What an exciting day for the Gangster Party in the Senate, and for millions of Americans who are waking up to the reality that at least half our Congress is corporate-sponsored and cares not for the good of its people.
We think we’ll just state the facts about the Paycheck Fairness Act, to avoid ranting, from an article that’s now a 404:
Today, Senate Republicans voted unanimously against legislation to close the pay gap between women and men. The Senate voted 58-41 against allowing debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would help end discriminatory pay practices against women. It had already passed the House.
More than 45 years after passage of the Equal Pay Act, the pay gap shockingly persists with women still earning on average 77 cents to every man’s dollar. According to the National Women’s Law Center, “This persistent pay gap translates to more than $10,000 in lost wages per year for the average female worker.” The gap is even worse for women of color: African-American women earn 61 cents and Latinas earn 52 cents for every dollar a white non-Hispanic man earns.
Women are half of all U.S. workers and mothers are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in nearly two-thirds of American families. The Paycheck Fairness Act would be critical to strengthening the economic security of these families. The bill would have updated the landmark Equal Pay Act of 1963 by closing loopholes, strengthening incentives to prevent pay discrimination, and prohibiting retaliation against workers who inquire about employers’ wage practices or disclose their own wages. The act would have also addressed pay secrecy, which is a prevalent problem prohibiting employees from knowing whether discriminatory practices are occurring.”
Logically, then, if we passed a law stating only women could be Congresspeople, it would budget-cut Senatorial salaries and save taxpayers 23 cents on the dollar. Heyooooooo!
What do you bet these are the same Senate Republicans who stymied the Presidential commission’s investigation into the BP oilpocalypse by blocking full subpoena power?
It’s also worth noting that corporations enjoyed more constitutional rights than white women for HALF A CENTURY. The 14th amendment was meant to protect the rights of recently freed slaves, but in 1886, the US Supreme Court ruled, without explanation, that the amendment also applies to corporations. (Hence the idea of “corporate personhood” which has f’d the American people ever since.) The 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote, finally FINALLY passed in 1920.
With the passing of the 15th Amendment in 1870, American men of color could vote — but their wives couldn’t. Not for 50 more years. American women couldn’t run for office or own property or decide to get a divorce, either. Women still can’t vote in many places in the world today. The single most pressing issue on Earth is overpopulation — a problem which would be greatly mitigated if we told the weapons industry to fuck off and spent that money instead on educating women and girls all over the planet. But we digress.
We have never called Congress on the telephone before and left messages for our representatives as many times as we did today. Somehow it feels more … real than sending out emails. We called the White House switchboard like 8 times. Four times when we found out about the Food Safety Monsantoization Act and four times after that, for the Paycheck Fairness Act Sellout.
Maybe it’s the chemical/Corexit poisoning from BP that’s got us all mad-dogging the white house switchboards. On a day like today, we should remember Congress works for the American people, and so does the President and his cabinet. Rather, they’re supposed to.
Note: “The American people” is comprised of up to 53 percent women. Who have just been told by their own governmental representatives that they’ll never get cut the same check as their male counterparts, and furthermore, it’s not even worth debating on the Senate floor, so they’re just going to have to suck it up and deal with it. Don’t these people have mothers?
Besides, when telling our friends’ grandkids about late 2010, the time when America started to wake up, and that crazy Monsant-opoly food bill almost went through the same day as they painted the glass ceiling with a fresh coat of bullshit … we wanted to be sure we will tell them we did something. Even something as small as calling the White House. Whether it worked or not, it seriously made us feel better.
On the subject of actively participating in life rather than bitching about how much it sucks, a wise and troubled great American once said:
“Get your back up off the wall. Dance. Come on.”
We love the mens. Mens are beautiful and smart and technical and artistic and they lift heavy things, and they’re so brave, and they have this inner compass that tells them where North is, even when they’re all turned around and it’s dark outside and raining. And they know — at least our male friends know — in no way are we saying men are excluded from this conversation.
This is a conversation for Americans. The smackdown of the Paycheck Fairness Act is not all men’s fault — it’s the fault of the douchebags in charge, and it’s the fault of those Senators too negligent or chickenshitted or bought-and-paid-for to speak up on behalf of their most valued constituency. And if we don’t call it in, it’s our faults, too.
