10
The Seesaw Continues

The majestic egalitarianism of the law, which forbids rich and poor alike to sleep under bridges, to beg in the streets, and to steal bread.

Anatole France Le Lys Rouge

The first half of 1981 produced three Supreme Court decisions that affected the direction of the course of women's rights, a direction not altogether positive. The decisions in the first and last of the three cases resorted to stereotypical conceptualizations of sex roles, thereby undermining both the philosophical and true gains women had made in the late seventies. The middle case, although aiding more than might have been expected but much less than had been hoped, declined to tackle head-on the validity of the concept of "comparable worth." In all three cases, clear indications of dissent and dissatisfaction appeared among the justices themselves, indicating anything but agreement as to what was and should be the role of women as the country moved closer to the twenty-first century.

-172-

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