In an interview on MSNBC, former President Jimmy Carter called women being paid less than men a form of abuse, and compared it to racial discrimination.
Former President Carter discussed the discrimination behind the Republican refusal to support equal pay during his full interview with NBC’s Andrea Mitchell.
Well women now make up about 57% of all the graduates, undergraduates and graduates from universities and still in the United States for the same exact work, for a full time employee, women get 23% less pay than men. And in the Fortune 500, only twenty one of those leaders among the 500 are women, and in that high level they get 42% less pay than the average man.
That is really derived, I would say, indirectly from the fact that religious leaders say that women are inferior in the eyes of God, which is a false interpretation of the holy scriptures, but when they see that the Pope the Southern Baptist Convention, and others say that women can’t serve as priests and so forth equal to men, they say, well, I’ll treat my wife any way I want to, because she’s inferior to me. Oh, I don’t have any real moral compunction against paying my employees less, and so women are abused, but men don’t really want to rock the boat because men benefit from the superiority that we enjoy. Just like white people did in the segregation days when we benefitted from deprivation of blacks’ equality.
The rationale that those who oppose equal pay for women use is virtually the same as those who support racial discrimination. At its root, the argument is that women deserve to make less money because they are inferior to men. The Republican flood of anti-women legislation is all based on the idea of gender inferiority.
Former President Carter laid out the reason why men support this inequality better than any other man ever has before. Men, especially those at the top of the financial pyramid, don’t want to rock the boat because they greatly benefit from this abuse of women.
With women being the majority of the population, it would be economic suicide for the nation not to pay women the same as men. Women are not asking to be paid more than men. They are seeking equality. They want equal pay for their equal work.
In the 21st Century, few people would dare to stand up and say that anyone should be paid less because of the color of their skin, but as a culture it is okay for Republicans to argue in support of discrimination against women.
President Carter was correct. This is an abusive system that is allowing the majority of the country (women) to be economically oppressed by a minority (men). The US economy will never be able to grow and thrive if the majority of workers are discriminated against.
Women are being denied their right to equal pay. Too many men on the left dismiss the issue of equal pay, because whether they realize it or not, they are benefitting from discrimination. They need to understand that when a woman gets paid less than a man for the same job, it hurts us all.
If the United States economy is ever going to reach its full potential, women must be paid the same as men.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor, who is White House Press Pool, and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association