As this new research shows, it’s women’s (and men’s) attributes and career choices that determine earnings. Yet there’s something troubling about Time‘s tone, which suggests that we should all be celebrating the idea of women dominating the workplace. To the extent that this trend is driven by men losing jobs and remaining out of work, and young men failing to attain the skills needed to meaningfully contribute to the economy, this is not good news at all.
Of course, we all want women to have the opportunity to compete and succeed in whatever profession they choose. But we want the same to be true for men. Furthermore, given that some women still wish to stay home or reduce their workload in order to spend time raising children, women’s higher earnings may actually be a symptom of hardship: More women are having to work more since the men in their lives can’t provide for the family alone or because they are providing for themselves.
Why would anyone rejoice at the prospect of a reverse wage gap? Why celebrate the sure to continue trend – based on education trends and business trends – of men earning less? Contrary to the opinion of those who believe that men are the root of all evil and the only thing holding us back from Utopia, it is not a good thing if men are finding it harder to provide for their families. I know. That’s probably my self-loathing and gender traitor-iness talking.
Or maybe it’s reality and common sense talking. No good can come when there are large groups of men who are only under-employable, if employable at all. Nor from mothers who may be forced to work instead of staying home with their children, if they choose to do so.
I’m quite certain that Rosie the Riveter wasn’t meant to permanently replace Roger the Riveter. Well, until the government intervened to “help,” of course.