LETTER : How the other half lunches

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From Mr F. M. M. Steiner

Sir: Helen Wilkinson's thoughtful and compassionate article ("Has love been lost to labour?" 6 October) on women's priorities in work and personal life, suffers from one major flaw. It seems to deal exclusively with middle- class and professional women whose jobs and careers involve well-paid work with a high level of job satisfaction. This is illustrated by her reference to the allegedly obsolete "lunch hour". For more than half the labour force of both sexes the dinner-break has not disappeared. Where (as in the case of my son-in-law recently) the employer shortens it, it is usually in exchange for an earlier end to the working day. In this setting, where so many women have jobs and not careers, where the work is not well-paid and often boring, you go out to work mainly for the money; but job satisfaction is often less than in motherhood - sometimes even outside marriage. Your contributors and readers should remember how the other half lives.

Yours faithfully,

F. M. M. Steiner

Deddington,

Oxfordshire

9 October

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