Paycheck Fairness Act Blocked By Senate Republicans

A piece of legislation that would help protect women who sue over getting paid less than their male counterparts was blocked in the Senate today by the Republican party.

In a world where women still make 77 cents to every man’s dollar, this piece of legislation would help close the wage gap that is still present in today’s modern society.

It is clear that women’s rights are going to become one of they key issues in this year’s presidential election, and the filibuster of this bill by Senate Republicans only marks the beginning of what will be a very tumultuous political year for gender equality.

And the GOP says that there is no War on Women.

Right.

About Lauren Lane

Lauren Lane is the co-founder of Skepticon, the Midwest's largest skeptic student-run conference and remains a lead organizer today. She has not one, but TWO fancy art degrees and is not afraid to use them.

  • Franklin

    What does this have to do with atheism?

    • IndyFitz

       Nothing whatsoever. This is what Lauren Lane posts here. But be careful, Franklin–if you question it, angry feminists will come out of nowhere and accuse you of being a misogynist.

      • CS42

        It’s relevant because the same traditional cultural forces that are used to persecute women are used to persecute atheists. 

        The feminists who object to some of the comments here do not come out of nowhere, they are regular readers of this blog, just like you.

        They’re not objecting to questioning, they’re objecting to the manner in which it’s done, with bigoted, hateful language and the accusations people are using to characterize women and feminists.

        If you’ve spent any time poking around the atheism/skepticism blogosphere you’ll notice that there is a really big problem with hatred, sexual harassment, and demeaning attitudes toward women in these circles. Prevalent enough that it’s chased me away from these blogs many times.

        Your own post demonstrates the antipathy toward women that’s so common here, and it’s great that the women here are standing up to it instead of being bullied into silence. The atheism/skepticism community really needs to address this headlong, because it’s only hurting us to let it continue.

        • Ema Nekaf

          “It’s relevant because the same traditional cultural forces that are used to persecute women are used to persecute atheists.”

          This stamant is wrong in many ways. First, there is no society wide cultural force that persecutes women Second, there is no socity wide cultural force that perescutes atheists. Third,  even if there was, that would not mean these forces are the same.  fourth, even if that force was the same, This topic is still not relavant to atheism. This is a blog about atheism, not  a blog about “traditional cultural forces”.

          “The feminists who object to some of the comments here do not come out of
          nowhere, they are regular readers of this blog, just like you.”

          Of course they dont come from nowhere, (unless you want to talk about first cause or whatever) but you are going to have to substantiate that second claim.

          “They’re not objecting to questioning, they’re objecting to the manner
          in which it’s done, with bigoted, hateful language and the accusations
          people are using to characterize women and feminists.”

          The mannor in which a quesiton is asked plays no part in the question itself. I have seen no examples of this bigoted hatfull languege used in tandom with legitimate critiques of femininism before.

          “If you’ve spent any time poking around the atheism/skepticism
          blogosphere you’ll notice that there is a really big problem with
          hatred, sexual harassment, and demeaning attitudes toward women in these
          circles. Prevalent enough that it’s chased me away from these blogs
          many times.”

          I have spent more time here then most, and in my 8 years of reading internet website and blogs, I have seen far, far more complaints about the sexism of the internet, then actual sexism.

          “Your own post demonstrates the antipathy toward women that’s so common
          here, and it’s great that the women here are standing up to it instead
          of being bullied into silence.”

          Wrong, it demonstrates, at most, dislike towards feminists who derail discussions.

          Unless you wish to say that the term “feminist” is synonymous with “women”.

          • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

            “First, there is no society wide cultural force that persecutes women Second, there is no socity wide cultural force that perescutes atheists.”
            I’m curious…have you heard of this thing called “Christianity”? Did you read the article right before this one where that pastor advocated to his large congregation that all atheists ought to “get out” of the US? Did you think that was just a friendly suggestion?

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

            No society wide cultural force that persecutes women or atheists??
            What blissful planet do you live on and how do I get there?

          • amycas

             “there is no society wide cultural force that persecutes women”

            Really? this article was about how women are systematically paid less than men when doing the same work. How is that not a society wide cultural force that persecutes women?

      • CS42

        It’s relevant because the same traditional cultural forces that are used to persecute women are used to persecute atheists. 

        The feminists who object to some of the comments here do not come out
        of nowhere, they are regular readers of this blog, just like you.

        They’re not objecting to questioning, they’re objecting to the manner
        in which it’s done, with bigoted, hateful language and the accusations
        people are using to characterize women and feminists.

        If you’ve spent any time poking around the atheism/skepticism
        blogosphere you’ll notice that there is a really big problem with
        hatred, sexual harassment, and demeaning attitudes toward women in these
        circles. Prevalent enough that it’s chased me away from these blogs
        many times.

        Your own post demonstrates the antipathy toward women that’s so
        common here, and it’s great that the women here are standing up to it
        instead of being bullied into silence. The atheism/skepticism community
        really needs to address this headlong, because it’s only hurting us to
        let it continue.

        • CS42

          Disquss tricked me into posting twice… is there a way to delete this one?

          • LeftSidePositive

            You can edit it to say something else or expand on a previous point…that’s what I usually do when that happens.

      • Fsq

        AUUUGH! AH AHHHHHHHHHH!!!

        Misogynist.

        How dare you question this.

    • Miko

      A better way to look at this issue: Republicans are protecting women by stopping the passage of a bill that would have the primary effect of making employers extremely reluctant to hire women.  Other commenters have challenged the accuracy of the statistics here; I don’t know if they’re correct, but it’s irrelevant either way.  The bigger point is that thinking that a bill like this could solve the problem (if it exists) is pure magical thinking.  The connection to atheism is that supporters of bills like this defend it using language that’s exactly parallel to the language of religious zealots, but with the word “god” replaced with the word “government.”

      • zeggman

         So if employers can’t pay women less, they’ll be reluctant to hire them? Why?

        • Au_catboy

           Because all corporations are run by sociopaths who are too incompetent to turn a profit without robbing their employees?  That seems to be the only way that would work.  The only way forbidding companies from mistreating women would discourage them from hiring women would be if the hiring decisions were made by crooked assholes who cover up their own inability to do their jobs by blaming the employees they’re ripping off….

          • The Other Weirdo

             Graduated from Women’s Studies, did you? With that attitude, I’m surprised you can hold down a job.

            • amycas

               Yeah, because everybody knows that women’s studies isn’t important or intellectual. They’re probably just learning how to cook and clean and hate men anyways…

      • amycas

        So employers are only hiring women because they consider them to be de facto cheap labor? Yeah, that’s not demeaning and insulting. 

    • The Other Weirdo

       Directly? Nothing. But with the silly attempts to inseparably wed feminism to atheism, it becomes an issue of atheism by an indirect route.

    • amycas

      Can we all just agree once and for all that this is Hemant’s blog, and he can post whatever he wants on his blog? Seriously. There are tons of posts that I skip without commenting because I don’t care about that topic much. Why must somebody say this every single time women’s issues are raised? If you’re not interested, then just skip the post like you do for every other post you’re not interested in.

  • Ema Nekaf

    Blarg, I though we had gotten rid of that silly statsticic. There is nothing, let me repete, nothing wrong with women as a whole earning less then men. Just like there would be nothing wrong if blond haired people earned less then red haired people.

    Unless you can prove there is discrimination at play here (and not some other factor) then there is nothing wrong with this current state of affares, and any law trying to corect a problem that does not exist should be gotten rid of.

    • CelticWhisper

      (Disclaimer: I’m not a statistician, but I play an armchair philosopher on TV.)

