According to a recent NYT article, women age 21-30 working full-time and living in cities such as New York, Dallas, Boston, Minneapolis and Chicago are now making more money then their male counterparts.
The analysis was prepared by Andrew A. Beveridge, a demographer at Queens College … It shows that women of all educational levels from 21 to 30 living in New York City and working full time made 117 percent of men’s wages, and even more in Dallas, 120 percent.
I guess the question is whether this trend with Gen Y women will continue throughout our lifetimes, or whether it will reverse once young women reach, you know, peak child-rearing age in their early 30s and start having all the career complications associated with that? Ann at Feministing notes:
I don’t really expect this women-outearning-men trend to continue as these women age. Those who decide to have kids will be mommy-tracked after the birth of their first child. Many will get passed over for promotions, or decide to take a lower-track or part-time job. And the second child is often what causes women to leave the workforce altogether.
Before anyone tries to take this post and accuse me of being all women-rule-men-drool or something like that, I’d like to point out that I’m not saying women making more money than men is a good thing, per se. But it’s nice to know that — in some very limited circumstances — women are at least not making less all around.
Of course, the news that a select group of women in select cities are making more money than men their age due to a whole confluence of very non-dramatic and non-threatening social factors is provoking all the requisite crisis-of-masculinity-mongering. No pro-women news or research would be complete without being met with outraged accusations of gender discrimination …
The truth is out. Women aren’t being discriminated against. Men are being discriminated against. But no one seems to care. While articles about women earning less than men come with pleas that something must be done about this inequity, the tone of this article is one of celebration. Obviously, there is a big double standard when it comes to all things gender.
… futuristic visions designed to tease out gender anxiety …
So where is this taking us? Over time, expect to see large corporations increasingly dominated by women and small organizations increasingly dominated by men.
… feeble attempts to explain away the news in a way that puts women back in their place ….
This is because women receive more financial support from their parents. This allows women to move to Manhattan where they earn higher salaries. Men, who can’t afford to move to Manhattan because they are less likely to receive financial support from their parents, are living, often with their parents, in less expensive locations.
For example, the article features Kelly Kraft, a 25-year-old woman from Indiana who moved to Manhattan. A man from Indiana would be more likely to still be in Indiana.* Kelly is probably receiving some financial support from her parents so she can afford to live in Manhattan.
… gentlemanly concern over whether women having a brain and/or earning ability will damage their marriageability …
Several experts also said that rising income for women might affect marriage rates if women expect their mates to have at least equivalent salaries and education.
“When New York college women say there are few eligible men around, they’re right if they mean they’ll only settle for someone with an education akin to their own,” Professor Hacker said.
.. and references to cats.
More money, more cats: We have fundamentally altered the composition of our workforce in order to permit women to delay having children for a decade or more and for older men to play golf. Whether you think this has been a bad deal for women depends on your perspective. It’s been a good thing for women who want to remain single, make Powerpoint slideshows and live with their cats. It’s been a bad thing for women who want to get married, have children and stay home raise them, because their husbands make less money and find it more difficult to support a family on a single salary.**
You here that, Gen Y women? If you keep going to college in vast numbers and trying to earn your own money, men will soon all be living in their parents basements while our parents support our shoe shopping habits in New York City where we will never marry, overtake corporations, and raise a generation of cat overlords. Next time your boss offers you a raise, you should probably just politely suggest it go to that male intern. He may be several years and experience levels your junior, but if he’s not making more money than you in 3 years, our social structure will collapse.
*This sentence is bolded because I think it is hilarious.
**The problem with Vox’s argument is that he seems to be saying that a man working as a family’s sole breadwinner is not going to be able to do so simply because some women are making more money than some men, which doesn’t really make any sense. No one’s saying that a man who is supporting his family is not going to be able to make significant amounts of money because he is a man and there’s now some sort of inherent pay gender bias in favor of women. It’s just that he’s not going to automatically be making more than all women just because he is a man. It’s not a zero-sum game, it’s just a game in which men in some circumstances can’t automatically be expected to be paid more just for having a Y-chromosome.
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