Whatever Wednesday


When we couldn’t come up with any “wacky” ideas come Tuesday night, we decided to changed “Wacky Wednesday” into “Whatever Wednesday” to give us more options. 🙂 So, I am deeming yesterday “Wednesday Words,” and sharing my current summer reading.

A couple weeks ago, I received an email from the Clare Boothe Luce Policy Institute entitled “A Rocky Dating-and-Mating Road for Twenty-Something Grads.” The email outlined a new book by Kay Hymowitz, a fellow at the Manhattan Institute. The title of the book is “Manning Up: How the Rise of Women Has Turned Men Into Boys.” I was so intrigued by the article that I immediately got on Amazon and ordered the book. 🙂

Hymowitz discusses a new phenomenon, which she labels “preadulthood.” The new knowledge economy has led to a much longer search for a career, something which represents an individual’s “passion.” People no longer work simply because they need to eat. Rather, their career represents who they are. As such, the search for their career is a much longer process. The knowledge economy has also benefitted women, who dominate much better in a workplace that requires creativity and organization rather than brute strength.

The first chapter of the book outlines the changes in the economy that led to the rise of the “preadult.” The second and third chapters explain the forces which led to the revolution in women’s ambitions, while chapters 4 and 5 explore the “child-man” which has resulted. The closing two chapters outline the relationship between the sexes and the challenges that result from the rise of women.

I’m only in chapter 2, but I am enjoying the book. So far, the book is merely setting up the cultural background. However, I am very interested in what kind of conclusions and observations Hymowitz will make later in the book.

The most interesting piece of information in the book relates to women’s earning capacity. During my undergraduate years, I heard numerous times that “women earn 77 cents for every dollar earned by men.” Of course, this was given in a “this is unfair, the next generation needs to fix this” kind of way. However, Hymowitz has some interesting studies which show that women’s earning capacity is actually much higher than the feminists like to think. In its “Gender Wage Gap Final Report,” the Labor Department concluded that there is a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent. However, the report identified several variables, which leave an adjusted wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent. These variables are:

  • A greater percentage of women tend to work part-time.
  • A greater percentage of women tend to leave the labor force for child birth, child care, and elder care.
  • Women tend to prefer “family friendly” workplace policies. Thus, some of the wage gap is explained by industry and occupation. 

This led to the conclusion that “There may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

Interesting, don’t ya’ think? Bet you’ve never heard those statistics before!

P.S. You can read the entire Clare Booth Luce article here.

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