      No offense intended, but I can’t necessarily say I agree with this.

      Looking at it from a cause-and-effect standpoint, you’d have to examine what the groups (male people and female people) have in common amongst themselves to determine the cause of the wage disparity.

      If you’re saying that there’s nothing wrong with women –as a whole– earning less than men –as a whole–, then we’d have to examine what all women have in common with one another.  They’re obviously not all caucasian, Hispanic, black, Asian, middle-eastern, etc.  They’re obviously not all the same age.  They’re not all family, not all sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, nieces, and so on.  Country of origin, religion, political ideology, educational background, these things all vary within even small populations.  Given that we’re considering half the human race – some 4 billion people – the only factor that all women in the world have in common is that they are women.  The sample size is too big to assign any other guaranteed common characteristic.

      Assuming this, we can rule out “slacking on the job” (because some but not all women are slackers, and it would have to be all, or at least a statistical majority, to be valid), “lesser qualifications” (because some but not all women are less-qualified, and it would have to be all, or at least a statistical majority, to be valid), “it’s the economy, stupid” (because the economy affects different employers in different ways so not all would be forced to cut pay, and that entirely ignores gender), etc.  Once again, the only universally-met criterion is “chromosomally XX.”

      I certainly don’t pretend to have a complete grasp of all the details of the pay policies of all the employers in the world (or even one country) but from where I’m sitting, it looks very difficult to attribute the pay disparity between men and women to anything other than the sex of the employee.

      As a gender egalitarian who strives toward the erasure of all differences in perception of people of different sexes (aside from the unavoidable biological facts), this is utterly unacceptable to me.  Equal means equal, and paying people differently based on their being chromosomally XX or XY is a textbook example of inequality.

      • Ema Nekaf

        “Looking at it from a cause-and-effect standpoint, you’d have to
        examine what the groups (male people and female people) have in common
        amongst themselves to determine the cause of the wage disparity.”
        I dont think a cause and effect standpoint is the best way to go about this, case by case makes more sense to me.

        “If you’re saying that there’s nothing wrong with women –as a whole–
        earning less than men –as a whole–, then we’d have to examine what all
        women have in common with one another.  They’re obviously not all
        caucasian, Hispanic, black, Asian, middle-eastern, etc.  They’re
        obviously not all the same age.  They’re not all family, not all
        sisters, mothers, daughters, wives, nieces, and so on.  Country of
        origin, religion, political ideology, educational background, these
        things all vary within even small populations.  Given that we’re
        considering half the human race – some 4 billion people – the only
        factor that all women in the world have in common is that they are
        women.  The sample size is too big to assign any other guaranteed common
        characteristic.”

        There could easily be something besids being a women that affect the sample size that we simply don’t know about.

        Assuming this, we can rule out “slacking on the job” (because some
        but not all women are slackers, and it would have to be all, or at least
        a statistical majority, to be valid), “lesser qualifications” (because
        some but not all women are less-qualified, and it would have to be all,
        or at least a statistical majority, to be valid), “it’s the economy,
        stupid” (because the economy affects different employers in different
        ways so not all would be forced to cut pay, and that entirely ignores
        gender), etc.  Once again, the only universally-met criterion is
        “chromosomally XX.”

        There are severall problems with this paragraph. First, it only adresses three of the many reasons besids gender that could be affecting pay. Second, the rebutles are not good ones.
        Your rebuttleis  “because some
        but not all women are slackers, and it would have to be all, or at least
        a statistical majority, to be valid”. This is false, it would only have to apply to more women then men to affect the outcome. If even a small % of women slack more then men, then that will show on the pay anaylisis. 
        Your second is “because
        some but not all women are less-qualified, and it would have to be all,
        or at least a statistical majority, to be valid” this is invalid for the same reason as the first, If even a small % of women have less qualifications, then that will show on the pay anaylisis.
        Your third “because the economy affects different employers in different
        ways so not all would be forced to cut pay, and that entirely ignores
        gender” is false as well, because women have higher insurense premioums (last I cheked) and are more costly  and riskiere to have as employee’s, so it would make sense that the the first to go would be the most expensive employees. 
        Finally, it assumes that that every women is being payed less becuase they are a women, which is false.

        “I certainly don’t pretend to have a complete grasp of all the details of
        the pay policies of all the employers in the world (or even one
        country) but from where I’m sitting, it looks very difficult to
        attribute the pay disparity between men and women to anything other than
        the sex of the employee.

        As a gender egalitarian who strives toward the erasure of all
        differences in perception of people of different sexes (aside from the
        unavoidable biological facts), this is utterly unacceptable to me. 
        Equal means equal, and paying people differently based on their being
        chromosomally XX or XY is a textbook example of inequality.”

        All I can read from this is that you dont know its because of discrimination. You can only assume it is because you cant think of any other explanation.

        Just because you cant think of a better explanation does not mean the one you came up with is right, especially when the only evidence you have is “I cant think of anything else”.

        Saying “discrimination must be the cause of the pay gap,  no other
        explanation presents itself” Is like saying “The universe must have been
        started by a intelligent creator, no other explanation presents
        itself”.

        Unless can actually prove (not just “I cant see any other reason”)
        that discrimination specifically is the cause, there is no point in
        complaining about this pay gap.

        • CelticWhisper

           I can certainly understand and respect the desire to not jump to unfounded conclusions, and I do admit that I’m reaching just a bit (when, in all likelihood, I would condemn the religious for an equal amount of reaching to argue the existence of their gods), but I still can’t quite see how teh other factors you describe could account for such a widespread disparity.

          Certainly, they would be more than valid in individual case studies, but the probability of so many individual cases being similar enough to account for what is effectively a sex-wide shorting on pay seems too low to be plausible.

          • Ema Nekaf

            ” I can certainly understand and respect the desire to not jump to
            unfounded conclusions, and I do admit that I’m reaching just a bit
            (when, in all likelihood, I would condemn the religious for an equal
            amount of reaching to argue the existence of their gods), but I still
            can’t quite see how teh other factors you describe could account for
            such a widespread disparity.”

            Would not how “widspred” it is seem to indicate more then one factor is at play here? Provavble factors, such as women working less hours then men, taking lower risk-lower paying jobs then men, Being less assertive when setting pay,  and taking time off from work to raise children, slowing there career down.

            These factors are known, and have been proven.

            “Certainly, they would be more than valid in individual case studies,
            but the probability of so many individual cases being similar enough to
            account for what is effectively a sex-wide shorting on pay seems too low
            to be plausible.”

            Unless you wish to substantiate your claim with ACTUAL evidence, not just the faulty logic of “I cant think of a different answer” there is no point in continue this discussion.

            • CelticWhisper

               The inability to think of another answer isn’t faulty logic, it’s just not a compelling argument in my favor.  I readily admit that there is neither expectation nor grounds for believing a case based on a gut feeling, and I’m also admitting that because my personal and professional experience does not include any formal study into this pay-inequality matter, I have little else aside from a gut feeling.  It’s unfortunate for me but I’m at least trying to be honest about it.

              That said, working fewer hours and taking time off to raise children don’t seem to be arguments against the existence of discrimination because in those cases, work is not being done and thus dollars are not being earned.  My impression, which may again be mistaken due to my own deficiency in information on this matter, is that in otherwise-equal scenarios women are not paid as much as men for doing identical work.  Fewer hours worked would indeed account for less pay earned, but we’d then be comparing a man who worked a standard 40-hour week to a woman who worked, say, a 30-hour week.  To correctly compare, we’d have to take a 30-hour male employee and compare his earnings to the 30-hour female employee.

