Women Aren’t Asking For It

I always hear accusations that women don’t make as much money as men. “Women get paid seventy cents for every dollar a man gets paid for the SAME job!” I don’t see why they hired the woman in the first place if they already had someone doing that job. But hey, she was cheap.

Is discrimination really as rampant as people make it sound? Apparently the facts are on their side. It’s a given that women in similar positions make less on average than their male counterparts. So, are we just all sexist?

Gender Gap

Better suited for market penetration

I know, as a sexist male myself, if I were hiring someone for a job, I’d likely have a salary in mind. Let’s say I have a job available at $20/hour. Well, as it turns out, there’s a very qualified woman, and I want to give the job to her. But since she’s a woman I’d decide to pay her $16/hour. Might as well, right? She’s a woman. Now, if a man turned out to be the applicant I’d want to hire, then naturally I would say, “You know, this job pays twenty bucks an hour, but since you and I each have a penis, what do you say I give you an extra three dollars an hour?”

Clearly, that’s how it must go down all over the nation. People apparently set their wages, not based on the position, but on the gender of the person they choose to hire. With that logic, though, it’s a wonder any men have jobs.  They’re too damn expensive!

Maybe that isn’t the actual answer. It’s probably a lot more sexist than social preferences. I think it gets at the very fundamentals of men and women, and women are less likely to have what it takes. If you’re working a job under $15/hour, then there’s probably not much chance of negotiating your wage. You get what the job offers, and your oppositely-gendered co-workers get the same. The higher paying jobs, where this “income gender gap” is more likely to occur, happen to depend more on personal negotiations. If you’re in one of these jobs, you might be making more or less than even your similarly-gendered co-workers.

I’m thinking that maybe women just aren’t as good at asking for what they want. I’m sure there are strong-minded women, but we wouldn’t even bother hiring them. Nobody wants to work with that.

In a study by Linda Babcock, she found that men made about $4,000 more than women did as a starting wage. The telling part is that 57% of men negotiated for their starting salary. That’s more than half! Way to go men! Take what’s owed to you, like your testosterone-driven “brains” are built to do. Women weren’t as impressive with their negotiating tactics. Ninety-three percent (that’s well over half) of women from the study took the salary as offered, without negotiating. That’s a really huge difference, and Babcock says that Carnegie Mellon’s career department “strongly advises” graduating students to negotiate their salary. These men and women had the same access to the same career counseling.  (But who’s going to trust a gender studies researcher with cock in her name?)

In a follow up study by Babcock, Deborah Small and Michelle Gelfand, participants were asked to play Boggle™ and were paid between $3 and $10 for four rounds of gameplay. After being handed three dollars, the experimenter would ask “Is three dollars okay?” If the particpant asked for more money, they would be given more. However, they wouldn’t be given more for merely complaining. They had to ask for it overtly. That study found that both men and women felt the same about their Boggle™ performance, but nine times as many men than women asked for more money.

Women are cheap
Buy one, get one free

It’s not just flat out sexism as people who spout this income difference seem to imply. There’s more to it. I think it comes down, as most things in my life do, to what women want. Nobody really knows, and that includes women. So, if you don’t know what you want, how are you ever going to ask for it? Men are more definitive in what they want and more aggressive about pursuing it. Women, despite not always being able to articulate their wants and needs, do well at finding a way to get it. They just rarely ask for it directly. So, in a professional setting, where you can’t give someone the silent treatment or guilt them into paying you more or call them out for sleeping with that 17-year old waitress over three years ago, women simply aren’t taking a stand. So, when it comes to women getting paid less than men, what can I say? They’re asking for it.

  • David

    I like how it’s true.

  • The reason why women DON’T ask to be paid more is that women are more likely to be ‘knocked down’ when they ask to be paid more. Assertive women are seen as ‘bitches’ while assertive men are seen as ‘alpha men’.

    If you really think that not asking for it is the only reason that women do not get paid equally, your view is overly short-sighted.

    p.s. – if employers are SUPPOSED to pay women equally to begin with, why don’t they? You shouldn’t have to ask for pay equity.

    • They are offered equally. An employer says, “We’d love to have you on board! We can offer $40,000.” The difference is that the women take it and the men say, “I need $50,000”.

      I think it’s worth looking into your idea that women get “knocked down” when they’re assertive. I think a lot of that is probably psychological, though. Maybe women assume all men will treat them like that. Perhaps they’re confusing dating with work? I know I wouldn’t like an overly-assertive female romantically because she would intimidate me, push me around, and just be too damn hostile/wound-up. But in the workplace, that could make her really effective. So, if maybe they can’t get dates because when they’re assertive men think they’re a bitch, they assume that an employer will think the same. In reality, there’s nothing wrong with hiring a bitch, but guys usually don’t want to date one.

      Research is needed. Perhaps I’ll write a follow-up on the issue later.

      • Beth Hicks

        “Perhaps they’re confusing dating with work?”

        That may be the most sexist sentence I’ve read all damn year. Congrats.

        • Ther view is that women don’t negotiate out of fear of rejection. So, how can you answer “Why are women afraid?” that doesn’t sound sexist? If you say that assertive women are seen as bitches (as adamsonx is saying), then you’re saying that men are all jerks (sexist) and that women hate women (stupid of women). There’s no pleasant way to paint it. There’s a problem that needs addressing, and simply shouting “sexism!” and isn’t going to solve it. Women have to get over their fears.

          • Meimei

            The reason women have fears is because MEN have threatened them and made them afraid throughout history. We need to get over it? How about men stop threatening us? Why do men insist that the victim of abuse solve the problem of abuse? That’s some really messed up thinking they teach you over in the fantasy world called “man-land”.

