This commentary originally appeared in the Austin American-Statesman on April 14, 2015.
Ever since Stephen F. Austin led the first 300 families to settle along the Brazos River, Texas has stood as a gateway to economic opportunity and the promise of a better life. That spirit endures to this day, so much so that Texas entices thousands of new pioneers each year.
It’s therefore no surprise that every April, Texans engage in a healthy debate on whether lingering veins of discrimination prevent women from equally partaking in the workforce.
In case you hadn’t guessed, I’m talking about Texas Equal Pay Day, a state spinoff where activists seek to extinguish the gender pay gap. Only I don’t wish to tarry over the centuries of misguided paternalism that once “sheltered” women from public life. The injustice of that isolation is now well accepted, as is its tendency to drift from concern to disrespect.
Hunker is a policy analyst with the Center for Economic Freedom at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.