Why it costs more to clean and iron Michelle's blouse than Barack's shirt

The Democratic war on women continues, even in such mundane tasks as laundry.

After decrying the so called gender gap in wages while while justifying the huge gender wage gap of his own staff, President Barack Obama (D) expounded cluelessly on another major equality barrier confronting women--the huge gender price gap in dry cleaning.  

Playing Concerned Husband and Caring Big Brother to helpless women everywhere, Obama and his equally nattily attired, highly paid but clueless male press secretary, Jay Carney, babbled 

"We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right," Obama said, prompting laughter from the audience, which was full of women, "because I know that -- I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt." Asked about the disparities between what men and women pay for dry cleaning during the daily briefing a little more than an hour later, White House press secretary Jay Carney replied: "It's terrible."

Megan McArdle, a woman who was having none of this, actually took the initiative to solve this terrible discriminatory, difficult to explain, puzzle. 

There’s a very simple explanation, which the president or his speechwriter could easily have discovered, if they had, y’know, asked the dry cleaners.  

As Homer (Simpson) would say, "Duuuh!"

McArdle then linked to a reply from the female Executive Director of the National Cleaners Association who clearly explained 

As an industry, dry cleaners do not charge more for a woman’s shirt than a man’s shirt, they charge more for a hand ironed shirt than they do a machine pressed shirt. If you check your own dry cleaning bill, you’ll find that YOU pay more for the laundering and finishing of your hand ironed tuxedo shirt, than you do for the automated processing of your everyday traditional dress shirt! The price is in the math as calculated by the labor required not the gender of the client!

Simple math. Hand ironing takes more time and requires more skill, and therefore costs the cleaner more to produce. Because it costs more to produce, he charges more for the work.

Simple math, simple explanation.  Equal pay for equal work; more pay for more work.

Men's shirts, except for tuxedo shirts are basically the same--collars, sleeves, straight--which all can be laundered and ironed similarly by a machine.  But women are different.  McArdle described her blouse wardrobe--similar to mine and most women's.

My shirts are tapered, or they’re dry clean only, or they don’t have a collar and cuffs, or they don’t have any sleeves at all. The necklines vary. There are apt to be belts or waist ties or adorable ruffles scattered around the garment.

And don't forget the fancy buttons on many women's blouses.  Machine ironing those "adorable" ruffles or those imaginary sleeves and low cut neckline and whoops! the blouse is ruined!  And that would make the perennial female problem of "I don't have a thing to wear!" even worse. 

Imagine the criticism from the not so mainstream anymore liberal media if President George W. Bush's (R) press secretary, Dana Perino, the second female press secretary in history incidentally, wore a wrinkled ruffled blouse.  Or the same outfit two days in a row.  

So perhaps the Obamas should discuss something they both do equally well--taking vacations at taxpayers' expense.

The Democratic war on women continues, even in such mundane tasks as laundry.

After decrying the so called gender gap in wages while while justifying the huge gender wage gap of his own staff, President Barack Obama (D) expounded cluelessly on another major equality barrier confronting women--the huge gender price gap in dry cleaning.  

Playing Concerned Husband and Caring Big Brother to helpless women everywhere, Obama and his equally nattily attired, highly paid but clueless male press secretary, Jay Carney, babbled 

"We’ll talk about dry cleaners next, right," Obama said, prompting laughter from the audience, which was full of women, "because I know that -- I don’t know why it costs more for Michelle’s blouse than my shirt." Asked about the disparities between what men and women pay for dry cleaning during the daily briefing a little more than an hour later, White House press secretary Jay Carney replied: "It's terrible."

Megan McArdle, a woman who was having none of this, actually took the initiative to solve this terrible discriminatory, difficult to explain, puzzle. 

There’s a very simple explanation, which the president or his speechwriter could easily have discovered, if they had, y’know, asked the dry cleaners.  

As Homer (Simpson) would say, "Duuuh!"

McArdle then linked to a reply from the female Executive Director of the National Cleaners Association who clearly explained 

As an industry, dry cleaners do not charge more for a woman’s shirt than a man’s shirt, they charge more for a hand ironed shirt than they do a machine pressed shirt. If you check your own dry cleaning bill, you’ll find that YOU pay more for the laundering and finishing of your hand ironed tuxedo shirt, than you do for the automated processing of your everyday traditional dress shirt! The price is in the math as calculated by the labor required not the gender of the client!

Simple math. Hand ironing takes more time and requires more skill, and therefore costs the cleaner more to produce. Because it costs more to produce, he charges more for the work.

Simple math, simple explanation.  Equal pay for equal work; more pay for more work.

Men's shirts, except for tuxedo shirts are basically the same--collars, sleeves, straight--which all can be laundered and ironed similarly by a machine.  But women are different.  McArdle described her blouse wardrobe--similar to mine and most women's.

My shirts are tapered, or they’re dry clean only, or they don’t have a collar and cuffs, or they don’t have any sleeves at all. The necklines vary. There are apt to be belts or waist ties or adorable ruffles scattered around the garment.

And don't forget the fancy buttons on many women's blouses.  Machine ironing those "adorable" ruffles or those imaginary sleeves and low cut neckline and whoops! the blouse is ruined!  And that would make the perennial female problem of "I don't have a thing to wear!" even worse. 

Imagine the criticism from the not so mainstream anymore liberal media if President George W. Bush's (R) press secretary, Dana Perino, the second female press secretary in history incidentally, wore a wrinkled ruffled blouse.  Or the same outfit two days in a row.  

So perhaps the Obamas should discuss something they both do equally well--taking vacations at taxpayers' expense.

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