Political Correctness Ruins A Good Idea

Madison Dibble

The Women’s Center and the Office of Equity and Diversity at the University of Minnesota recently tookit upon themselves to develop (L)Earning What You’re Worth: Strategies for Salary Negotiation, a free module developed to teach women how to close that pesky wage gap.

The two organizations developed the module in hopes that students who complete it can first “talk about some current gender wage gap facts,” then learn important tools on how to negotiate a fair salary.

While the goal of educating students on fair salaries for each gender is a great idea, the developers of (L)Earning What You’re Worthruined it; they could not make it past the second slide without stumbling over their own buzzwords.

“We acknowledge the challenges with using the socially constructed, binary categories of ‘woman’ and ‘man.’ These categories do not represent the Women’s Center or the Office of Equity and Diversity’s understanding of the complexity of sex and gender. These concepts are useful, however, in explaining how both personal and institutional sexism are perpetuated, and how it can be challenged,” they said.

This statement acknowledges gender as a social construct, and itimplies no true differences between biological men and women. Five slides later, however, the presentation points at an inherent ‘confidence gap’ between men and women.

Specifically, the modulesites an articlefrom The Atlantic, which states that men and women have a large gap in respective confidencelevels.Allegedly, whilemen typically overshoot their abilities, women tend to do the opposite. This trend leads to women negotiating for less compensation than a man in thesame position might negotiate for.

“Compared with men, women don’t consider themselves as ready for promotions, they predict they’ll do worse on tests, and they generally underestimate their abilities. This disparity stems from factors ranging from upbringing to biology,” The Atlantic states.

While acknowledging that men and women are more alike than unalike, The Atlantic article continues, “Male and female brains do display differences in structure and chemistry, differences that may encourage unique patterns of thinking and behavior, and that could thereby affect confidence.”

The University’s module states that gender is a social construct; yet, it uses resources that suggest confidence levels are not simply social constructs: They reflect biology.

In the big scheme of things, contradictions like thisone made by the Women’s Center, the Office of Equity, and other Social Justice Warrior institutions or individuals do not matter.

However, it is important to observe that in this case, the circumnavigation needed to appease every rule of political correctness ruined a useful tool that could be used by all students.

After all, the module’s intent is a good one: Who (besides employers) wouldn’t benefit from all people being better at negotiating their salaries? But instead of making a simple module for all students to learn an important skill, these Social Justice Warrior groups designed a module that excludes men and deniesits noticeable inclusion of acknowledgingthe scientific differences between men and women.

Noting the differences betweenmen and women would be a great stepfor society to move from the idea of the evil “wage gap” to the men-and-women-make-different-life-choices-and-we-don’t-need-the-government-to-regulate-them “earnings gap.”