A New Project for the Gender Police
Will, George F., Newsweek
Byline: George F. Will
Gallant government will protect the weaker sex.
The bad news for professional feminists is that the good news is multiplying: Last year more women than men received doctoral degrees. It is ludicrous to argue that women should be regarded as victims in patriarchal, phallocentric America and must be wards of government.
Women live five years longer than men. Their unemployment rate is significantly lower. For years they have received more high-school diplomas, B.A. and M.A. degrees, and now Ph.D.s. Yet the Obama administration wants the government to increase its protection of the (it evidently assumes) weaker sex. This, even though "contrary to what feminist lobbyists would have Congress believe, girls and women are doing well." So says Diana Furchtgott-Roth.
A senior fellow at the Hudson Institute and former chief economist at the Department of Labor, she is the author of a just-published (from Encounter Books) broadside against the gender politics of the Obama administration and the current Congress, both of which seem impervious to evidence.
The president wants Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. It would further enrich a Democratic constituency--trial lawyers--by saying that differences in pay between men and women cannot be based on differences of education, training, and experience unless there is a "business necessity"--an invitation to litigation.
Valerie Jarrett, a senior Obama adviser, says: In 1963, when the first "equal pay" law was enacted, "women earned 59 cents for every dollar earned by a man," and "nearly 50 years later, the wage gap has narrowed by only 18 cents," so "women are still paid only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man--and are paid less than men even when they have similar levels of experience and education."
Well. Women were 49.7 percent of the workforce in August. Because the economic slump hit construction and manufacturing harder than government and health care, which employ more women, by November women may be, for the first time, a majority of workers. In this year's second quarter, women earned 82.8 percent of the median weekly wage of men. Last year single women working full time earned 95 percent of what men earned. Young, unmarried, and childless urban women earn 8 percent more than similarly situated males. …