Has feminism been good for women?

Radical feminists complain a lot about sexism, but damage is self-inflicted
Radical feminists complain a lot about sexism, but damage is self-inflicted

One problem with feminism is that it produces the very outcomes that feminists then turn around and complain about. For example, consider the women’s studies major that is favored by feminists. Does it produce a good financial return on investment?

Here is an article from the Daily Signal to answer that.

Excerpt:

While only 23 percent of American women identify as feminists, 47 percent of millennial women do.

But unfortunately, the policies supported by modern feminists have been particularly bad for young women.

[…]Today, millennial women struggle with significant student loan debt and often have a hard time finding a job that will get them out of mom and dad’s basement. About 42 percent of women have more than $30,000 in student loan debt, compared than just 27 percent of men.

This could be a function of more women pursuing higher levels of learning. But significant student loan defaults among this group indicate that women may not be getting the return on investment they had hoped for.

Women are vastly overrepresented in majors that are known to have low returns on investment, such as gender studies or social work. Yet the feminist movement encourages more young women to pursue these degrees.

Their solution is to advocate further government assistance through policies such as free public college, loan forgiveness, and income-based repayment policies that drag out the life of a loan while doing nothing to put pressure on colleges to keep prices in check.

Hmm. Perhaps instead of taxing working men to pay for the poor academic decisions of women, we can shame and blame women who prefer useless degrees in women’s studies to useful degrees in computer science?

Look at the numbers reported by USA Today:

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the number of women’s and gender studies degrees in the United States has increased by more than 300% since 1990, and in 2015, there were more than 2,000 degrees conferred.

These days, women’s studies programs include gender and sexuality studies, and many of the programs explore and question the relationship of race, class, sexuality, ethnicity and more to encourage students to investigate in the broader field of gender.

THREE HUNDRED PERCENT. It would never occur to me – as a child of poor non-white immigrants – that I could spend tens of thousands of dollars, and even go into debt, for a degree that would not pay for itself. Whether I liked computer science or not, that’s what I had to study – or something like that.

What about the idea that women are paid less than men for the same work, because of discrimination?

Liberal feminist Hanna Rosin takes a look at this question in the far-left Slate, of all places.

Excerpt:

The official Bureau of Labor Department statistics show that the median earnings of full-time female workers is 77 percent of the median earnings of full-time male workers. But that is very different than “77 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.” The latter gives the impression that a man and a woman standing next to each other doing the same job for the same number of hours get paid different salaries. That’s not at all the case. “Full time” officially means 35 hours, but men work more hours than women. That’s the first problem: We could be comparing men working 40 hours to women working 35.

How to get a more accurate measure? First, instead of comparing annual wages, start by comparing average weekly wages. This is considered a slightly more accurate measure because it eliminates variables like time off during the year or annual bonuses (and yes, men get higher bonuses, but let’s shelve that for a moment in our quest for a pure wage gap number). By this measure, women earn 81 percent of what men earn, although it varies widely by race. African-American women, for example, earn 94 percent of what African-American men earn in a typical week. Then, when you restrict the comparison to men and women working 40 hours a week, the gap narrows to 87 percent.

But we’re still not close to measuring women “doing the same work as men.” For that, we’d have to adjust for many other factors that go into determining salary. Economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn did that in a recent paper, “The Gender Pay Gap.”.”They first accounted for education and experience. That didn’t shift the gap very much, because women generally have at least as much and usually more education than men, and since the 1980s they have been gaining the experience. The fact that men are more likely to be in unions and have their salaries protected accounts for about 4 percent of the gap. The big differences are in occupation and industry. Women congregate in different professions than men do, and the largely male professions tend to be higher-paying. If you account for those differences, and then compare a woman and a man doing the same job, the pay gap narrows to 91 percent. So, you could accurately say in that Obama ad that, “women get paid 91 cents on the dollar for doing the same work as men.”

I believe that the remainder of the gap can be accounted for by looking at other voluntary factors that differentiate men and women.

The Heritage Foundation says that a recent study puts the number at 95 cents per dollar.

Excerpt:

Women are more likely than men to work in industries with more flexible schedules. Women are also more likely to spend time outside the labor force to care for children. These choices have benefits, but they also reduce pay—for both men and women. When economists control for such factors, they find the gender gap largely disappears.

A 2009 study commissioned by the Department of Labor found that after controlling for occupation, experience, and other choices, women earn 95 percent as much as men do. In 2005, June O’Neil, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office, found that “There is no gender gap in wages among men and women with similar family roles.” Different choices—not discrimination—account for different employment and wage outcomes.

