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Regina Doherty revives feminist pay gap myth

Fine Gael senator Regina Doherty, has once again trotted out the feminist “gender pay gap” myth, chanelling pure victimhood in the hopes of making the talking point stick.

The remarks were made yesterday in the Seanad, after Fianna Fáil senator Fiona O’Loughlin drew attention to the 8th of November, which some have dubbed “Equal Pay Day.”

“Women in Ireland are effectively working for free for the final 14.4% of the year, according to research published today by WorkEqual,” said O’Loughlin.

“It is always important that we note Equal Pay Day because closing the gender pay gap is extremely important. Although legislation has been introduced in the form of the Gender Pay Gap Information Act 2021, it only goes so far. We have made progress but there is much more that we need to do.”

At this point, Regina Doherty decided to chime in with her two cents:

“Senator O’Loughlin opened proceedings today with the welcome reminder that, as much as some of our male counterparts would like to tell us the gender pay gap does not exist, today is the day when some women in Ireland basically stop working because the boys get paid more than the girls do, and the boys will keep getting paid until the end of the year and the girls get paid less.

“We must all band together to say we need a society where a job is paid on merit and it does not and should not make any difference whether I wear a pair of trousers or a skirt to work. I should be paid on the quality of the work I do and the length of years of experience I have. This nonsense of the continuing practice in this country of paying women less just because they are women absolutely has to stop. Much and all as I probably know it galls people when we do this, we must raise this issue every single year and we will keep doing so until this practice stops.”

Now, where does one even begin with a statement like that?

For starters, it absolutely has to be pointed out that Doherty’s party, Fine Gael, has been in power in one form or another for a decade now, the entire duration of which she was involved in politics. So even if what she said was absolutely true – that Ireland is a heinous cesspool of discrimination and anti-female bigotry where women are unfairly held back in the labour market – that would be the fault of Doherty and her government colleagues for allowing this injustice to continue for so long.

By complaining about this, Fine Gael are basically picketing themselves.

She also said that “some of our male counterparts would like to tell us the gender pay gap does not exist” – by which I assume she means male politicians.

I seriously doubt there are any male politicians in this country who have expressed the view that the gender pay gap doesn’t exist, because if there were we all would have already seen their severed head on a spike on O’Connell street as a warning for other freethinkers, after he was hung, drawn and quartered in the court of public opinion.

Virtually 100% of elected officials in this country are absolutely agreed – at least outwardly – on radical feminist issues, and if they weren’t we all know they’d be absolutely disemboweled by Irish leftists on Twitter and the media. So once again, Doherty is arguing with herself here.

So what of the pay gap, then?

The narrative is that we live in a country that hates women and doesn’t want to see them succeed, which is obviously absurd.

What proponents on this idea do is, they take all the money earned by all males in society, and compare it to all the money earned by all females in society, and then say “You see? Men, overall as a group, earn more. Therefore, this is unfair and needs to be rectified.”

But that’s ludicrous.

Nobody, on an individual basis, is getting paid less in this country because of their genitalia. That’s because of a little thing called “the law.” Doherty should be familiar with the concept of laws, considering she is paid almost €100,000 per year by the taxpayers to help create them.

Equal pay legislation has been in force in Ireland since 1975 – forty six years. Employers are required to pay employees on the same terms when they do “like work” which is defined as work that is the same, similar or work of equal value.

If you suspect your employer is paying you less than your colleagues because of your gender, you can take them to the cleaners in court. This is already the case right now, and has been for decades, since Regina Doherty was 4 years old. This prehistoric issue has been settled for eons now.

So, individual discrimination is illegal and not happening. But why then do men, as a group, in total, make more than women? It must be because of sexism, right?

Well, where is the evidence for that? Is it not at least conceivable that there are other factors at play, such as findings from Pew Research Centre which shows that women tend to prioritise family life over their careers more than men?

Women more than men adjust their careers for family life

Women also tend to be less assertive in job interviews, as found in a Harvard study last year.

Moreover, fewer women choose to go into high level business degrees than men.
Your average Executive Business Administration programs will only feature 28% female students.

And this has nothing to do with points, by the way. Women tend to do better than males academically – they have their pick of courses.

Yet many simply decide they are less interested in business than their male counterparts, which is absolutely fine and their right. We don’t all have to be the same, whatever our gender.

Obviously hashtag “not all,” God forbid I painted anyone with a broad brush, but we’re speaking generally here. Just because we all know empowered girlbosses doesn’t mean that a broader trend isn’t also true. Unless you’re a radical liberal, most people accept that men and women aren’t the same, clearly, so I don’t know why we’d expect any profession to be 50/50 when it comes to gender.

It’s hardly surprising that women gravitate far more to jobs like primary school teaching (which is 85% dominated by women according to the CSO), secondary school teaching (70% dominated by women) and nursing (90% dominated by women).

Meanwhile men are more drawn to business degrees, software development, etc. – and it just so happens that those jobs tend to pay more. Nobody is stopping women from entering these fields mind you – again, they surpass men academically. It’s just that men and women generally choose different career paths and have different interests.

A recent study even found that countries with more gender equality actually produce less female STEM graduates, because women, when given the option, generally choose different areas of interest. It’s all to do with choice.

In fact, figures compiled by the Press Association have shown that between the ages of 22 and 29, a woman in the UK will typically earn €1,300 more per annum than her male counterparts.

This trend reverses after age 30, which is around the age that many women have children and choose to either drop out of the workforce or work on a more part-time basis. And clearly, if your time is split between childcare and your career, you’re not going to make as much as someone who is committed solely to work.

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, and it doesn’t make you a bad person – far from it, parenthood is the most important job a person can do. But it’s just the plain economic reality of the situation.

Moreover, it should be noted that when it comes to elected politicians, who are very-well paid, Fine Gael (Regina’s party) vastly disproportionately runs male candidates for both the Dáil and the Seanad.

Of Fine Gael’s 34 TDs, only 6 are women, which only amounts to 17% female representation. Of their 17 senators, only 5 are women.

And even in ministerial roles, which they were free to give out as they see fit, and which give the recipient huge power, influence and a payrise, only 4 women out of 14 were given these roles by Fine Gael.

Now, if you’re a normal, rational person, you’d say “Well, sure look – that’s not the result of sexism per se. Those could just be the only people who put themselves forward for the job, or are the best candidates in those constituencies. It doesn’t automatically mean that Fine Gael hates women and wants to hold them down as a group.”

But Doherty has already said that any gap in pay (and presumably job opportunities) is because there is a “continuing practice in this country of paying women less just because they are women.” She leaves absolutely no room for the possibility that these are natural imbalances deriving from men and women’s individual choices. It has to be because of misogyny.

So what I want to know is, which Fine Gael TDs are going to step down and give their seats to a woman? I mean, you guys are committed to equality aren’t you?

Doherty says “we need a society where a job is paid on merit and it does not and should not make any difference whether I wear a pair of trousers or a skirt to work.”

However, she herself lost her Dáil seat in a fair, democratic election last year, being booted out by her constituents based on her merits as a minister.

She was then gifted a Seanad seat making almost €100,000 per year, having been appointed by her government colleagues after the people already said they did not have faith in her as a politician.

Is that meritocracy? Or is that preferential treatment and privilege?

This nonsense is yet more proof that, as I said in a recent video, Irish politicians are only interested in tackling problems that are either non-existent or unsolvable.



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