I agree 99%. I take issue with the fact that the 77-cent is touted because it’s a distraction, in my opinion. People who buy into it think that we need to pass legislation saying that men and women who do the same work must be paid the same (we have that legislation already). People who don’t buy into it disregard ALL discussion of wage inequality because they think it’s all predicated on faulty and misleading statistics like the 77 cent statistic.
When really, the issues are exactly how you approached them. It’s not about equal pay for equal work. It’s about institutional differences, such as women not being in higher paying fields like STEM. What I’m saying is that movements built on fundamentally good, noble, and achievable goals do NOT need to weaken their already strong foundations with misleading and weak statistics.
If movements to get more women in STEM and address systemic and institutional biases in how we approach salaries for “men’s work*” and “women’s work*” are equivalent to the blueprints for a beautiful building, then choosing to predicate that on the 77-cent statistic is choosing to build that building on a sandy beach instead of further inland.
*To be clear, I’m saying men’s work and women’s work in the “addressing gender roles” sense, not in the “I think men and women should be separated” sense.