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Opening Arguments

Somebody must be suffering

Women think the workplace is unfair to them, even though it is not. How come? This, I think:

Maybe, but it’s the constant media drumbeat about supposed unfairness that’s making women think the decks are stacked against them at all. Consider, even though many women seem to believe the playing field isn’t level when it comes to wages and hiring, Pew finds that “relatively few working adults report these types of gender biases at their own workplace.”

I heard a discussion of this on the radio last week comparing it to economic reporting by the media when there's a Republican president. We hear a constant drumbeat of "the economy is in trouble" or "the economy is on the brink," even when things are in relatively good shape. When people hear something over and over, they start believing it. So then we get these stories reflecting pulic opinion and all these people are quoted as saying the economy really sucks. "How about you?" the reporter will ask. "Oh, I'm in fine shape," will be the reply. "Well, how about the people you know?" "Oh, they're doing fine, too. But I know the economy is in bad shape and some people must be suffering."

If women are told over and over again the deck is stacked against them in the workplace, they'll beleive it. Ask them about specifics, though, and it's never them or anybody they know in the workplace, but, dammit, there is widespread discrimination, so somebody must be suffering.