Thanks to Guy Kawasaki for tweeting this post from Psychology Today (PT): “Women Have Better Things To Do Than Make Money (Part II).”
The author, Satoshi Kanazawa, wrote a two-part piece looking atÂ discrepanciesÂ in salaries along gender lines from an evolutionary standpoint. Well written piece, even though I whole heartedly disagree with his premise. My response, just posted to the comments section on the PT blogs:
While it’s true that there are differences between genders, the vast majority of “difference” is largely attributed to a much out-dated value system that continues to view female attributes (or anything presumed to be feminine) as less-than, or of lesser value (either monetarily or inherently), than that which is masculine or male.
It is not that men seek achievement in their work, but rather that they live in a culture that continues to tell men that they should seek such achievement, and that such achievement is their means of having value (and gaining not only a salary but the attention of women); this is the same culture that perpetuates a billion-dollar pornography industry and continues to tell women that their only means of having value within the culture is through the use of their body and sexuality.
It is not, as Mr. Browne puts it, that “many jobs that pay higher wages require their occupants to work longer hours…or work in dangerous and unpleasant conditions” but rather that men are raised in a culture that teaches us not to complain about such conditions – lest we be labeled “wimps”, or worse: women.
And it is not that “women are unwilling to pay the price and make the necessary sacrifices” but rather that they’ve come to understand nobody should be treated in an inhumane way just because you’re providing a salary.
With no intended disrespect to Mr. Kanazawa, nor disregard to the field of evolutionary psychology (which has many good things to teach us), it seems a bit reckless to analyze the monetary realities of our current culture from an evolutionary perspective without putting in context or calling into question the cultural imperatives that continue to reinforce and exalt masculine identity at the expense of equality.