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Opinion: On Equal Pay Day, women should know the facts

Haley Supergan

As a college woman, I am regularly told that once I graduate, I will only make 80 cents for every dollar my male peers will make in the workplace. This idea has overrun college campuses, and the celebration of Equal Pay Day has only contributed to its spreading.

Women are taught from a young age that they will never have the same value as a man — and this just isn’t true.

Equal Pay Day is a holiday created by liberal feminists to draw attention to how much longer women supposedly have to work in the next year to catch up to what men earned in the previous year. This is based off of the misused statistic that women make roughly 81 cents to a man’s dollar.

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What advocates of Equal Pay Day fail to talk about with this statistic is that it doesn’t account for the different choices that men and women make regarding their education, career path, benefits and hours worked in a work week. 

What advocates of Equal Pay Day fail to talk about with this statistic is that it doesn’t account for the different choices that men and women make regarding their education, career path, benefits and hours worked in a work week.

As a college woman, I am shamed for desiring a successful career and a beautiful family.

Many college women, like myself, have already started thinking about what our futures hold regarding our family lifestyle choices. Society pressures us to wrestle with deciding between a family and being treated fairly in the workplace. 

Even though it is widely discredited, the narrative that women make less than men, simply because of their gender, has become such a hot topic on college campuses that it is now frowned upon to want to make “feminine choices” such as taking a pay cut for flexible hours or being a stay-at-home mom. 

A 2015 Gallup study showed that 56% of women with children under 18 years old prefer to stay home instead of working. For men, less than 30% have the same desire. 

Staying home to be a mother is pro-female. Women should not be made to feel ashamed for wanting to raise a family.

Brave women throughout history have fought for the rights of women to be able to make choices for themselves and to be able to succeed wherever they go. 

Narratives like the gender wage gap have initiated a tragic downward spiral, reverting women to a new but familiar form of oppression: being told what they can and cannot do. 

Feminists see all the accomplishments of great women and seem to think that they will only continue to grow and be great if they get out of the house. Some have even said it should be illegal for women to stay at home because it harms the economy. This isn’t fair to women and only holds them back. 

Just because a woman is devoted to her family does not mean that she is not also devoted to her womanhood and the advancement of other women. 

It is important for women to support each other’s choices in order to allow women to continue to follow their dreams, including staying at home to take care of their family. 

Women forcing other women into certain fields, jobs or positions is not empowering. It leaves women making career choices that will ultimately leave them unhappy. We must allow women to make choices for themselves. 

Stop believing in a statistic that holds women back and start empowering women to take charge of their own future and realize their dreams, whether in the workplace or in the home. It is time to abandon Equal Pay Day.

Haley Supergan is a senior at Creighton University. She is an intern with the Network of enlightened Women, the nation’s premier organization for conservative university women.