To paraphrase and possibly bastardize a philosopher or somebody we heard one time: A man believes women, children, and nature are there for his bounty and stewardship. A boy believes women, children, and nature are there for his amusement. The boy attitude has gotten us ALL in trouble with our mother Earth, and now there are boys run amuck in the Senate. Let’s exhort the good men and women remaining in the Senate to call a time-out on these boys, and make them wear dunce caps and kneel on rice. This is not a bureaucracy bill, this is a rights bill. And it was denied.
Either sic ’em, or enjoy your continued second-class citizenship, Mama Grizzly. Enjoy that glass ceiling, which was both finally acknowledged and simultaneously upheld today by the representatives you elected into office (or failed to go vote / not vote for). Enjoy those honky douchebags making decisions on behalf of your family which will negatively impact all your female relations. Anytime you’re ready to turn over the tables in the temple, we’ll hold your purse.
We took a walk and a long bath and then read the Paycheck Fairness Act summary over again, to work it out in our heads:
If you look at who sponsors the bill, it’s all Democrats. The opposing team is made up of employers’ associations, who are probably justifiably afraid of class-action lawsuits and unnecessary bureaucracy coming down the pipe.
The Republican Senators no doubt voted against it because they say they don’t want big government interfering in the supposedly self-regulating marketplace, but really because they got paid off by these employers’ associations. (We’ve even read some female Uncle Tom pundit’s commentary about the “liberal whining” associated with this bill. If the bill eventually passes, and she gets the opportunity to find out her male co-workers doing the same jobs are getting paid $10,000 more per year than she is, we wonder what she’ll say then.)
However, in the same session, the same Republicans — AND all the Democrats — want to pass s-510, the flawed Food Safety Monsantoization Act, which puts hearth and home in the hands of the FIVE separate corrupt federal agencies. It makes our big government even bigger and more intertwined with the big-ag corporate executives hired to pose as “food safety” representatives, and further highlights the need for a 28th amendment for the separation of corporation and state.
When TRUE Republicans like the ones in our extended family would say “no, local farms answer to local governments” … and TRUE Americans would say “yes, America is a place where everyone deserves a fair shot and equal wages for equal work. Let’s all sign the piece of paper agreeing to that, so the women of America know we’ve got their backs.”
Are we right so far? Do these two things, when put together, prove the majority of our government is controlled by corporate interests? Does this mean the Senators blocking this one bill and trying to push through the other one are not actually representing the American people, but lining their own pockets and/or kowtowing to the Gangster Party in charge? Or is it us?
The number for the White House switchboard is (202) 224-3121. So, Ladies of the Long Apocalypse, let’s all distrust authority, question everything, defend the right to disagree and take a stand, love our country, and keep its leaders on the coals, especially when they’re voting against even talking about women deserving the same pay as men.
It’s the American way. Calling bullshit on all bullshitters is the American way.
LINKS to read through while you’re on hold with the White House switchboard:
The Cost Of War (look)
I am at something of a loss to think of a single social advance almost ever in world history that happened without someone standing up and speaking out when others told them to shut up and sit down. It’s called “agitating,” and from Women’s Suffrage to the Civil Rights Movement to ending child labor, it’s how things get done. Rosa Parks was a “professional agitator.” She went to nonviolence workshops and she studied campaigning strategies and tactics. She understood how to use media to dramatize and amplify an issue and she knew the history of other peaceful protest movements long before she sat down on the bus and refused to move. To paraphrase James Lawson, who led the Nashville Woolworth’s sit-ins, “Successful social movements do not happen spontaneously — they have to happen systematically.”
… and just a little story, to end the post, for doubters who may think women are prone to get upset over nothing: Today we got turned down, sight unseen, for an odd job installing insulation in an attic because of our gender. Even though we’re a broke Gulf Coast refugee who’s staying at the house next door. Even though the handyman who recommended us is way too big to fit in the attic himself. The foreman actually told him, incredulously: “You have a lot of faith in women and what they can do.” As if this were the wrong way to think. To his credit, our friend the handyman told him, essentially, “You don’t, and you’re way out of line, and why do you even think this way, you antiquated piece of shit, you suck.”
Still, despite our wide and variegated experience in home remodeling and construction, we remain jobless, simply because we were born with body parts the foreman doesn’t have.
Not complaining; just saying. It’s still like that.
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