Obama and McCain: Contrasting Positions on Equal Pay

For the last eight years, and for the dozen years before the Clinton administration, the conservative movement has been shockingly successful in pursuing a key agenda: stocking the federal courts with pro-business judges. "Pro-business" meaning, in large part, judges who think they need to protect businesses from juries, who view lawsuits by consumers and employees against businesses as a nuisance, who want to cap or eliminate punitive damages, etc.

The pro-business agenda was advanced in a distressing way last year when the Supreme Court ruled that women who are denied equal pay must bring a claim within 180 days (in some states, 300 in others) after their pay has been established -- even if they don't know about the discriminatory pay within that time period. The Supreme Court's interpretation encourages businesses to conceal disparate salaries or raises; if they do so successfully, they insulate themselves from accountability for their illegal actions. A more reasonable interpretation of the law, one that is faithful to its purpose of prohibiting discrimination, would start the clock running again with every new discriminatory paycheck. But the Court ruled against that position by a 5-4 majority. [More...]

The presidential candidates have very different views about the wisdom of that decision. In short, Barack Obama wants to change the law so that it becomes an effective remedy against discrimination in pay, while John McCain likes the law as it now stands.

"I'll continue to stand up for equal pay as president — Senator McCain won't, and that's a real difference in this election," Obama said.

The Fair Pay Restoration Act would rectify the Supreme Court's mistake. Obama supports it; indeed, he is a co-sponsor. A similar bill passed the House but the measure has gone nowhere in the Senate thanks to a Republican filibuster. McCain didn't bother to vote on the cloture motion because he buys into the notion that amending the law will breed more litigation -- and there's nothing Republicans hate more than a business being held accountable in court when it violates a civil rights law. But using litigation to redress discrimination is exactly why we have civil rights laws.

From remarks that Obama made today:

"It starts with equal pay. 62 percent of working women in America earn half – or more than half – of their family’s income. But women still earn only 77 cents for every dollar earned by men. In 2008, you’d think that Washington would be united in its determination to fight for equal pay. That’s why I was proud to co-sponsor the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act, which would have reversed last year’s Supreme Court decision, which made it more difficult for women to challenge pay discrimination on the job," Obama said. ...

"Senator McCain thinks the Supreme Court got it right. He opposed the Fair Pay Restoration Act. He suggested that the reason women don’t have equal pay isn’t discrimination on the job – it’s because they need more education and training. That’s just totally wrong… John McCain just has it wrong. He said the Fair Pay Restoration Act 'opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.' But I can’t think of any problem more important than making sure that women get equal pay for equal work. It’s a matter of equality. It’s a matter of fairness."

Would you rather have a president who supports equal pay, or a president who thinks women just need more "training" and equal pay will magically follow?

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    Obama (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:28:28 PM EST
    wants to change the law I imagine in the same way that he didn't want retroactive immunity for telecoms. What difference does it make when you have a candidate who always concedes in the end to the opposition?

    The difference? (5.00 / 0) (#6)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:31:53 PM EST
    Obama will sign it, and McCain will veto it. It takes a President.

    It takes the Senate (3.00 / 0) (#13)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:45:36 PM EST
    to get it to the POTUS desk.

    Has McCain declared that he'd veto it? Or are we just assuming that?


    Well, it has two Republican Sponsors, (none / 0) (#16)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:49:44 PM EST
    and if Susan Collins isn't defeated in November, I think she can be pressured to support it. So subtract 3 from 60. It's pretty close to being passed.

    Anyway, I think McCain's statements don't sound very supportive. It would be nice if he'd sign it, but I wouldn't bet on it.


    What I'm seeing... (4.00 / 0) (#23)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:55:22 PM EST
    is that he's not keen on this legislation...but no language suggesting a veto.

    Here's a reference (5.00 / 0) (#27)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:58:17 PM EST
    From Gail Collins:

    McCain made it clear that if he had been in Washington, he would have voted no because the bill "opens us up for lawsuits, for all kinds of problems and difficulties."

    Yeah (1.00 / 0) (#45)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:33:00 PM EST
    but McCain is actually being pretty smart here. He's not saying that women don't deserve equal pay, he's saying that he's against it because of lawsuits.

    The actual smart thing to do... (5.00 / 1) (#53)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:53:05 PM EST
    would be to acknowledge that sometimes lawsuits are required to dissuade immoral business practices.

    McCain is actually (1.00 / 0) (#61)
    by pie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:04:10 PM EST
    saying things he thinks might appeal to republican voters.  Dems don't have to like it.  I'm sure most don't.

    He's said he would only stay in office for one term.  He could be very surprising.


    Distinction without a difference (5.00 / 2) (#54)
    by Tom Hilton on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:53:44 PM EST
    Politically smart, maybe--it's much easier to demonize 'lawsuits' than it is to come out and oppose equal rights for women.  

    In practical terms, though, lawsuits are an essential enforcement mechanism for equal rights.  When (not if) employers choose to disregard the law, lawsuits are the only way to hold them accountable; drastically limit the ability to bring a lawsuit (as the SCOTUS did) and you render the law unenforceable.  Keep that in mind whenever you see someone calling for 'tort reform' or lamenting 'lawsuit abuse'.  


