The moment I saw it, I felt I was going to be sick. My heart was pounding and my breath was shallow. I just couldn't breathe! Because this kind of bias just makes me physically ill. I had to leave the room immediately, or I would've either blacked out or thrown up.

That the patriarchy has to stoop to this level to beat us into submission is just pathetic. After all, it’s a proven scientific fact. There are absolutely no differences between men and women. None. And yet - with all our superior management and interpersonal skills, men have dominated and oppressed women in the workplace for centuries! It’s obvious - the deck is stacked against us!

Look at the evidence! Women outperform and outnumber men in college and grad school. We are clearly the smarter sex. So we should be paid more, not less than men!

But women are only paid about 70 cents for every dollar a man makes. And how do those lame bastards explain this? Get a load of this nonsense! Like that should have anything to do with how much you get paid!

Well I’m not taking this lying down. Women must be protected until they can deliver a swift kick to the groin of male chauvinism! We gals are just as smart and strong as men, but for the sake of equality and fair competition, we need laws that restrain men and force them to respect our delicate feelings!

Because women are naturally caring and cooperative and incapable of primitive emotions like violence and hatred, irresponsible, so-called "studies" like this cannot be allowed to crush the fragile flower of feminine accomplishment just as it finally buds after centuries of harsh male repression and brutality.

Because if something isn't done quickly, we're really going to stomp some masculine butt.

Posted by Cassandra at August 30, 2005 08:39 AM

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"the fragile flower of feminine accomplishment."
The queen of snark strikes again!

I'm just so touched. I'm overcome with emotion, fragile little flower that I am. The engineer is going to get a talking to when he gets home...lousy rotten chavinist!

Posted by: JannyMae at August 30, 2005 11:36 AM

"But women are only paid about 70 cents for every dollar a man makes." So that leaves the man with 30 cents, right?

Posted by: David at August 30, 2005 02:25 PM

Look, you can kick us either in the groin or in the butt, but not both. Typical womyn...can't make up their minds.

Oh, and you womyn can have the other 30 cents--you get it all anyway....



Posted by: The Great Santini at August 30, 2005 03:03 PM

Allow me to take a moment to pay homage to David's wit, which deserves the recognition.

As to the matter of numbers of women in graduate school -- this is something about which I've long been curious. Are there figures for what the percentages are by discipline? I am curious as to how these things break down according to the "hard" (which is to say, traditional) arts and sciences (history, law, philosophy, literature, math, biology, physics) versus the "soft" ones (sociology, psychology, gender/ethnic studies) and the ones that are purely makework to justify promotions (education, library science).

My sense is that women probably outnumber men in literature, among the hard arts and sciences; probably outnumber men in all of the soft ones; and probably outnumber men in all but one of the makework ones (criminal justice is what I'm thinking of here). But I don't have figures to back that up.

Posted by: Grim at August 30, 2005 03:13 PM

re: David, you don't miss much Grim :)

David is one sharp cookie. But then old friends are the best friends. It was a very happy day for me when he stopped in again - it was like having the sun come out after a week of rain :)

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2005 03:27 PM

Let's see. I have some income, and my wife has no income. My wife (bless her heart) spends quite a bit of money, while the money I spend is mostly for recurring bills (especially my wife's Mastercard account).

Um, I'll have to think about this some more.

Posted by: George at August 30, 2005 03:32 PM

Cass, were you left gulping for air in your outrage?:)

Actually, while women may only get 70% as to the initial capital contributions of a marital estate, they get a hell of a severance package: Half or more of the marital property, usually including the house, and endless "mommy welfare" in the form of alimony (because princess couldn't possibly be expected to reduce her standard of living), and extremely generous "child support" (more than the parents ever spent on the child during the marriage).

So, in essence, former hubby still has to hand over his paycheck despite the end of the partnership. That's some golden parachute!

Posted by: a former european at August 30, 2005 04:39 PM

Thanks for the kind words, Cass. :)

For my two cents (after marital deductions), I think that the honest differential in the salaries that many women earn reflects the years spent in and out of the work force.

I can think of several women I personally know that make substantially more than I do, because of their professions (doctor, lawyer), and one woman I know in approximately the same profession that I'm in, about the same age and education (one of the hard sciences, Grim), who also makes substantially more than I because (IMHO) she has put in the years with the (large) company she is presently employed with, and been the good corporate soldier expected of her, done the transfers and relocations (a hardship on her family, at times) and therefore been promoted according to her brains and ability.
A good friend (man) who worked for years at GE, was "forced" (move up or move out!) to leave because he placed family and home (stability) above GE's requirement for relocation every 5-7 years to stay on the advancement track.
It cuts both ways.

Posted by: David at August 30, 2005 05:02 PM

Actually afe, this was the hardest damn thing I've written in ages. I find it really difficult to manufacture outrage.

I always tease the Unit about finally being 'vested' now, but if we ever were to divorce, I'd probably end up screwing myself in the divorce settlement. When I'm mad or hurt, I usually just get very quiet. I won't let anyone help me, and I sure as hell wouldn't want any of his stinking money, if he did something bad enough to make me want to divorce him.

People are different. Some want to get back at the person who hurt them, but a lot of people just want to shed the bad times and get clear of them. I think that would be my reaction - it always was when I broke up with someone. I wasn't vindictive - I just wanted it to be over with so I could move on - it hurts badly enough without wounding yourself more by being angry or having their money around to remind you of them or make you feel beholden to them.

