100 years ago today: Don\'t worry–giving women equal pay will benefit men

The World, New York New York, October 19 1911.


The newspaper reported that the legislature had passed the bill which mandated equal pay several times before and each time it had been vetoed. This time, according to the major

After careful consideration I see that I should accept this bill for the city. It gives the women teachers in our common schools equal pay with the men teachers in all the grades

and, as the mayor points out, this may actually redound to the benefit of men

Instead of lessening the number of men teachers it will increase it. The economical reason for appointing women teachers because they are paid less is removed.

Now, whatever the reasons the mayor had for not vetoing the bill it is interesting that he felt he had to (or wanted to) make the comment/reassurance that the bill would result in more men being hired. And it is important that in this day of fighting for equal pay for work of equal value that people be reminded just how recently in the United States one could openly and baldly pay a women less than a man just because she was a woman and he was a man. Laws had to be passed to prevent that from happening. And it would go on happening (and more laws would be required to be passed) for decades to come.


One thought on “100 years ago today: Don\'t worry–giving women equal pay will benefit men

  1. The real economic battle was lost, I think, when women were permitted to compete with men for jobs. (If you double the size of the workforce and don't double the number of jobs, you're going to get more unemployment.)Of course this had quite a lot of good effects too; I'm not suggesting it was an error. Just that by 1911 it was far too late to worry about it.

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