Gaps, damned gaps and statistics

At this present time, Academia is failing men in terms of the courses offered, the methods used and the misandry they promote (Ashfield, 2012), (Nathanson & Young, 2001), (Groth, 2012).

Yet, this incredibly important message is being drowned out by the feminist claims of ever increasing misogyny everywhere. This message now dominates our society not because of its validity, but its volume. Government departments and laws have been set up to pacify the shrill declarations of discrimination and oppression, yet this is not an answer.

The only way these departments can survive, never mind grow, is to find more and more examples of these problems that don’t actually exist, thus increasing the volume to a whole new level.

How will history judge us in years to come? Will future scholars look at our laws and the documents of the day, and get an accurate picture of what life was like in 2013 in Western democracies?

Will they imagine that 2013 was a terrible time for women? No matter how they tried for equality, they were continually thwarted by the dominant Patriarchy. Will they actually believe that no matter how the majority, that is all the women aided by those “Good” men, struggled, and no matter what laws were introduced, the Patriarchy ruled supreme?

Will they ever ask: if Partriarchy ruled, why did they allow the governments to pass these laws?

Take, as an example, the hysterical article written by Anne Summer of the Sydney Morning Herald about the supposed pay gap that exists between men and women (Summers, 2013).

Summers tell us “the brutal facts of sex discrimination against women in Australia in 2013”. Summers, it seems, got the Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA) media release about the “Graduate gender pay gap blowout” (Workplace Gender Equality Agency 2, 2013).

Summers, like Patrick Lion and Rob Kidd in the Murdoch newspapers (Lion & Kidd, 2013), made the mistake of repeating the WGEA alarmist claims that starting salaries for male university graduates are significantly higher than their female counterparts. They should have checked the source of the statistics.

However, Summers goes in harder than the other newspapers, declaring it “a huge wake-up call”, “a national scandal” and an example of “sexism and misogyny at work in Australia today”.

She informs us “WGEA has done us a great service in compiling and publishing these figures.”

The “service” Dr Carla Harris of WGEA provided was to take the statistics from Graduate Careers Australia (GCA) and re-present them in a manner that suited WGEA’s purposes. She claimed this information would “shock” and “outrage” female school leavers contemplating university (Workplace Gender Equality Agency 1, 2013).

GCA was certainly shocked by Harris’ use of their statistics. So shocked, in fact, that they felt compelled to make their own media release entitled “’Gender Pay Gap’ Claims Disupted” (Graduate Careers Australia, 2013). In it they point out:

It would therefore be unwise to assume on this evidence [(GCA’s statistics)] that there is any sex-based earnings disparity that is necessarily the result of workplace inequality.

They go on to highlight their concern

…that graduate employers are unfairly being painted as discriminating against new recruits in paying one group less than another, which is highly unlikely to be occurring.

“Never mind the quality, feel the statistic,” seems to be the WGEA’s motto. It’s a bad day when the source of your own statistics is telling you you’ve got it wrong.

The Herald Sun, to their credit, gave GCA’s media release the same coverage that WGEA’s ramblings got (AAP, 2013).  They quote GCA’s Bruce Guthrie

The researcher in question [Dr Harris] has missed some vital paragraphs in this fairly short document which would have explained a lot of the stuff we have had to clarify.

Yes, in order to highlight the “gender gap blowout”, Harris had to ignore the bit that says “…there are many factors that interact to produce observed differences in median starting salaries. (Graduate Careers Australia, 2012)” If she had read the description of the “many factors” she would have found that sex discrimination is not on the list.

Now bear in mind that WGEA is a government body that businesses have to report to concerning their “gender equity” treatment of their employees. Dr Harris is their Research Executive Manager. She will be the one analysing their reports and telling Australia businesses if they are being fair with their workers.

What do you think her conclusions will be?

As Dr. Greg Canning points out, “…policy based on poor analysis of only selected information is bad policy (Canning, 2013).” The damage that these people will do will be significant to Australian businesses and the economy as a whole.

Certainly Summers took the bait and ran with it. And here I feel I must give a warning for some our less robust readers:  The following logic might hurt.

Summers cries:

It amounts to a gender tax, with women making a disproportionate contribution to the national economy. (And that’s on top of having the kids and doing most of the housework!)

Even in the WGEA summarised version, there are industries where the starting salaries are lower for men. Are those men paying a “gender tax” too?

Summers also seems to be implying that women contribute more to the economy than men by paying this “gender tax”. How?

Summers then makes the “disproportionate contribution” even more confusing by adding:

It is often pointed out that if Australian women’s workforce participation was at the same level as men’s (79.7 per in cent instead of 65.3 per cent) it would add around 13 per cent to GDP.

