Letters to the editor

Schiavo’s situation was not a partisan issue

Dear Editor:

The life-and-death battle over Terri Schiavo dominated pretty much every American news media for weeks. On March 18, Terri’s feeding tube was removed by court order, against the wishes of her parents and in defiance of a congressional subpoena. After several years of legal battle between Terri’s parents, who want to take care of her, and Terri’s husband, who claims Terri wouldn’t want to live in her condition, there seemed nothing more could be done to save Terri from a gruesome death.

In a surprising Sunday session, the Senate unanimously passed a bill that would allow Terri’s parents to appeal their case before federal courts. In the House of Representatives, a debate was called for Sunday night, and a vote on the bill was taken at 12:46 Monday morning. It passed 203 to 58 and was signed by the president.

Many in the media portrayed this vote to be a partisan matter. But look at the facts: Of the 100 Democrats present, 47 voted for the bill. That’s a pretty even split to me. So about half the Democrats agreed with the Republicans, who predominantly voted for the bill. Apparently, this isn’t such a partisan issue. People from every side are coming together to fight for an innocent life condemned to death by a court. Support for Terri and her parents has been overwhelming. Even Rev. Jesse Jackson, a well-known Democrat, visited Terri’s parents to support them in their fight for their daughter’s life.

Should the innocent life of a victimized, brain-dead woman be a dividing factor in party politics? I don’t think so.

Hannah M. Guarendi

Freshman political science major

Women do earn less; it is for legitimate reasons

Dear Editor:

Here we go again — the tired, old argument that women don’t make the same as men because of discrimination. I don’t doubt that women 35 to 44 make 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. However, let’s not shout discrimination.

Let’s think about this logically. Does anyone really think that corporations would pass up the opportunity to save 24 percent from their payrolls by hiring all women, but they don’t simply because they like men better? I thought corporations were run by greedy, money-loving men who cared about nothing but their bottom line. Corporations would jump at the chance for such savings.

Then why do women make less? I’m not sure where the numbers come from, but if you take women as a whole and men as a whole, then it’s simple. More women tend to take part-time jobs or jobs where they have a flexible schedule. The women tend to take these jobs so they have time to tend to their families, like picking their kids up from school or taking them to the dentist.

Why would women in the same jobs make less? It costs more to hire a woman than a man. It is possible that a woman will get pregnant and miss a very significant time of work. Most places pay maternity and now have to pay the woman AND pay someone else to do her job. Second, the person who takes her place is probably not as experienced, and therefore the company also loses productivity. Also, just as I stated above, women are more likely to take off to tend to their family or in the case of a family emergency. Finally, with every woman a company hires, it increases the chance of litigation costs because of sexual harassment.

Then after the editors moan about the gender pay gap, they go on to endorse laws that will increase the cost of hiring women (maternity leave requirement). Something that many who think like the editors forget is that businesses exist to make a profit. They don’t just have an endless supply of money to make sure we all live comfortable lives.

Finally, a 1993 census bureau study showed women that never married or had kids earned $1,005 for every $1,000 a man earned. The glass ceiling is there. But it hasn’t been put in place by discrimination. It has been put in place by the regulations and laws that all the feminists fight for.

Alan Rocky White

Graduate student in business