Letter reviews letter reviewing letter that reviewed “Review”
In her Sept. 21 Letter to the Editor, Julianne Nigro repeats the oft-heard feminist claim that women earn only three-quarters of what men do. What she doesn’t mention is that this statistic, which compares the earnings of Americans working full-time, includes no control for relevant nondiscriminatory factors such as profession, education or experience. According to its source, a 1999 report by the U.S. Department of Labor, these factors account for more than half of the observed gap. Recent data suggest that this gap has only narrowed since.The rest of Ms. Nigro’s letter is similarly uninformed. She disparages Marc Roemer’s examples as “random facts” without recognizing what they are: a list of ways in which women live better than men. Her (unsupported) denial of the feminist tendency to seek equality only when it benefits women is plainly contradicted by decades of feminist action. For example, I have heard many feminists condemn date rape and rightfully so; but not once have I heard a feminist decry prison rape, a problem that affects our disproportionately male inmate population.In some cases, feminists have actively perpetrated inequality between the sexes. To this day many deny that men can be the victims of domestic violence, when studies show that men are no less likely to be abused than women. This leads to openly discriminatory bills like California’s AB 2051, now before Governor Schwarzenegger, which would exclude men from state-funded domestic violence shelters. Mr. Roemer mentions another example, namely, the presumption that when a heterosexual couple separates, the woman will receive sole custody of any children. Ms. Nigro is undoubtedly aware that this precedent owes much to the efforts of feminist legal scholars.
-David EisenstatClass of 2006