Feminist: “Women make 76c to every dollar1 a man makes.”
Someone else (typically a man): “Remember that men chooses the better-paying, more dangerous jobs. And women take more leave for family reasons. And … And…”
Dear guy-who-try-to explain: Feminists already know that. We do not say that bosses, on purpose, choose to pay Jill (who does the same job for equally many hours a week as Jack, and equally well) less on principle. There are very few bosses like that nowadays.
We say that the world is set up to value female work less. It purposefully gives the work that is hard to pay for, like family and child responsibilities, to women and thus free more money-making hours for men. This injustice is behind “women take more leave for family reasons“. This also causes many women to work fewer hours at paid jobs or opt out of paid work altogether. (For women who really have a free choice and chooses unpaid work, I am happy if they enjoy what they do. But unpaid jobs like housekeeping and family care places many women in a precarious financial position.)
When a field has only (mostly) men it pays well, when only (mostly) women it does not. When women enter a field, the pay drops. This means the mansplainer is right: Men are in the better paying fields. But this is, at least partly, a symptom of injustice, not a reason why it is just to pay women less.
As for women not having dangerous jobs, the most dangerous “job” on earth is and have always been female-dominated. The problem is that nobody counts the deaths, because these women are seen as expendable: Prostitution. Even in that “job” (which, make no mistake, is not freely chosen by women), men make more: The average pimp – who does not face those dangers – lives a lot better of prostitution than the average prostitute. You can also see that danger is not the reason for high pay, when you look at the pay of men who does dangerous work against their bosses, who does not: The miner who does blasting is paid a lot less than the mining boss, the security guard is paid less than the owner of the business he safeguards, etc. It is simply untrue that men are paid better because what they do is, on average, more dangerous.
The feminist who notices that women are not paid as much takes into account that the world dumps most unpaid work on women, that female-dominated fields are undervalued, that women who does something dangerous are undervalued as humans even more than the men who does something dangerous, to the point that their deaths are hardly even counted. These are all parts of how the world is sexist. And it is also parts of why women earn less than men.
1 76c for every dollar a man makes: According to the World Bank, that was the international average between 2011 and 2014. Some countries have a bigger gap than others. There are no countries where women earn more.