Commenter Hujo asked me for evidence that there exists systematic gender inequality, so I’m only too happy to oblige.
First, everyone knows or at least should know about the wage gap. A big chunk of it is obvious discrimination. In fact, one study that Echidne quoted in her wage gap series reveals that upscale restaurants discriminate against women in hiring even more than against minorities, who already get a very short end of the stick. The study had men and women who were matched for qualifications and skills apply for the same jobs; 48% of the men got an offer, compared with 9% of the women.
Second, the standard anti-feminist explanation of the gap, that women choose to stay home, actually underlies another discrimination mechanism. One of the authors of The Motherhood Manifesto explained on Feministing:
[Link] Best Buy innovators turned Best Buy’s corporate offices, which includes about 2,000 employees, into a results-only work environment, so that all employees, mothers and non-mothers, men and women, have completely flexible work hours as long as they get their work done.
At Best Buy they found that when the workplace culture is changed, particularly by doing things like getting rid of the “sludge” talk in the office and making the programs available to all employees, there were great results. An example of “sludge” talk would be: “Oh, she’s a mom. She’s going to leave early.”
Some women choose to work less and stay at home. Others are made to choose that because of workplace sludge and discrimination, as well as lack of daycare and husbands who won’t do any housework.
Third, there’s the Steven Pinker method of discrimination. Telling women they’re inferior to men can get into their heads; it’s called the stereotype threat, and has been known to hamper the performance of women and minorities in tests even if all they had to do was fill in an oval for gender or race.
All of these are specifically about gender. There are a lot of things that affect men and women differently – sexual assault, war, welfare cuts, homicide, workplace accidents, union busting. But there’s little evidence that there is any discrimination going on with any of them; people don’t have more sympathy with female victims of union busting or male victims of sexual assault.