The myth that women make 78 cents on a man’s dollar is a standard refrain in popular media and serves as a rationale for affirmative action for women. Unstated is that for women and men with the same job and work experience, the wage gap practically disappears. In Women’s Figures, Manhattan Senior Fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth shatters the myth of the wage gap. Women are continuing to gain ground relative to men, and in some cases, they have even reversed the gender gap. Rather than helping women, preferential ...
The myth that women make 78 cents on a man’s dollar is a standard refrain in popular media and serves as a rationale for affirmative action for women. Unstated is that for women and men with the same job and work experience, the wage gap practically disappears. In Women’s Figures, Manhattan Senior Fellow Diana Furchtgott-Roth shatters the myth of the wage gap. Women are continuing to gain ground relative to men, and in some cases, they have even reversed the gender gap. Rather than helping women, preferential policies undermine America’s idea of meritocracy, and call into question the value of women’s hard-earned achievements.
From its insouciant title to its incisive reasoning, this volume is a devastating riposte to the feminist faction of the Great American Grievance Industry which, Diana Furchtgott-Roth’s book demonstrates, has been battered by a storm of good news.
Christina Hoff Sommers
Women’s Figures is a Herculean synthesis of the economic literature on woman’s place in American society, circa 2012. That place is, for the most part, an enviable one, determined by freedom and personal choice. Unfortunately, the feminist lobby spends millions of dollars each year propping up myths and half-truths about women's alleged continuing second-class status. Diana Furchtgott-Roth politely, methodically, and persuasively knocks it all down—and supplies up-to-date charts, statistics, and interpretation on the wage gap, the glass ceiling, the “feminization of poverty,” and much else. The new, reality-based feminism starts here.
Hon. Elaine L. Chao
Diana Furchtgott-Roth has authored an important and accessible study which delves into the issueof gender equity and fairness in the workplace. Her encouraging conclusion—that women don't need special treatment to get ahead—is plainly common sense now and yet provocative as it challenges some pervasive media assumptions and political agendas. This volume should be required reading for anyone concerned about fair wages and a competitive American workforce in the 21st century economy.
Gender Studies teachers who fail to include this classic in the syllabus fail their students, male and female.
Furchtgott-Roth (Manhattan Institute for Policy Research) has fully updated the first edition of this book, originally published in 1999. She is well versed in the interpretation of labor market, education, and demographic statistics from economic policy stints under the Reagan and both Bush administrations. The statistics presented can be interpreted either as clear evidence of women's increased ability to make career and family choices freely, or as evidence of continuing discrimination against women operating in an era of constrained choice. Depending on one's point of view, this book can be seen either as a valuable counterweight to a feminist-dominated gender policy agenda, or as another conservative sally in the ongoing US class conflict. Furchtgott-Roth argues that various gender-oriented policies, including affirmative action, actually undermine women's successes. She also attacks the Obama health care initiative for undermining marriage, as its proposed health insurance subsidies will be greater per capita for single people than for married people with similar per capita incomes. A closing chapter documents the internal finances of a number of feminist organizations, albeit with no comparison figures for other lobbying or nonprofit groups. This book would be valuable in a course on critical thinking that provides counterweight from other sources. Summing Up: Recommended. Undergraduate students and general readers.
Diana Furchtgott-Roth is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research. She is the author of How Obama’s Gender Policies Undermine America and editor of Overcoming Barriers to Entrepreneurship in the United States. Together with Christine Stolba, she authored the first edition of Women's Figures: An Illustrated Guide to the Economic Progress of Women in America, and The Feminist Dilemma: When Success Is Not Enough.
List of Illustrations
List of Acronyms
1. Facts and Myths about Women at Work and in Politics
Women’s Labor Force Participation Rates and Unemployment
The Myth of the “Wage Gap”
The Myth of the “Mother’s Penalty”
The Myth of the “Glass Ceiling”
The Myth of the “Pink Ghetto”
Women in Elective Office
Women’s Voting Patterns
2. Reaching the Top: Women’s Educational Attainment
Extending Title IX
3. The Marriage Penalty, Social Security Disincentives, and Other Ways Government Programs Increase Poverty among Women
The Feminization of Poverty
How Government Programs Increase Poverty
4. Way to Go, Female Entrepreneurs!
The New Class of Female Entrepreneurs
Reasons for Growth
Room for More Growth
5. The Success of Minority Women
Minority Women in the Work Force
Minority Women as Working Mothers and Business Leaders
6. Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Which Country Is the Fairest of Them All?
Labor Force Participation and Unemployment
International Fertility Rates
7. Do Feminist Organizations Serve Women Today?
Agendas and Assets
The National Organization for Women
The American Association of University Women
National Women’s Law Center
Appendix: Statistical Tables
About the Author