April 19 is so-called Equal Pay Day, the day in the new year in which women finally earn the same amount of money as men did for the past year. To mark this auspicious occasion, Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), along with Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Jon Corzine (D-N.J.), introduced the Paycheck Fairness Act. The act would force federal contractors to pay equally, block employers from punishing employees who distribute their salary information, allow women to sue employers under the Equal Pay Act and begin a training program designed to help women negotiate their salaries.
Meanwhile, some 160 miles away, students at Princeton University were cleaning up after a weekend of cross-dressing fun. On April 16, Princeton played host to the All-Ivy Drag Competition. Competitors were judged based on their performances, costumes, entertainment value and talent. Acts included two drag queens (from Columbia and Penn) stripping to their underwear and revealing their masculinity; Berkeley College male "Tina Broom" lip-synching "Proud Mary"; and two Yale students, king and queen, dancing to Sir Mix-A-Lot's "Baby Got Back." One of the competition judges was Princeton President Shirley Tilghman, who proclaimed after watching the lavishly festooned transvestites cavorting around the stage, "Everyone's a winner. There are no losers."
Sadly, we now live in a world where differences between the sexes are the object of unrelenting attack, whether from political demagogues or campus deconstructionists. The struggle for "pay equity" is one way of blurring the lines between men and women; "pay equity" advocates state that as long as the pay outcome is unequal, we're doing something wrong. Blaming pay inequity on anything but sexism betrays "insensitivity."