Introduction to the Accountability Gap - HBR Talk 15
 
Certain ideologues have a habit of repeating the same discredited talking points on gender differences in several areas of life experience. They’ve been using those talking points for decades, and seem to believe that despite the wide availability of information contradicting them, repetition will maintain their dominance of public opinion. 

There’s a common thread that runs through these talking points which often gets buried under discussion of various details involved in their formation and their disgrace. It’s the “when you see it” of gender issues, a red core within the red pill, similar to the recognition of gynocentrism and male disposability. Once aware of how it is threaded throughout the spectrum of gender issues, one realizes that it explains a hell of a lot. It’s even related to Gamergate in its own way, because in the most basic of terms, it’s about ethics.

Gynocentrism is recognized, as described at gynocentrism.com, as a dominant or exclusive focus on women in theory or practice, or a pervasive cultural complex geared to prioritizing women and their interests. For purposes of gender issues movements, this includes pro-female discriminatory law and policy as well as behavior arising from social attitudes. 

Male disposability is recognized as a tendency to subordinate men’s welfare and interests to the interests of other entities within human society. Most often we think of this as men’s welfare being sidelined when it conflicts with women’s interests or family interests, but this includes the sacrifice of men’s welfare for community and government interests and even the concerns of various interest groups.

These concepts are staples in men’s issues discussion, and rightfully so, but they’re affected by a third factor. In fact all three are interconnected.

That factor would be the accountability gap. 

In academic terms, accountability as an aspect of hegemonic masculinity has, throughout history, been a determining factor in the advancements and achievements men have given our society. It is the vehicle by which social and legal standards which exist to bring about or support community stability operate. It is the foundation on which innovation and technological development stand. We have modern conveniences because people - mostly men - respond to adversity, challenges, and necessity by taking responsibility for establishing and ensuring beneficial outcomes, and then living up to that responsibility, even to their own detriment. 

It is the tendency to take personal responsibility for supporting their families or their own interests which leads men to do jobs that come with hazard pay. A sense of community responsibility leads them to go into dangerous community service jobs. Men seek careers in environments that are demanding, involved, and stressful to establish their respectability, their value to their communities, and even their identities, all as a way of taking personal responsibility for earning the responses they want from others. 

Women’s historical standards for accountability have revolved around home and family, and those standards have always been secondary to the standards faced by men. Some of women’s standards even involved not hindering men’s efforts to live up to the standards they faced. Why? If your husband or father is responsible for your welfare, it only makes sense that you’d be expected to refrain from undermining their efforts to preserve and protect it. 

As such, there has always been an accountability gap, but historically it existed as a result of society-wide attempts to establish and maintain a formula for community survival and advancement. A natural evolution of society throughout the industrial  and tech revolutions could have resulted, as conditions that led to that gap were eliminated, in its narrowing and eventual closing. Some women, however, responded to the division of expectations as if its only impact was on women, its only results were subjugation and harm, only women deserved remedy, only men were guilty of perpetuating that gap, and only men were responsible for ending it. 

That’s how fight started.

Feminists whine when women are expected to earn respect before it will be given, or when the application of accountability standards would place women under obligation or restriction. Civilizations have been built by men who thrive on meeting and exceeding those expectations, but somehow these women believe themselves abused or demeaned if they are not exempt. The feminist movement has instead built a massive scam to siphon money out of men for the purported benefit of women… and they’ve been successful because men take responsibility for women’s welfare. As a result, instead of naturally narrowing to extinction, the accountability gap has actually widened over the course of the last couple of centuries, relying on society’s gynocentrism, and exacerbating the phenomenon known as male disposability.

The interaction of those factors is behind most, if not all, of the issues addressed by the men’s rights movement. This can also be seen in controversy around feminism’s various talking points and narratives, the counter-points to which are usually also men’s issues.

HBR talk is going to do a series of discussions on some of these issues and their relationship to the accountability gap, beginning today with how that gap helps perpetuate the wage gap myth, and what perpetuation of that myth means to men.

For years, feminists have been pushing the claim that women are paid 77 cents for every dollar a man gets paid for the same work. The talking point has been repeated everywhere, from academia to politics to popular entertainment, all without being backed by solid evidence. In fact, a comprehensive study commissioned by the U.S. department of labor, in which the CONSAD Research Corp. evaluated the available research on the topic, resulted in a report which pointed out that there was no evidence that earnings differences were a result of discrimination, as feminists claimed. According to the conclusions stated in the report:

“Although additional research in this area is clearly needed, this study leads to the unambiguous

conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a

multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify

corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be

almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.”

CONSAD found, essentially, that gender differences in earnings were attributable to gender differences in work habits and career choices. As described in the report’s summary,

“Extant economic research has identified numerous factors that contribute to the gender wage gap. Many of the factors relate to differences in the choices and behavior of women and men in balancing their work, personal, and family lives. These factors include, most notably, the occupations and industries in which they work, and their human capital development, work experience, career interruptions, and motherhood. Other factors are sources of wage adjustments that compensate specific groups of workers for benefits or duties that disproportionately impact them. Such factors for which empirical evidence has been developed include health insurance, other fringe benefits, and overtime work.”

When a worker chooses to limit her hours of availability beyond the expected workplace norm, calls off from work more often than that norm, has extended breaks in her work history, chooses an area of study with lower paying job prospects, and eschews various higher paying jobs due to their unpalatable nature, she does so because these choices have off-the-job benefits. Those benefits come at the expense of employment income and benefits. In other words, the shortest interpretation of the findings of the CONSAD report is that when women are paid less than men, it is not for the same work. 

Feminists argue that women are forced into this position, but that is not the case. The reason there is a discrepancy between the sexes in terms of who makes the involved choices, how often, and to what degree is that the nature of men’s responsibility as breadwinners limits their freedom to make these choices, just as the social acceptance of the nature of women’s responsibility as caregivers leads to acceptance of these choices when women make them. That acceptance is not limited to times when women make those choices because they are filling a caregiver role. In other words, women have far greater freedom to choose whether or not to work like men, than men do.

Feminists’ response to that information has been to criticize the way men work, claiming it sets too high of a standard, resulting in women’s inability to compete in the workplace. They only hold men accountable for meeting expectations placed on them in the workplace, while ignoring any potential accountability for women’s exercise of choice in work life balance. This, even though were the expectations to which men are subject not met, many workplaces would disappear due to failure to meet the goals for which they exist. In order for your local electric power plant to produce and distribute electricity consistently, the power company must be able to depend on employees being reliable, diligent, and consistent. In fact, it is male workers’ greater reliability, diligence, and consistency that makes it possible for workplaces to accommodate women’s choices in work-life balance at all. Were men not there to pick up the slack, employers would not be able to allow women the leeway we have in that area because we’d be needed to fill shifts we’re less likely to take on days we’re less likely to want to be available, and do so in professional areas we’re less likely to pursue.

The bottom line is that the wage gap of feminist imagining does not exist. There IS an earnings gap, but that is not, as feminists claim, a result of discrimination against women. It is a result of differences in freedom of choice, how that freedom is exercised, and how accountable employee is to the employer. In addition to the accountability gap that represents, people’s tolerance for labeling that phenomenon and its resulting pay differences “discrimination” is a direct manifestation of the accountability gap.