The Economist points out ‘child penalty’ and encourages women to prioritize work over kids

On literally the exact same day that Time magazine went to bat for meatless, tofurky-centered Thanksgivings, their comrades over at The Economist slammed children for committing the unforgivable sin of lowering their mothers’ earnings …

In a super-ratioed tweet posted Saturday afternoon, The Economist wrote, “Having children lowers women’s lifetime earnings, an outcome known as the ‘child penalty.'”

The tweet linked to a report in which the magazine’s self-described “data team” poo-pooed mothers who prioritize raising their children over working a job.

The “team” specifically highlighted research showing “that women who grew up in families in which the mother worked a lot relative to the father tended to suffer relatively small child penalties.”

“Conversely, those who grew up with stay-at-home mothers were more likely to scale back their careers. This suggests that women are heavily influenced by the examples set by their own mothers when deciding how to balance work and family,” the report continued.

The team then concluded their post by suggesting that it would behoove women who want to rectify the so-called “gender pay gap” to spend more time at work and less at home.

“All of which is a lesson to those mothers who want their daughters to bridge the gender pay gap. Their wishes are more likely to come true if they lead by example when their girls are young,” they wrote.

The team’s startling decisions to describe having a child as a penalty, encourage women to prioritize their work over their children and perpetuate the debunked “gender pay gap” have not sat well with the public, it would appear.

Some critics blasted the 176-year-old magazine for its divisive language about children:

Others blasted the magazine for portraying women as victimized by a system that’s otherwise more fair and impartial than any other in human history:

Others argued that the type of feminism that The Economist and other media outlets routinely promote is the real penalty.

Is this to say that the research is wrong? Probably not. It may, however, be a tad shortsighted. Common sense suggests that men AND women who prioritize their home life earn less money than their work-focused counterparts.

Common sense and logic also suggest that there’s nothing wrong with this, that every man and woman is free to prioritize taking care of their family and that any potential losses in income they “suffer” are worthwhile sacrifices to them, regardless of what certain “data team” eggheads proclaim.


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Vivek Saxena


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