Sunday, August 5, 2007

The girls are alright - Lest it appear that the news is all bad as it pertains to today's young women (what with Britney, Lindsay and Nicole dominating the news as of late), good news - for some - comes to us by way of a recent New York Times story addressing young women earning more than their male counterparts (with the news originating with a story in the Gotham Gazette.)

Young women in New York and several of the nation’s other largest cities who work full time have forged ahead of men in wages, according to an analysis of recent census data.

The shift has occurred in New York since 2000 and even earlier in Los Angeles, Dallas and a few other cities.

Economists consider it striking because the wage gap between men and women nationally has narrowed more slowly and has even widened in recent years among one part of that group: college-educated women in their 20s. But in New York, young college-educated women’s wages as a percentage of men’s rose slightly between 2000 and 2005.

The question of course is whether John Edwards will point to this rise in wages for female college graduates as prima facie evidence of his mythical "two Americas."

A well-placed liberal friend of mine (as in my wife) shared with me her sense that the results were not exactly anything to go bananas over, as they represent the impact of college education on salaries of college-educated women versus the wages or their bongdog slacker-boy counterparts, and that men will consistently out-earn women with similar educational credentials.
Not to dispute my (presently hormonal) wife, but every previous work of "research" that posited that male/female pay variances were entirely the result of sex-based discrimination was based upon a computation of average wages earned by each gender, irrespective of the education, career choices or number of hours worked per week. As discussed elsewhere, most of the gender variances diminish to irrelevance when these factors are taken into account.

Indeed, this research buttresses that very claim.
The NYT story indicated that, at least in New York, "[i]n 2005, 53 percent of women in their 20s working in New York were college graduates, compared with only 38 percent of men of that age." Another factor impacting the wages of young women in urban areas was the fact that many of them are unencumbered by spouses or children, "leaving them freer to focus on building careers." If there is a cause for concern in any of this, it is that much of the decrease in the overall wage gap has come more from the stagnation of wages for minorities versus across the board wage increases for women.

As an unfortunate coda, I leave you with another example of a bureaucratically-enforced "feminarchy" gone haywire. Syndicated talk show host Dennis Prager has been a stalwart in making us aware of the plight of two seventh-graders who face misdemeanor charges of sex abuse and harassment for slapping the butts of two of their classmates (as reported in The Oregonian.) Beyond the blatant prosecutorial overreach on the part of district attorney Bradley Berry, the most frightening aspect of this is the attitude displayed by the mother of one of the "victims."
To Rhonda Pope, mother of Christian Richter, 13, a girl named in the court papers as one of the victims, the charges are justified. "Slapping somebody on the butt is sexual harassment, and it is a crime," she said. "Considering what was going on and that my daughter was offended, it is a crime. And it's not OK."
As has been discussed in other places, second-wave feminism has caused otherwise right-thinking adults to view what would once have been considered child's play "in the context of feminist narratives of male sexual predation and female submission." The question here is not whether young boys slapping the buttocks of a classmate is well-advised (not that much of the behavior of pre-adolescent males is well-advised), but whether adults dealing with such as a criminal matter demonstrates wisdom. By my lights, it is better to be childish as a child than foolish as an adult.

If you are so inclined, please feel free to make contributions to the Cory and Ryan Defense Fund.

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