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I have been trying to ask a question on this site related to the gender pay gap. At first I originally asked it, and it was closed and dismissed as a dupe, despite this not being the case.

I then edited and clarified the issue, flagged for moderator attention hoping to get it reopened, and still it was left closed and erroneously considered a dupe.

Now, I have asked my question here just to see it being downvoted by people who either don't understand the issue or can't be bothered to actually read the question.

The first question I link to simply asks if the gender pay divide exists and for evidence supporting that, and the answers reflect this.

The problem is, there are many many reasons for the gender pay divide, many of which are not related to discrimination.

I am specifically trying to determine to what extent pay discrimination is going on in companies and organizations, i.e. at a low level separate from the entire group of womens earnings being compared to the entire set of mens earnings and acknowledging there is a difference.

Hence, I am asking for studies or reasong or some kind of evidence that discrimination (not a just pay gap) is happening at the level of individual companies and organizations. I think this unlikely as the laws against such discrimination carry heavy penalties and it would not make sense for companies or organizations to take such a risk.

Now, my question on meta, is how can I ask this without it being reduced to "Is there gender pay gap" and hence lumped with the other question?

It is clearly and unambiguously a separate issue, so how can I make this any more clear?

Why in the first place would different aspects of an issue get lumped with a general question addressing the issue? This does not accomplish anything as it is not addressing a duplicate question, and simply denies the chance for further elaboration or clarification on a particular point.

Can we not have a policy that particular points or sub-issues can be expanded on in their own question, without being considered a dupe?

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Before I get into a real answer to your question, I want to pause and note that this is starting to bug me:

Now, I have asked my question here just to see it being downvoted by people who either don't understand the issue or can't be bothered to actually read the question.

Please stop assuming that I haven't read the question. I did read the question. I understand your point. I get what you think is the difference. I appreciate and sympathize with your frustration. Please stop insulting me.


As for your request on how to ask this:

I am specifically trying to determine to what extent pay discrimination is going on in companies and organizations, i.e. at a low level separate from the entire group of womens earnings being compared to the entire set of mens earnings and acknowledging there is a difference.

I am not sure this is on-topic for this site. If you find someone claiming such a pay discrimination exists, we can investigate. But we are not here to go dig up evidence for a non-claim. Asking, "What evidence of this exists?" is not a guaranteed on-topic question.

For instance, if you cared about iron mining and heard that there was a mean glass ceiling and wanted to know if there was something really happening there, you could ask about that.

But abstracting that question out to cover all industries is exactly what the other question was asking. It is just commonly referred to as the gender pay gap. Asking for specific examples one way or the other can be handled by addressing those particular claims.

Can we not have a policy that particular points or sub-issues can be expanded on in their own question, without being considered a dupe?

Sure. The recent cell-phone cancer question is an example of this. But a problem does occur when a question drifts into another or overlaps in a way that the answerers feel that they are covering the same ground. That is bad for the site. Answering questions is hard; your sub-issued question about pay gaps is extremely open-ended and the generic case is covered well enough already.

In my opinion, your best shot is to go find a real claim that we can challenge.

  • @MrHen, I did not mean to insult you and what I said was in no way directed at you specifically or personally. However, The question I am asking is a sepearte issue, not a percievied one. So when people don't acknowledge that, then yes, it is frustrating. I am also completely willing to admit that I have a communication problem and am somehow not phrasing my question clearly enough. Any advice on how to improve that would be appreciated. Should I target discrimination as the topic of my question more blatantly? Limit it to Fortune 500 companies? – Sonny Ordell Jun 27 '11 at 20:33
  • The reason I am asking this question is because I hear many people in the Feminist community asserting that discrimination is ongoing while citing the gender pay gap as evidence. The problem is that the gender pay gap is not proof of discrimination....it's really only proof of a pay gap, so I wanted to see what evidence there may be that supports claims of pay discrimination. I would think the null hypothesis would be that discrimination happens as isolated incidents, given the risk to companies to discriminate on gender and the penalties they would have to pay. – Sonny Ordell Jun 27 '11 at 20:35
  • I think it is also important to point out that abstracting the question of discrimination accross all industries does not equate to the same issue as the gender pay gap. The gender pay gap is simply the difference between what women earn as a whole when compared to what men earn as a whole, with there being many different reasons for this. It is not inherently tied to or related to discrimination, as where I am only asking about discrimination. – Sonny Ordell Jun 27 '11 at 20:37
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    @Sonny: Well, I brought up being insulted because I downvoted the question and that is who you mentioned. I don't really care much about being insulted though; it just bugs me that you assume things about the downvotes. (cont.) – MrHen Jun 27 '11 at 20:56
  • The issue is that the questions of "pay discrimination" and "pay gap" are too close together. Distinguishing the questions by saying yours cares about things like expertise; time on job; skill sets and so on is misleading because the question about a "pay gap" cares about those too. The top answer even mentions them. It sounds like the real claim behind the question is, "The pay gap is evidence of discrimination." A question about this claim would be, "Is the pay gap evidence of discrimination?" I don't really know if would fly... but maybe it would have more luck than your current question. – MrHen Jun 27 '11 at 21:01
  • @MrHen, Discrimination is just one of many factors that can contribute to a pay gap, but can be looked at as a seperate issue. I don't care that a paygap is the result of the discrimination, I just want to validate that the discrimination exists. I don't see why they have to be considered close together at all Would you recommend deleting my current question and reposting with your suggestion? – Sonny Ordell Jun 27 '11 at 21:18

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