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Women employees earn 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts in the workplace earn. Which means that women who do the same work as men are being continuously discriminated against.
It's a statistic that's faced its fair share of criticism, and Equal Pay Day is indeed a broad look at average pay among all workers, regardless of job title. (One counterargument is that men work longer hours in higher-paying fields.) But whatever the figure, a gender gap still undoubtedly exists—and in the current economy, that reality should be more unnerving than ever. Women now make up half the workforce; they are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in the majority of American families.
Certainly aware of the gender gap in employee pay....Wisconsin Governor, Scott Walker....did something about it last Thursday....
On Thursday, with little fanfare, Wisconsin governor Scott Walker signed a bill repealing the state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which allowed victims of workplace discrimination to seek damages in state courts.
Yes, you read that right. The same Wisconsin governor who almost singlehandedly ripped his state apart by his sweeping anti-public union policies......the same Wisconsin governor who has been forced by voters into a recall election this summer.....thought repealing Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act would be a swell idea.
Though only voted into law in 2009,...by 2010 Wisconsin rose from 36th in workplace gender parity to 24th.
According to one of the Wisconsin Equal Pay bill's authors...
“Since the law was put into place, employers actually took notice and were very conscious of the fact that they had to follow this law or they were at risk of a lawsuit,”
But, apparently, it is the ever present threat of a lawsuit brought against companies who discriminate by gender-pay....which Governor Walker and his GOP rubber stamps in the state legislature find totally unacceptable.
“If tomorrow you woke up and some policeman is at your door giving you a summons for something, the fact that you’re innocent wouldn’t make you happy, because you have to show you’re innocent at some considerable time and expense,” says Republican state senator Glenn Grothman, a major driver of the repeal.
Can you even imagine? Those poor, unappreciated employers. The fear that some day a policeman may serve lawsuit papers to an employer.....at his own home, even.....for suspicion of violating Wisconsin's Equal Pay Enforcement Act is just too potentially humiliating to bear. And do you realize how much trouble it is to defend yourself against a lawsuit?
What is difficult to understand about this repeal in Wisconsin of equal pay for women in the workplace....is the timing. Yes, Scott Walker was elected governor to remove all evidence of liberalism from his state....and return Wisconsin to the hands of the people it belongs to....businesses. I get that. But Walker is in the middle of a very important recall election and the national general election is only six months away. Why repeal Equal Pay in Wisconsin.....now?
Is this yet another salvo in what looks to progressives like a frontal attack on women? Is this Wisconsin repeal of equal pay for women another attempt by conservatives to single out women for legislative punishment...as we've seen in the failed, yet still odious, Blunt Amendment....which would have given employers the right to discriminate specifically against women in
federally mandated health insurance plans? Is Wisconsin's gender-wage-gap-slap of female employees simply another campaign,....like the 94, 2011 state laws limiting a woman's right to choose,...in what Democrats are calling the Republican "war on women?"
I think that women are simply collateral damage in what looks like a Republican and conservative ideological war against what America has become in the modern age. Conservatives haven't singled out women for punishment, per se.....because conservatives are basically indifferent towards women, as they are towards most demographic groups. When conservatives look like they are purposely targeting women, or minorities....what they are really doing is rallying potential voters to install more Republicans into positions of power. And to what end, do you suppose?
For the purpose of moving even more money and advantages to the top 1%. That is the only objective of today's Republican Party. Seeming attacks on women, minorities, gays and others, are simply fodder for conservatives to keep the voting base engaged. But make no mistake....our biggest national division line is between the rich and the rest of us. Because greed and avarice are insatiable....and because today's rich and powerful are apparently beyond shame.....issues of womens rights, voting rights, gay rights, tax rates, Social Security, or whatever....are just a means to an end.
It's always easy to get bogged down in the weeds of argument over voter ID, contraception offered in health care plans, equal pay for equal work and all the rest of it.....but we should never lose sight of the real war being waged against Americans. It is the war of the rich and powerful against the rest of us. Use that real and continuing war as your Magic Decoder Ring......and test out all political issues accordingly.