Fighting Phony Feminism
BY HANNAH COX
Women’s issues have been at the forefront of the 2016 election cycle and its resulting protests of 2017. As a woman, I’ve felt highly isolated from the defining policies that have come to be associated with my gender, particularly those that focus on women’s equality and empowerment in the economy.
It appears that feminists along with the majority of the left are still peddling false and dated statistics regarding unequal pay in the workforce, a theory that economic studies have rebuked so obsoletely it’s mind-boggling they still get coverage on this talking point. When majors, career paths, experience, and hours worked are all equal there is no pay gap between men and women in the workforce.
What’s even worse than lying to women about their future earnings potential is pushing policies that actually harm their employment prospects. Under Obama, the regulatory state grew exponentially leading to the largest amount of Americans exiting the workforce since women started working outside the home. We have strapped small business owners and entrepreneurs with so many burdens that job creation has grown stagnant, wages have stalled, and many companies have gone out of business. Women have been disproportionately affected by this, losing 7x as many jobs under Obamanomics as men.
Policies such as mandatory maternity leave and “affordable” childcare also contribute to this problem for women and make it less likely that an equally qualified female will be hired for a role or given a promotion. We’ve seen evidence of this from the results of the 1993 Family and Medical Leave Act. After this act was passed, women hired were 8% less likely to receive a promotion, with the gender gap in promotions widest in age groups where women were more likely to get pregnant.
The reasons behind these things aren’t malicious. Anyone who has ever run a business or worked in management knows the importance of hiring reliable people, and someone who could at any moment require twelve additional weeks of concurrent paid vacation is a financial burden and leaves a company short-staffed. Additionally, a person’s salary is only a portion of what a company pays to employee someone, with healthcare, taxes, and other benefits adding thousands of dollars to the bottom line. Forcing a company to pay for a woman’s childcare is absurd and would make the cost of hiring a woman much higher than an equivalent man.
These policies make women a bad business decision and make it harder for them to access jobs and advance in their careers.
Instead, lowering regulations, taxes, and government intrusion into businesses would do more to empower women and increase their economic opportunities. Simple actions, such as reducing licensing laws that frequently block women from accessing good jobs without having to pay expensive fees would do a lot more for women than anything the feminists have proposed. Licensing laws heavily affect traditional female fields such as nursing, teaching, and cosmetology, and make it more difficult for a woman to move around and access better paying jobs, much less start their own businesses. We need to cut regulations and tax burdens that hamper the job market, and we certainly don’t need to pass any new programs that make it less desirable to hire a woman. That would be a truly feminist agenda that actually empowers women.