              Being less assertive I can understand would be an issue and it seems to me that it’s a matter of how we socialize children – female children are all too often taught to be meek and deferent rather than assertive and self-respecting.  I can’t see a large-scale solution to that aside from changing how we raise children so that male children and female children are both taught to stand up for themselves and have realistic appraisals of their value in society.

              Taking lower-risk-lower-pay jobs…again, wouldn’t that be a similar case to the less-hours-worked scenario?  Wouldn’t we have to compare wages between male and female employees with like job duties?  If the female employees are being paid less, that’s a problem.

              Please understand I’m not posting this just to be difficult or argumentative.  This is posted from a stance of honest, unintentional/unwillful ignorance and a desire to better understand the matter at hand.  I work in IT so my studies, my job, my day-to-day life experiences don’t really confer much insight upon me into what seems to be an HR issue professionally and a sociological issue academically.  Instinctively I feel like it should be akin to debugging a program – find the logic that sets $FEMALE_PAY to a lower value than $MALE_PAY and excise it.  I understand that it’s not that simple but I just don’t know what the answer is.

              I don’t expect you to change your stance and agree with me based on “it seems like it to me and I can’t come up with a better answer.”  You’d have no right to call yourself a rationalist or skeptic if you accepted anyone’s random claim without scrutiny.  I would, though, be interested in reading the findings of any studies done on the causes you’ve cited.  I don’t know much about this now but I’m certainly willing to learn.

  • Andrew Morgan

    It’s almost not even worth the trouble to point out, again, the number of ways in which the 77 cents figure is inaccurate, but the curious can start here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/fact-checker/post/the-white-houses-use-of-data-on-the-gender-wage-gap/2012/06/04/gJQAYH6nEV_blog.html.

    Hemant can publish on his blog whatever he chooses, but one would hope it would be better than tired — and misleading — talking points.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      In the end, she noted, all of the data showed “indisputable, major discrimination,” with women shorted at all educational levels and in most jobs.

      • Ema Nekaf

        That report no such thing.

        • Ema Nekaf

          I meant “that report showed no such thing”. The report the lady cited presented no evidince that the wage gap was caused by discrimination.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            The fact that women are shorted at all educational levels and in most jobs is evidence of discrimination.  How strong you think that evidence is is another matter. 

            I’m sure a lot of things contribute to the wage gap.  But since there are very few legitimate reasons for two people to earn different amounts for the same job, I think saying “there’s no evidence!” is kind of like playing the “not touching!” game.

            • Ema Nekaf

              First, women are not shorted at all educatinal levels at all. And the report she cited does not indicate that this either.

              Second, even if they where being shorted, that does not mean women are being shorted just because they are women (IE discrimination).

              “But since there are very few legitimate reasons for two people to earn
              different amounts for the same job, I think saying “there’s no
              evidence!” is kind of like playing the “not touching!” game.”

              There are dozens of legitimate reasons for two people earning different amounts for the same job. To name a few, original bargaining over pay, education, the amount of time worked, the attitude and effectiveness of the employee, previous job experince, disiplinary action, so on and so on.

              It is intellectually dishonest to attribute the wage gap between men and women to systemic discrimination just because you cant figure out any other explanation.  Especially when other explanations are abundant.

               

              • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

                It is intellectually dishonest to give reasons why two individuals might be paid differently and expect that to explain why large groups are paid so differently.

                Unless you’re suggesting that women on average have poorer attitudes, are less effective and require more disciplinary action then men.  In that case, sure, the wage gap is totally justified.  Heck, we should prohibit the fairer sex from manual labor, lest their uteruses fall out.

                • Ema Nekaf

                   “It is intellectually dishonest to give reasons why two individuals might
                  be paid differently and expect that to explain why large groups are
                  paid so differently.”

                  Of course it is, I am not saying that those reasons are the actual reasons, they are alternative reasons then the one that has been proposed. Which was the point I was trying to make.

                  “Unless you’re suggesting that women on average have poorer attitudes,
                  are less effective and require more disciplinary action then men.  In
                  that case, sure, the wage gap is totally justified.  Heck, we should
                  prohibit the fairer sex from manual labor, lest their uteruses fall out.”

                  Again, these are only alternate explanations, explanations besides discrimination that could potentially explain the wage gap.

                  I will copy pase a reply here.

                  Saying “discrimination must be the cause of the pay gap,  no other explanation presents itself” Is like saying “The universe must have been started by a intelligent creator, no other explanation presents itself”.

                  Unless can actually prove (not just “I cant see any other reason”)
                  that discrimination specifically is the cause, there is no point in
                  complaining about this pay gap.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=750428174 Paddy Reddin

    As much as this is an injustice and as much as I revile a lot of what the modern Republican party are up to, I have to ask..

    What as this got to do with Atheism?

    Or did I visit Friendlyfeminist.com by accident?

    • http://gloomcookie613.tumblr.com GloomCookie613

      A hundred times over: THIS! ^^^

    • CelticWhisper

      I have to agree with this.

      I have no problem at all with the large number of posts about people harassing people at skeptic/atheist/freethought conventions; this is because those are relevant in that they are concerned with keeping such conferences well-populated and productive.  If one subset of the skeptic community is making another subset feel unwelcome, ostracized, put upon, or otherwise uncomfortable with being a part of the community or community functions, then the problem needs to be addressed in an expedient, rational, and effective manner.  Those posts are, as I see them, part of a discussion on how to address the problem.

      However, this topic is only tangentially related to atheism which, to my knowledge, is still the focus of this website.  I understand that there is overlap between atheism and political progressivism, and that’s completely fine.  However, this isn’t a general cultural/political progressivism blog (again, as far as I’m aware).  It is specifically an atheist one.

      The fact that politicians are impeding the right of some people to earn
      pay equal to some other people when the pay disparity has nothing to do
      with qualification or job performance is simply unacceptable.  Please do
      not misinterpret my objection to this article as endorsement of the
      actions of the elected officials in question.  However, it seems to me that apart from the interest overlap between progressive politics and rationalism, there’s no direct link between pay equality and atheist news.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Hemant Mehta

      It’s not directly connected to atheism. I just find it really interesting and worth talking about. Does there need to be any other reason? If you don’t like it, you may cancel your subscription at anytime. I offer full refunds.

      • AxeGrrl

        Your interests/concerns are certainly inspiring a lot of whining lately :)

        • Fsq

          Why is it “whining” when it goes agaisnt your beliefs?

          Seriously. If it was in favor, I am betting you would say it was “voicing actively” but when it is against, it is whinning.

          Come on Axe, you are better than that.

          We may disagree most of the time, but you ARE better than that.

          • AxeGrrl

            Why is it “whining” when it goes agaisnt your beliefs?

            My beliefs?  You mean my belief that Hemant can post whatever the hell he wants on his own frigging blog?

            Every baby-eating pic or joke makes me roll my eyes but you don’t hear me whining every time he posts a pic of a baby dressed up like carrot.

            If he posts half a dozen things on math you won’t hear me whining “what does this have to do with atheism?”

            As Hemant already expressed, if people don’t like what he posts here, they’re under no obligation to keep reading.  Pretty simple. That was my only point.

      • Franklin

         While I recognize this is your website, I find the fact that you’d allow such “factual” nonsense on a site that claims to be about “skepticism” really astounding.

        We definitely DO live in a gendered society where both women and men face negative gender stereotypes, both conscious and overt, that bleed over into the actions and events that affect our lives.  By no means are women treated as equals as men in many, many areas of life.

