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LETTER: Equal pay in the workforce

Published: Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Updated: Wednesday, February 26, 2014 23:02

To the Editor:

I would like to respectfully disagree with the opinion published by Josh Richards in The Utah Statesman on Feb. 20, 2014. The opinion was written in an attempt to discredit President Barack Obama’s assumption that the majority of women want to receive the same wages as men for performing the same work. Before proceeding with my argument, I would like to make it clear that I do not, from a general standpoint, agree with the president’s philosophy of what the federal government’s duties should be in enforcing wage equality and overseeing labor relations throughout the country. However, I am not offering my opinions in an attempt to either promote or demote the political agenda of the Democratic Party, but rather to disprove the supposition that gender discrepancies in the workforce are “an indicator of our country’s family values.”

The foremost weakness in Richard’s article is presented in his claim that “women of today didn’t prepare themselves to earn six figures a year like their male counterparts … They were planning on becoming mothers. They were planning on raising the future of America.” The ludicrousness of this statement is eminent in the assumption that all women who pursue degrees in highly intellectualized fields have somehow wrongly prioritized their lives, thereby doing a disfavor to their posterity, as well as to the future of our nation. I find such an assumption disturbingly anti-capitalistic, as well as degrading to the role of motherhood. I would hold that the improvement of society is dependent upon the morals, education and livelihood passed down to children from both of their parents. Although the purpose of your article was to promote healthy family values, your claim that American women lack the desire to improve themselves through the pursuance of an advanced education is both nonsensical and false and devalues the very assumption of human nature on which democracy was founded.

Common sense would dictate women who truly value motherhood have an innate desire to nourish and provide for the safety and protection of their little ones. The likelihood of a woman being able to do so is greatly improved through equality in the workforce. I would like to make it clear that I do not wish, in any way, shape, or form, to degrade the role of stay-at-home mothers. It is obvious that under certain circumstances, choosing to absent one’s self from the workforce is the most selfless decision a mother can make in accordance with her situation. However, identically as selfless is the mother who sacrifices in order to pursue an education that will equip her with the skills necessary to provide for her offspring the means by which they will be able to become well-adjusted and contributing members of society. Unarguably, mothers from both of these categories see a brighter future in a world where their salary is equally matched to their capabilities. For now, women and men across the nation can celebrate in the fact that gender, racial and religious fairness has made leaps and bounds since the early years of our country’s founding. I think Mr. Richards would agree with me in the belief that the future of our nation is dependent upon the well-being of the family and its ability to promote the ideals of hard-work, sacrifice and education to future generations.

Anna Marchant

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