|a graphic from Bloomberg news on the economic disparity between men and women|
Her first paragraph is a shot at the media for being Obama 'enablers', as she blithely and dishonestly performs her apparent sole function at the paper of being a rightwingnut 'media enabler'. Another example of that projection my co-blogger Pen recently described.
This feeble attempts to garner support for the right wing was entitle Weaponizing the well-being of women. In her second para, we have this:
A first reconnaissance might suggest that men, not women, are under assault and in full-scale retreat. For example, women now earn almost 60 percent of college degrees, and a majority of master's and doctoral degrees. Education is the best predictor of future earnings in our information economy.And yet, we have women still earning 70 cents on the dollar for the same work as men, including working college students, jeopardizing achieving those degrees. We have cuts to education spending, and specifically to education grants and loan assistance which allows women to earn those college degrees. We have right wing efforts to make it more costly and more difficult for women to obtain contraception, which is part of how women are able to control their reproductive choices while going to school and working. (Some righties, like Santorum, just don't want women to have sex at all. Because he feels it is appropriate for the government to police and dictate other people's moral choices about relationships and physical intimacy... in other words, to be the most intrusive kind of big government.) And we have Republican cutting programs like WIC which supplied nutritional supplemental support to pregnant women, and women with small children, including female students who are attempting to get out of a life of poverty by getting degrees. That funding allowed those women to continue to be students, not have to choose between food or tuition and books.
Yes, the right is waging funding wars on women AND children. You know - that party that is so pro-life, they are cut aid to pregnant women below the poverty line, who will effectively be malnourished during pregnancy. The GOP and Tea Party are the party not of values, they are the party that wishes to see American women and children looking like the starving orphans featured on late nite television commercials for charities. But according to Katherine Kersten, that is NOT war on women! It sure sounds like culture war on women to me.
She goes on in para 3
Women now hold 51 percent of white-collar management and professional jobs. Traditional male sectors like manufacturing are in decline, while women dominate 13 of the 15 job categories projected to grow most in the next decade. In 2010, the Atlantic magazine documented the shift in an article titled "The End of Men."But what she leaves OUT is more important. For example, the trend in female heads of households in poverty, compared to male heads of households in poverty, went up from 17% in 1990, to 21.6% in 2010. And this, from Consumer Action in 2008:
"The 26 percent of all households headed only by a woman earn, save, and have accumulated far less wealth than have other American households, according to a Consumer Federation of America (CFA) analysis of the most recent data collected by the Federal Reserve Board's authoritative Survey of Consumer Finances. "And according to an article at Feministing, 60% of women are the primary breadwinners, but still do most of the housework, based on a study by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. According to the site Free by50, as of January 2011, the number of families which were single income, with the husband working (the kind I grew up in ) was 22%, the number with the wife only working was 7%, the number with neither working was 17%, and the number where both work was 54%, based on 2010 census data. (You know - the kind of census data Michele Bachmann doesn't want collected, because Republicans don't like or need facts.) That sure doesn't look to me like 'the end of men'. It does look to me like women are working harder, and facing more of an economic squeeze than previously.
What else Kersten leaves out is that according to this website on U.S. women in management, while women have made progress, despite being more than 50% of the population, women still only account for 16% of Fortune 500 board seats. This is paralleled in other statistics reflecting women in the 'C' class of management - CEOs CFOs etc. - the top or Chief executives.
There is still a glass ceiling for women in the workplace, and still unfair pay practices for all those women who are working as either a contributing breadwinner or the primary breadwinner, cited in those statistics above. Even with women going into professional level jobs, they make considerably less money than their male counterparts, contrary to the assertion by Kersten about women's progress.
From the website On Careers, just last month, (emphasis added is mine - DG)
Are Women Still Paid Less Than Men?CEOs and entrepreneurs, is that still the case?
A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association states that female doctors in the United States make on average $12,000 a year less than their male counterparts. We're talking six figures here, but still, it's a trend we see in just about every industry. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, women would need a 65 percent pay increase, on average, to catch up to men.
Who is at Fault?
Is it a woman's fault that she doesn't get paid more? In the study of doctors' salaries, researchers found that men tend to be more aggressive in asking for more pay. Others point to the fact that women tend to take time off from their careers to raise their families, which may deter them from climbing the corporate ladder as quickly. Or that women often take lower-paying, more flexible jobs so that they can spend more time with their families. Neither are strong arguments, with more men now doing the same in their households.
Where the Government Stands
President Obama has shown his stance on the issue. He's been working to get the Paycheck Fairness Act approved by Congress to help those discriminated against fight back. Congress has not yet passed it.
Obama also declared April 20, 2010 the first National Equal Pay Day as a way to draw attention to the issue. Each year, Equal Pay Day falls symbolically on the date through which women must work to match what men earned the previous year.
What has the right done? Opposed equal pay legislation for equal work. It also allowed for law suits due to discrimination on the basis of age, race, sexual orientation and disability. Of course, Conservatives hate those groups. In Wisconsin we had one of their right wing free-dumbers, Glenn Grothman inaccurately claim women weren't discriminated against that not-an-expert extremist right wing media harpy Ann Coulter had persuaded him that women didn't want equal pay for equal work, that money wasn't as important to women as to men, to justify repealing legislation so they could sue for wage discrimination. (Logically, if women weren't going to want more money, why would it be necessary to repeal the right for them to sue then?) A similar Republican effort attempted to do the same in Minnesota. At the federal level the right has opposed legislation like the Lily Ledbetter act.
