New York Times Warns of 'Scant Progress' on Women's Pay
The feminist mandate of â€śequal payâ€ť landed on the front page of the December 24 New York Times this week, with a warning that â€śone big group of women has stopped making progress.â€ť
David Leonhardtâ€™s article, â€śScant Progress on Closing Gap in Womenâ€™s Pay,â€ť declared that women with a four-year college degree were no longer closing the gap, but reluctantly admitted that the pay gap actually has narrowed since 1979.
â€śLast year, college-educated women between 36 and 45 years old, for example, earned 74.7 cents in hourly pay for every dollar that men in the same group did, according to Labor Department data analyzed by the Economic Policy Institute. A decade earlier, the women earned 75.7 cents.â€ť
However, buried in the report in the third column after the jump, Leonhardt let the cat out of the bag. â€ś[T]he overall pay gap, as measured by the government, continues to narrow,â€ť Leonhardt wrote. â€śThe average hourly pay of all female workers rose to 80.1 percent of menâ€™s pay last year, from 77.3 percent in 2000.â€ť
Despite Leonhardtâ€™s inclusion of the idea that â€śwomenâ€™s own choicesâ€ť such as raising children may have something to do with a wage gap, the headline and the tenor of the story was that women are still being discriminated against.
There were even two text blocks in larger type that didnâ€™t quote the story, but conveyed one view as fact and let it to stand without attribution: â€śSimilar qualifications yet different pay, from bosses who say they honor equalityâ€ť and â€śIn the most lucrative professions, no easing of male domination.â€ť Even Leonhardt admitted that different conclusions could be drawn from the data.
Well-known experts who disagree with the wage gap rhetoric were not quoted by the Times. Warren Farrell a former National Organization for Women board member and the only man in the U.S. to be elected to it three times is one of them. In 2005, he wrote â€śWhy Men Earn Moreâ€ť and concluded after looking at the data that men make choices that lead to them making more money, just as women make choices that â€ślead to more balanced lives.â€ť
The New York Times couldnâ€™t disguise that. The final column of Leonhardtâ€™s piece quoted a medical resident at Indiana University School of Medicine who reiterated that view. The woman, 28-year-old Melanie Kingsley is going into dermatology, a less lucrative specialty than some.
â€śYeah, maybe I wonâ€™t make a lot of money. But Iâ€™ll be happy with my day-to-day job, and thatâ€™s the reason I went into medicine â€“ to help other people. I have seen people do it for the money, and theyâ€™re not very happy,â€ť said Kingsley.