Note: Letter to the Editors are responses students and readers of the Eagles’ Eyrie can write to the Editors of the paper. The letters can be about everyday happenings at Godwin or in response to an article published in the Eyrie. Letters will be featured online as long as they are appropriately written. The letters do not represent the Eagles’ Eyrie and represent only the opinions and thoughts of the writer of the Letter. The Eyrie encourages its readers to respond and be active in the reading process of the newspaper and welcomes any written responses. After all, we always wish to be the student voice.
Letter to the Editor in Response to Blake Dunson
Upon seeing the headline declaring that the wage gap is both “reasonable and explainable,” I quickly presumed the article would be satirical. The article written by Blake Dunson was, to my dismay, a serious assertion made based on gross misconceptions and an appalling degradation of women.
First, I must debunk the claim that women are wrong to believe that they do not typically receive equal pay for equal work. Yes, the 20 cent gender pay gap touted by many does not properly represent the full economic picture. Nonetheless, there still exists a three cent pay gap even when men and women hold identical workplace positions. A three cent gap may seem miniscule, but it unquestionably racks up to be a substantial earning difference in thousands of dollars for senior corporate positions.
Mr. Dunson stated that unequal pay for equal work does not occur because of the 1963 Equal Pay Act that aims to prevent gender discrimination and wage incongruence. If this logic were to extend to race, then equal financial compensation tied to racial discrimination would not occur because of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The reality prevails: there is a pay disparity for both women and minority races—regardless of what legislation exists.
Additionally, Mr. Dunson posited that decisions such as pregnancy skew the gender earnings comparison. He characterized pregnancy as a woman’s “life choice,” yet I am fairly confident that reproduction requires both a man and a woman. Responsible procreation should be encouraged in our society (especially as the American population ages). Yet, America finishes dead last in paid maternity leave amongst developed nations. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act, women have the right to 12 weeks of leave—unpaid. Women should never hesitate to have children out of fear of the financial ramifications of unpaid leave.
However, Mr. Dunson had the audacity to proclaim that being a man is more expensive. Besides the quick Google search that will negate that fallacy, Mr. Dunson’s presentation of “reality” is fictitious. Men choose to pay more during relationships and courtship. Medicare payments are federal taxes applied equally to everyone’s paychecks. Women pay more for health insurance on average. For life insurance and retirement plans, men pay more because they typically live shorter and more hazardous lives. This higher risk will always have men paying higher premiums, just like teenagers with car insurance.
Mr. Dunson, economics sure is a messy and complex topic, but it is even messier when falsehoods are used to convey an opinion. Patronizing women by saying it is a man’s duty to “provide for,” “cherish,” “look after,” and “allow” them to have a “healthy home life” exposes the superiority complex that some men still feel over women. Women have the same abilities and productivity as men. Pay and mutual respect for fellow humans should not waver based on the gender of others.
Kyle Adams is a senior at Freeman high school and reached out to the Eyrie asking to write a “Letter to the Editor”.