Thursday, April 17, 2014

Republican Misogyny and Equal Pay

I am amazed at how the Republican party continuously manages to sink to new lows in their attempts to pander to the Tea Party on the far right and make it sound plausible. They have gone so far out that if the world really was flat they would have fallen over the edge quite some time ago.

The recent act of congressional Republicans to vote down equal pay for equal work (the Paycheck Fairness Act) -- or more precisely equal pay for women. It was a misogynistic move that should have every woman in the country questioning any Republican values or beliefs they may hold. Why should they be loyal to a group of old white men who don't give a crap about them? Well, they shouldn't.

The Republican party has now sent a very clear message that woman are worth less (read worthless), that all those single mothers out there struggling to pay the bills don't really matter, that women  don't work as hard as men. Most of the women I know work harder than most of the men I know. Women generally put more into their jobs and then go home to run their households and  raise  the kids. While husbands of younger generations are stepping up more than the older ones, there is still a gap when it comes to taking care of home and family.

In the past the argument was made that deserved more pay so that they could support their families. It was a lame argument then and it certainly hasn't improved with age. So now conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly has one again shown that Republican thinking is mired in the past -- the loooooong past.

This dinosaur of a woman trotted out that old idea that a woman who makes more money won't be able to find a husband. This argument is so old that it became fossilized back in the 50s.  Women no longer need to marry for financial security. The vast majority of women marry for love these days. Period.

Let me point out here that not all of us are in the market for a husband. Just like there are confirmed bachelors out there, there are also confirmed spinsters. Not to mention lesbians who also just don't fit this stereotype. Since we have no intention of looking for, let alone finding, a husband. This doesn't even begin to include the fact that more households than ever before are headed by women. By Ms. Schlafly's heavily flawed logic, those of us who are not seeking a husband should then be paid the same as men.

This logic is just as insulting to men since it presupposes them to be insecure jerks who can't handle being considered "real men" without a bigger paycheck. Now if I were looking for a husband I don't think that a man this insecure is exactly the person I would want to have children with, let alone raise children with.

The true measure of a man is not found in the size of a paycheck or penis. It is found in the goodness of his heart, the integrity of his actions, and the fairness of his judgement. Of course, no man is perfect, but he should be able to be confident in his manliness without demeaning a woman.

Schlafly also chose to argue that women don't work as many hours (in my experience they often work more) and insist on a clean, comfortable office among nice people. I assume this means that women are higher maintenance employees than men. I find this a strange argument after all of the years that women have worked, and continue to work in farm fields and sweatshops.

Her bottom line came down to this -- that the best way to empower women is to provide better job prospects for their men. This is another amazingly bizarre twist of logic. It wipes out a good 50 years of women fighting for empowerment. You do not empower someone through someone else. It just doesn't work that way.

I admire women who have stayed at home to raise their children and did not HAVE to work to help pay the mortgage. Should things take a bad turn and these women lose their husbands to divorce or death I want them to be able to make a decent paycheck and not have to scramble to find another man just to survive.

This thinking that a woman is nothing without a man is as outdated as foot binding and corsets. And men deserve a woman who wants to be with him for who he is, not what he can do for her. Men and women are not two halves of a whole. They are two wholes.that compliment one another and create a balance.

A friend of mine recently posted on Facebook saying that after the Republicans voted down the Paycheck Fairness Act she couldn't believe any woman could conscionably vote Republican.  One of my brothers corrected her from woman to human being (I'm so proud of him!). My response was that a human being wouldn't, but a sheep would (my homage to George Orwell).

We should all empower one another, and no one at the expense of someone else. There is enough respect to go around. The Republicans could start with an honest vote and not just voting against hte Democrats. And vice versa.


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