I’ve written before about the trials and tribulations of being a conservative female in liberal places like South Florida, a problem remedied by my recent move to the Space Coast, where more women share my views. One of the most frustrating aspects about dealing with liberal women in particular and non-political junkie independent women (who are easily influenced by the current “Girls Rule” pop culture) is their refusal to recognize that they live in the freest country on earth for women (not to mention, men).
First, let’s clear up a huge misperception, one that was promulgated by a misinformed “undecided” voter in last week’s presidential debate at Hofstra University. Take it away, Selwyn Duke:
The intersex wage-gap question asked at the last presidential debate once again thrust the issue of equal pay for women into the headlines. And since Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are both vying for women — who vote in greater numbers than men do — both campaigns have been saying all the “right” things. Obama has touted his signing of the Lily Ledbetter Act, while the Republicans have pointed out that not only does the liberal network MSNBC pay its female employees less, so does, ironically, the Obama administration (by the way, Obama did the same in his office when he was a senator). Yet the truth on women’s pay is something neither candidate dare say.
Women aren’t given less.
They earn less.
The reality is that far from being a result of discrimination, the intersex wage gap — 72 cents on a man’s dollar, or 77 cents, or … well, it depends on whom you listen to — is solely due to the sexes’ different lifestyle and career choices. Columnist Carrie Lukas explained this in 2007, writing:
All the relevant factors that affect pay — occupation, experience, seniority, education and hours worked — are ignored [by those citing the wage gap]. This sound-bite statistic fails to take into account the different roles that work tends to play in men’s and women’s lives.
In truth, I’m the cause of the wage gap — I and hundreds of thousands of women like me. I have a good education and have worked full time for 10 years. Yet throughout my career, I’ve made things other than money a priority. I chose to work in the nonprofit world because I find it fulfilling. I sought out a specialty and employer that seemed best suited to balancing my work and family life. When I had my daughter, I took time off and then opted to stay home full time and telecommute. I’m not making as much money as I could, but I’m compensated by having the best working arrangement I could hope for.
Women make similar trade-offs all the time. Surveys have shown for years that women tend to place a higher priority on flexibility and personal fulfillment than do men, who focus more on pay. Women tend to avoid jobs that require travel or relocation, and they take more time off and spend fewer hours in the office than men do.
And here are some facts that back up Lukas’ thesis:
• US Census Bureau statistics tell us that full-time men average 2,213 working hours a year as compared to only 1,796 for “full-time” women.
• Women are also more likely to choose part-time work in the first place. For example, while only 1 in 20 male MBA-holders work part time, 1 in 3 female MBA-holders do.
• Women tend to choose less lucrative fields such as the social sciences. As the Council of Graduate Schools reports, while women earned less than 35 percent of the doctorates in the computer, physical and earth sciences, and math and engineering, they account for 60-plus percent of the Ph.D.s in the social/behavioral sciences and education.
• Women are more likely than men to turn down promotions, which would bring higher pay but also more responsibility, citing familial priorities.
• Women are more likely to leave their careers for long periods of time upon having children, which reduces seniority.
Having said this, the male-female wage gap is due to discrimination — that practiced by the market. In other words, when people value your contribution more highly, you get paid more.
Read the entire piece, Enough Already with the Women-Get-Paid-Less Nonsense
Now that we have that cleared up ladies, let’s get some enlightening perspective from Christine M. Flowers, Some women don’t know how good they have it:
I never fully understood what it meant to be from Pakistan, or any other country where my gender was a birth defect. I’ve always had the best schooling, unlimited opportunities and men in my life who said “go ahead” instead of “follow behind me.”
I’ve learned a few lessons from “Salim,” including the importance of humility (haven’t excelled in that subject,) enthusiasm in little things like running water and functioning electricity, and tranquility of spirit.
More important, I’ve learned true gratitude for the freedom that I, a woman, possess.
That’s why the recent talk of a war on my gender angers me to the point that I want to scream “have you, my sisters, lost your senses?”
Sandra Fluke, with her simpering demands and outstretched hands, makes me ashamed to call myself a woman, makes me want to sit this Georgetown law student down and tell her the story of Malala Yousufzai.
Sandy has spent so much time this summer and fall drumming up sympathy for her condom crusade that she probably hasn’t heard about this Pakistani woman, really just a child of 14, who was shot in the head last week by an enraged group of Taliban soldiers.
No, the simpering, self-indulgent Sandra Flukes of the world are too busy manufacturing false outrage over birth control that’s not given to them for “free” by taxpayers (in order to implement their vision of the all-encompassing welfare state) to notice real oppression of their sisters in the Muslim world. These self-indulgent brats don’t know how lucky they have it here in the United States of America, where they can freely pursue the education, careers and lifestyle of their choosing — all the while perpetuating the myth of the oppressive “patriarchy” or the common cultural practice of dismissing all men as evil, clueless, incompetent, wrong and generally not as good as women in any area whatsoever. Girl power, baby! (Unless you are a female fetus, then all bets are off)
Yet isn’t it ironic to clear-thinking women that these alleged purveyors of women’s independence vocally and endlessly call for female dependency on Big Daddy Government? Or that they have joined the ranks of some men in objectifying women into nothing more than the sum of their girlie parts? Not to mention the rank hypocrisy they exhibit by supporting a president who pays his female staffers an average of 18% less than his male staffers.
