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Opinion

January 30, 2014

War on women?

After a long and rather soft content speech the other night you may have been left with the impression by our president that women earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by a man.

The problem you will find with this grossly overstated and fact-less number is statistically women work fewer hours, more part-time hours and stay out of some higher paying fields like oil rig workers, miners and engineering, to name a few.  

The Labor Department defines full time as 35 hours a week or more. According to the Labor Department, roughly 55 percent of workers tracking more than 35 hours a week are men. In 2012 the American Time Survey found men work longer hours than women do: on days that they work, men work just over eight hours per day on average, nearly a full hour longer than women.

Men and women, on the while, just have different priorities. In a 2007 Pew Research survey, among working mothers with minor children, 60 percent said they would prefer to work part time, while only 21 percent wanted to be in the office full time (and 19 percent said they’d like to give up their job altogether). With working fathers? Only 12 percent would choose part time and 70 percent wanted to be full time.

The numbers make the pay and hour gap more of a personal choice by adults making decisions in their families’ best interests and not some conspiracy to cheat women out of pay. We also like to believe in the power of women and their ability to take care of themselves. We believe women would not just sit back and allow employers to take advantage of them like this president describes. Women are not weak people that need to be protected by the big, strong, male-dominated government. Maybe this White House needs to check its own income levels and see that the women in the president’s own house make less than men before they try to create a fake conspiracy and fuel another phony social war.

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