The criticisms raised by our commentators highlight the greatest challenge we faced in writing the article; namely, how to articulate the crucial distinction we advance between the processes and outcomes of social inequality. We tried to clarify this (see West and Fenstermaker 1995) first on page 9: “while gender, race, and class . . . exhibit vastly different descriptive characteristics and outcomes, they are, nonetheless, comparable as mechanisms for producing social inequality.” We tried again on page 19: “The goal of this article is not to analyze situated conduct per se but to understand the workings of inequality.” And we tried again on page 25: “Despite many important differences in the histories, traditions, and varying impacts of racial and sexual [and class] oppression across particular situations, the

mechanism underlying them is the same.” Despite such efforts, the comments of our critics suggest that we have failed to spell out this important distinction adequately and that the implications of our formulation are likely to be misunderstood.