I saw the imbecilic press release from the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition last week, in which it's claimed that women are effectively working for free until the end of the year because women on average earn 12% less than men, but didn't plan to write anything about it (other than leaving a comment at the Hand Mirror suggesting the coalition get some members who understand statistics).
However, "not writing about it" was before I realised that a group of women at my workplace, some of whom will earn more than I do for a similar job (through longer service), featured in the local newspaper in a protest claiming they're being made to work for free until the end of the year because I, along with the other testicle-equipped, am supposedly ripping them off for 12% of their "deserved" salary.
I could forgive this. Many people fail to understand what the term "average" means and there is a general ignorance in society of how to interpret statistics, so it's not that surprising people should make the mistake. What's unforgivable: it's definitely unsurprising they should make that mistake when the women's group rep organising the protest is a fucking social sciences lecturer.
A qualified social scientist knows how to interpret statistics. A qualified social scientist ought to be someone whose views on how to interpret statistics can be trusted. And a qualified social scientist who says an average figure equals individual results is like a doctor who says antibiotics will cure a viral infection: either too stupid to live, or has some ulterior motive. In the case of this social scientist, I'm picking the ulterior motive "self-interest" rather than stupidity:
Dr Cat Pause said "...it's about wanting more for women."
In recognition of the Pay Equity Challenge Coalition's efforts, I've posted their propaganda photo (slightly edited) above.