OK, I’ve had it. I have laid off the feminista manifestos for a while, focusing my writing mainly on healthcare issues that are my stock in trade. But, as the saying goes, I saw the straw that broke the camel’s back and it came in the form of Wisconsin Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman and his partner in crimes against women, Wisconsin Republican Governor Scott Walker. Welcome to my rant.
These two so-called representatives of the “people” have worked together to repeal Wisconsin’s 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which basically guaranteed women (and others) equal pay for equal work. But the political debate on this topic was squarely focused on the gender debate, despite the fact that women already earn on average only 75% of what men make in Wisconsin according to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health (WAWH). In an interview reported in the Huffington Post about the Act’s demise, Senator Grothman said that the wage gap between men and women is due not to workplace discrimination, but that “You could argue that money is more important for men.” Women, he said, were often more focused on raising children than earning money.
OK, let me start with this: Why the hell doesn’t anyone seem to think, much less say, that many men are also more focused on raising children than earning money? I know lots of men that would and have given up career opportunities for family just as I have known women who have done the opposite. Senator Grothman–never married, no children–has clearly not had to face this issue (and thus could arguably be said to have no intelligence on the subject at all which qualifies him to vote on it); Governor Walker, while married, has only sons. I am hoping that Walker’s wife has the good sense to make him sleep on the couch after all this.
What is my problem? you may ask; why do I give a damn what happens in the land of badgers and people who wear cheese wedges on their heads while sitting outside in the freezing cold? Well for one thing, in my private life I am somewhat surrounded by cheeseheads in the form of family and friends. I am even now staring at a Bucky Badger stuffed animal toy above my TV. But the main reason is this: What the hell is wrong with these so-called representatives and what if their disease of stupidity is infectious? If you had asked me 10 years ago whether an equal pay law in the U.S. would ever be repealed I would have said, “No, we have crossed that bridge…who would bother going back to burn it?” Boy was I wrong. As a working person with breasts myself, who has a daughter with her own aspirations, I am disgusted to have to share a country with these idiots and I can’t believe we elect them on purpose.
Perhaps the people who believe women should be treated as second-class citizens are actually just threatened. A recent study reported in the Harvard Business Review (conducted by men by the way) pointed out that:
“The majority of senior leaders are still men, and the higher up in the organization you go, the greater the disparity becomes. And yet at the same time, women at every level were perceived by their bosses, their colleagues and their direct reports as superior to their male counterparts on ¾ of the competencies our long years of conducting and analyzing 360-degree evaluations have shown are critical to superior leadership effectiveness.”
In Wisconsin, a state that has led the nation in job losses through the economic downturn, this would suggest that certain male “leaders” do in fact have something to be worried about. The men in the Wisconsin legislature have even lost 26% of the seats in the Wisconsin legislature to women. I love this quote, by Clare Sargent when she was running for an Arizona senate seat, “I think it’s about time we voted for senators with breasts. After all, we’ve been voting for boobs long enough.”
If those behind the repeal of the Wisconsin Equal Pay Enforcement Act and their fans could actually read at the college level, they would have further learned that their cause for heightened anxiety is very real. Another study, this time at the University of North Carolina (UNC) and reported in Mashable, found that while women receive only 3-5% of venture capital and start their businesses with about 1/8 of the funding of male-owned ventures, women-owned companies have 12% higher revenues as compared to those owned by male counterparts. Furthermore, women are founding businesses at 1.5x the national average and thus will be the job creators of our future. Men: be warned. It is also no surprise, in my opinion, that the study found that companies with more equalized gender distribution in the upper echelons garnered 30% better results from IPOs. Worth noting: today U.S. women earn 68% more bachelor degrees than men and receive 1/3 of all MBAs.
The UNC study also documented a dramatic rise in patents granted to women in 2010 (18%) vs. 1990 (9%). It is specifically noted that women hold the inventor patents for Liquid Paper, Kevlar (used in bullet-proof vests) and SPANX. These are particularly valuable inventions, as women can use the Liquid Paper to white-out idiot male legislators’ names when they are recalled, don the Kevlar to repel the constant moronic attacks against their careers, and wear the SPANX to help them look great while doing so.
TV personality Jon Stewart did a great round-up story recently about the increasing number of laws protecting women’s professional and personal rights across the nation that have been repealed or are at risk of repeal, as well as the number of new laws being considered that will further harm women’s rights. Commenting on Wisconsin Senator Grothman’s public statements about the equal pay controversy, Stewart said, “Even for a bill meant to screw women, that takes balls.” It’s worth watching the video, both for the laugh and also to see the incredible anti-female political trend that seems to have caught fire in the U.S.
The whole “war on women” trend makes me wonder if the male leaders of our country are simply tired of female companionship, because their behavior cannot possibly lead to women wanting to spend more “quality time” with them. I guess the end of sex will help make the elimination of women’s contraceptive rights moot, so perhaps it is just an indirect way of those politicians getting what they want after all. As people say, be careful what you wish for, you may get it (or cease to get it as the case may be).
Mark in Wisconsin says
Ah, welcome to our world! — and thank you for making Senator Grothman even more visible to everyone else. We’re hopeful that eventually this will have some effect.