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Hi, I had a question regarding equality in the work place. I know that women today still make 75 or 76 cents on the dollar that men make. I'm going to give you a scenario:

Ok lets say there is Mary who is a female and Jack who is a male. Mary and Jack are both facilities managers, with the same exact job duties, the same educational background, and work in the same type of environment (in an office at a desk). I personally believe that Mary and Jack should get the same amount of pay for doing the same job as a facilities manager.

But now let's say that both Jack and Mary are construction workers. And their job duties include heavy lifting and demanding physical labor. If Jack can lift 100 Lbs bags of cement and keep up with the physical demands of being a construction worker, but Mary cannot, do you still believe that Mary should be getting paid the same exact amount as Jack, even though she does not contribute as much physical work as Jack does?

Is it really fair to pay Mary the same amount of money just because she is a woman? Now on the flip side, let's say Mary can keep up with the physical demands and contributes more work than Jack, who cannot keep up. I believe then, that Mary should be making more money than Jack.

Don't you think that employers should pay on the basis of how much work you contribute, rather than your gender? I believe that feminist only look at the exterior. "I'm a woman, therefore I am entitled to the same amount of money as a man, even though I'm not contributing the same amount of work." Just my take on it.

Wanted to know if you could possibly justify this type of thinking of " I am a woman, therefore I am entitled..."

Thanks. Stacy


Dear Stacy,

I don't know of any feminists who are calling for equality only based on gender, i.e. women should be 50% of Senators regardless of their qualifications.

The point in calling for equality is that women haven't always been given a fair shot in the paid labor force, just as men haven't always been given a fair shot in child-rearing. And on the example of the construction workers, they might be contributing different things, but what they are contributing is equally beneficial to the success of the business and thus should be rewarded the same.

Men and women are unique individuals, less because of their gender and more because we as individuals are unique. Feminism is attempting to honor that by focusing on what qualifies as success and what is necessary to get the job done.

Good luck figuring out your own thoughts on this. -- Amy