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Women Still Unworthy of Equal Pay for Comparable Work

Posted Aug 24 2008 7:32pm

On the same day that the Senate observed Equal Pay Day , and despite passage by the House, senators voted 56-42 to deny debate or allow a full vote on the Ledbetteor Fair Pay Act . The bill sought to counteract a Supreme Court decision limiting the time period workers would be permitted to wait before suing their employer for pay discrimination. In effect, the Republicans feel that defending corporate interests is more important than pay equity. How can it be that in 2008 a majority of our elected officials still believe that its OK for women--be it their wives, mothers, daughters-- to earn 76 cents on the dollar as compared to men, and that employers should be allowed to get away with it?!

The expected Republican Presidential nominee, John McCain, decided that walking among the impoverished women of Lousianna and Kentucky was more important than standing up for this bill. Just as well; he opposed the legislation. He told reporters that he's all in favor of pay equity,"but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems."

Sure, Senator McCain knows which side his bread is buttered. Corporate best interests should be preserved at the expense of hard working women and children. That's what this country is being built on now. I've seen this first hand.

Divorce in NJ is "Equal" but "Inequitable"

Like many other women I've met, I was granted a divorce settlement that was created under the auspices of equality in New Jersey. However, the concept of equal is fiction. Just as McCain and his fellow Republicans have made know that men are more worthy of their pay, so did the Judge overseeing my case. In determining how our incomes should be split, the Judge said, essentially, "he drives a Lexus. He has an expensive rental apartment. He commutes to the city. And, he wants to be able to take his children to the movies and out for dinner. Since he is the primary wage earner, he must have enough to meet his living expenses and whatever’s left, is yours.”

This thinking is proof enough to me that my contributions, including working part-time so that I can be home at the end of the school day, is dismissed as of less consequence than his larger salary. However, his ability to earn more is enabled by my accommodating his freedom to work unimpeded by childcare concerns. There is no equal. There’s no consciousness by men of equality.

This country has a long way to go in recognizing the value of different but equally important contributions to raising a family, and of contributing to society.

Shame on Congress for putting concerns of corporate profits above working women. Family Court is just taking the lead from our legislators. Women should be paid dollar for dollar for comparable work, and shouldn't be made to suffer when we make raising children an equal priority.
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