Tuesday, October 25, 2005

What Warren Farrell Doesn't Understand

In his book "Why Men Earn More," Mr. Farrell expects that, in light of the many areas where women earn more than men, many couples will decide to have the man be the householder and let the woman be the breadwinner. This suggestion is wrong on two counts:
  1. The areas where women earn more than men tend to be the lower-earning jobs. While it is true that the more dangerous jobs tend to earn more, there's still the differential in where women work and where men work.
  2. When it comes time to start bearing children, many women will want to take on the job of full-time mother. And with the more liberal divorce laws around now, there's the definite possibility that a woman, faced with a man who wants to do the mothering (which she will read as "sit down on his lazy ass and let me bring home the bacon) will bear the child, divorce the father, and stick him with the Alimony. He'll be stuck in a job he hates, and while she may be working, it won't be at the full forty-plus hour week up the corporate ladder (or if so, he'll be salting away her retirement from the Divorced Men's Arms).
  3. Remember, we're talking about women. By definition, a being that has worth by dint of her existence. Otherwise, you wouldn't see the differential in earnings (in a woman's favor) in places where women and men compete directly. I call that "The Childbearer's Premium."

How much does this "Childbearer's Premium" add? In some cases, it leads many women to jump directly out of the workplace and into the role of mother. Many of the woman who could climb the corporate ladder have decided to take the truly radical step and step out of the working world, pissing off the militant feminists (who too many people would mislabel "Radical Feminists") who believe that a woman's place is in the boardroom and ONLY in the boardroom.

That's where Mr. Farrell's view falls short. It misreads the "Childbearer's Premium" in purely economic terms, forgetting to include calculations in time and in the ability to get others to earn for you.

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