Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Equal Pay Day

For all those who work for pay in the USA, today is Tax Day - midnight tonight is the deadline for filing income tax forms.  It also happens to be Equal Pay Day, which is pretty ironic.  Equal Pay Day marks the point in the year when the average woman has finally earned as much as the average man working at the same job had earned by December 31 last year.  Yes, the earnings gap remains that wide.

NPR touched on this subject yesterday in this interview.  It is hard to believe that a political candidate can be so utterly tone deaf, but it looks like Mitt Romney really is that out of touch with the reality of ordinary, middle-class life in the USA today.   From their privileged perch of inherited wealth, Romney and his homemaker wife, Ann, chastise women and the poor for not working harder.  The breathtaking lack of empathy or even basic human decency really does stun me some days.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin,  a state senator is giving Republican governor Scott Walker a run for his money in the race to win this weeks' Most Misogynist Medal. Sen. Glenn Grothman asserts that earning money is just more important to men.

"Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman, who supports Gov. Scott Walker's repeal of a law that protected workers from pay discrimination, recently said, "You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious."

Got that, ladies?

I wish this were an aberration, but this is just the latest attack in the War on Women from the Republican party. The push to strip away reproductive rights, to deny equal pay for work of equal value and to withhold support for continued authorization of the Violence Against Women Act because it might provide legal protections for LBGT victims of violence are all signs that the Republican party believes that it has drummed up enough support in the general voting population to come out openly with its nakedly bigoted and misogynist agenda.  What is really frightening is that they could be right.

Sandra Fluke wrote an excellent op ed for CNN about the importance of equal pay for work of equal value.  Try not to read the comments which follow the third year law student's well-written article. As if it wasn't bad enough that this is already tax day, equal pay day and a Tuesday*, it looks like the very worst of the bottom-feeding continent of CNN trolls made a special effort to be as despicable as possible there.  Do yourself a favor and click away as soon as you finish the article.

*Tuesday Tonics are here for a reason!

UPDATE:  The Zingularity has the latest polls gathered in one place, and the news is better than I feared. Perhaps the spin doctors hope to create a self-fulfilling prophesy by reporting that Romney's numbers are improving among women. Let's hope they are wrong!

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