Prostrate Cancer and Breast Cancer Kill the same numbers of people every year. Breast Cancer kills mostly women. Prostrate Cancer kills mostly men. These are facts that are readily available to any one that cares to look. So we have two different cancers that affect different groups. Depending on how you get the numbers and where you look Breast Cancer research gets between 3 times to 10 times the funding that Prostrate Cancer gets. This is a hugely disproportionate amount of funding for the Cancer that affects women. This has been a very solid example of how as a society women are not “second class”, but that we actually value women more. We are talking life and death. We are talking about valuing women’s live TEN TIMES as much as we value the lives of men. If this this isn’t sexism against men, I really don’t know how to convince you.
Well except that I’m wrong.
There is actually a good reason for the disparity in funding. Gender is not the only factor that is useful in determining funding. Breast Cancer research is focused on saving the lives of people that are in their 30’s and 40’s. People with a great deal of life left to live if they can beat cancer. Prostrate Cancer research is focused on extending the lives of people in their 70’s and 80’s, people not long for this world even with out cancer.
I support funding the cancer research that will have the greatest impact. Breast Cancer affects middle aged people. Prostrate Cancer is an end of life care issue. While it may not be PC to say, I do care much more about treating and curing younger people that are still productive.
What does this have to do with the Wage Gap? Well everything. I was wrong about the sexism in the funding for prostrate cancer because I was looking at the wrong thing. I was looking at ‘male cancer’ vs ‘female cancer’. While it is possible to segregate the population this way to look at demographics, it is the wrong way to segregate the population to understand WHY there is a disparity in Cancer funding. The meaningful demographics for the funding of cancer research IS NOT gender. It is age. Younger people are given higher priority over older people. This is a perfectly reasonable and understandable division in priority to fund.
This is the exact same thing we are doing with “The Wage Gap”. Gender is not the meaningful demographic. Jobs are. Different jobs pay different wages. If we look at the gap between teaching and programing, the difference between nursing and aeronautics, the difference between Daycare and construction, we see the real meaningful demographics for wage differences. Just as prostrate cancer isn’t getting less funding because ‘penis’, women are not getting paid less because ‘vagina’.
The number most quoted is “Women make 77 Cents for every Dollar a man makes”. Much like gendered differences in cancer funding, this is actually a ‘true’ number. It is just not a significant number, just like the differences in funding for cancer research.
This is not to say there is NO discrimination. There is a 5%-7% difference that isn’t easily explained by life choices and different work.
The reality of “The Wage Gap” is 5 cents of discrimination and 20 cents of life choices. The reality is 5% difference in wages between men and women, and 20% difference between teachers and programers.