Here is what Kersten glosses over when she talks about education as a "predicter of future earnings". From Bloomberg Businessweek:
The gender pay gap, around 40¢ to the dollar in the early 1960s, shrank rapidly in the 1980s and early ’90s. It has narrowed by only 4¢ since 1994 and less than 1¢ since 2005, even though younger women have caught up to and surpassed men in education. What’s more, pay difference actually grows as a woman’s career progresses, adding up to hundreds of thousands of dollars on average over a lifetime. Catherine Hill, head of research at the American Association of University Women, found that among college graduates, the pay gap grew from 20¢ on the dollar one year after graduation to 31¢ by the 10th reunion.and from the same article:
In a 2007 article for the Academy of Management’s journal Perspectives, Cornell University labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn wrote that even after adjusting for education, experience, race, industry, and occupation, women brought home just 91 percent of what men did. And they said that figure may understate the pay gap due to sex discrimination if women have been excluded from higher-paying opportunities. “There is evidence that although discrimination against women in the labor market has declined, some discrimination does still continue to exist,” they wrote.The disparity of women at the 'C' class level, or top executive level clearly shows that fewer women proportionate to population achieve that level, indicating clearly there is a very real glass ceiling. At all levels, despite education, women make less money than men, and have less advancement.
It has been consistently the Republicans and Tea Partiers, extolling the stay at home Ann Romney world that never really existed even in the 'good ol' days', that have fought not only to prevent further progress towards equality, but to UNDO those gains toward making women more fully equal made in the past 50 years.
The right claims they do these things to be 'business friendly'. Do we really want to befriend businesses by encouraging and allowing them to treat women unfairly????????? Are their female constituents LESS important to them,as real people, than corporations-as-people? Any business that would seek that kind of accommodation, not being sued for paying women less, is NOT a good corporate citizen, not a good public citizen. They would hurt the state's economy, not help it.
Concluding from the Bloomberg article on just how Republican obstruction and opposition has worked to undo and impair equality for women in the workplace:
Lilly Ledbetter didn’t need dueling statistical analyses to tell her she was underpaid once she saw how much male managers at the tire plant were getting. Winning a judgment was the problem. A jury found it was “more likely than not” that she suffered pay discrimination, but the Supreme Court turned her down on appeal because she didn’t complain within 180 days of when she was first underpaid. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, the first law President Obama signed upon taking office in 2009, fixed that for future plaintiffs by treating each undersized paycheck as a fresh, punishable offense.
The bigger problem remains: If there’s no tipster stuffing notes in their mailboxes, women don’t know they’re underpaid. The Paycheck Fairness Act, which passed in the House in 2009, would fix that deficiency by preventing companies from retaliating against workers who inquire about pay gaps. It would also allow for punitive damages; close some loopholes that employers have used to justify pay gaps; and require employers to submit salary data that would make it easier to detect violations. The Senate GOP’s June 5 filibuster of the bill played into the hands of Democrats seeking women’s votes, as did defensive quotes from Republican senators. Marco Rubio of Florida said he didn’t think the bill would accomplish its purpose, and “reads more to me like some sort of welfare plan for trial lawyers.” (Wisconsin passed a similar law in 2009 and saw no boom in litigation, according to its Department of Workforce Development.)
A lack of good data impedes progress on fair pay. Nationwide statistics can’t prove that any particular woman has been treated unfairly, while individual cases are too idiosyncratic—an employer can usually cite some justification for why she got less than the guy in the next cubicle. For potential plaintiffs, the ideal would be to have reams of detailed data about every company’s pay by gender, job title, and so on. But that would be a paperwork nightmare, and few companies would willingly expose themselves that way.
By grouping employees in different ways, expert witnesses in lawsuits brought against Boeing (BA), Wal-Mart, and Novartis (NVS) have drawn opposite conclusions about whether discrimination exists. In 2006 the Bush administration discontinued a program started by the Clinton administration to collect data from federal contractors (who account for 25 percent of the civilian workforce) on the grounds that the data weren’t useful. The Obama administration is looking into restarting data collection for contractors to detect patterns of discrimination but still faces opposition from employer groups. “Will the usefulness justify the burden?” asks Rebecca Springer, an attorney at Crowell & Moring, a law firm that represents defendants in Equal Pay Act lawsuits.
Fair question. And yet solutions exist. Labor economist Marc Bendick Jr. argues that fears about excessive paperwork are overblown: Just a small amount of easy-to-supply data would be enough, he says, to flag companies that bear further investigation. Employers’ attorney William Doyle Jr. of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius would encourage employers to investigate their own practices by promising that their findings could not be used against them in court. Both ideas have merit. Doing nothing amounts to preserving a code of silence that continues to hurt women. Just ask Ledbetter, now 74, who never got a settlement from Goodyear and recently had to scrape money together to replace a busted air conditioner. “Trust me,” she says, “I have learned how behind women and their families are, and it’s getting this nation dragged down.”