- The theory of comparable worth held that "male jobs" were remunerated better than "female" jobs. This was true during the era of the "breadwinner wage" for the male household head that prevailed in some sectors (with the support of labor organizers like the Irish-American activist Mother Jones and most progressives, I should add) between World War I and the 1960s. Most progressives and pro-labor liberals thought that employers should pay married men enough money for them to support a family, so that their wives could raise their children at home in comfort; it is only since the Sixties that many American liberals, inspired by what strikes me as unconscious elite class bias, have preferred the idea of warehousing infants shortly after birth in collective baby-kennels so that their mothers can join their fathers as wage slaves toiling in mostly-unfulfilling and poorly paid service sector jobs. Inspired by "maternalist feminism," the breadwinner wage system was not so much anti-female as anti-bachelor; it was intended to force unmarried men to subsidize mothers of young children. It was reinforced by customs like the firing of female school-teachers when they got married; the theory was that their husbands would support them and the job should go to an unmarried woman who needed the money. (Note: it seems to me that nonsexist programs to allow both parents to take turns spending a few years with their infant children at home if they chose would be better than baby-kennels for the masses and lower-class nannies for the classes, but that's another subject).