cover image Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--And What Women Can Do about It

Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap--And What Women Can Do about It

Warren Farrell. AMACOM/American Management Association, $23 (270pp) ISBN 978-0-8144-7210-1

Why do men earn more than women? Because they deserve to, argues this contrarian challenge to feminist conventional wisdom. Men work longer hours at more dangerous and disagreeable jobs. They more readily accept night shifts, hardship postings to Alaska and entrepreneurial risks. Men get in-demand degrees in engineering, while women get degrees in French literature. Female librarians earn less than garbagemen, not because of discrimination, but because so many applicants compete for the safe, clean, comfortable, convenient, fulfilling jobs women prefer. Indeed, the author insists, statistics show that women and men with equal experience and qualifications, doing the same job, for the same hours, under the same conditions-get paid the same. Farrell, author of The Myth of Male Power, usefully points women towards high-paying, male-dominated fields that are becoming female friendly and suggests that ambitious women marry stay-at-home husbands. But he considers men the real victims, taken advantage of because of their innate chivalry and social expectations that they trade earning power for love and sex and be ""willing to die to support the wives and children."" He decries anti-male discrimination in occupations like teaching, nursing and cocktail-waitressing, and pillories comparable worth initiatives as ""spoiled-brat economics."" A whole chapter is devoted to ""genetic celebrities""-i.e., beautiful women (exemplified in photos of same) whom men shower with free dinners, gifts and home repairs and who ""marry up"" into cushy lifestyles paid for by workaholic husbands. Ostensibly a road-map to workplace equality, Farrell's portrait of pampered, ungrateful women and stoic, self-sacrificing men may strike some readers as an unhelpful caricature.