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What is the role of the word disproven in this sentence:

. . . my colleagues who rail quite eloquently against the disproven idea that the disparity between what women in the workforce make compared to men is only because the system is patriarchal and sexist,but who had nothing to say when. . . .

Is the author being condescending towards the colleagues in that they only rail against ideas that have already been disproven?

Nevertheless, do the colleagues believe that there are other factors for the “disparity” apart from the sexist and patriarchical society?

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closed as off-topic by Kris, Josh61, tchrist, FumbleFingers, choster Jul 11 at 16:27

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Please give us a complete sentence before asking what is going on in "this sentence." –  Brian Donovan Jul 11 at 3:37
    
I agree with @BrianDonovan, the text that occurs after "who had nothing to say when..." is potentially important context, but the text was googleable: and occurs here (search 'who rail' on that page): usnews.com/opinion/blogs/peter-roff/2014/06/23/… –  ZeroBugBounce Jul 11 at 3:51
    
Disproven as defined in the dictionary, nothing special in the case. The rest of the question is apparently litcrit. –  Kris Jul 11 at 5:15
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This question appears to be litcrit. –  Kris Jul 11 at 5:16
    
You might want to swap "make" for "earn", for additional clarity. –  i-CONICA Jul 11 at 9:43

1 Answer 1

ZeroBugBounce found the link to the source of this text, which enables us to consider it in context:

When it comes to the real war on woman – which includes sentencing those who opt to becomes Christians to death and shooting little girls in the head who want nothing more than to go school to become educated in math, science, languages and the humanities, then we don’t hear so much. So shame on all the liberals – including the ones who are my bloleagues here on Thomas Jefferson Street – who rail quite eloquently against the disproven idea that the disparity between what women in the workforce make compared to men is only because the system is patriarchal and sexist, but who had nothing to say about a lone woman, a mother of two, languishing in a Sudanese prison solely because of who and how she chose to worship.

So this is just a poorly constructed sentence. As written, the author appears to claim that there exists an idea that gender wage disparity is due to patriarchy and sexism, and that liberals rail against that idea--i.e., that liberals believe that gender wage disparity is not due to sexism and patriarchy. That's backwards. Liberals don't rail against that idea, they embrace it as representing the truth--and it is that truth, as they perceive it, that they deplore.

What the author should have written was:

So shame on all the liberals ... who make the disproven claim that the disparity between what women in the workforce make compared to men is only because the system is patriarchal and sexist....

(note: I offer no defense of the sentiment expressed here; I merely point out how it could have been made clearer.)

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