The Wal-Mart Suit
The largest class-action sex-discrimination lawsuit ever was argued on March 28, before the U.S. Supreme Court. Female employees are seeking millions of dollars in damages from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Lower courts had let the class action case go forward because they were persuaded by statistical evidence that men were more likely than women to receive raises and promotions.
In my book The Gender Agenda: Redefining Equality, I wrote of how radical Marxist-influenced feminists were determined to redefine equality. It would no longer mean equal education, equal opportunity, and equal rights for women, but statistical equality. Their goal was a society where men and women participate in every activity in statistically equal numbers and receive statistically equal pay and equal rewards – 50/50 by every measure.
These radical feminists took Marx’s theory that all history is the history of class struggle and that the division of society into classes of any kind is the cause of all evil and applied it to women. According to the radical feminist re-interpretation of Marx, women were the first oppressed class, men the first oppressors. Patriarchal society is the great evil, marriage and family the means by which men oppressed women. Liberation requires that all differences between men and women be eliminated. Since the radical feminists couldn’t line the oppressor class up against the wall and shoot them, or send them off to Siberia, the only way to overcome the oppression of women was for women to create a 50/50 world. Until women achieved absolute statistical equality in everything with men, they would be oppressed. Since any statistical difference is for radical feminist evidence of oppression, Wal-Mart must be a sexist oppressor, even if no one at Wal-Mart denied any actual woman a raise or promotion based on her sex.
It is true that women in the aggregate earn less than men and not as many women as men achieve high status, but the reason is simple. A significant percentage of women choose to make motherhood their primary vocation, while almost no men make the work of raising children their primary vocation. Some women never work outside the home, some drop out of the workforce for significant periods of time, and some while they work outside the home choose jobs which allow them to be with their children at critical times or have fewer demands. Since today a woman can choose not to marry, not to have children, or to make her career primary and family secondary, statistical differences are not evidence of oppression, but of freedom.
The radical feminists know that the ‘inequality’ they are fighting is the result of other women’s free choices, although they may pretend otherwise. Simone de Beauvoir, the feminist icon, once said “No woman should be authorized to stay at home to raise her children… Women should not have that choice, precisely because if there is such a choice too many women will make that one.”
Statistical equality will never come about naturally. Men and women are different and when left to freely decide what is best for themselves and their families will make different choices. Therefore, the radical feminists must resort to a quotas and lawsuits. They send out press releases equating statistical inequality with discrimination. They see discrimination where there is none.
Actual discrimination against a woman simply because she is a woman is wrong, but statistical differences between male and female promotion and salaries are to be expected in a free society.
Forcing Wal-Mart to pay billions of dollars would be a grave injustice.
Hopefully, there are enough wise justices on the Supreme Court to recognize this.