One of my Scrippsie friends sent me a link to this article from the Washington Post this afternoon. All I have to say is wow. In case you are too lazy to click this link, but aren't so lazy that you're going to read this post, here's a quick summary. A study published in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology found that men with "traditional" views of gender roles (a.k.a. men should work while women stay at home to cook, clean, and have babies) make more money than men with "egalitarian" views of gender roles (the idea that men and women can be successful in the work place and can share, equally, household chores like parenting, cooking, etc). Both groups of men, however, still make more money than women. Just so you can get the whole picture, here's the spectrum of average salaries, from highest to lowest, of people in similar jobs, with similar levels of education, and a similar number of hours worked per week: Chauvinist Men, Good Guys, Career-Minded Women, Stupid women who feel they belong home.
It's really no secret that I tend towards the feminist end of the spectrum, so it should come as no surprise that I have some thoughts about this. Now, I try to be fair and give the human race the benefit of the doubt on most things. So as I read through this article, I began trying to think of reasons for these disparities. The only one that seemed remotely plausible was that men tend to be more assertive and aggressive and therefore can probably negotiate higher salaries.
No such luck, the article addressed that too. It's apparently more likely that "People make others uncomfortable when they disconfirm stereotypes -- we don't know how to interpret them."And that apparently results in a lower salary for men who feel women are of equal worth in the workplace.
The only comfort I took from this is that at least there's a group making less than I, and it's the women who are working, but think they should be playing a more domestic role. I really hope this holds true. I know a number of women my age who openly admit that they are only working until they meet a rich guy who'll marry them and then they can quit, and the first thing they try to figure out when meeting a new guy is how much he makes and how much he has. Seriously?? Are there still women out there like this?? It appalls me, it really does. And it offends me that some of them are my age, with the same, or similar, job title as I have. Please oh please let them be making significantly less money. Wouldn't that just be the epitome of just desserts?