        However, the specific “77 cents” statistic is a mish-mash of purposeful misinterpretation and overt dis-ingenuousness.  It’s the equivalent of Ken Ham’s banana=proof of god argument, and that’s what makes me scared for you and your site, Hemant.

        In Ken Ham’s case, he really, really wants to believe in God.  Thus, he cherry picks evidence that proves that – only, his evidence, the banana-fits-perfectly-into-our-hand nonsense, falls apart under scrutiny because we realize the facts that undermine it.  You often reference how silly that argument is, and rightfully so.

        In your case, you really, really want to show that women are discriminated against in our world – a much more intelligent and just goal than Ken Ham’s above.  However, allowing this “77 cents” nonsense on your site, you’re also cherry picking evidence to support yourself (which is odd since there’s plenty of REAL, stable evidence out there).

        The “77 cents” idea falls apart under factual inquiry and even basic common sense, just like Ken Ham’s banana idea, but since the “77 cents” information helps something you agree with, you just accept it at face value.

        That’s a dangerous path for a skeptic, and honestly, it’s hypocritical – making fun of Christians for their terrible “facts” to support their ideas while doing the same yourself.

        • unclemike

           Just saying the 77 cents idea falls apart without actually providing factual evidence of it doing so isn’t really helping your point.

          I’ve actually never seen any evidence that shows women earn exactly the same as men (or even more), so I’m curious about this factual inquiry of which you speak.

          • Franklin

             There’s many links to it in the comments section already, but it boils down to the statistic is purposely misleading.  A woman doing the same job with the same educational background and the same hours does not earn a smaller paycheck as a man.

            The difference in pay – the 77 cents thing – comes from many other factors coming into play- women work fewer hours, women take more time off, women tend to do less-dangerous indoor work rather than more dangerous outdoor work, women tend to go into fields that pay less than men, etc. etc.

            So, the 77 cents thing is not about a woman earning a smaller paycheck than an exact male counterpart.  It’s a mashing together of ALL of these factors, and more.  Yet by distilling it to a talking point of “a woman earns only 77% of a man’s salary” is grossly misleading and dishonest.

            The fact that this site would allow such nonsense without challenge is ridiculous. 

            • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

              “The difference in pay – the 77 cents thing – comes from many other factors coming into play- women work fewer hours, women take more time off, women tend to do less-dangerous indoor work rather than more dangerous outdoor work, women tend to go into fields that pay less than men, etc. etc.”

              I haven’t vetted your claims yet, but I intend to do so…but for now I just want to address a couple of points.

              Women take lots of time off in the states particularly for maternity leave. In nearly every other developed Western country, maternity leave is paid (and many times, paternity leave, too!). Women are forced to take extra time off to have and recover from having children. Why? Sexism. 

              Women work in less dangerous jobs because of sexist assumptions that only men can drive forklifts and only women can answer telephones. 

              And what about that last one? Fields that “pay less” than men? Why is that? Is it because women truly aren’t into making money, or is it because it’s harder for a woman to succeed in male-dominated upper echelons? (Also, it’s irrelevant because the comparison is between the same jobs across gender, NOT across different fields – the whole point is that you can be a female fry cook and STILL possibly make less than a male counterpart over time for no discernable reason other than your gender. That’s why it’s a systematic issue.)

              • Franklin

                See, nobody said the 77 cents thing wasn’t due to gender issues.  It is.  Nobody said otherwise, so you shouldn’t assume.

                But the statistic “women earn 77 cents on the dollar as men” is factually incorrect.  It’s a talking point.  It’s nonsense.  A man and woman working the same job with the same education and hours do not walk away Friday afternoon with different sized paychecks  That’s all people in this thread are saying.

                It’s intellectually dishonest, and covers up the REAL gender issues.

        • Jeff Akston

          Absolutely. 

          It’s Hemant’s site and he has every right to sponsor posts about stuff that has nothing to do (even tangentially) with atheism/religion/skepticism.

          But the key point in the response above is that for a site that prides itself on “skepticism”, having a post that is making a 100% partisan attack and doing so with a completely disingenuous statistic pretty much flies in the face of what I’d expected from this site.

          While the right is the one who tends to be more foolish religious than the left, this site hasn’t struck me as a DailyKos/DU type of place that puts partisanship ahead of pragmatic rationalism.

          The OP is complete crap.

      • Fsq

        Hemant,

        I have a lot of respect for you and your work, but it really is becoming a bit of a “bait and switch” here. Now, if this is the direction you wish to take with your blog, that is fine. Just don’t expect the atheist community to take a shining to it, especially when you so actively try to co-opt the community into your feminist slants.

        Your blog for sure, but it is a bait-and-switch with a moniker of “Friendly Atheist”.

        • amycas

          It’s not bait and switch. You know, and have known for quite some time, that Hemant and his contributors are interested and like to have dialogues about women’s issues. You know this. The posts are titled, and it’s they’re easily formatted so you can skip the ones you’re not interested in. It’s not a bait and switch, it’s Hemant and his contributors discussing issues that matter to them. Issues that you know matter to them. If it doesn’t matter to you, then skip the post.  Really, how difficult would it be for you to just skip the post instead of coming in every time to whine about the feminists?

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    Why do so many people get butt-hurt over women’s rights posts but not gay rights posts?

    • Ema Nekaf

      Because the gay rights posts dont use bad stats, for one.

      Becasue of the parales between our movments, for another. In many places coming out as atheist is just as bad as coming out as gay.

      Also because the main driving factor behind anti gay legislation is religion.

      • http://www.shadesthatmatter.blogspot.com asmallcontempt

        The main driving factor behind anti-woman and anti-choice legislation is ingrained sexism that stems from religious belief.

        Or is there a rational basis for paying women less for the same work?

        • Franklin

           You’re being purposely disingenuous.  If OP’s article talked about the Christian Right demanding smaller paychecks for women because the Bible declares women less than men, you’d have a point.

          But OP is just a random feminist statistic – a bad one at that – that doesn’t mention god, atheism, Christianity, anything.

      • amycas

        How about the fact that sexism is ingrained in our society. So much so that it affects basically all subsets of society, including the attitudes of those in the atheist movement. We don’t even have to tie the sexism to religion to see that the sexist attitudes of society at large leak into the attitudes of those in the atheist community. So, in as much as atheists are still members of the larger community of American society, speaking about women’s issues is relevant to EVERYBODY.

    • ErickaMJohnson

       Gay rights posts deal directly with the separation of church and state and thus deal directly with atheist causes.

    • Fsq

      I think one reason is because the feminist movement truly tries to co-opt the atheist and secular community/movement so fervently.

      Seriously. And when you listen to the rhetoric from the feminist side, it is remisniscent of the christian arguments and illogical positions.

      Also, there is more of a religious effort to destroy LGBT rights and communities versus women.

      That said, yes, the religious community does try to sunjugate and discrimate against woemn, which is vile and reprehensible, but the feminists do themselve no favors in the approach they take with concern to the atheist/secular movement.

      All atheists are not feminists, and all feminists are not atheists. Keep them separate.

      • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

        Another that comes to mind is privilege.  We’re used to things the way they are.

        • Fsq

          Have you stopped beating your wife?

          That is the basic premise of the “privilege” argument. It cannot be successfully defended against because it is a false dichotomy. No matter how you respond, you are fucked. It is a disingenuous argument and one that further pushes the sides apart instead of trying to find common ground.

          • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

            I don’t think that’s the premise of the argument, but I do agree that it makes it insufficient as an argument.  Is that evasive enough?

