One of the best ways I've found to evaluate the veracity of an argument is to look at its criticism and see how persuasive it is. When the criticism of said argument is a parody of a caricature of a farce, well, that tells we you something.
So here we have the feminist Liam Kirkaldy criticizing the fact that news organizations are granting a forum to both sides of the debate on the alleged male-female wage gap. You see, some ideas are right, like his. And some are wrong. And it just doesn't make sense to even debate the obviously wrong ideas that people who aren't Liam Kirkaldy have.
"Yet it happens again and again, with Radio Four last week providing Jordan Peterson – a Canadian psychologist with strong, but unqualified views on structural sexism – with a platform to air his opinions on the gender pay gap."
I'm sorry, how does one's views on "structural sexism" get "qualified" exactly?
"...who had been invited to discuss it? For Radio Four, it was Baroness Williams, the UK’s Minister for Equalities. Again, fair enough. But, rather than finding an academic specialising in gender politics, or Williams’ shadow equivalent, the show decided to ‘balance’ her views with Peterson’s, creating the impression we were hearing from two experts, with different views regarding an issue on which there’s no widespread agreement."
Ahhh, an "academic specialising in gender studies..." By that, of course, you mean some radical feminist, gender studies professor? Wouldn't an economist make more sense? Or are we really to believe that some gender studies professor who thinks that gender is a social construct and also there are 57 genders, knows more about how labor markets work than an economist?
Also, what is with this lack of confidence Liam? If Peterson's views are "unqualified" and Williams views are "qualified," she should be able to wipe the floor with him. It's almost as if this authoritarian urge to shut down debate isn't about protecting the poor viewer from wrong-think, but rather the inability of those with right-think to win these debates...
"Except that’s not true – there is widespread agreement – and by putting them on in the same slot, and allowing Peterson to paint the issue as a misunderstanding of statistics, they created a false equivalence. Even Peterson’s introduction was revealing, with the psychologist welcomed on air for 'causing quite a splash' with his views on gender – a qualification better suited to boring strangers in a pub than informing a discussion on national radio.
"Because let’s be clear, there is either a gender pay gap or there isn’t, and it turns out there is. Every major political party agrees on that. Even Theresa May, not exactly beloved by feminist groups, has described the gap – sitting at around 18 per cent – as a 'burning injustice'."
How on Earth did this rubbish make it past the editors? The whole debate is WHY there is a pay gap, not whether there is one. That has always been the debate. That has always been the ONLY debate. Does Kirkaldy not understand that? And yes, the evidence is overwhelming that the wage gap exists almost exclusively for reasons other than discrimination.
"It’s a topic which is easily misrepresented, particularly when commentators conflate the gap with unequal pay. Ryanair defended the fact that median hourly pay among its UK staff is 72 per cent lower for women than men by pointing out that the majority of its pilots are male, while women make up more of its cabin staff – an argument which basically amounts to saying the company pays men more than women because it gives men more highly paid jobs."
OK, he doesn't understand it. He claims people like Peterson and misrepresenting the topic while flagrantly misrepresenting the topic himself. Ryanair doesn't "give" out jobs. People apply for positions and Ryanair hires the most qualified. It is obviously not discriminating based on the job (if what they say is true), but he then changes the subject without informing the readers (or likely being aware he's done it himself) from whether companies pay men and women equally for the same job to whether their hiring practices are fair.
And by the way, since when are the stewardesses and pilots interchangeable? Are there an equal number of women applying to be pilots? Do an equal number of women want to be pilots? Should Ryanair just hire some random stewardess to fly the plane? Would you like to be on that flight?
FYI, while I assume Kirkaldy didn't even look it up, in the United States women make up 6.71 percent of the pilots and 12.43 percent of the students. If Britain is anything like the US, there's no possible way Ryanair is going to be able to hire an equal number of female pilots. Kirkaldy should be commended though, this is quite possibly the dumbest argument I've ever seen in print.
"Others point to the idea that women are more likely to work part-time, while steadfastly refusing to examine the reasons for that."
This is not relevant to whether or not women are paid less for the same work, which is what Peterson was arguing about. And some of the reasons women may work part-time more often likely have to do with disadvantages men face; like say the social pressure to make money or women finding men who earn more money to be more attractive.
"Of course, none of that means there isn’t a debate to be had about the causes of the pay gap, or what to do about it, but it does mean that putting two people on radio to debate its existence is inherently misleading. In bending over backwards to avoid accusations of bias, Radio Four stumbled off balance."
Good lord Liam, no one is debating the pay gap's existence! Kirkaldy doesn't even understand what Peterson is saying or what is being debated in general but demands that his side of the debate (that he's having in his own mind with himself) be the only side that gets any daylight. What a joke.
And isn't it interesting how quickly the proponents of equality demand inequality when it comes to open debate.
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