Chapter 3: Skirting the Truth – Lies About Wages, Discrimination, and Harrassment

June 17, 2009 | NeW Staff

Glass ceilings, pink ghettos, and Mary Kay Cadillacs . . . what do they all have in common? Well, you tell me after reading Chapter 3 of Kate O’Beirne’s book, Women Who Make the World Worse. O’Beirne kicks off her chapter on wages with the following statement.

“Feminists have made the workplace worse by waging an ideological campaign to portray working women as a victimized class, discriminated against in pay and persistently preyed on by male oppressors bent on enforcing the patriarchy” (p.47)

“Since the Equal Pay Act in 1963, sex discrimination in hiring, promotion, or pay has been illegal. While there might be isolated examples of sex discrimination in the workplace, our competitive economy demonstrably provides equal opportunity for women. Here again, the wage warriors peddle victimhood and demand equal outcomes, regardless of individual priorities and choices. To make the case that women remain victimized, feminists point to average overall male and female wage numbers, or rail against a “glass ceiling” that blocks women’s ascent to the top ranks of American businesses, or decry ‘undervalued’ women’s work that condemns women in predominantly female fields to toiling in a ‘pink ghetto.'” (p.50-51)

O’Beirne says that our economy provides equal opportunity for women. Would you agree? If not, is
affirmative action the answer or the problem? Do women need special treatment to compete?

“The feminist claim that the patriarchy segregates ‘women’ in a low-wage ‘pink ghetto’ overlooks the fact that while men tend to hold highest-status jobs, they also tend to hold the lowest-status ones. Jobs held by women are, on average, rated slightly higher than those held by men.” (p.57-58)

“One woman has done more to advance the financial independence of American women than all the theorists, academics, columnists, and counselors who claim the mantle of liberating women . . . Mary Kay Ash . . . after working for twenty-five years in the man’s world of direct sales, one of the greatest successes in the annals of American business was born because Mary Kay, whose father was an invalid, didn’t think that ‘God wanted a world in which a woman would have to work fourteen hours a day to support her family, as my mother had done.’ She didn’t take to the streets, convene a seminar, lobby for legislation, or whine about the male patriarchy. With a $5,000 investment, Mary Kay Ash founded the cosmetics empire that now has over $2 billion in yearly sales. She launched her fleet of pink Cadillacs as the showy status symbols of her vision to provide women with an unlimited opportunity for personal and financial success.” (p.65-66)

What is “the ideal” for women? Mary Kay Ash mentioned that God didn’t want women to work fourteen hour days. Would you agree?

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