sex education in minnesota schools
women in the united states and in westerneurope are the freest and most liberated in human history. in many ways they are not merelydoing as well as men, they are doing better. women's emancipation is one of the gloriesof western civilization and one of the great chapters in the history of freedom. so, why then are those in the women's movement,such as the leaders and members of activist
sex education in minnesota schools, groups like the national organization forwomen, the professors in women's studies departments at our colleges, and many women in the media,why are they still so dissatisfied? these feminists hardly acknowledge women'sprogress. yes, they concede, that some advances havebeen made, but the fact that most women reject
their activist brand of feminism and thinkof themselves as free is, for this crowd, proof of just how entrenched patriarchy andinequality truly are: women are so oppressed, they don't even know it. year after year these activists make claimsabout women and violence, women and depression, women and eating disorders, women and workplaceinjustice -- to support their views. over the years, i have looked carefully at manyof these claims. what i have found is that much of the supporting evidence, mostly victimstatistics, is misleading and often flat out wrong. consider the issue of the so-called genderwage gap. how many times have you heard that,
for the same work, women receive 77 centsfor every dollar a man earns? this charge is constantly repeated by feminist activistsand their supporters, yet it is so deeply misleading as to border on outright falsehood.the 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men andwomen working full-time. it does not take account for differences in occupations, positions,education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. now, wage-gap activists in groups like theamerican association of university women or the national women's law center they say,no, no -- even when you control for these factors, women still earn less. well it alwaysturns out that they have omitted one or two
crucial data points. take the case of doctors. on the surface,it looks like female physicians are clearly victims of wage discrimination -- they appearto earn less for the same work. but dig a little deeper beneath the surface and youfind that women are far more likely than men to enter lower paying specialties like pediatricsor family medicine than higher-paying cardiology or anesthesiology. they are also more likelyto work part time. and even women who work full time put in about 7 percent fewer hoursthan men. women physicians are also far more likely to take long leaves of absence -- usuallyto start a family. now, there are exceptions, but most workplace pay gaps narrow to thepoint of vanishing when one accounts for all
of these relevant factors. now, how do the women's advocacy groups reactto this? they insist that women's choices are not truly free. women who decide, say,to stay home with children, or to work fewer hours, or to become pediatricians rather thanheart surgeons, are held back by "invisible barriers" or internalized oppression. according to the national organization for women, powerful sexist stereotypes "steer"women and men "toward different education, training, and career paths" and family roles."but is it really social conditioning that explains women's vocational preferences andtheir special attachment to children?
perhaps in the pursuit of happiness, men andwomen take somewhat different paths. and, isn't it more than a little patronizing tosuggest that most american women are not free? they're not self-determining human beings? and here is a common sense proof that themale-female wage gap is untrue. if it were really true that an employer could get awaywith paying jill less than jack for the exact same work, wouldn't most employers fire asmany of their male employees as possible, and replace them with females, and enjoy ahuge market advantage? as a regular campus lecturer, i routinelyencounter students who have fully accepted the feminist propaganda. american collegewomen are arguably the most fortunate, liberated
beings on the planet -- yet in their feministtheory classes they are likely to learn that they are put upon and tyrannized by men. andthe more elite the school, the more advanced the degree, the more likely they are to takesuch feminist propaganda seriously. but this doesn't have to continue. but this doesn't have to continue. the timehas come for young woman to take back feminism. reform it. correct its excesses. repudiatethe victim propaganda. get rid of the "women are from venus, men are from hell" storylines. begin the arduous task of correcting almost three decades of feminist misinformation. women who are plagued by workplace injusticeor sexual violence will be best helped by
truth and solid research -- not by hysteria and hype. and a final piece of personal advice for youngwomen: appreciate, and make good use of, the unprecedented freedom that you have. i'm christina hoff sommers of the americanenterprise institute for prager university.