Sylvia Hewlett's book "Creating a Life: Professional Women and the Quest for Children," which received unprecedented free publicity several years ago, recorded the complaints of successful businesswomen who were unhappy because they were childless. Judith Warner's book "Madness" is filled with the whines of educated, upper-middle-class women who did become mothers but - surprise, surprise - discovered that babies require a lot of care.
It's all society's fault, according to the authors. If only the government were caring enough to provide taxpayer-paid, high-quality day care and preschool, employer-paid maternity and parental leave, and taxpayer-employer-paid health care for all full- and part-time workers, mothers could get out of the "mess," or at least shift the cleanup onto the backs of society.
All these big-government liberals are spreading the lie that American women are massively discriminated against and victims of a "nationwide epidemic" of stress, anxiety, frustrations and depression. Both Warner and Hewlett want socialist Europe to be our model.
These whiners should get a reality check by reading Warren Farrell's new book "Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It."
This well-documented book is the total answer to the feminist complaint that women make only 77 cents for every $1 a man makes (the figure used by Democrat John Kerry in his 2004 presidential campaign). If this were true, then businesses could become much more profitable by hiring mostly women.
Equal pay for equal work has been the law of the land since 1963, and a big federal bureaucracy enforces the law. The average pay of all women tells us nothing about equity for individuals.
Farrell provides massive documentation to prove that men earn more than women because men work more hours per week, take more hazardous jobs, work at less desirable locations and under less pleasant working conditions, and take more technical training. That should be obvious to all but the ideologues who major in women's studies and then complain because engineers make more money after graduation.
Farrell sets forth 25 ways women can earn higher pay, sometimes even equal pay with men without incurring the same drawbacks of the job. But there are trade-offs, and more and more women are happily trading career advancement for family time.
Whether a woman chooses home or the workplace, or the "work-life balance" that Warner claims is illusory, victimhood is a dead-end road to a discontent that the government cannot cure.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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