Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner looks beyond the rhetoric of “Equal Pay Day.”

It’s that time of year again when gender activists claim women are discriminated against en masse by employers and paid less than men as a result. These activists will refer to this alleged discrimination as the gender wage gap.

There is a gap between men and women, but it is not a wage gap — it is an earnings gap. Working women earn less on average than working men, but it is not due to some widespread discrimination or the elusive, conniving patriarchy.

Rather, the gap is due to the different choices men and women make during their education years and careers. The current gap — estimating that women earn 79 cents to the dollar that men earn — is a two-cent improvement from when I first started writing about the topic two years ago. But the real issue is not what the number is, but the misleading methods by which it is derived. In order to calculate a 21-cent earnings gap, one must overlook that the average working woman works in a lower-paying field and works fewer hours each week than the average working man.

The gap nearly disappears when you adjust for these factors, and the causes of the much smaller gap that remains cannot conclusively be linked to discrimination, either. The White House knows this, the American Association of University Women knows this, and yet these two groups continue to push the idea that the gap is due to discrimination and suggest solutions based on that assumption.