GEND 356: Luce's and Brenner's "Women and Class: What Has Happened in Forty Years?"

This is going to be my go-to article now when talking about the gender wage gap.  Luce and Brenner's main aim in this article is to highlight the change of wages since the 1960s primarily.  They also highlight the differences between white women and women of color.  They urge that despite the apparent change, there still remains an unavoidable gap because systematic issues have yet to be socially addressed.  The legislative victory for equal rights can only do so much--as Luce and Brenner point out "they were primarily enforced through individual lawsuits" and "these cases can take many years to resolve, and most working-class women have neither the time nor resources necessary to pursue them" (125-126).

While efforts can be made to make sure that women and women of color have access to higher education and better training, this does not do enough to combat social discrimination that impacts hiring and promotional rates.  Women are still being filtered into "easily replaceable" positions like "cashier, retail salesperson and waitress"--jobs that are not considered "good jobs" and are always undervalued and underpaid (127).  Luce and Brenner's example of the janitor versus the housekeeper highlights this discrepancy (124).  It will take mass social change to combat this without strict government monitoring and enforcement--gender and race bias in the workplace still goes largely unchecked.

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