“Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex.”
Seems like a pretty simple concept. I think, in 2014, it would be pretty difficult to find anyone in the U.S. who would disagree with the above statement (Wack-a-doodle extremist religious groups notwithstanding).
Still, it’s baffling to see Republican lawmakers balk at the idea of equality for women. Take for example, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ defense of the entire Republican caucus of the U.S. Senate, who voted to block of the Paycheck Fairness Act. Why? Because they were worried about the possibility of “frivolous” lawsuits against employers. Last time I checked, holding someone accountable for taking away the right to earn equal pay for equal work isn’t frivolous — unless you’re trying to say that women-initiated lawsuits are frivolous. And if that’s the case, it’s not a far stretch to say the women’s rights are frivolous and the policies that affect women are frivolous. The subtext is quite obvious.
Who does she imagine that she is helping? Certainly not her constituents. Not only are half of them women, but they are also mothers who are trying to give their families a lifestyle that has been slowly derailed by the power of corporate aristocracy. It’s true, she has more than a few corporate sponsors, but who elected her and why? I’m willing to bet that if you asked anyone in her district, they’d be more inclined to vote to have their interests protected rather than to protect those of large corporations. Don’t forget Weyerhaeuser, has contributed more money to her campaign that most of her constituents make in a year. They own that vote in Congress.
Quid pro quo is not exactly what we think about when we think about equality, or equal pay for equal work, but apparently, McMorris Rodgers does. Equal pay shouldn’t be beholden to the whims of CEOs (in whose best interest it is to deny women higher salaries) — or to their puppets in Congress. Equality among humans shouldn’t be up for debate.
A simple, yet binding solution would be to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. Equality of rights, in the year 2014 shouldn’t be that complicated.