            Saying “That’s Privilege!” isn’t in and of itself an argument.  I shouldn’t try to persuade anyone by calling privilege.  I can say it to explain why I think we’re not communicating, but it’s my statement of opinion not, “you should change because I said you’re suffering from privilege”.  As I’ve harped before, arguments need to be falsifiable, and ‘privilege’ is not.

            • Fsq

              Ya see, dammit Rich, there you go talking sense and making me agree with you, making it very freaking hard for me to be a snarky prick!

              I agree with your above, and yes, I do feel we ALL should be working toward common ground, with less indefensible positioning….

          • amycas

             Saying somebody has privilege is not a personal attack/accusation in the same way as asking “have you stopped beating your wife.” People have privilege whether they want to or not. I have white privilege, but I’m also a bisexual woman, so I lose on those counts. Of course, being bi but in a relationship with a man right now, I get to take some advantage (not by any fault of my own) of heterosexual privilege. It’s not an accusation, it’s a statement of fact about how differential treatment of different segments of society. You don’t have to be defensive about being told you have privilege.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Montes-de-Oca/100000177616186 Francis Montes de Oca

    Lovely post Lauren. It saddens me to read some of these comments and all the bad vibes I get from them. Such a shame really.

    There are several posts on this site that don’t have “anything to do” with atheism. However, one thing Hemant wishes is to help make women feel more welcome into the movement, and atheists caring about women’s issues like they care about gay rights issues is a good start. Some of these comments do the exact opposite of bringing more women to the movement; they actually help push us away.

    There are some blog posts I like and some I don’t like, last I checked I wasn’t forced to read any of them. So what’s the big deal?

    • Franklin

      Many atheists like coffee as well.  I look forward to the site hiring a blogger to talk about the goings-on at Starbucks.

      Many atheists enjoy hiking.  I look forward to the site hiring a blogger to talk about hiking trails and issues related to the environment.

      repeat infinitely

      • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

        Yeah, because discussing coffee is as important as discussing gender discrimination on a progressive blog.

        • Franklin

           Odd, I thought this was a blog about atheism, not general progressivism.

          • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

            Gee, seeing as this blog’s owner just explained above that his blog also touches frequently on issues that interest him outside of explicit atheism (which, if you haven’t noticed, tend to skew fairly liberal), I don’t think I’m really that far off the mark.

            Regardless, your dismissiveness of the issue at hand is noted.  Discussing Starbucks is as worthwhile as discussing gender discrimination.  Got it.

            • Franklin

               Starbucks makes a big deal about using sustainable coffee from suppliers that don’t use quasi-slavery to pick the beans.

              I look forward to the exploration of this progressive issue in the blog because apparently all progressive issues are connected.

              • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

                Maybe if I had said that all progressive issues are connected, you’d have a point.

              • amycas

                Actually, I think that would be a pretty cool thing to read about. I would welcome a post about it on Heman’ts blog.

        • Fsq

          Are you kidding? Without coffee I can’t even unzip my fly to take a whizz. Coffee is WAY more important than social issues…..

          • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

            If you drank less coffee, the fly issue would be a far less, erm, pressing concern. :)

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Francis-Montes-de-Oca/100000177616186 Francis Montes de Oca

        I’m sorry that you skimmed through my post and didn’t take the time to read one way in which women’s issues are connected to the atheist movement. You’re welcome to find other examples in other comments and throughout the site.

        Please refer to my last two sentences in the post you skimmed through. Better yet, refer to Hemant’s comment. If you’re so unhappy with the content, you’re welcome to start your own blog that doesn’t mention women’s issues, coffee, or hiking.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

        1) Coffee drinkers and hikers aren’t discriminated against. If there was discrimination in this country against coffee drinkers or hikers because of religious reasons, then it would be a better comparison. And yes, sexism is largely rooted in religion, though in a much more subtle way than homophobia is. 
        2) I’m willing to bet that you don’t regularly read every atheist blog you come across. You probably find some too boring, some too off topic, or some that you don’t quite agree with. If this blog doesn’t fit your criteria for a blog that you would want to read regularly, then stop reading it. There are other atheist blogs out there. Also, (I don’t know if you knew this was an option) you don’t have to read every post. 

      • amycas

         Fuck you for trivializing women’s rights issues.

  • Justin Miyundees

    About 25 years ago my wife was denied a partnership flat out and expressly because she was female. The other partners in the firm went on to make millions when the founder sold out and we got to sit and watch the company collapse as the partners one by one cashed in their chips. The knew they could screw her over because of the nature of the business. If she kicked up a fuss, she could lose AND never land another client – who in their right mind would hire anyone remotely connected to a sexual discrimination case? This is still true today – women don’t dare speak up. And apparently, that’s not about to change.

    Nice.

    • Ema Nekaf

      Oh that comment is just stupid.

      It is 25 years old, anecdotal as all hell, and you provided no proof that she was denied a partsdhip because discrimination, and not some other factor. Heck you provided no evidence that this whole thing even happend anyways.

      Even if it was true, it does not back up your assertion that women don’t dare speak up. Your supposed wife is just one women.

      I hate posts like this, nothing but fluf, no reasoning, no logic, just “I have exactly one piece of unverifiable, anecdotal evidence that sort of kind of not really backs up a silly claim”.

      • Johann

        I would reply to your post, but first I require proof that you actually wrote it and did not have it ghostwritten for you by another person, claimed as yours by an impersonator, or otherwise misattributed. Until you provide such proof, I will persist in showering you with hostile and condescending faux-skepticism because your alleged experience and the clearly erroneous conclusions you draw from it do not perfectly align with my preferred point of view.

        • Ema Nekaf

          “I would reply to your post, but first I require proof that you actually
          wrote it and did not have it ghostwritten for you by another person,
          claimed as yours by an impersonator, or otherwise misattributed.”

           Who wrote the post, and whethor or or not my post was ghost written, or by an imposter,  is irrelevant to my assertion.

          “Until you provide such proof, I will persist in showering you with
          hostile and condescending faux-skepticism because your alleged
          experience and the clearly erroneous conclusions you draw from it do not
          perfectly align with my preferred point of view.”

          No Personal experience  has been presented, and no conclusion has been drawn for said alleged experience, so no proof of it is necessary.

          Oh, and you know how they say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?
          They are wrong, you know, its not wit at all.

          • Johann

            Oh, and you know how they say sarcasm is the lowest form of wit?

            That wasn’t sarcasm, Indeterminate Stranger Impersonating Ema Nekaf This Time. That was mockery. =)

          • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

            Why do you have to reply by repeating everything the person just said in quotes and then replying to it? I know what they said. I just read it. It’s right up there. ^
            It makes the posts a lot harder to wade through.

  • Hibernia86

    Well, since this post has been made, I’ll discuss it. From the information I’ve seen, I think that the pay gap is a real problem that should be dealt with and hopefully a bill can be passed that will help. The reason for the pay gap is more controversial. It can’t be based on just hiring practices. If companies just decided to hire women at 77 cents per dollar for men, then another company would come along, give women 85 cents per dollar for men, get all the women to come there because of the higher wages, get the same work that the other companies are paying the men more for, save money, and thus run the other companies out of business. Since that isn’t happening, the pay gap can’t be just based on hiring.

