I should know better to click on articles about Fox News talking about women. It’s always an endeavor in self control not to want to throttle people, and I try to be a calm, centered person. But I did anyway. And here we have yet another Fox News anchor discussing the fact that the “war on women” is supposedly fake and that there really isn’t a gender wage gap, despite the fact that women make $0.77 for every $1.00 men make. The US Census Bureau released that number back in September of last year. The phrase “many women make exactly what they’re worth” just sticks in my craw. I suppose that is true if you’re a high paid executive, but since that is an incredibly small subset of working women, I think we need to re-evaluate what we’re valuing in women’s work. For starters, women aren’t trained to ask for larger starting salaries and frequent raises because of the “worth principle,” which runs something like this: the salary offer I’m given is the true indication of my worth to the company, and the fact that they are even offering me a job is enough to know my worth. Women make less because our culture tells them not to ask, even though men do all the time.
I’m actually astonished that the Fox News anchors acknowledged that women having babies and the attendant loss in wages accounts for some of this situation. Yet, this fact did nothing to move them from the position that women aren’t losing in the wages game. Having babies shouldn’t be a reason women get paid less. Men have babies too, something the generous paternity leave policies of other Western countries acknowledge. Taking time to bond and care for tiny humans is something we should reward in our society, not punish by paying women less or not at all when they take maternity leave. Fathers should get to take more than a week or two off to be with their wives and new kids. Not to mention, women making less actually hurts families as a whole. The more we have income parity, the more stable families will be. How a news station that discusses “family values” all the time misses this point is face palm astounding.