The GOP Give Women an Ideological ‘Up Yours, Girls!’ On Equal Pay Day

Happy Equal Pay Day! The Republican war on women isn’t contained in the healthcare realm. They also have it out for women in the work place.

Demonstrating just how Republicans honor Equal Pay Day, the clueless governor with the dirty past, Scott Walker, actually repealed parts of the Equal Pay Act in Wisconsin just days before the national event. Equal Pay Day symbolizes how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011.

Repeal of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act is explained by Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health:

The Equal Pay Enforcement Act became law in July 2009. The purpose of the law is to provide a stronger enforcement mechanism for violations of pay and workplace discrimination by allowing victims to plead their case in the less costly state circuit system rather than having to try to get their cases heard by federal courts. It also provides stronger penalties for employers who were found guilty of discrimination.

SB 202 removes the “enforcement” from the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. This bill would repeal the ability for anyone who’s been discriminated on the job to plead their cases in circuit court.

It’s ironic that Mitt Romney is gallivanting around the country spinning his Fact Checked lie that the Obama administration killed jobs for women when women already only earn 77 cents on the dollar for the same job as a man nationally, and in Wisconsin they only earn 75 cents to the dollar. If Republicans really cared about women and the economy, why are they deliberately and without cause killing women’s chances at equal pay?

Predictably, Romney’s spin about unemployment for women stems from a loss in female dominated jobs, which just so happen to be predominantly government and teaching jobs, which are the very public sector jobs Republicans like Scott Walker are so proud of killing:

“If you look back to the start of the recession, many of the industries (construction and manufacturing) that were very hard hit initially were male-dominated,” said Margot Dorfman, CEO of the U.S. Women’s Chamber of Commerce, in an interview with

It wasn’t until later that jobs like retail and government jobs, particularly teaching jobs, began to take a hit, affecting women more, Dorfman said. Those jobs have been slower to recover.

And let us not forget, these are the same polices that Mitt Romney endorsed just a month ago. Mitt Romney endorsed Governor Scott Walker’s “labor policies” and Representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan, saying he worked with Ryan on this Medicare proposals that end “entitlement structure” of Medicare and Medicaid. Part of Walker’s “labor policy” was to cut funding for education by 84 million dollars and thereby force cuts of public employees in addition to cutting their benefits and rights to collectively bargain.

President Obama supported more than 400,000 teacher jobs through the Recovery Act and the Education Jobs Fund, the majority of which were held by women. No wonder Obama is polling so well in Wisconsin.

President Obama and his administration continue to try to address this gap in pay for women. This administration has set an historical record for promoting the interests of women and girls.

Within months of taking office, Obama set up the White House Council on Women and Girls, with the explicit mandate to ensure that every agency, department, and office in our federal government – with the policies they draft, the programs they create, and the legislation they support – takes into account the needs and aspirations of American women and girls. It’s almost like women matter.

Since Obama took office, these are just a few of the steps he and his administration have taken to support working women:

More than 16,000 Small Business Administration Loans totaling more than $4.5 billion were granted to women- owned small businesses.

$62.5 million in monetary relief has been obtained for victims of sex-based wage discrimination by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission since January 2010.

The Payroll tax cut provided an average of $1,000 of tax relief for nearly 75 million women.

An estimated 4.9 million women were kept out of poverty in 2010 because of expansions in refundable tax credits such as the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit.

An estimated 20.4 million women are benefiting from expanded access to preventive services such as mammograms, breast and cervical cancer screenings, and prenatal care at no additional cost.

Romney claims he learns what he needs to know about women from his wife, Ann. Has Ann ever needed a union to protect her rights in the work place, or had to worry about putting food on the table for her children? 75 cents on the dollar can make a big difference for a working mom. This is how out of touch Republicans are: they don’t get that labor rights are tied to equal rights for women, which are also tied to healthcare equality and choice over our bodies.

Walker’s ideological up-yours-girls! move on the heels of a successful demand for a recall election and a John Doe investigation into Walker’s campaign does nothing for the deficit, but give Democrats fodder for the upcoming elections.

Watch here for an example of how easy it is:

Adding mystery to the move, none of the Republicans will tell anyone why they felt compelled to repeal a provision of 2009’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act. It’s just how they roll.

Republicans are trying to take cover for their war on women by parsing words, but the trail of anti-women legislation speaks for itself. From taking away our access to healthcare to denying us protections for equal pay, Republicans have made it clear that they have no respect for working women, let alone working moms.

Zac Kramer, the Executive Director for the Wisconsin State Senate Democratic Committee, put out this statement on National Pay Equity Day, “Although the State Senate passed the repeal of Pay Equity on party line vote, and Governor Walker signed the bill in secret, we should not stop fighting for the rights and equal pay for everybody in our workforce.”

That war on women? It’s all in your head. What’s real, and what will matter to you when you go to pay for your groceries this week is that a Democratic operative accused Ann Romney of being privileged and out of touch with reality. Never mind that equal pay stuff, or the health insurance your kids now have thanks to Obamacare. Certainly don’t think about how you’re going to have to ask your employer for birth control or how you are might be arrested for having a miscarriage.

Focus on what matters: Ann Romney’s feelings got hurt because someone implied that her 42 million dollars a year lifestyle (and that’s without earning any “income”) replete with Swiss bank accounts and Austrian dressage horses might render her sort of out of touch with the economic issues challenging most working moms of America.

If that’s not worth giving up all of your rights for, I don’t know what is. There’s nothing Americans want to hear more during a Republican recession than how a very elite Republican member of the 1% doesn’t like it when the working women of America speak their truth about how too many of the 99% are starving.

If women and their families can’t make it on 3/4 of the salary a man makes for the same job, well, they’re always “free” to sell their body or soul. Republicans can’t help it; that’s just how they see women. After all, if women deserved to eat, they’d have married a rich man.

The peasants have no bread? Let them eat cake!

Follow Sarah Reese Jones on Twitter.

Note: In 1766, French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote in ‘Confessions’ of an out of touch Princess who, upon hearing the peasants had no bread, said, “Qu’ils mangent de la brioche!” Or basically, “Let them eat brioche!” Brioche is a richer version of bread. This quote is often misattributed to poor Marie Antoinette, who also, no doubt, would have had her feelings hurt if someone accused her of not understanding the plight of the working class.

Image: Copy Right Maya Hansen, courtesy of Lady Morgana, Deviant Art

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