            • cocaine_face

              ‘The reason women have fears is because MEN have threatened them and made them afraid throughout history.’ – citation needed in regards to salary negotiations.

        • SandraCho

          Yea. Making an assertions about gender is sexist.

      • Bradley

        I would like to see the references for your article. It seems awfully one-sided. It is a known fact that significant financial discrepancies occur based on gender, but that is a fight currently being fought. However, you’re making extremely problematic generalizations, assumptions, and use your biased personal opinion to back up your work, which weakens your argument.

      • Mememe

        An assertive woman is hostile? Ummm….look up the meaning of the word. How come an assertive man is “competent” but an assertive woman is “hostile”? And you still deny mysoginy exists? And if you’re afraid women who stand for their rights “push you around”, then what a weak man you are. Women are afraid men will KILL them. Yet you’re afraid a woman will be “wound up”. Booohooo hooo, poor little you, puny little man.

        • SandraCho

          Assertive men can be seen as hostile too. It’s all about how you navigate assertiveness and social savvy.

      • Guest

        I think it probably has more to do with how girls interact with their parents. A lot of women try to get ahead in the workplace by treating the boss like dad, and dad generally responds better to sweetness than bitchiness.

  • Patricianolanbrown

    Speak Up, ge what u ask for!

  • Anonymous


  • Anonymous
  • Mo Evans

    You’re no sociologist. This is juvenile analysis and an obvious attention-grabbing tactic, given that you seem to have paid to promote your tweet linking here, and as a Twitter search result for #internationalwomensday no less. Tacky).

    Anyway, Clay Shirky said it all first, only his wrong-thinking was more intelligent than yours. You should read both his post and the comments. ALL of them. You need the help.


  • We do ask for it, and become dangerous …

  • We do ask for it. and become dangerous

  • But do you think that is even an issue? I mean, that’s clearly not sexist. Or do women see it as sexist that they hold the burden of child bearing and its consequences?

  • I don’t think so this is right always. Women are getting more salary than man in some places. It is just not in majority. I feel there are few reason for this salary bias problem.
    1. Women are mainly have to look after their home. So they have that extra responsibility which men generally don’t have.
    2. Physical Weakness and other extra responsibilities like birth management
    3. The another main reason is that most of the men (and some women) think that women work mainly to recover their entertainment costs, pocket money and some extra fun. Which is not always right.
    It will definitely take some time to change this scenario. But sure will change some day.

    * I don’t think so that men are more intelligent than women. In fact, the seriousness which women shows in the work, men can not achieve.

  • Soldatdizzy


    The .70 cents per dollar argument is based on how much women in the U.S. earn compared to how much men in the U.S. earn, period.  (Also, it’s .77 cents per dollar, not .70)

    That is a flat-out average.  Fact is, the ‘average’ man works more than the ‘average’ woman, period.  Women work more part-time jobs than men.  Women are more attracted to low-paying fields than men.  Go look it up.  Come back here afterwards.  DO NOT READ FURTHER if you haven’t gone and looked up the actual facts and satisfied yourself that this is true.  If you somehow manage to find real facts that dispute my assertion, PLEASE let us all know about them as soon as possible.

    When it comes to men and women* working the same job, the difference is .95 cents to the dollar.  The confusion between the ‘.77 cents to a dollar’ and the ‘.95 cents to a dollar’ amongst the ignorant, quite frankly drives me crazy. 

    Now, let’s address that .05 cents difference.  Admittedly, it’s not a reason to take to the streets in righteous outrage, but it is still a significant difference, right?  Why am I (male) making $20/hr and my equally capable, equally effective co-worker Suzy making $19/hr?  On its face, this does sound unfair.  On further inspection, it sounds… completely illogical?

    In an age of capitalism, where CEO’s can make billions for themselves based on the difference between .95 and 1.00, how is it possible that these crafty and well-educated subhumans have failed to notice that by hiring more women, they can pay less and get more, and therefore drive their stock price up?

    I am not smart enough to figure this out myself (honestly, I’m not!) so I did a lot of reading on the reason for this 5% difference, and I found that economists generally agree that:

    a)  Women are more likely than men to value ‘quality of life’ issues over pay, when choosing whether or not to take a job.
    b)  Men are more willing to relocate for higher pay than women
    c)  Men are more willing to accept dangerous assignments for higher pay than women.
    d)  Men are more willing to work overtime than women, even in salaried positions where there is no higher pay involved.
    e)  Men are more willing to leave their current job for one with higher pay, and more likely to communicate that fact effectively during compensation negotiations.

    All of these conclusions based on science and research happen to fit nicely with my own personal perceptions of gender difference, so I see no reason to doubt the ‘facts’.

    I will defend to the death an individual woman’s right to claim gender discrimination in her lawsuit against her employer.

    But when it comes to looking at the average man vs the average woman, the facts clearly state that this is pure market forces at work, no patriarchy or sexism required.  Even an asexual and blind employer would pay a female employee 5% less than a male employee, on average, given the pure math of it.

    *These numbers apply to white americans.  The aggregate pay difference between white and black Americans is 30%.  The difference between Americans and the third world is too hideous to even mention.  Please, people, let’s get some perspective.

    • Titiititi

      The list of things men are more “willing to do” than women in items a-e above could very easily apply to women….if men did the majority of household caretaking and child rearing. Men spend more time at work, perhaps, but it is a complete fallacy to claim that “men work more than women”.

    • Charles

      Thank You. The real problem is between Black and White, and White and Hispanic. Women in their mid twenties now make more than their male counterparts, and are graduating with more degrees.

  • Bebe

    Women don’t know what they want? Typical thing for a male mysoginist to say that. Why am I not surprised?

    Women are being mistreated and devalued? We asked for it. Of course.

  • Westernwomensuck

    fuck you