Letter: A Rebuttal to “The Myth of the Wage Gap”


The argument in a previous issue titled “The Myth of the Wage Gap” is flawed at best, and at worst a vehicle for the misuse of information and thus, creation of misinformation being spread to the population of MCLA. Not only is Carew’s use of statistical information misleading, but his logic is not sound; quite the contrary, it is grossly fallacious.

First and foremost, it is important to clarify, as Carew does despite later contradictions to himself, that the wage gap is defined by women receiving less pay than their male counterparts for the same work. Engineers are paid more than teachers. This is old news. The problem that still needs addressing, however, is when male engineers are paid more than female engineers, when male teachers are paid more than female teachers, and so on. Therefore, career choice is not in the “multitude of factors” that explain why men are paid more than women.

Furthermore, Carew points out that men are statistically more likely to choose careers in the sciences while women are more likely to focus on the humanities. While this is true, this data point does nothing to discredit the existence of the wage gap because, as previously noted, the wage gap is addressing men and women who are doing the same work. Additionally, the reason men and women are choosing such different careers is that young girls are discouraged from the fields of science and math because they are “traditionally masculine.”

Though Carew attempts to disprove this fact, he again misuses statistical data and proves nothing but his own ineptitude for drawing relative conclusions from the data he seeks out. First of all, women being hired for jobs says nothing of the salaries they receive upon being hired in comparison with men in the same field. More importantly, the math Carew tries to use is entirely contradictory. It doesn’t take a mathematician to see that being offered a job between 20 and 32 percent of the time isn’t nearly equal regardless of the percentage of applicants that were female. But then again, when you seek out sources (“The Gender Wage Gap is a Myth,” for example) that echo what you wish to express, the numbers are just a means to an already decided upon end.

Carew’s infallible logic continues when he states the “fact” that women are just too involved in their personal lives to worry about working as hard as men supposedly do. We simply must be doing something wrong, right? It’s got to be our poor work ethic, our bad decision making, or maybe our “inferior negotiating skills.” Or maybe, just maybe, it’s a society that tells us our only purpose in life is subservience to men, earning less than, being less than.

The point is that the argument made in “The Myth of the Wage Gap” is a misinterpretation of the numbers. Women are far more complex than men like Carew will ever understand and to misuse numbers and sources in an attempt to prove something rather than learn something is to do a disservice to oneself.

-Bridget Broyles

MCLA Class of 2020



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