By Ethan Hollenberger 

Academia has long been a breeding ground for future generations
of liberals. Overwhelmingly liberal faculty and staff spoon-feed
students healthy doses of liberal talking points. Point in case is
a question posed at the recent debate at Marquette University where
Liz Cheney and Howard Dean tussled on the “Role of Government in a
Free Society.

During the audience question and answer session, Kathleen
Ludington, the Director of Development for Marquette’s College of
Health Sciences, asked about equal pay for women. Ludington asked
that since tuition fees are equal for men and women, is it a fair
expectation for females who put in the same work and investment to
receive only 78% of pay for equal work. Ludington further suggested
that conservatives have said nothing about the pay gap. Ludington
qualified her question was not asked on her behalf particularly,
but on “behalf of some students.” Check out the exchange on video:


Video streaming by Ustream

When searching Governor Scott Walker’s recall petition, Kathleen
Ludington’s name is found on a sheet with
five of her University co-workers. The recall petition is often a
good litmus test to identify Wisconsin liberals.

Ludington’s claim about pay inequity is largely false. When asking
her question, she cited a recently released study in her question,
most likely a report from the liberal American Association of
University Women
 entitled “Graduating to a Pay Gap.” The
report says the pay gap for recent graduates is 82 percent, using
numbers from 2009, the most recent available. The report also
reveals that the pay gap for jobs in health care, social services,
business support, math, science, computer, and engineering are not
“significant in gender”.

The reader cannot even get past the first page of the Executive
Summary before the authors admit, “After we control for hours,
occupation, college major, employment sector, and other factors …
the pay gap shrinks but does not disappear.” When the AAUW
considers factors beyond mere gender, the pay is readjusted to five

In her formal response, Liz Cheney says that conservatives “believe
in equal pay; we believe people ought to have jobs.” According to Cheney, liberals have missed the mark by focusing
rather on women’s issues such as free birth control and the right
to choose. Liberals have also mischaracterized the actual cause
behind the so-called pay gap.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, obtaining a college degree cuts unemployment
in half and increases the participation rate in the workforce.
Interestingly, the workforce of women is larger than that of men;
however, their participation rate is nearly 14 percent less than
men. About 68.2 percent of the male population work while 55.4
percent of women work.

Why is participation rate important? The gender gap is likely
caused by life choices made freely by women. Many women chose to
work fewer hours-or not at all-in order to raise children.

Another cause of the perceived gender gap is choice of major. Engineering and science majors are overwhelmingly male, while
health care, education, social sciences, and the humanities are
female dominated. Business majors are roughly equal. The female
dominated majors have lower starting salaries. The percentage of
working men who have college degrees is roughly the same as women:
about 30 percent.

Conservatives and liberals disagree about how much legislation
can control pay discrimination.  Again, accounting for more variables than
merely gender, the gap is five percent. 
The AAUW suggests
the adjusted gap is caused by men being more likely to negotiate
for their salaries.    

I grew up in a “single parent home” after my parents divorced. My
mother raised her four kids on near minimum wage jobs. She always
taught me to take responsibility for my actions and not play
“victim.” She hated saying she was a “single parent”. She never
wanted to be labeled. She worked hard at multiple jobs to give my
siblings and I a better life. When I was unable to secure funding
to complete my college education, I was expected to keep moving
forward and find a solution; I will return to school.

The “gender gap” has become a liberal dog whistle to underscore
that women are victims who need liberal politicians to even the
field. The reality is that women like my mother are hard workers.
Women work both at building families and successful careers. As Liz
Cheney points out, America is about equal opportunity. Until the
economy grows at a better rate, all Americans will

Ethan Hollenberger, age 22, is a conservative activist from
Wisconsin. While in college, he was a founding member of the
campus’ Young American’s for Freedom chapter.  He can be
contacted at Follow him on
Twitter: @EHollenberger.

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