Ray explained that many employers were biased against women and viewed them as less productive, which led to paying them less.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on April 15, 2021. It has since been updated.
Political commentator Dennis Prager courted controversy after claiming that the gender pay gap is a myth. Prager, the founder of PragerU, a nonprofit organization, creates videos on various topics including politics, economics and philosophy. PragerU approaches these topics from a conservative perspective. Prager aired his views on the gender pay gap "myth" on TikTok but faced an instant backlash. One of the many people who contested Prager's opinion was James Ray, who has a degree in economics. Ray, who studied disparities in pay between men and women as part of his degree, explained why the gender gap is real and poked a hole through Prager's claim that "businesses would hire only women if women were paid less than men."
While Prager assumed he'd found an iron-clad theory to back up his views, Ray wasn't having any of it. He would go on to take apart Prager's logic with a detailed explanation. The video has since been liked more than 350,000 times.
James Ray had taken up economics as he was interested in investment management but it opened his world view and he became more aware of the disparities. Ray is now left-leaning and educating people on politics. “Basically, it just made it easier for me to educate people on disparities present in our society,” he told Bored Panda in an interview. James Ray had heard of Prager and took him up on the topic of the gender pay gap. "He spews very hateful unfounded rhetoric to his audience and I think the disinformation and overall problematic nature of his content have made me dislike him considerably!” said Ray.
While Ray was flooded with positive messages and feedback, Prager's video and views were met with a strong backlash. Prager deactivated his account and Ray's takedown of the former's views on the gender pay gap may have played a big part in the decision. “TikTok is… not fun for conservatives but particularly not for those like Dennis," said Ray.
In another video Ray also responded to a claim that women get paid less because they don't ask for a raise as much as men do. He agreed that it could be possibly true but then he went on to list the reason why a sexist society hinders a woman from asking for a raise. He stressed that women, from a very young age, are conditioned to not further their own interests so much as the interest of others. He added workplace culture is predominantly misogynistic and toxic, which meant that women who asked for raises were viewed as pushy or bitchy. Gender inequality was also highlighted in a 2018 report by World Economic Forum. The report stated that it would take more than 200 years for economic gender equality to become a reality and 108 years to completely close the global gender gap across politics, health and education.