Popular Culture

Beyoncé Cites Economic Myth To Declare Gender Equality "A Myth"


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Recording artist Beyoncé Knowles-Carter is making waves with an essay she wrote titled "Gender Equality Is a Myth!" The core piece of data upon which she builds her argument is itself a myth, and she relies on coercive language to advance her agenda.

Knowles-Carter penned the piece for the Shriver Report, which covers women's issues. She writes, "Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes." She proceeds by telling the reader what he or she "has to" do to change this.

It is true that women account for almost half the workforce. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, with the caveat that its "comparisons of earnings… are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that may be significant in explaining earnings differences," also confirms that women make less money. However, the assertion of a gender wage gap, which is restated not only throughout the Shriver Report but also as a White House talking point, is rooted in basic misunderstandings of the information.

The differences in earnings stem not from discriminatory employers paying women less for equal work (which has been a federal crime for over 50 years), but from a slew of individual choices. Preferred fields of collegiate study and subsequent occupational opportunities, fewer working hours, and taking time off to raise children are among the variables that lead to differences in income. Economist Steven Horwitz of St. Lawrence University points out that "studies that control for these factors have shown that if you take a man and a woman with the same experience, same education, same job, and compare their salaries, what you find is that women make about 98 percent of what men do." 

Time has highlighted that in some areas, women's earnings actually outpace men's.

The Washington Post Fact Checker, the American Enterprise Institute, economist Diana Furchtgott-Roth, Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women's Forum, and many others have also addressed various aspects of the gender wage gap myth.

Knowles-Carter does express positive ideas about "teach[ing] our girls that they can reach as high as humanly possible," which would be to their benefit, economically or otherwise.

But, since the differences she criticizes are not rooted in any injustice, only personal preference, Knowles-Carter detracts from her own argument when she resorts to telling people that they "have to" change their behavior. This runs contrary to the empowering sentiment that women (and men) are free to make their own professional choices and deterime how to gauge their achievements.

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  1. So does that mean I can get a ticket to a Beyonce concert for 23% cheaper than a ticket to a Justin Timberlake concert?

    1. No it means Beyonc? can shut the fuck up.

    2. Only if you bring sexy back, Hugh. YEAH.

  2. It’s victims, all the way down.

  3. Addressing her by her actual last name gives her slightly more credibility than she deserves. She should be referred to exclusively as ‘Beyondsay’.

  4. Did you know Many Reputable Economists favor a higher minimum wage?

    Who dares dissent?

  5. She’s right, gender inequality for equal work is unacceptable. I demand to be paid millions of dollars to wear tight-fitting and revealing clothing while singing!

    Why should she get paid more than me or anyone else who does that?

    1. Because she’s way hotter than you? No offense, I know you’re trying.

      1. Way to body-shame. PATRIARCHY

        1. I think it was more like booty-shame.

          I’ll be here all week.

          1. Booteischamen

  6. Why does anyone care what a singer has to say about economic issues?

    1. I’ll go ahead and reference myself.

      No it means Beyonc? can shut the fuck up.

      1. Hear, hear!

        Or…don’t hear, don’t hear!

    2. Because there are people in the world who think she is worth listening to no economic matters. Why that is, I cannot say.

  7. Why does Reason reject a woman-person’s right to assert their victimhood? Soon you’ll be downgrading the Trail of Tears to the ‘Blubbering Hike’ or ‘Emotional Stroll’.

  8. James Taranto had a couple good pieces about this recently, and our buddy Bjorn Lomborg was quoted.

    “The Fallacy of the Middle Ground”


    Here is the paradox of “gender” equalism: It entails either setting up the traditional male worker as the ideal toward which women are expected to aspire, or insisting on a false equivalence between household work and paid labor. Modern feminism generally leans toward the former approach, but there are examples of the latter. See our 2007 column discussing a Salary.com “study” whose purported finding was that a stay-at-home mother is worth six figures.

  9. “…if you take a man and a woman with the same experience, same education, same job, and compare their salaries, what you find is that women make about 98 percent of what men do.”

    And that two percent is simply, as in professional golf, on account of their tits getting in the way of doing the job.

    1. Episiarch has the same problem.

      1. I finally got the surgery, Hugh. Thanks for the recommendation of surgeon, you were right, just like your surgery, he did a magnificent job. My handicap is down 4 already! Did your sepsis ever clear up?