    So what is it? One common theory is pregnancy. If you take off of work to have a child and raise it, then you will miss chances for career advancement and thus fall behind of the pay scale. According to the American Association of University Women, if you account for many factors (college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, GPA, institution, selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status, and number of children), then after 10 years of work there is a 12% gap in pay between men and women. This would seem to indicate that 11 percentage points of the difference in wages is due to the fact that women were primarily the ones who took off of work to raise the children.

    http://www.aauw.org/learn/research/upload/simpletruthaboutpaygap1.pdf
    (see page 8)
    So what about the other 12%? It may be that companies are expecting women to take off of work for several years to raise children at some point, which will force the companies to hire temporary workers that may not be trained. This 12% lower pay for women may be the companies way of making up that money.
    So what is the best way to solve the pay gap? If what I have said is true, then encouraging both genders to take more equal time off of work to raise the kids should end the pay gap. We can test the theory and see if it works.

    • amycas

      “If companies just decided to hire women at 77 cents per dollar for men,
      then another company would come along, give women 85 cents per dollar
      for men, get all the women to come there because of the higher wages,
      get the same work that the other companies are paying the men more for,
      save money, and thus run the other companies out of business”

      This would be true only if women’s work was valued as much as men. It could be that the companies just have an unconscious bias against women and therefore don’t end up paying them less. Also, some of it could be due to the fact that they are hired at the same rate, but women are passed over for raises.

  • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

     Again, the wage gap myth.  Another feminist failure at skepticism. 
    These stats are constructed by using overly broad categories, ignoring
    many factors that legitimately go into compensation and non monetary
    compensation.

    A bachelors in comm. is worth less that one in computer science, even though they are both the same  ‘level’ of education.

    A person who works 50 hours a week will make more than one who works 40, yet both are classified full time.

    Working outdoors in crappy weather also will also get one more money
    that doing a job requiring similar skills in a climate controlled
    office.

    If you want to see if there is real wage discrimination you have to compare:

    people doing the same job

    with the same amount of uninterrupted history

    in the same regions

    You have to go by the total hours actually worked including commute time
    over at least a year (jobs requiring travel to beyond a daily commute
    are a complication, but I don’t imagine it would be too difficult to
    figure).

    You then need to add the actual wages and the dollar value of benefits consumed, including expected retirement benefits.

    Finally divide the hours by the total compensation.  Then you will be able to see if there is real wage discrimination.

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      And have you been doing your own research to counter these claims? Or are you simply interested in trolling?

      • Fsq

        What is with you and “trolls”. Did you grow up in northern Norway and get molested by trolls? Did you just finsih reading some “Harry Potter”?

        Every other word out of your mouth is “troll this” or “troll that”.

        Come on, if you are going to play in the sandbox, get some new material.

        You are becoming the Rodney Dangerfield around here, only your catchphrase is “Troll”.

      • https://sites.google.com/site/ferulebezelssite/ Ferule Bezel

         The lack of good research doesn’t make bad research good.  I’ve not been able to find good research on this and nor has anyone has been able to point me to any. 

        Of course I haven’t done my own research.  I don’t have access to the data or the means to fund it.

        The burden of proof is on those claiming that employers would pay half their workforce 30% more than they have to to get the job done if they didn’t have to.

  • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

    This is interesting.  The industry with the smallest wage gap is- construction.
    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/02/17/the-gender-pay-gap-by-industry/ 

    And now I can’t find it but teaching (where you’d think the people would be doing pretty much the same job) was better than average 90%

    As for proof that discrimination is a factor (obviously not the only factor) study in which people rate a customer service rep.  Rep is an actor, and men get rated higher than women.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Male%E2%80%93female_income_disparity_in_the_United_States#Bias_favoring_men 

    And identical resumes with male or female names, male names get more call backs.

    And I’ve seen this in a few places

    the research shows is that most of the gender pay gap — about 60 percent of it, in fact — can be attributed to factors other than gender discrimination, such as choice of industry, choice of occupation, years of work experience, and union status

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/realspin/2012/05/21/mind-the-malefemale-income-gap-but-dont-exaggerate-it/ 

    That still leaves 40% of the wage gap attributed to gender.  And of course gender discrimination can play an influence in things like career choice, and ability to get better experience, but we’re getting several degrees removed here.

  • Lokicleo

    Ideally, legislation like this would pass, but in the environment we’re currently in (gov’t putting business before human beings, war on women, etc) it is almost inconceivable.   

    I’ve been thinking about this, and pay in general…How about legislation that required job postings to include the pay range?  That would not be giving ‘special rights’ to anyone, it would be ‘letting the market decide’. It would still slightly inconvenience (translation: create a huge unnecessary burden on) business. So probably still not gonna happen. But imagine how much more efficient your next job search could be? How much easier it would be to push for a raise, if an opening came up for a similar position for more $?  If they publish a pay range, a woman hired for the job would have to be at least WITHIN that job range, even if they pay her at the low end.   And the legislation could specify how wide that range can be.  Do you think that would work?  If so, it would work for race, age and other pay discrimination issues too.

    And for all the commenters who think gay discrimination is based on religion, and discrimination against women is not… Seriously? Have you heard of religion?  have you read the bible, the koran, any religious text?  

    Ok, this is good. This is a revelation. THIS might be where all this sexist crap in our movement is coming from.  Can we have a discussion about that?

    • CelticWhisper

       Forcing employers to specify a pay range sounds good but I can’t help but think it’s still loose enough for them to sleaze their way around it.  There’s passing over for promotions/raises, “negotiations” during interviews, and various other creative accounting practices that I’m not thinking of right now to comply with the letter of the law whilst simultaneously putting the spirit of the law through a meat grinder.

      Still, I’m tempted to say “bring it” anyway.  Businesses want to play the pay-inequality game, they invited this upon themselves.  Maybe it will prove to be enough of an inconvenience to smaller shops that they’ll be so busy complying with it that they won’t have the time or resources to plan how to screw their female employees out of due compensation.

      • The Other Weirdo

         Is that really how small shops prefer to spend their time? Thinking up more nefarious methods to screw their female employees of out of due compensation? Or medium shops? Or large shops? With so many women in HR departments?

        • Fsq

          AHHH…AH..AHHHHHHHH….

          SEXIST.

          You just said HR has more woemn…..AHHHH AH AH AHHHHHHHHHHH….misogynist…..sexist……

          Next, you are going to lay claim that nursing has more women….AH AH AHHHHHHHHHHH……

          Sexist.

          How dare you pollute these waters with facts…..

  • Elabryth

    The idea of this bill is a good one. Though this bill couldn’t get passed, even, with a democratically controlled Congress. It was re-introduced, knowing it was going to fail, to make Republicans look bad. It is that simple. They look bad on their own, Democrats do not need to be disingenuous with introducing bills, that they know are going to fail, just to make them look worse.

    • CelticWhisper

       It’s always unfortunate when gratuitous political maneuvering takes priority over actually trying to fix problems.  The people tend, far more often than not, to bear the burden of one politician or party’s agenda.

      That said, something positive could still come of this if it gets the people to make this a major electoral issue.  One of the few good things that come from the clusterfuck of grandstanding that generally happens on election years – incidents like this are fresh in the people’s minds and if some GOP legis-leeches realize they’re about to get the boot because of their vote on this, the others might take notice and realize why.

  • The Other Weirdo

    I’ve heard this for years and years and years, and I have yet to understand how it works. 77 cents on the dollar claim has been  around for so long and hasn’t budged that it’s beginning to take on mythical proportions.

    Do women working in a particular industry, doing the same work as men, with the same education and practical experience, for the exact same length of time, the same drive and focus, really make 77% of what men make per hour? And more importantly, do 2 men in the same position described above make the same?

    • Gus Snarp

      I hesitated to even read the comments on this post, let alone make one, but you seem to be asking an honest question, so I’ll give you my best honest answer.

