My father for all his foibles had six daughters who he would tell from time to time, ‘you can do anything or be anything you want.’ It was his way of telling us we were just as capable or smart, even more so, than ‘the boys.’ My father’s education for some reason “lapsed” after middle school. He didn’t attend high school, and it was really just a few years ago that I realized just how functionally illiterate he is. He can read and write but it’s at very basic level – we’re thinking around 3rd-4th grade level, which I’ve told my sister isn’t too far off what level the average American newspaper is directed towards.
Now – my father has voted solidly Republican since before 1944, which is when he tells me he voted for Thomas Dewey; it did so both times he also mentions – the other being 1948. Knowing my father it’s borne out of a libertarian streak. Of course, this is the same man who told me in 2002 that Hillary Clinton should be president and he would vote for her in a heartbeat. He had for the first time in his life voted Democratic in the 2000 presidential election.
The point I’m attempting to illustrate is that my father although an apparent die-hard Republican with a cursory education recognized that the value of women – or at the very least, his own daughters – certainly matched or extended beyond that of men.
Yesterday the Senate voted on the pay discrimination bill, Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It didn’t get the 60 votes it needed. My father will tell the likes of the Larry Craig and Mike Crapo – as well as in the House, Mike “Football is More Important” Simpson, and that other dullard, Bill Sali, that every one of his daughters bucked hay, topped corn, and irrigated crops. And if they can do that as good as or better than any man, then they can do anything. Harry Reid of Nevada also voted ‘No’ but anyone who follows the legislature knows the tactic there. “(*Senator Reid is a strong supporter of the bill, but for technical reasons he had to vote No. As Senate Majority Leader, this will enable him to bring the bill up at another time.)”
The primary ‘argument’ presented by the ReThugs = this decision will produce an avalanche of lawsuits. How likely is that when this act is to reverse the Supreme Court’s decision originally rendered in 2007? Workplace discrimination is covered under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
Title VII’s prohibition of workplace discrimination applies not just to pay but also to specific actions like refusal to hire or promote, denial of a desired transfer and dismissal.
It’s a matter of justice, simply. A matter of simple economic justice.
If your Senator voted NO: Call (202) 224-3121 – Leave the message that you disapprove of their vote. Elaborate if you want . . . . politely, I remind myself.
Of course, Mitch McConnell – minority leader – voiced his disapproval:
“Here we are, shut down on a Wednesday afternoon, no action in the Senate, in order to accommodate the Democratic candidates for president’s schedule,” Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky said Wednesday.
Though several Republicans joined Democrats in voting to break the filibuster, the 56-42 vote was four short of the needed 60.
McConnell urged senators to block the bill and stick with a debate on a veterans benefits bill pending in the Senate. But Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada blamed Republicans for stalling action on that bill to complain about the equal pay bill.
“I have trouble understanding how my friend would have the gall to stand on the floor and make the comment he did, but he did,” Reid said. He joined Republicans on the vote, a tactical move that allowed him to request the measure be reconsidered.
The bill, dubbed the Fair Pay Restoration Act, is a response to a 2007 Supreme Court decision that ruled a person who claims pay discrimination must file a complaint within 180 days of that discrimination taking place.
Small note: This restoration act doesn’t just apply to women, it would also include those men who have been discriminated against as well.