|GOP crusades against equal pay for women|
|Written by Abby Causer, Daily Vidette Columnist|
|Thursday, 19 April 2012 14:02|
On April 5, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker repealed his state’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act. Oddly, he did so with no public statement or any sort of public or media formality.
However, on Tuesday of this week he finally defended the repeal. His excuse? He says that lawyers were using the law to “clog up the legal system.”
What he really means is that it was too easy for women to seek justice. Among other things, the law allowed employees to file suit in the state court system, which is more easily accessible and cheaper than the federal court system.
I just don’t buy his justification. Why would the governor seriously care about lessening the case load of his state courts?
Further, republicans also fought against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act. Can they offer the same reasoning for fighting those?
Glenn Grothman, a Wisconsin state senator who also supported the repeal, said the law, “put Wisconsin businesses at greater risk for frivolous lawsuits” and “was opposed by the very businesses and employers Wisconsin is counting on to help turn our economy around.”
It is odd though, because several prominent Wisconsin business associations were actually in favor of the law, according to the Huffington Post.
I think what the governor and republicans in the state are trying to do is protect some of the big businesses that are donating to their campaigns. They obviously don’t think they are truly representing the people of the state since they didn’t exactly proudly announce the move to repeal the law.
And for good reason, since women make 77 cents to every dollar a man makes on average. In Wisconsin, women only make 75 cents to every dollar earned by their male counterparts. Ten years after college, women work for about 12 percent less than men.
And Grothman said, “Money is more important for men” because women are more focused on child rearing.
Other GOP representatives like Tory Mazzolla have said, “If democrats really want to help women, they should focus on the fact that women saw the slowest economic growth and jobs during the last year. They’re one of the demographics that are really struggling to find work, and if they focused on jobs and the economy instead of political payback, we’d be in a much better position.”
I’m confused as to how protecting women’s rights to equal pay for equal work isn’t helping women. I don’t think equal pay is the same thing as political payback, but that’s just me.
Lilly Ledbetter, who inspired her namesake legislation (the first piece of legislation that President Obama signed into law), recently criticized Mitt Romney for declining to say whether he would have signed the bill had he been president at the time.
I think that a possible future president not being on board with equal pay for women speaks volumes and should be getting more attention.
I think Ledbetter said it best when she said, “I am but one woman with one story, but there are thousands of women with the same story, all of whom believe equal pay for equal work is necessary. This isn’t about a handout to trial lawyers. This is about a piece of legislation and an ideal that can make a difference for my daughter, my granddaughter, and women across this nation.”