      77% is the average wage difference between men and women overall, so differences in the kinds of jobs mean and women tend to have definitely play a role in that number, a pretty big one, in fact. But that doesn’t mean that number doesn’t reflect a real societal problem: Why is women’s work less valued? Why are women encouraged to go into low paying fields while men aren’t? There are a lot of issue here that should be fixed, but this legislation doesn’t really address those issue, legislation probably can’t.

      That doesn’t make this number necessarily misleading when applied to this debate, the overall wage difference says something about the importance of correcting the wage difference in the same job, and that wage difference does exist, it’s just not 33%. I don’t remember the exact difference, but overall I feel like it’s something like 5%, although it’s a much harder number to calculate.

      What this bill, and the Lilly Ledbetter Act actually do is pretty fair though. Lilly Ledbetter says that women can sue if they find that a man with the same qualification and experience in the exact same job for the same company is paid more. What the new bill would do is simply change time limits for filing that suit. Currently the time limits are pretty absurd, given how difficult it is for a woman to even find out she is being underpaid.

      It should also be pointed out that the woman has a pretty tough case to prove. If the company can show that her output is less, that she doesn’t perform as well, whatever, they win. She has to show that she was really doing the same job, there can’t be any difference in evaluations or anything else in their records. There’s really nothing to fear here, this provides only a very small opportunity for women who can actually prove specific discrimination, with a very high bar, to recoup some money. That’s all.

      • The Other Weirdo

         So, you’re saying that, basically, the Republicans said, “No, you can’t hold a company hostage over pay for .”

        What if they find that another woman instead of a man is being paid more under that exact scenario? What if a man finds another man is being paid more? Or a woman?

        Is it really true that women are encouraged toward more lower-paying fields? Is it true in the secular space? In the theistic space?

        Are women truly encouraged not to become doctors and scientists?

        • Gus Snarp

          No, I’m not saying that at all, and I no longer think you were asking an honest question.

          BTW, I was wrong, Lilly Ledbetter changed the time limits, renewing the limit with each discriminatory paycheck, that’s not random, nor is it holding anyone hostage.

          The Fair Pay Act largely deals with other legal technicalities making it slightly easier for women to win a discrimination case and making the penalties a bit more significant, it would still be damned hard to win a wage discrimination case.

          “What if a man finds another man is being paid more?” – Now you’re just being dishonest. The question here is discrimination. If you can find something there is discrimination based on and prove that discrimination, then you’ve got a case, if not, you don’t, period.

          “Are women truly encouraged not to become doctors and scientists?” That’s the wrong question. The right one is “Are women encouraged to become doctors and scientists to the extent that men are?” and the answer is no, women, on average, are not encouraged to pursue those careers the way men, on average, are. 

        • amycas

           “Is it really true that women are encouraged toward more lower-paying fields?”
          Yes, from a young age girls are taught to be pretty and passive and are not encouraged to enter STEM fields. Women are encouraged to go into nursing rather than be a doctor. Or be a law assistant instead of a lawyer. There are concerted efforts by many groups to fix this, but it is a societal wide problem. So, even though the local university might send in some people to talk to girls in junior high about a career in engineering or science, that influence still pales in comparison to the messages (conscious and unconscious) they receive everyday that discourage them from those fields.

  • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

    To all the “What does this have to do with atheism?” trolls:

    Atheism is usually (not always) a result of skepticism. Feminism is a subset of skepticism, a logical movement which says that both sexes should be equal. Podcasts such as the Godless Bitches combine atheism with feminism. So if a presumably feminist author who is a guest poster on The Friendly Atheist wants to post about a feminist and equal-rights issue… so what? It’s not your blog, stop pretending like you have any say into what topics are discussed and which ones aren’t.

    You will be hard pressed to find many atheist blogs nowadays that don’t touch upon feminist issues.

    • CelticWhisper

       I appreciate your taking the time to clarify the relationship between feminism/gender-equity and atheism, but as someone who made an honest inquiry into that relevancy, I don’t appreciate being blindly labeled a troll.

      Certainly there have been those who seek to stymie discussion regarding gender rights by treating the matter of relevancy as a card to be played and I would agree that those people are indeed trolling, but some people come here to find discussion of issues specifically pertaining to lack of religious belief and I don’t believe it is wrong for them to make a good-faith (pardon my language) inquiry as to what a post has to do with nonbelief.

      Of course it is Hemant’s blog and of course anyone is welcome to start their own blog with as broad or narrow a focus as they wish.  At the same time, I don’t feel it’s necessary to throw accusations of antagonism at people (which, yes, includes me) who are simply wondering what an article has to do with being nonreligious.

    • Franklin

       Someone who doesn’t agree with you is automatically a troll?

      Well, I can stop reading your ideas for now on.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        It appears that my idea of the definition of the word “troll” is different than the generally accepted definition. For using it out of place, I apologize. It was mostly out of frustration regarding what I perceived as the derailing of a valid discussion simply because it was assumed to be off-topic by some. Again, sorry for calling people trolls when they really weren’t intending to be such.

        • Fsq

          that’s right. Move the goalpost mid-game.

          Come on Rich, you are better than this.

          • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

            I’m not moving goal-posts. I am apologizing for calling people trolls when it’s clear they were not trolling.

            I’m not sure what more I can say. I was wrong, and I’m sorry.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              50 lashes with wet noodley appendages!

              And put the fucking goal posts back!

              • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

                I’ve moved the goal posts to Antarctica, where nobody will find them! Meet those evidential requirements, bastards! Mwahahaha…

                Although I think Fsq was referring to another comment of mine, where I was in fact being an idiot and moving the goal posts.

                • Fsq

                  Mea Culpa accepted and now forgotten….but I warn you…..Antarctica is not THAT far away!!!

                  (my adventuring arse was down there two years ago!)

    • Fsq

      Hey, fuck you with your label of “trolls”. Seriously. SO when anyone disagrees and dares post about it, they become “trolls”?

      What kind of myopic and repressive idiot are you?

      • amycas

        I think they become trolls when they post the same question that has already been answered ever time a post about women’s issues comes up. Seriously, ever time. 

    • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

      I’d like to reiterate my apology. I’m sorry for calling anybody trolls who were asking an honest question about this not having to do with atheism. I should have explained it rationally without the use of insults, which is something that I detest. As Matt Dillahunty likes to say, “We are all stupid about something,” and I tend to be stupid about resorting to insults when there really is no need (not that there is ever a real need for it), as well as misusing terms better reserved for those who truly deserve the monicker of “troll”. Again, I apologize to all.

    • anon101

      Feminisms is a subset of skepticism is not even worng. There are
      feminists that explicitly because they are feminists are in favor of
      legalizing prostitution and there are feminists that explicitly
      because they are feminists want to ban prostitution. And none of
      these positions are fringe positions. Thus an ideology that is so
      conflicted about a very central question cannot have any skeptical
      roots.

      • http://yetanotheratheist.com/ TerranRich

        Well, it’s not like there’s a fixed dogma associated with skepticism. You can have two skeptical, critically-thinking people that disagree on a number of topics. That doesn’t mean one or the other is not a skeptic.

      • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_6OE7LEYELE4MZTVXGZUSVTBFUI julie

        Feminism is about equality for women. That is the one thing that all feminists will agree on. They have different opinions about other issues, but that’s fine. Atheism is a lack of belief in gods, but there are also many other issues that are debated within the atheist movement. 

