Column highlights conversation community needs to have

To the editor:

Donna Steele helpfully raises the issues about women’s inequality in her recent articles in this newspaper (“Fight for women’s rights far from over,” March 17, A6). I want to applaud her efforts to challenge our society by addressing the significant disparity in the earning capacities of women in a system that favors men.

Most economic systems in the world are patriarchal, reflecting biblical norms, unfortunately, and family customs. We males enjoy the benefits of male privileges that seem to be our divine right.

Many males will deny these privileges while seeking to maintain those advantages. Equal pay for equal work would be a starting point, but more importantly is the ability to be equally represented in the decision-making and profit-sharing circles of upper management. 

Many males don’t understand the “glass ceiling” reality that confronts very able and willing women who contribute to the success of their employers, many of whom are male.

By accident of birth, I enjoy both male privilege and white privilege. Both have favored me in ways that I seldom understood.  

I am convinced that if women were more fully represented in all segments of our society, we would witness important changes in the way laws are made and society is organized, for the benefit of not only women but all of us. Denying the gifts and abilities of half of our population to enrich our communal life is a loss we cannot afford.

This is a conversation that needs to take place.

John H. Krueger

Greenfield