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When asked about the wage gap and why we don’t see women equally represented in society how often is one bombarded with comments like: “Women prefer lower paying jobs”, or even better, ‘there is no such thing as the wage gap”.  Steaming monkey muffins to that bollocks is my usual reply.  Before we go on, one should not forget the neural-sexist angle, “females are just better at doing certain (lower paying, lower esteemed) jobs than others”.

*Gah* with hearty helping of *fml*

Gerda Lerner chooses a historical perspective to analyse the performance gap between women and men in society and in doing so creates an accurate set of insights into why dudes be achieving  the way they do.

la-la-me-0109-lerner-obit2.jpg-20130112“For many centuries the talents of women were directed not towards self-development but towards realizing themselves through the development of a man. Women, conditioned for millennia to accept the patriarchal definition of their role, have sexually and emotionally serviced men and nurtured them in a way that allowed men of talent a fuller development and a more intensive degree of specialization than women have ever had. The sexual division of labor which has allotted to women the major responsibility for the domestic services and the nurturance of children has freed men from the cumbersome details of daily survival activities, while it disproportionately has burdened women with them. Women have had less spare time and above all less uninterrupted time in which to reflect, to think, and to write. The psychological support from intimacy and love has been far more readily available to talented men than to talented women. Had there been a man behind each brilliant woman, there would have been women of achievement in history equal to the numbers of men of achievement.”

>— The Creation of Feminist Consciousness: from the Middle Ages to Eighteen-seventy, Gerda Lerner


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December 2015
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