  10. I for one am all for women earning more. A lot more. I’ve been working since I was sixteen. It’s time for me to relax a while the fairer sex drags their asses into the office all day, soaking up all the workplace “prestige”.

    1. Paul, I like the cut of your jib. When is it my turn to work little part time jobs for pocket money and fart around the house?

      1. Too bad you guys missed my opening for that here. The position has been filled.

  11. Written by Beyonce or an OFA intern?

    1. OFA intern

  12. I would seriously consider ingesting disgusting brown sugar water if a large food conglomerate agreed to pay me as much as they pay that bubblebutt to drink it.

  13. This stuff was debunked years (decades?) ago by Sowell:


    It’s like these people can’t read. Or maybe they just refuse to read?

    1. Some of them can’t read, or don’t want to know anything that doesn’t support their preconceived biases.
      Others think that women should be paid the same as men regardless of experience, education, ability or choice of career path.

      1. You know there was this one girl in a class I took at college that talked about the need for government economic interventionism in terms of a track race. She said trying to run a track race against individuals like, for example, white males, was unfair because they have inherent advantages that essentially allow them to start a few laps ahead.

        What she wanted though, was not for the minority or the woman to run faster, or for the white male to assist the minority or the woman on this metaphorical track of life, but rather she wanted some deity (government) to drop a precision airstrike on the white male, or for the government to send an assassin to slice out his Achilles Tendon.

        It’s really a difference in world view: Beyonce’s view is that men are out to get the women. It makes no sense, has no verifiable truth, but it gives the women something to stand and fight for. The other view is much more humane; merit should earn more, those that are ahead in the world will rise or fall based on their own ability, and those that are behind will do the same.

    2. I believe it’s more the latter, although the reason doesn’t really matter. They’re just wrong, and I’ve long since given up caring why.

  14. “comparisons of earnings… are on a broad level and do not control for many factors that may be significant in explaining earnings differences,”


  15. with an essay she wrote

    Does anyone really believe Beyonce wrote a word of it? I’d be surprised if she even read it.

    1. If it was catchy, she might have wrote it.

    2. Might have been in cursive….

  16. Derp. I always liked Kelly Rowland better anyway. YEAH, I’M A TRUE 1%er!

  17. hard for myths to have staying power if someone is not around to perpetuate them. And how lucky for us that another deep thinker from the entertainment world has decided to speak out. I was so worried that Sean Penn’s recent silence might be the start of a trend.

  18. If I were an employer, I would hire only women, since I can pay them 77% of what my competition is paying for equal work. It’s strange that no other company has thought of this.

    1. That must be what my dentist does. He hires only young, attractive techs and assistants. It must be because he’s saving costs. That must be how he was able to afford the mural on his ceiling of a hot bikini-clad woman with a knife in her teeth and a lion cub in one hand climbing up a rope ladder to a helicopter*. The guy is a genius!

      * I’m not fucking kidding about this, my dentist really has this and you stare at it the whole time you’re in the chair. It’s incredible.

      1. Dude…is your dentist Saddam?

        1. Don’t you mean Gaddafi?

          1. Regardless of which dictator he uncannily resembles, he’s not nearly sadistic enough to be like them. Combined with excellent taste in techs and awesome murals, he is the best dentist EVAR.

            1. More importantly, what’s his nitrous policy?

      2. mural on his ceiling of a hot bikini-clad woman with a knife in her teeth and a lion cub in one hand climbing up a rope ladder to a helicopter*

        Um..I’m a mandated reporter. Do you feel safe at your dentist? Does he ever try to touch you inappropriately? Does he try to put anything in your mouth besides dental instruments?

        1. I could only hope, but no.

    2. It’s strange that no other company has thought of this.

      Have you ever worked in an office predominantly staffed by women?

    3. Hooters figured it out!

  19. I once had the temerity to declare to several Obama devotees that Jay Z is a hack musician. They all gasped. Because even popular music needs to be politicized to the maximum extent.

  20. Does Beyonce marrying the world’s ugliest man make her a better or worse feminist? I could see it going either way.

    1. Wait, when did she marry Seal?

  21. Rack Man Jojo doesnt liek the way that is going down!


    1. I think you have confused your bots.

  22. Wait, so a musician who began her singing career in her teens and phoned in her only modicum of education to a “performing arts” high school doesn’t know shit about economics? Let me find my shocked face…

  23. Why are the hot ones always so stupid?

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