Reader L.Y. adds her voice to the chorus of comments on Teresa “Real Job” Heinz Kerry’s slam (plus half-hearted apology) at Laura Bush for being a full-time wife and mother (see the Mailbag of Oct. 22 for links to The Other Charlotte’s many posts on this delicious subject). Here’s L.Y.:

“I don’t care what she meant, nor do I care about her apology. I just want this woman to keep on talking. Every time she opens her mouth, she snags more votes for George W. Bush. Her complete lack of dignity and poise–which are surprising to me, given her background–make Laura Bush look like a saint. Or at least a ‘real’ first lady.”

Yes–and it’s virtually guaranteed that should Teresa’s hubster win the White House, she’s gonna keep on talking.

And reader T.D. disagrees with TOC for berating John Kerry’s insistence on retailing the canard that women earn only 76 cents for the work that men perform for $1. (See TOC’s Debate Watch: Feminist Myth Cited As Fact, Oct. 14, and the Mailbag for Oct. 22):   

“Independent Women’s Forum? You look more like the ‘Men’s Idea of Independence for Women’ forum. I can’t believe any self-respecting woman would say that supporting equal work for equal pay reinforces the idea of women a victims. What hogwash. I know that if I left my job they couldn’t find one person who could do it. It would take two. I also am quite sure that they would pay a man more.”

T.D., we’re all in favor of equal pay for equal work–and if you can show you’re a victim of salary discrimination, we support the laws that provide redress for you. All we’re saying is that most studies of pay discrimination don’t weigh in such factors as experience and the desire of many married women with children to work shorter hours, and even seek less demanding jobs, so they can spend more time at home with their families. Studies that do account for those factors have concluded that across the board, the pay of unmarried men and unmarried women doing the same work are just about equal.