Letter: Society's changes and women's rights

While I found Mr. Berkman's op-ed piece on “The demise of the single-car garage” (May 8) an interesting stroll down memory lane, I'd like to share some observations of my own. I too have fond memories of my childhood and helping my dad in our family's single-car garage. All week I would look forward to helping him on weekends, which was really just an excuse to spend time with my dad. He was the typical bread winner while my mom stayed home to raise the kids, cook all the meals and clean the house. We too had the basic chores...take care of the dog, clean up our rooms and empty the trash.

But to hear Mr. Berkman's explanation that the basic fabric of society began to crumble when women discovered a larger world outside their homes is dated and short-sighted. According to him, it was because of women wanting to work outside their homes that they needed a second car to get to work and therefore needed a larger garage. I wonder if our society would have remained firmly rooted in his Disney-like memory of the good old days if mom had taken public transportation?

I agree with certain tenets of Mr. Berkman's comments regarding bygone days being more innocent and less consumer-driven. People are now obsessed with bigger and more, while product quality and worker's rights have suffered. But to blame this on gender equality puts this squarely on the backs of women who already bear more of the burden of child care and on average, still only make 77 cents for every dollar that a man earns. Although I suppose that's the price we women pay for daring to venture into the world outside our homes.

Lisa Schway
La Cañada Flintridge

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