Even some women on the Republican side who are solidly Romney-Ryan seem to miss this point. For example, I have a friend who is adamantly “pro-choice” (her words) — the same one I’d previously written about here in a post about abortion. During a recent conversation, she spoke of how she tries to argue with some of her liberal customers that even though Republicans don’t have a good record on women’s rights (?) other factors should take priority when deciding their vote, such as economic growth, entitlement reform and national security.
While I applaud her efforts, her premise is flat-out wrong, for a myriad of reasons I won’t fully go into here (you’d think serial womanizer/rapist Bill Clinton, or sleazy marriage-vow breaker/murderer Ted Kennedy were Republicans, for crying out loud!).
Alas for my friend and so many like her (such as the pro-Israel, pro-Romney demonstrator I spoke with at a rally about a month ago, who parroted the same “women’s rights under Republicans” line), abortion seems to be at the crux of these misguided beliefs. Think about that for a minute: the mere thought that the right to destroy innocent, unborn life might be taken away (and let’s get real, to the chagrin of those who believe innocent, unborn life is sacred, the unconstitutional Roe v. Wade won’t be overturned anytime soon) is at the top of the list for some women. How incredibly sad.
Since this friend tends to be very emotional about the topic, it’s difficult for me to get a word in edgewise when the conversation shifts to abortion. In her concern about Romney-Ryan losing to Obama-Biden, she noted hysterically that Joe Biden had a better answer on the abortion question than Paul Ryan (!). Yes, how dare Ryan speak from his heart on the issue as a practicing Catholic who believes life begins at conception?
I reminded my friend that Paul Ryan has every right as an American to express his beliefs honestly and that in the highly unlikely event that anyone would overturn Roe v. Wade (something that no President or Vice-President even has the power to do), the issue would go back to the states where it always belonged anyway. Then We The People in the 50 states across the country could decide things like:
1. Whether abortion should be legal in their state of residence
2. If kept legal, what restrictions should apply (e.g. illegal after first trimester)
3. Parental consent for minors (aside from moral implications, it is after all, major surgery with risks)
To which my friend wholeheartedly agreed, but worried that other women would not understand and/or accept. Again, with skyrocketing unemployment, grocery and gasoline prices, and a Middle East about to implode, forgive me if I’m more than a little angered that these abortion zealots can’t see the forest for the trees. But if they can’t see the immorality of abortion, even with ultrasound technology supporting the basic arguments of the pro-life movement, there’s not much left to say, except that progressive indoctrination of pop culture, public education and media has done a highly effective job in blinding these women to reality.
In terms of my friend, it is exceedingly difficult to listen when she’s on one of her abortion rants, during which she consistently talks over me, thus preventing any counter-argument in her zeal to arbitrarily equate the value of innocent human life with the circumstances of a conception for which that innocent life bears no responsibility.
Anyway, I tried explaining to her that even though we disagreed on abortion, we did share some common ground such as the belief that taxpayers should not be forced to fund them. For all who whine about the government “staying out of the bedroom”, the reality is, the government is already in the bedroom by forcing the American taxpayer to involuntarily fund Planned Parenthood (which by the way, does NOT provide mammograms) and abortion abroad via Obama’s reversal of the Mexico City Policy.
Hey ladies, if you’re so smart and independent, pay for your own damn abortion and leave morally opposed, financially challenged (in the Obama economy) taxpayers alone.
Later in an email after I had a chance to do a bit of research, I sent my friend a CNN poll from August, 2012 that discovered a majority of Americans want abortion prohibited. This clearly disproved her election theory that the issue of abortion — or more specifically, the Republican pro-life platform — is somehow going to swing the election for Obama. Never mind that he’s the most radical pro-abortion, indeed pro-infanticide, president we’ve ever had.
To support my point, I also sent her this ad from Susan B. Anthony List:
And I enlightened her about the history of Planned Parenthood:
Will this help ease her mind about the election, along with swing state polls showing a shift to Romney by women?
I don’t know.
In spite of the facts, my Republican friend stands in solidarity with so many hardcore liberal women on the issue, notwithstanding her own Catholic upbringing. She’s completely bought into the pop culture memes of “reproductive choice”, “women’s rights” and “you’ve come a long way baby” (funny, but I have female relatives who owned businesses, became pharmacists and otherwise broke through all sorts of barriers back in the 30′s and 40′s — long before Gloria and the girls began their assault on traditional American values and aligned themselves with the left).
Still, I think even she would agree with Christine M. Flowers that American women ought to thank God (or whatever New Age Deity they believe in) for the blessing of living in a country free (for now at least) from Sharia Law and its corresponding, Allah-mandated female atrocities like genital mutilation, honor killings, stonings, beatings and rapes.
American women, please vote with your Lady Smarts, not your Lady Parts on November 6.