When I was little, my mom and I would sit down and talk about what I would do when I grew up. She would look at me with that jealousy-free envy only family can muster, and tell me how lucky I was to be able to choose absolutely anything I wanted. She would speculate about what career she would have gone into if she had a choice. Maybe a chiropractor, or a doctor? She always knew she wanted a career, but was given two choices: nurse, or teacher.
She's still teaching, and so are many of her peers. Their salaries are still being counted into the figures of what men vs. women earn. Now I'm sure some of you are going to argue with me that these professions should be as highly paid as a physician or CEO, but at the end of the day, that is a different debate. They're not being paid less because they're women, they're being paid less because they have different jobs: jobs that don't bring money into a company, and jobs that, on the whole, require less education. Whatever the original discrimination that lead them into the careers, they're not now being discriminated against because of their gender.
And it doesn't end there. My peers are still choosing nursing and teaching, and other lower-paid professions. They want to make a difference, have time to raise their kids, they feel drawn to nurture. Whatever their reasons, are we really going to point to their decision and cry "discrimination"? Do we want to take away their choice? Somehow say that greed-driven career choices that men make is somehow the "better" one?
Every woman deserves to be paid the same for doing the same job for the same length of time and the same hours as their male counterparts. A law that prohibits discrimination solely because of gender is a good thing. I don't know why we have to point to these aggregate figures and ignore what is behind them to pass such a law. By doing so, we betray everything the woman's movement should stand for.