  • the other jenny

    There’s no contesting the notion that everyone, regardless of gender, should be paid fairly for the work they do. However, the so-called wage gap exists for a number of reasons, and they don’t all net out to Republicans hating women who work outside the home. Naturally, a part of this is due to unlawful gender discrimination, but a big part also involves the women themselves. I’m not laying blame, but women are not the workplace victims now that they used to be in the 70s and even the 80s.

    Forcibly bridging this gap, like a lot of well-meaning regulation, would actually stultify wages for both men & women. So instead of making sure women are paid fairly for the work they choose to do (and yes, they do choose their work, even out of the necessity of paying the bills), this sort of regulation ends up making sure women are paid the same degraded wages as their male counterparts. 

    I don’t know about you, but I work very hard at what I’ve chosen to do and I know I’m paid fairly for it. And I know for damn sure I do NOT want to be paid the same as some male coworker who’s probably not even close to matching my effort. So, please do not try to bridge my wage gap, because you’ll likely be giving me a significant pay cut. And since I’m a single mom, you’ll be making it even harder on me to raise my child. 

    • the other jenny

      And as an added bonus, this from reason.com, on the difference between fairness and equality:

      http://reason.com/archives/2012/06/06/the-democrats-fairness-canard

      • JamesEmery

        Not to nitpick, but reason.com cites no actual sources in this article, and is not known for being either logically consistent or relying on valid premises for their arguments.  In their case, ‘reason’ is as big a misnomer as they come :P

  • Fsq

    The GOP is a scary bunch of cocksuckers. This is disgusting and vile. Equal pay should not even be an ISSUE, but to remove the right to even sue….WTF.

    And then, add in what just happened in Wisconsin yesterday and the time is ripe to leave this fucking country forerver. The common slob-in-the-street has been hoodwinked and convinced to vote against their interests.

    America, we will miss you.

    • AxeGrrl

      The common slob-in-the-street has been hoodwinked and convinced to vote against their interests.

      That’s what gets me.   How does this happen?  are people just not paying attention?  or is it that, combined with “i’ve always voted ____ and I’m always GOING to vote ____” or something?

      In any event, it’s depressing and disillusioning.

  • http://twitter.com/mjparme Michael Parmeley

    The 77 cents for every dollar a man makes is largely a myth.  This link explains it pretty well: http://www.moneytalksnews.com/2011/03/02/women-men-fuzzy-math/

    Even today more woman than men stay home with the kids so the woman that are staying home bring down the average salary for woman making it appear that there is a gender gap in earnings (staying home isn’t the only confounding factor, but it is an easy one to illustrate).

    When men and women, doing the same job, are compared the gap vanishes. 

    Of course when you say stuff like this everyone assumes you are some misogynistic asshole, I assure you I am not, simply pointing out the facts. I would like to see evidence that this “77 cents” figure exists (I am a skeptic, what can I say).

  • anon101

    The fundamental difference is that atheists in the US are a minority
    whereas women in the US are a majority. Putting aside as has already
    been pointed out that far less than 40 % of the wage gap are due to
    discrimination (the studies exist) the reason why this legislation
    did not pass is not that the women are somehow suppressed. It is
    because 75 % of the women did not think it to be important enough to
    vote accordingly.

    • amycas

      That doesn’t mean women aren’t systematically margenalized. (that’s why when discussing rights, we talk about the margenalized people, not just the minority. The %1 are certainly a minority, but they are not margenalized.)

  • http://twitter.com/HumanistTweeter Humanist Tweeter

    I don’t really mind issues of gender equality being talked about on the forum. I’d worry that the misogynistic radfem idiots would show up waving their flags and branding us all as operating under false consciousness, but that would be easy enough to counter – I’d just move on. My biggest bugbear here is the apparently wholesale acceptance of a statistic for no reason other than that it appears on a pretty little chart. TERRIBLE faux pas for a blog that claims to be interested in truth, and from an author who’s the founder of a skeptic organisation. These statistics are the ones pushed by the radfems that pair up with the Christian right on so many issues it’s quite frankly amazing that they manage to still label themselves ‘feminist’ at all without laughing out loud.

    For anyone interested, the pay difference is more like 99.8 cents for a woman to every 1 dollar for a man. There are many, many sources that indicate why, but this video’s a decent start.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwogDPh-Sow 

    • Franklin

       The 4 minute movie you linked explains perfectly why OP’s chart is disingenuous nonsense and a factual lie.

      The fact that it’s STILL UP on a website that claims to be about skeptical inquiry and dogged pursuit of truth is insane.

      I notice that nobody else responded to you.  Where’s Hemant’s response as to why a random chart of lies (that has nothing to do with atheism) is a good idea for his atheist blog?  Where are all the responses from all the “pro-women” (for lack of a better term) who are yelling in other sub-threads of this page?

      If you champion yourself as a proponent of truth against religion, and then hide and pretend your support of lies in other areas – read: OP’s post – you are nothing more than a base hypocrite, and this whole issue makes Hemant’s blog look like a biased amateur project just as bad as religionists and their fake facts.

      • Humanist Tweeter

        Being a very ‘pro women’ woman is WHY I’m so irritated when people get this shit wrong. Equality is the place we should be aiming for, not ‘revenge’ on men, and not a new sort of social order that puts women on top.  Having radical feminists with these sinister goals put forward made-up statistics is bad enough, but when it comes from a place that purports to be for a thinking, free, sceptical mind, and it’s so blatantly propagandist, it’s even more sickening.

    • AxeGrrl

      the radfems that pair up with the Christian right on so many issues

      This question will undoubtedly reveal my ignorance, but I’d like to not be ignorant, so I’ll ask it……

      can you expand a bit on the “many issues” that radical feminists and the Christian right are in on together?  Because i’m trying to think of some and i’m coming up blank……but I definitely want to hear more if this (depressing) suggestion is true.

      • Franklin

        The issues that radical feminists and the religious right agree on tend to be social issues.  For example, both groups detest the objectification and sexualization of women, so we often find both sides teaming up to censor pornography, stop strip clubs from being built, etc.

      • Humanist Tweeter (on vacation)

        Blank? Really?

        You should have a look at Ruhama – the Irish charity that ‘works with prostitutes’ and is a huge proponent of the Swedish model for prostitution law. 

        A charity that gets government money.

        A charity that’s run by the same two orders of nuns that were responsible for the heinous Magdalene Laundries in Ireland.  Their tagline “we have a long history of helping vulnerable women” is just hilarious.

        I would change what Franklin said a little – objectification (unless under controlled, mutually consensual circumstances) is abhorrent. Sexualization as a ‘thing’ done to someone is, too. But sexuality – which is at the root of the opposition to pornography, prostitution, the re-telling of scary (and totally fabricated) trafficking myths, etc. is what they really oppose.

        They are both about the removal of agency from women. Perhaps for different reasons (though they both think they have knowledge that is unattainable to the rest of us, and are doing ‘what’s best’ for us) but they’re still moving toward the same goals. A future where women will self-censor when it comes to anything sexual whatever. Of course, when the religious realise that radical feminism’s end-goal is a world full of political lesbians and miserable men, they might have a difference of opinion and split. But for now, what’s good for the goose…

        • Franklin

           What you say is spot on.  Unfortunately I don’t think anyone else is reading this thread, especially Hemant and the rad-fems.  They’re doing exactly what Christians do – put up shaky “facts” and ignore reason that proves them wrong.

          The fact that is STILL UP on a skeptics blog is ruthlessly absurd.

  • Lanestl

    So I better go dust off the apron and June Cleaver pearls if things go wrong in November…Women take 2 steps forward and then…4 steps back…When are they gonna figure out Women rule the world???


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