Salary or pin money

September 1, 2000

The real reason for the underpayment of academic women is that very few men believe that women have to earn their own living ("Sister of 21st century", THES, August 4).

There is a general presumption that there is a man in the background of every woman. These have to provide for their present and future families and their work is taken seriously and paid accordingly. Women are perceived as working for holiday money, except for single mothers who have been visibly abandoned by the fathers of their children.

Margaret Taylor

London N14

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