THE CONSERVATIVE women who have been pontificating recently on equal pay reveal why so many Republican lawmakers don’t think there’s an issue. Laura Ingraham went on “Fox and Friends” this morning to parrot a Wall Street Journal article written by two men. It didn’t turn out well.
Then there is the issue of marriage and children. The BLS reports that single women who have never married earned 96% of men’s earnings in 2012. [Wall Street Journal]
If so-called “family values” Republicans actually valued the sacrifice of women who have children and then come back into the work force, they wouldn’t punish her for getting pregnant and taking maternity leave, then act like it’s not a societal necessity that she did so.
Conservative “family values” Republicans simply refuse to compensate a mother who has a career when she tools back up in her job, doing the same work she was doing before she had a child. To corporate shield Republicans, men who don’t have babies deserve to earn more, even as they preen politically how they’re all for families. The only definition of “family” conservatives support is traditional, patriarchal marriages where the woman stays at home.
On this Equal Pay Day, on “Fox and Friends” Laura Ingraham made an incredible statement. She said that women making 77% of what men make does not take into account “the number of months or years continuously worked.” That is an indirect reference to the time women take off to have children, then coming back into the work force, which puts them at a disadvantage to males doing their same job. Ingraham is openly suggesting that women who choose to be mothers and then work afterward don’t deserve to be paid equal, because they chose to leave their job to have a child.
What conservative women think about women and motherhood, especially those who don’t have the finances for child care, which can get you back into the work force quicker, is alarming.
Laura Ingraham is saying, if you want to have a career and a kid you better be prepared to pay for it, literally. Because a woman who takes time off to have a child and be there in the formative 3 years shouldn’t expect to ever make the same pay as a man who let his wife have the kid while he kept on working.
It’s even more revealing that Laura Ingraham didn’t even understand what she was implying through this remark. Ingraham has adopted children, but she also makes a lot of money, so one can assume she has many choices. It doesn’t dawn on her that most women don’t have these choices and neither do the men to whom they are married.
“Fox and Friends” highlighting Laura Ingraham today further reveals the gap in how Republicans see modern life for the middle class.
Parroting the Wall Street Journal talking points, Laura Ingraham also said that the 77% women make to a man’s salary does not take into account the “number of hours worked per week,” implying women work less at their jobs. She said the 77% “myth” doesn’t take into account the “risk factors in jobs taken.” Female cops, soldiers, and firefighters are never considered, with Republicans against women doing “men’s work.” The 77% “myth” doesn’t account for “educational focus” and if the person went to college and a person’s major. Perhaps Ms. Ingraham should check the college statistics and all the women getting degrees equal or higher than men.
Conservatives think Equal Pay Day is all about making it “easier to sue employers,” according to Republican talking points for Equal Pay Day, which Ingraham gladly parroted.
Families depend on women making equal to a man, children depend on it, too.
The Obama administration pays leading department heads the same, regardless of gender. Do they have a perfect record on women and pay? No, they do not. I’ve written about it, including the reporting done in the first term when the White House was called a boys’ club.
Republicans fail in trying to change the subject by pointing at the White House.
Republicans right now, today, people like the American Heritage Foundation who is promoting women get married to get equal, Megyn Kelly calling equal pay a “meme,” while Dana Loesch uses the right-wing radio talking point “myth,” as does Laura Ingraham, are working against equal pay.
Never, at any time during his presidency has Barack Obama or the Democratic Party worked against women, made the case against women getting equal pay, nor have Democrats voted against laws made to protect women.
If Republicans supported Equal Pay Day and the equal pay of women President Obama wouldn’t have to sign executive orders for federal contractors, but instead would be signing legislation out of Congress, passed by both houses on a bipartisan basis that makes equal pay the law.
That’s not happening because American Heritage, Laura Ingraham, Dana Loesch, Fox News Channel and anchors like Megyn Kelly and Elisabeth Hasselbeck are providing cover for the traditionalist patriarchy inside the conservative Republican base who think women should not compete with men in the work place, and that mothers should be punished for having children and a career, too.
If Republicans would support equal pay we wouldn’t even need an Equal Pay Day, because they’re the only ones standing in the way to passing meaningful legislation that makes equal pay a right of every person working, regardless of gender.