IoS letters, emails & online postings (27 July 2014)

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The Independent Online

True, the pay gap could be closed significantly if more women took up apprenticeships in traditionally male sectors ("Do I look like I work on Type 45 destroyers?", 20 July), but why do we accept that jobs in female sectors should pay less?

Demos are right to say that we need to challenge outdated perceptions of work roles, but that includes challenging the notion that women performing vitally important tasks such as nursing the sick, caring for the elderly and looking after the very young should be penalised rather than recognised for doing so.

Closing the pay gap isn't just about encouraging more women to do "men's jobs" but about creating equality – of opportunity and reward – across all sectors. This in turn would unlock other equalities, for example by making it economically viable for more men to share childcare responsibilities.

Dr Carole Easton

Chief executive

Young Women's Trust, London N1

Hurrah for Amol Rajan ("Which of these editors would rather wear the trousers?", 20 July), who, to paraphrase John Knox, has given "the second blast of the trumpet against the monstrous regimentation of male attire"! This matter is particularly relevant at formal events where the unimaginative uniformity of black tie or morning dress holds sway, whereas with women "anything goes". David Beckham, alas, failed to set a trend when he wore a sarong which is appropriate in tropical climes – and yet with climate change why not think the supposed unthinkable?

After 150 years mourning the Prince Consort, when the establishment effectively enforced a black dress code, isn't it time to break free from such constraint?

Women "liberated" themselves following the First World War – why are men so conservative, or are we waiting for practical, as opposed to wacky, expensive and unrealistic, men's clothes designers?

Russell Webb

Ringwood, Hampshire

Intelligent readers will applaud the courage of Archie Bland's searching piece on paedophilia (20 July).

Blanket condemnation does nothing to protect children. Asking about the complicated motivations behind a sexual interest in children is the path to helping abusers manage their impulses. Yet even with therapists it's difficult to raise such questions without being accused of sympathy with the abuser, as I found in publishing my own work on incest.

Mary Hamer

London SE1

To rush to judgement over the causes of an air crash is the road to potentially very serious errors resulting in placing blame in the wrong place. How does your correspondent Andrew Buncombe know if a missile even brought down flight MH17 let alone what kind of missile it was (20 July)? He doesn't, and is presenting untested allegations as facts. The only sensible course is for a full independent international investigation to report back.

Bill Haymes

Coventry

Katy Guest (July 20) says that "to kill an author's mystery is a terrible thing". But it all depends who the author is. I mean at first J K Rowling seemed annoyed that she had been outed as Robert Galbraith, a supposedly new writer of detective mysteries. Now, however she publicly admits that she's well into writing the third book in a series which could run longer than Harry Potter!

Tim Mickleburgh

Grimsby, Lincolnshire

You are spot on in publicising Glenn Mulcaire's story. We only get so much from court cases, and this tells the story straight from the source. It shows how the News of the World gave up its worthy fight for justice in the hunt for celebrity. That is a question for our society. Well done.

Michael Harley

Edinburgh

Personally, I'll be voting for Ed Miliband's brain and philosophy, rather than his looks.

H James

Chester-le-Street, Durham

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