Thoughts on Sexism in Jobs and at Home

What I hear a lot is the question, “Why do women make less than men?”

There is a noticeable monetary gap between how much women make and how much men make, typically, in their jobs in the United States.  Most people assume this is a form of traditional, good old-fashioned sexism.  Employers unconsciously offer less money to women, in other words.

But an alternate theory I’ve heard, which I find very interesting, is that women tend to take lower paying jobs than men so they can spend more time at home.  In other words, women tend to make less money because women prioritize better than men do.  There’s also the myth of the Superwoman, AKA, the unconscious pressure modern women have to be able to “do it all”: hold a job, run a business, cook, clean, and be a mother.  All at the same time.

Men, on the other hand, typically are still seen as the breadwinners unless they’re forced into some kind of single-parent situation.  In other words, men tend to take higher paying jobs because unconsciously they feel they can spend more time at work and leave more home time to the traditional mother or wife figure.

So then, for me the question becomes, “Why do men make more than women?”  There’s a subtle difference.  Why do we tell women in our society that they can’t choose one or the other, while unconsciously telling men that they can?

Because I feel that if men prioritized better like women do, there would be a much better and equal mutual support base in homes in our society.  My own household is like this, and I find that my parents can get much more done together, with both of them doing both things, than they could separately.  In other words, they both sacrifice time and possibly money in both areas — home and work — in order that they can rely on each other as equals.

That, for me, is the real basis for better economic equality between the sexes in our society.


2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Sexism in Jobs and at Home

  1. “Why do we tell women in our society that they can’t choose one or the other, while unconsciously telling men that they can?”

    Please rethink this one. Is it really women in our society that don’t have choice? Or is it men? Women have the options of work full time, work part time/parent part time, or parent full time (the real cause of “the wage gap”). Men have the options of Work full time or work full time or work full time. We need to expand the options for men so that their choices are comparable to the choices women make.

    • I put it that way for two reasons.

      First, I don’t think women have much of a choice — I think they feel they have to do it all, working and parenting, or they’re seen as being lazy in some way. (AKA the stereotype that stay at home moms “don’t have a real job.”) Men either mainly work, or mainly stay at home and are seen as somehow more noble and nurturing than most guys for doing so. While this is an improvement from how it used to be — men staying at home was seen as unacceptable or even ridiculous just a couple of decades ago — it is problematic.

      However, I acknowledge your point that circumstances need to change for both men and women. It has to be more of a mutual give and take in both arenas, which would involve a change for both genders. I was trying to argue that; I’m not saying men don’t face prejudice.

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