ACCORDING to a prominent ally of Greg Abbott, Cari Cristman, whose job it is to rally women behind the Texas challenger to Wendy Davis, women are too “busy… busy… busy…”, in a “busy cycle,” so things like the Lily Ledbetter Act just don’t matter to us.
Evidently, Cari Christman thinks that after a woman gets her education and competes with men in the workplace, what’s done underneath the table to keep a man’s pay higher than a woman’s at the same job, won’t hurt her, including if she finds out well after the fact.
“Well, if you look at it, women are extremely busy,” she said. “We lead busy lives, whether working professionally, whether working from home, and times are extremely busy. It’s a busy cycle for women and we’ve got a lot to juggle. So when we look at this issue we think, what’s practical? And we want more access to jobs. We want to be able to get a higher education degree at the same time that we’re working or raising a family.” [TPM transcript]
Wendy Davis’s campaign responded quickly.
“Here’s a newsflash for Greg Abbott: women aren’t too ‘busy’ to fight for economic fairness for all hardworking Texans and they aren’t too ‘busy’ to reject his business as usual opposition to equal pay legislation at the polls next November,” Davis spokeswoman Rebecca Acuna said Monday in a statement. [TPM]
Greg Abbott has the same philosophy as every other Republican on women and equal pay. The traditionalism of establishment Republicans still sides with women and men not being equal in the work place, because that tilts the home balance away from “traditional family values.”
Republicans say there are better ways to achieve pay equality without punishing corporations, which may be true, but when a corporation isn’t ethical on women’s equal pay, the GOP never explains why a woman shouldn’t have recourse. That’s why the Lily Ledbetter Act came into being and why President Obama signed it, against Republican opposition.
Unfortunately, there are other forces, including on the left, who are attacking the strongest examples of demanding equality in the work place, which includes men leaning in to take up the slack domestically. The continual targeting of Sheryl Sandberg by feminists is actually aiding people like Abbot and supporters like Cari Christman, helping Republicans, while dividing progressives.
Texas is still a very Republican state, but what the campaign of Wendy Davis is doing on the ground, with the help of national Democratic activists, is important. There is still a very long shot chance that Davis will prevail, but what she may succeed in doing is pushing Texas into violet territory, on the way to purple then, inevitably, blue.
The long term challenge in Texas for Democrats working towards this goal remains getting minorities and poor voters, who lean strongly Democratic, out to the polls in the numbers needed to take over a Republican electorate that has been more motivated.