Gender Economics: It used to be even worse

 When I Was a Grad Student

The lowest legal wage
was all I made
as part-time teller
in a city bank.
No teller could receive
a tip–if paid
the cameras would see,
you know… “Your back
pocket. The cash you stole!”
At end of day
your balance true would not
be evidence
of innocence no matter
what you’d say.

My wife made ten times
what I did, and hence
in 1968 she applied for
a credit card. No way–
she was not head
of our household. At Field’s
she tried once more:
a woman manager
was brave and said
the card could be in her
own name. My wife
was a real person, too,
with her own life…

– Steve Shoemaker, Urbana, IL, Feb. 5, 2015

Editor’s Note: Steve was a student at McCormick Seminary in Chicago. Nadja was a research scientist at Northwestern.

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