Sunday, May 31, 2015

Willis Hart Misogyny Re Female Pay Discrimination (An Issue The Obama Admin Took Up With The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act)

In regards to gender pay discrimination, blogger Willis Hart (WTNPH), of course, buys the discredited Rightist meme that it does not happen. There is no pay disparity according to these people (many whom are misogynists). And most women shouldn't make the same as men (for doing the same work) anyway. Because some choose to have babies and stuff.

Willis Hart: On Patricia Arquette's Oscar-Winning Speech in Which She Dusted Off that Thoroughly Discredited Meme About Gender Pay Inequality... How many times do we have to deal with this shit? [blah, blah, blah, Libertarian BS that goes on for quite some time.] [This is] NOT because of anti-female discrimination... Please, I'm begging you, can we finally put this sucker to bed? (5/27/2015 AT 8:13pm).

"Dusted off"? This argument REALLY does not need any dusting off, as the present Presidential Administration views its action on this issue as one of it's accomplishments. Apparently Willis has forgotten all about Lilly Ledbetter.

In 1979 Lilly Ledbetter, the plaintiff, began work at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in its Gadsden, Alabama location, a union plant. She started with the same pay as male employees, but by retirement, she was earning $3,727 per month compared to 15 men who earned from $4,286 per month (lowest paid man) to $5,236 per month (highest paid man). (Wikipedia/Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co).

In response to the Supreme Court dismissing the case because the statute of limitations had passed (not because she hadn't been discriminated against), the Obama administration urged Congress to amend the law, which they did when passed the passed (and president Obama signed) The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. The act is a federal statute in the United States that amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

So there is an example right there of the discrimination occurring and Congress and the White House agreeing that women should be able to sue for this kind of discrimination (even if they don't find out about it until later).

But aside from the Lilly Ledbetter case, the Obama White House has more to say about female pay disparity discrimination.

The White House (under the Obama administration): Despite passage of the Equal Pay Act of 1963, which requires that men and women in the same workplace be given equal pay for equal work, the "gender gap" in pay persists. Full-time women workers' earnings are only about 77 percent of their male counterparts' earnings. The pay gap is even greater for African-American and Latina women, with African-American women earning 64 cents and Latina women earning 56 cents for every dollar earned by a Caucasian man. Decades of research shows that no matter how you evaluate the data, there remains a pay

...even after factoring in the kind of work people do, or qualifications such as education and experience — and there is good evidence that discrimination contributes to the persistent pay disparity between men and women. In other words, pay discrimination is a real and persistent problem that continues to shortchange American women and their families. (Your Right to Equal Pay Understand the Basics, WH website).

Yeah, and many of the facts the Hartster throws up in his commentary that HE says accounts for the (justified) pay disparity? The WH says that they account for those things (2nd paragraph), and that the disparity is not justified, it's based on discrimination. Discrimination based not only on gender, but on the race of the woman (none of Willis' excuses for why pay disparity is justified explanation why a non-white woman should earn less).

So, am I going to believe Willis, or am I going to believe the Barack Obama White House? Yeah, I think you know the answer. By the way, Willis (I'm guessing in response to me linking to his commentary on my Facebook page), authored a "quick addendum" in which he refers to my citing the Lilly Ledbetter case as proof of his wrongness as "surface thinking"... because "this of course isn't to imply that INDIVIDUAL women haven't been discriminated against".

So, Willis' response after I called him on his BS was to say that the pay discrimination Lilly Ledbetter sued over was an isolated incident and not the norm. However, I again point to the statement on the WH website that says otherwise. In any case, should we really be punishing women for the biological reality that they bear children? [1] Or is this not the kind of anti-female discrimination Willis claimed was not a factor? I mean, if women take time off to have children (and ONLY women can have children), and they're being paid less for doing so, isn't this anti-woman? That might be something Willis needs to think about... although I seriously doubt he will.

So, is Willis a misogynist? Yes, I think the case is fairly strong that he is. Or a case could be made that he has some stronger than normal anti-female biases. Seeing nothing wrong with punishing women for having babies (and thinking it is perfectly fine to reward men for not having them, when a man giving birth is a biological impossibility), as well as calling male privilege "supposed" (something Willis did multiple times) are yet two more reasons to believe I'm on the right track here, IMO.

[1] Sentence excerpted/modified from "Debunking the Myth of a Mythical Gender Pay Gap by Joshua Holland. 4/8/2014.

Video1: Patricia Arquette delivers a powerful feminist message after winning the Best Supporting Actress Academy Award for her role in Boyhood. Published 2/23/2015 (1:22).

Video2: President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act on January 29, 2009. In this video, Lilly shares her story. Uploaded 1/29/2012 (6:22).

OST #48

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