The Cost of Being Female by Margery Elfin, Sue Headlee

By Margery Elfin, Sue Headlee

The expense of Being woman is 30 cents, say the authors of this new publication on discrimination opposed to ladies. They show their thesis by way of developing an index that records the prices of discrimination opposed to ladies in 5 facets of lifestyles: financial, political, social, schooling, and health and wellbeing. The index compares the prices for American girls with these of ladies in Sweden, Norway, France and China, and measures the prices for 3 time sessions: Nineteen Nineties, Fifties, and the nineteenth century. The authors interviewed over 70 ladies, delivering a human method of the statistics of gains, occupations, political participation, marriage, divorce, childrearing, schooling, and women's wellbeing and fitness. The women's narratives reside testimony to the studies of the prices of being female.

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This does not necessarily imply a superior morality (although the luxury of pursuing causes might be considered a benefit of being female). Rather, it reflects the fact that since women did not vote or hold elective office until well into the twentieth century, there were no spoils for women to divide. The Cost of Being Female in Politics 27 HOW WOMEN WERE EXCLUDED FROM POLITICS Interestingly enough, it was the Industrial Revolution that freed middleclass women for politics in several respects.

Economics Professor Carolyn Shaw Bell (who taught from 1950 until her retirement in 1989) revealed Wellesley’s secret: ‘‘It was a personal value that any woman should be able to support herself and her children, whether or not she has to. ’’ 14 The Cost of Being Female Women are clustered into typically ‘‘caring’’ professions. For example, the majority of preschool and kindergarten teachers (98 percent) are female. The majority of registered nurses (95 percent) are women. The majority of elementary school teachers (89 percent) are female.

Other economists believe that women have less bargaining power than men. ’’ If there is no discrimination, then we should be able to explain more than half of the wage gap with productivity factors. But we can’t. There is no reason for a gender difference in the rewards for productivity characteristics; this must be due to discrimination. In her book The Economic Emergence of Women, Bergmann gives detailed evidence of employer discrimination from court cases brought by women under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

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