CNBC on the apparent “pay gap” between the allowance parents give to boys and girls in the UK:
… boys received an average of £6.93 per week — almost 12 per cent higher than the average £6.16 parents gave to their daughters.
Despite receiving significantly more, boys were also more likely to complain that they were not receiving enough money. This year, 44 per cent of boys said they thought their parents should give them a rise, compared to 39 per cent of girls.
“Just like in the modern workplace, I suspect there is an element of ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’ as some little girls are probably too nice to ask for more,” said Lindsay Cook, co-founder of consumer website Money Fight Club.
Articles like this make me sad. Not so much that a gender pay gap exists—I believe it always will in one direction or another. Just like women (greatly) outnumber men in college, there’s a very high probability that one gender will always out-gain the other in pretty much any arbitrary measurement system you could devise.
And as human-made measurement systems go, money is as infinitely sad as it gets. But that’s how Western society values all of us at an increasingly younger age. We’ve been duped into thinking that our worth is tied to our pay. It’s made children, family structures, and even leisure time fundamentally incompatible with modern capitalism.
To be happy, we’re told, we should have the right to work—all the fucking time. Everyone should work. Work is the ticket freedom in the land of the free.
But when the answer to the question, “how much money is enough?” is always “more than I have now,” how free are any of us? If our value is chiefly monetary, we’re certain to go to the grave feeling undervalued.
The resolution to the gender pay gap is not to pay women more or to pay men less—or to pay men more in ten years when women make more than men. The solution is to psychologically abandon money as a human value metric.
Money does not exist in the physical universe. It’s an illusion we created. We imagined money into existence. Maybe one day we’ll be advanced enough to forget we ever thought of it.
That’s not likely to happen in our lifetimes, so if I were you, I’d look for happiness somewhere other than your bank statements. If I achieve any success as a parent, that’s what my daughter and son will do.