If women choose to study women’s studies, why should they be surprised that they are paid less than men who study computer science?  I wish the people who teach women’s studies understood what it means to create something for a customer that they are willing to pay for. Then maybe they could tell women how to get paid more. People who learn hard things, create value for customers, and work longer hours make more money. Teaching young women useless prejudices against men does not help them to make more money.

13 thoughts on “Has feminism been good for women?”

  1. One of the good points about women who major in and/or get degrees in ‘gender studies’ and ‘women’s studies’ (as unwittingly illustrated in the cartoon) is that they are readily identifiable as bad/poor risks for relationships, marriage, or even hiring.
    A wise man does not go around picking up ‘dud’ grenades or ticking time bombs — he avoids them.

    1. I think any woman with a non-STEM degree and outstanding student loans should be considered high risk. We live in a world with no fault divorce. I didn’t want this law. Feminists and trial lawyers did. Now they have to live with the incentives they created.

  2. Until the 1960s, we had (what has been called) equity feminism. This brand of feminism sought to get equal treatment and equal rights for women. In the 1960s, radical women hijacked the movement and now we can correctly call it radical (or gender) feminism. It is this latter brand that is so antagonistic towards men, and promotes both abortion and lesbianism.

    But, to your point, feminism since the 1960s has not been good for women or for their children. Society has suffered, too.

      1. Wintery Knight,

        Please meditate on I Corinthians 11:3-9 and then explain to me how you can be an equity feminist!

        1. Equity feminism just means that women should have the same opportunities to do things that men do, if they really can do it. It also means that women have the same protection under the law as men do, e.g. – the right to own property, the right to study computer science, the right to own a gun. It’s not gender feminism, which says that women and men are identical and don’t excel at particular roles.

          1. 1. Equity feminism means that women should lead and pastor a church because “…women should have the same opportunities that men do, if they really can do it.”

            2. Equity feminism means that women should vote.

            3. How can a masculine man proclaim to be any kind of feminist?

            4. I want Christian women to be feminine, not feminist.

    1. “… feminism since the 1960s has not been good for women or for their children.”

      It’s too bad that you can’t convince those same women of that fact (for reasons that are obvious — but that dead horse has been beaten enough) or even get them to consider it.

    2. A friend of mine points out several distinct phases of “feminism” as you mentioned.
      1. Women’s Suffrage
      2. Equal pay for equal work (during and after World War II)
      —-post 1960’s—-
      3. Sexual freedom / free love (“Men can sleep around? So can women”)
      (subpoint: 3a. Let’s encourage women that they can always dispose of their babies/pregnancies if they’re not convenient)
      4. Women can have it all
      5. “Let’s Empower More Women [selectively]”

    1. I count things like nursing and radiology and veterinarian and nutritionist and pharmacist as stem, too! It doesn’t have to be all nuclear engineering! As long as it isn’t politicized crap like English or women’s studies, its good.

  3. Feminism (Marxism) reduces the value of a woman to two different elements:

    1. How much power she wields.
    2. How much money she makes.

    The entire purpose of this ideology is to treat as a pathology anything which hinders the acquisition of these two elements. To that end, feminism (Marxism) works to reengineer every facet of existence, from women and girls themselves, to even the very “perceptions” that men have about women, in order to build its utopian fantasy.

    All of this, and I do mean ALL of this, is designed to IMPOSE upon women the notion that they MUST seek only power and wealth as the chief goal in life. Anything which stands in the way of that ideal MUST be destroyed, at least, according to feminists (Marxists). As such, women are taught to hate men, discard the idea of a family, and to surrender any possibility of a meaningful life.

    Feminism has harmed men, no doubt, but I believe that men are actually getting going to come out the other side of this better off. This is mainly because men can wait to have children even into old age. However, women are not so lucky. If they do not have their act together by 35, they face a race against the clock just to find a mate (not even mentioning having a child with him)!

    Feminism has destroyed women, and will continue doing so. It dehumanizes them, psychologically abuses them, deceives them, and strips their lives of all meaning for the purposes of acquiring power and wealth. This catastrophe will become far more apparent over the next decade, especially as this SJW-millennial generation of women reach their thirties and forties. It is going to get so bad, I believe, that I think we will see the proportion of female suicides skyrocket to the point where it will rival men’s levels.

    Doctor Jordan Peterson discusses some of the points I mentioned here: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8ABa4RdNPxU

    Sadly, I do not think this is going to stop until the current crop of indoctrinated millennial women reach their crisis point and wake up. Even then, I am not optimistic, as feminism is a multibillion dollar industry at this point….

    The very doctrines feminism pushes incentivizes its own perpetuation as a business model.

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