Dad's Wage Gap Fix: Save for Daughter, Not Son

Paul Ford wants to give his little girl a head start now against gender inequality
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 10, 2015 12:53 PM CDT

(Newser) – Paul Ford has preschool twins, Abe and Ivy. But he's worried that, thanks to gender inequality and the ongoing wage gap that still pays women only 78% of what men make, his little lady isn't going to get a fair shake financially when she's older. So, he writes for Elle, he came up with the idea for a "Jump the Gap" fund for Ivy. Adjusting for inflation, Ford figured out what salaries his kids would make upon entering the workforce in 2032 and how much in lost wages Ivy would rack up by 2070 (between $1 million and $3 million, by his count), figuring in the years she might leave work to care for future kids. "We can predict that, because of the systematic economic inequities, our daughter will not be on the same financial footing as our son. And so why not start now?" Ford writes, insisting he's not favoring Ivy over Abe, because if Abe really needed financial assistance down the road, Ford and his wife would "go all in" and do what they could.

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Ford also thinks his son won't be jealous if he and his wife do a careful job raising both kids with info about gender bias. Others are weighing in on Ford's "purchasing her equality" initiative, as he puts it. Katy Osborn writes for Time that, despite his "imperfect response ... at least he's putting his money where his mouth is." But Kelsey Miller notes for Refinery 29 that Ford's "mansplaining" and his suggested solution "reads like A Modest Proposal for the Internet Age." Ivy's extra stash won't "inoculate her from unequal pay or prejudicial hiring practices," Miller writes, may create an unhealthy sibling rivalry, and isn't practical for most families. "His solution is one that only an extremely privileged minority could possibly achieve, and so to present it as a viable option to the general public is so nonsensical that it borders on trolling," she notes. Read Ford's entire explanation here. (Or read why Michelle Obama should collect a salary as first lady.)

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