From the Oscars to “Fox and Friends” to Hillary Rodham Clinton at a women’s networking conference in Silicon Valley, the issue of equal pay for women won’t go away. Last Sunday’s editorial, “Clinton, Arquette, World Wrestling agree: Equal pay,” pointed out that each year women are shorted by more than $33 billion because of the wage gap. The Conversation asked readers why it has taken so long for women to receive equal pay.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Passionate support of women
Re “Clinton, Arquette, World Wrestling agree: Equal pay” and “California’s poor need more than handouts” (Editorials, March 1): While greatly appreciating both editorials on women’s issues, I choked up when I read in the middle of the Hillary Clinton/Patricia Arquette article a phrase that read: “It’s obvious that time alone isn’t going to end one of the last remaining social injustices in our culture – the systematic ripping off of our mothers, daughters and sisters.”
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I never dreamed I would see such passionate language supporting women in a major newspaper. Thank you.
Ruth Gottstein, Volcano
Disparity concerns unwarranted
The endorsement of Patricia Arquette’s Oscar rant on gender pay disparities was naive, ill-informed and/or biased. Gender inequality is only problematic if it lacks a reasonable and appropriate basis. The population of male death row inmates is 3,000 vs. only 55 women. Should the public be demanding execution equality? Of course not.
The federal Equal Pay Act virtually eliminated discrimination in pay. Countless studies have shown that the basis for today’s gender pay disparities include career choices (e.g., women’s preference for jobs accommodating family support), physical capabilities (e.g., male nurses’ abilities to perform tasks that female nurses cannot), consumer preferences (e.g., male vs. female sports) and tenure (e.g., many women interrupt their careers to raise a family).
As for comparable worth, this highly subjective concept has been thoroughly debunked by countless economists.
Finally, job market competition would eliminate gender disparities if women were truly a bargain for profit-minded employers.
Bob Parrish, Granite Bay
Why women earn less
As the book “Why Men Earn More” by Warren Farrell fully documents, numerous studies have shown that the difference in earnings between men and women is due to differences in education, hours worked, continuity of career, etc., rather than because of sex discrimination. A federal study found the same thing.
Karen DeCrow, former president of the National Organization for Women, said women will never earn as much as men as long as they have the extra burden of child care. To her disappointment, feminist organizations have led the fight against real joint custody.
Fred Hayward, Sacramento
Terri Kletzman – In my personal experience, I have witnessed this to be true.
Jana Gage – Terri, truth is the women tend to work fewer hours than men, that’s why men will earn more over their lifetime than women. And I said “tend,” that doesn’t mean that all men work more than women.
Karen Campbell – And not all women have responsibilities at home that require them to work fewer hours. I worked more hours than the men, but I was the one who wasn’t getting raises and wasn’t getting promotions in a company that had not one woman executive.
Paul Cox – And Jana, even when accounting for all confounding factors including time base, education, experience, everything – there is still a gap.
Terri Kletzman – In my personal experience, men earn more for the same number of hours of work.
Jana Gage – Terri, if you or your co-worker makes less (per hour) for exactly same job, it’s illegal and then you (or the co-worker) should sue your employer for gender-based discrimination.