On Wednesday, April 23rd, the Senate failed to pass the Fair Pay Act. What was almost worse than that defeat were the out-of-touch, old-fashioned-- and downright insulting-- statements about women. Senator John McCain (come ON, Arizona!), who didn’t even come to vote, said that instead of legislation allowing women to fight for equal pay, they simply need "education and training."
Lilly Ledbetter, whose Supreme Court case led to the creation of the Fair Pay Act, didn't need "training". She needed Fair Pay. Women today make up 56% of college graduates and nearly half of the labor force in this country. Yet women make only 73 cents to a man's dollar, and mothers only make 60 cents, for the exact same job.
Sign the petition below in support of the Fair Pay Act. And for good measure, send Senator McCain your resume. Our goal is to send him 100,000. Think he'll get the point?
We Need Equal Pay for Equal Work--it is good law, make it enforceable.
The above is taken almost word for word from a Fair Pay Act website. What you'll read below, what I HOPE you read below, are my words, my story. An absolute, God's truth slice of my past:
When I was 18, I worked for a real estate firm in Chicago called Frank M. Whiston & Co. I was an accounting clerk, and I made $380.00 per month, BEFORE taxes. For this $380.00 per month, I opened, counted, and reconciled rent checks from various Chicago properties. Eight feet away from me sat a young man about the same age, and his name was Ray. He did the exact same job that I did. And for this job, Ray made $500.00 per month. He was single, so having a "family" wasn't even a flimsy excuse. He made more than me because he was a man. Period. And while I always found myself borrowing a few bucks from my coworkers every week so I could buy cigarettes (I was a smoker back then), the amount that Ray made more than me each and every month would have literally paid my entire rent.
That was in 1975. Come on, people of America. I really thought we were past that sh*t by now.
But thank you John McCain, who has informed me in no uncertain terms that I do not need equal pay for equal work. I need education and training. May I take this to mean I need more education and training than my male counterparts to do the same job so that I can earn the same amount of money? Perhaps, then, my male counterparts would like to PAY for that education? If being a woman means I am not entitled to equal pay, then being a man should mean men pay more taxes. Pardon me, but both make the same damned amount of sense.
If you are a woman, please go to the link above and sign the petition. If you are a man, before you blow this off and forget it, think about the women in your life. Your mother, your wife, sister, your daughter-- all of these women whom you claim to care so much about will be faced with this. It affects the woman in the next cubicle who struggles to make daycare payments and can't afford family medical insurance. It affects the friend from work you have lunch with in the plaza-- you know, the gal who brings her lunch most of the time and who can't afford to go out to lunch while coworkers of a certain gender eat out 4 or 5 times a week. The world would be a better place and politicians like McCain might actually wake the frack up if their male counterparts added their voices to the "THIS IS NOT FAIR!" scream.
Read it for yourselves:
What is the Fair Pay Act?