Is Summers suggesting that we take jobs from men and give them to women so that we reach a midway point of, say, 72.5% each? Would this cause a 13% increase in GDP?

Or, is Summers suggesting that employers should be forced to take on more women to bring them to the 79.7% level of men? If so, is she telling us that if women getting paid to do jobs that employers don’t actually need done, then GDP will go up?

Or, is Summers predicting that a 13% increase in GDP would happen if the male participation was artificially lowered to 65.3%?

Is any of this because the “gender tax”?

Both Summers and Harris show us that economics and statistics can be really simple if you leave out all of the complexities.

However, in amongst all of this, there is a real gap not being discussed: The proportion of the 2012 graduates surveyed was 25,875 males and 41,738 females.

This ratio of 62% female, 38% male, give or take, has been in the GCA’s statistics since 1997 (Graduate Careers Australia, 1999). This is, therefore, not a statistical anomaly, but a well-entrenched systemic bias against men.

This is not limited to Australia. Professor Miles Groth points out that in America, male entrance to colleges is about a similar 40%. More alarmingly, though, Groth points out that the long-term trend for male participation in tertiary education is slowly declining. Since the 1980s, when the “magic” figure of parity, that is 50/50, was reached, the American experience has been a steady decline in male participation in tertiary education.

Consider this statement from WGEA’s Dr. Harris:

“’It is very disturbing that men’s starting salaries have increased over the past year but those of women have not, especially given that women make up the majority of university graduates.”

So Harris is aware of the statistic. That is, she knows that women are the majority of graduates. She shows no concern as to why men are a minority, or whether this situation is worsening.

Her only concern is that there are some statistics that, when looked at in isolation from reality, can be used to support the fiction that men are systematically oppressing women. It is this fiction that created Dr Harris’ job.

It is the maintainance of this fiction that not only will keep Harris in a job, but will help writers like Summers keep a high public profile. The more men are hated, reviled and feared; the safer and more profitable Harris’ and Summers’ jobs will be.

It is precisely these attitudes towards men, according to Groth, that is now making men unwelcome in college campuses around the world.

WGEA inform us that they have changed their name “…the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency has been renamed the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.” It seems that the name is the only thing that’s changed.

WGEA declares its intention to bring “lasting cultural and structural change” because of the “…undeniable social and economic benefits of gender equality… (Workplace Gender Equality Agency, 2012)”

Clearly WGEA intends to ignore the systemic barriers to male education and the long term economic damage that it will do in its blind charge for what they call equality.

If WGEA has to resort to propaganda because the facts don’t line up with the narrative that keeps them in a job, then we can only assume that, in their brave new world, some are going to be a lot more equal than others.

In education, that is already the case.

To those future scholars: I can only hope that there are at least some men among you.


AAP. (2013, January 5). ‘Govt   agency oversimplifed gender pay data’, Graduate Careers Australia says. Retrieved   January 6, 2013, from Herald Sun:

Ashfield, J. A. (2012). Towards an Integrated   Perspective on Gender, Masculinity and Manhood. Retrieved December 21,   2012, from New Male Studies:

Canning, G. (2013, January 5). Gillard’s gendered agenda.   Retrieved January 7, 2013, from A Voice for Men:

Graduate Careers Australia. (2013, January). ‘Gender Pay   Gap’ Claims Dsiupted. Retrieved January 6, 2013, from Graduate Careers   Australia:

Graduate Careers Australia. (1999, December). Gradstats.   Retrieved January 7, 2013, from Graduate Careers Australia:

Graduate Careers Australia. (2012, December). GradStats.   Retrieved January 6, 2013, from Graduate Careers Australia:

Groth, M. (2012, January). Meeting men: Male Intimacy   and College Men Centers. Retrieved December 12, 2013, from New Male   Studies:

Lion, P., & Kidd, R. (2013, January 4). New study   reveals women disadvantaged financially with gender pay gap more than   doubling last year . Retrieved January 6, 2013, from Herald Sun:

Nathanson, P., & Young, K. K. (2001). Spreading   Misandry. Quebec: McGill-Queen’s University Press.

Summers, A. (2013, January 5). Gender pay gap still a   disgrace. Retrieved January 6, 2013, from Sydney Morning Herald:

Workplace Gender Equality Agency 1. (2013, January). GradStats   – starting salaries. Retrieved January 5, 2013, from Australian   Government:Workplace Gender Equality Agency:

Workplace Gender Equality Agency 2. (2013, January 3). Graduate   gender pay gap blowout: female grads earn $5000 less. Retrieved January 6,   2013, from Australian Government:Workplace Gender Equality Agency:

Workplace Gender Equality Agency. (2012, December). WGE   Act at a glance. Retrieved January 6, 2013, from Workplace Gender   Equality Agency:



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