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Salvo 11.05.2021 10 minutes

Engendering Inequality

Lady Justice against blue background

Biden and Harris aim to divide and conquer with their Gender Equity Plan.

The Biden Administration’s latest assault on the American way of life and the principle of equality is two pronged, comprised of an Executive Order and America’s first National Strategy on Gender Equity and Equality.

The Gender Plan asserts that America has failed to deliver on its promise of equality to all. Using women as a pretext to address standard progressive priorities, the plan deplores the plight of marginalized minorities, who require a “shift in social and cultural norms,” not to mention universal health care, more immigration, more benefits for illegal immigrants, cashless bail, higher retirement benefits, a solution to the climate crisis, and institutionalizing the race-based practices of diversity, equity and inclusion throughout government.

The plan willfully confuses the core American principle of equality of opportunity with the goal of “equity, which is fundamentally discriminatory. Even in this encyclical about women, the Administration couldn’t advance a plan that was about women as women. Instead, the plan focuses only on women who are “of color, LGBTQI+ people, people with disabilities, and all those whose lives are affected by persistent poverty and inequality.” The plan promises that gender equity and equality are at the forefront of America’s foreign policy.

The Gender Plan paints a dystopian picture of existence for American women, including in immigration, democracy, health care, education, employment and security. However, its glum perspective is belied by statistical reality. Women make up 50.5% of the U.S. population. Yet:

  • In 2019, about 52% of all immigrants to the U.S. were female. That share has ranged from 51% to 53% since 1980, outpacing the equity quota.
  • In 2020, 68% of eligible women voted, compared to a 65% for men. In 2016, 63% of women and 59% of men voted.
  • The Administration asserts that Covid-19 has disproportionately harmed women, though the Brookings Institution reported two weeks ago that “men are much more likely to die” from Covid-19, both globally, where the death rate for men is about 50% higher and in the U.S., where the death rate for men is 60% higher, cutting life expectancy for men by two years.
  • In 1979, women took the lead on college campuses. Now, women make up 57% of undergraduates and about 60% of graduate school students. For the fifth year in a row, women outnumber men in law school, reaching about 55% this year. Women have been in the majority in medical school since 2019, reaching about 54% this year.
  • Without adjusting for differences in experience, jobs, or any other variable, the median pay gap between the sexes has narrowed from 26% in 2015 to 18% in 2021. When men and women with similar characteristics do similar jobs, the gap is just 2%. An examination of differences in workplace goals might further narrow or eliminate that gap.
  • Men are victims of about two-thirds of all homicides, nearly 60% of violent crimes that result in injury, and 52%, of all violent crimes. There are obviously certain crimes for which women are disproportionately targeted, but, on the whole, crime is a people problem. Cash bail is also a people problem. The Administration’s call to eliminate it could only benefit criminals, of both sexes.
  • Men are more likely to be injured on the job, and except for single mothers, often carry a larger share of household expenses (women spend more time on household chores).

As with any society, America can do better. But, with isolated exceptions, its problems must be addressed for all Americans, not by dividing us into racial and gender subgroups.

This is the threshold problem with the Gender Plan. While most people see crime, education, energy, and other topics as subjects to be addressed for the benefit of all Americans, the Administration sees these issues as tools to promote division.

The Biden Administration has no real plan to address the gender-based disparities it claims to exist; in fact, Biden’s executive order contradicts the Gender Plan. indeed, the Executive Order contends that the Administration seeks to empower girls, but the Gender Plan instead chooses transgender athletes over girls, and demands equity and equality for “all genders.”

If the Administration doesn’t understand there are only two genders, it can’t address the needs of women. That people may use surgery or drug therapy to alter their appearances or characteristics does not change the number of genders. Are transgender people their biological gender, their altered gender, or neither? If they are not “women” they don’t belong in a strategy for women.

The Executive Order and Gender Plan define “equity” as “the consistent and systematic fair, just, and impartial treatment of all individuals.” But that is notwhat equity means in today’s progressive social agenda. “Equity” is the imposition of outcomes equal to a group’s percentage in the population. But if white men were entitled to equity, many women would have to be thrown out of universities and presumably barred from voting to get their percentages down. Similarly, blacks might lose high-paying gigs in sports and television commercials.

The Administration’s conflating of equality and equity, its idiosyncratic definition of equity, and its use of a Gender Plan to focus on racial minorities and LGBTQI+ people, not women, suggests discomfort with the progressive concept of equity and surprising indifference to women.

Filled with woke terminology, the Gender Plan is a dog whistle to resentful progressives. Moments after being sworn into office, Biden signed an executive order establishing a “whole-of-government equity agenda.” The Administration has repeatedly attacked purported white supremacy and touted “equity” as a feature of every policy. Through executive action and legislation, the Administration has established and implemented programs whose financial benefits are available only, or first, to members of minority groups. Calls for unity are only noise.

For all its hype and anger, the Administration’s Gender Plan has as much to do with the reality and needs of women as its trillion-dollar spending plans have to do with curtailing inflation.

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