I think that would just about kill me.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2005 05:59 PM

A few data points for youse to play with ... in my grad school (Penn State) the percentage of women in physics was around 14% on a good day. The average for women in chemistry was more like 45%, and the department head was a woman. I got curious and asked some of the chem-fems why they picked chemistry over physics, and they all said it was the math requirements to get in. Not that they thought they couldn't do the math (they were working on the same level of stuff I was) but if they hadn't done it enough in high school and college it was pretty damn hard to catch up in grad school. Which is why I personally think Sommers (or whatever his name is) is an idiot.

Posted by: Bad Cat Robot at August 30, 2005 07:45 PM

I had the same experience right after I left college as a freshman. I tried to take Physics at ODU in Norfolk, but you were supposed to have had Calc and of course I hadn't. It was taking me 3 hours to plough through 40 minutes of homework every night.

I did fine until the first test came up, but I just couldn't cram all that into my head fast enough. Rather than fail a test, I talked to the teacher and DOR'd. He agreed that I just wasn't prepared to take the class and I wasn't going to be able to catch up that much math in one semester and learn physics at the same time. It didn't help that I never took Physics (or any hard science, really) in high school either. Girls just didn't have to do that when I was in school. I was on accelerated everything, except for science and math, which I did as little of as I could get away with because I hated them.

So what do I do now for a living? Go figure.

But when I went back to college, I figured that was my weak area so I should develop it so I would be more well-rounded. I never really did take to science, though. I think I would have liked physics, but the moment passed and it never fit in with my overloaded course schedule.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2005 08:12 PM

If they would only turn the other cheek.

Well, if we are so dang smart, how come we are getting paid 30% less than men?

Shouldn't we have a chess game or something?

Strip poker?

Spin the bottle?

I am doing my part to resist. I am making the Engineer install a vent and I am going to watch him do it and make sexist comments.

I wonder if I will make it into the Lysistrata.

Posted by: Cricket at August 30, 2005 08:53 PM

Math wasn't required to graduate from high school in California, but Fizz Ed sure was. So, natcherally, I avoided it anyway.

I do regret that now.

Big time. I can teach my kids up through algebra and geometry is a bit rocky.

Posted by: Cricket at August 30, 2005 08:57 PM

Maybe some of you might be interested in the following excerpt I found at;


" [...] a book that explains this anomaly descriptively called "Why Men Earn More and What Women Can do about it." Some of the difference has to do with the types of work men and women prefer.

Dangerous and dirty is usually a man's job.

Men account for 92% of all occupational deaths in the U.S. (This might be worth a 20% pay premium)

Men dominate the list of the worst jobs in the U.S. in general.

And men as twice as likely to work 50+ hours a week. [...] "

Posted by: Friend of USA at August 30, 2005 09:24 PM

Just to be clear, since David mentions it, I should like to note that I was not suggesting that women don't go into the hard arts and sciences -- just that my sense of such things, which is entirely anecdotal, is that they don't make up the majority there. There are certainly plenty who do; but the big sex imbalances, where women seem to outnumber men heavily, look to me to be in the latter two categories.

Which is to say that credentialism is probably more to do with it than anything; and if that's the case, there rather than elsewhere is the place for the gender warriors to complain. Women are being disproportionately fleeced.

Why should you need to go to school for six years, and pay all that fortune, to get full pay as a public librarian? Yet without a Master's Degree in library science, so I have learned from (lady) friends who have gotten them, you will not be paid at anything like the pay offered to someone doing the same work with an MLS. But the work is still the same, shelving books and running their UPC codes under scanners: much the same work that is done by grocery store clerks but with books instead of food packages.

Same deal with public school teachers, really. If you want to teach history in a public high school, the logical degree to have is a degree in history. If you should feel inclined to go on to a graduate program, naturally you'd think to go on to a Master's or Doctoral program in history. But what you are sent to do instead is get a "Master's of Education," which is -- here I cite my own mother's experience -- an entirely wasted period in which you are taught education theory that has no bearing on how you must actually teach.

Not that you need the theory anyway, since you've had a practical apprenticeship -- 12 years of public school as a student, to see how it was done firsthand, plus your undergrad work, plus student teaching, plus actual teaching. Teaching you educational theory at that point is a complete joke. You ought to be learning your material.

Still and all, when I took my M.A., almost everyone getting a graduate degree that day was a woman -- and almost all of them were getting M.Eds. Pure make work, really: all that wasted money and effort, so they can be paid at a rate they should have been paid all along -- but less than what they would deserve if they'd been able to do their studies in their actual teaching field. Had they don that, at the end of their program they'd be better qualified than they were to start with rather than just as qualified as they were to start with.

Ah, well.

Posted by: Grim at August 30, 2005 09:50 PM

Hey, you don't have to be politically correct around me.

My sister-in-law has a PhD in a hard science field, and I happen to be in a tech field but to be honest I'm misplaced. My natural talents would place me better in law or editing. I'm good at math and quantitative stuff, but I have to work at it - I don't have the natural bent that a lot of guys do.

But I do have an abstract analytical side a lot of men I tutored don't have, so that worked in my favor once I got into higher math. I just don't calculate all that well, but my deductive reasoning, number memory and observation are good enough that I can compensate fairly well.

I have no structural visualization (ability to rotate objects in 3-D in your mind) at ALL and that is just plain a sex-linked characteristic. No two ways about it. More men have it than women - that's a major reason men predominate in engineering and architecture.

BUT - you inherit that little skill through your Mom, so.... both my Mom and the Unit's Mom have it. It passed over me, though. My husband has it, one of my sons does and the other doesn't.

Posted by: Cassandra at August 30, 2005 10:00 PM

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