    What are his actual statements? (none / 0) (#20)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:52:33 PM EST
    Here is what he said (none / 0) (#26)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:58:15 PM EST
    "I am all in favor of pay equity for women, but this kind of legislation, as is typical of what's being proposed by my friends on the other side of the aisle, opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.....This is government playing a much, much greater role in the business of a private enterprise system."

    In response to a question about what women SHOULD do:

    ""They need the education and training, particularly since more and more women are heads of their households, as much or more than anybody else," McCain said. "And it's hard for them to leave their families when they don't have somebody to take care of them."


    So, in opposing the bill, (5.00 / 1) (#33)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:06:19 PM EST
    McCain advocated for more education, training, and child care for working women.

    Now, I suppose it could be the case that this concern for the needs of working women is disingenuous on McCain's part.  But if we are looking to contrast the candidates positions on the issue of equal pay, it would have been nice if TChris had put up this quote, instead of allowing Obama to put words in McCain's mouth.

    Again, people can come to their own conclusions about who to believe, but in reporting on positions shouldn't we at least try to present a full picture?  


    Just follow the links. (5.00 / 0) (#37)
    by TChris on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:12:36 PM EST
    Again, follow the links:  the linked story from Huffington Post quotes McCain telling us in his own words why he's against amending the law to correct a Supreme Court interpretation that guts the opportunity to sue for a violation of the right to equal pay for equal work.  The post characterizes McCain's position in my words, and my words are supported by the linked text.  I think the post does give a "full picture" of the contrasting positions.

    Well, no (5.00 / 3) (#39)
    by Tom Hilton on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:13:39 PM EST
    So, in opposing the bill, McCain advocated for more education, training, and child care for working women.
    Not really.  McCain doesn't propose any policies to that end; he just says that's what women need, and he's only saying it in the context of opposing a particular enforcement mechanism for equal pay.  It's a fig leaf, nothing more.  

    Don't delude yourselves: McCain is a right-wing ideologue, one of the most conservative people in the Senate, who voted with Bush 95% of the time.  He hasn't earned the benefit of any doubt.  


    Not really (none / 0) (#38)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:13:08 PM EST
    "McCain advocated for more education, training, and child care for working women."

    He used that as an excuse not to vote for the bill.  And it's a bad excuse given the fact that Lily Ledbetter had held the position for 20 years and was clearly qualified and trained for her position.  It was a cop-out.  He doesn't want to "opppose" women.  But saying we need more training to me is frankly condescending and disengenuous and obscures what this bill was about.


    It very well may be a cop out (1.00 / 0) (#41)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:26:55 PM EST
    but at least you typed out McCain's actual position (unlike TChris, who just provides a link to an article where the quote is buried near the end, while putting a long excerpt from an Obama speech in the post itself characterizing McCain's position in a way that is most flattering to himself and most unflattering to McCain).

    Also, if we want to get accurate, we should also point out that the bill in question is not some cure-all.  It does not mandate or gurantee equal pay for women.  It makes it easer for women to bring discrimination lawsuits.  Let's not pretend that this bill is the be all end all, and that Obama is a women's rights crusader because he supports it.


    It is what it is (5.00 / 1) (#44)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:31:46 PM EST
    But let's not let McCain off the hook here either.  The bill isn't perfect, but it sure is a hell of a lot better than not having it.  This supreme court decision made it very difficult to sue for discrimination.  If you don't figure out in the first 6 months of your job that you are underpaid then you are screwed.

    I am not saying Obama is a women's rights crusader for supporting this.  I think it's the MINIMUM he should do and McCain isn't even going that far.


    And this is what Fiorina said (5.00 / 1) (#48)
    by Politalkix on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:43:24 PM EST
    Carly Fiorina, the former Hewlett Packard CEO, who has been launched by the McCain campaign to woo Hillary's women supporters, when asked about the equal pay topic, defended McCain's stance by saying "Well, first, I think, John McCain has a very particular view about the role of government. And he doesn't believe that government should be regulating pay although he certainly agrees that women need to be treated equally in the workplace".
    There you go...Any legislative action will be treated as government regulation of corporate pay.

    Dang, we should get rid of those silly child labor (5.00 / 1) (#52)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:52:51 PM EST
    laws as well.  Heck, it works fine in other countries where the government isn't messing up business owners' right to make kids work 16 hour days making products for sale in Walmart.  That pesky old US government, always interfering with American Business.  /snark, just in case you couldn't tell.

    Actually (1.00 / 0) (#43)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:31:41 PM EST
    that's not a bad statement from a Republican. He at least has somewhat of a understanding.

    Understanding????? (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:34:58 PM EST
    Give me a break.  He is condescending.  I went to college for my "training" thank you very much.  That has nothing to do with equal pay for equal work.  He thinks we are too stupid to tell the difference between not being hired for a job due to qualifications and not being paid appropriately for the ones we have.  In response to the question he was asked with respect to this bill his response is insulting.

    All I can (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:41:26 PM EST
    say is I guess I'm so used to being called names by the Obama campaign that this looks good imo.

    I don't really understand (3.00 / 2) (#55)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:55:02 PM EST
     you here.  First of all, people of the same gender often get paid differently for the same job if one comes in with more education and training than the other.  That is not always a gender discrimination issue.  Sometimes people get bumps in pay depending on what level of education they have.

    It sounds like you had the time and opportunity to attend college.  Good for you!  A lot of women in this country did not get that opportunity, or do not have the time because they are raising children and there is no one to help them with child care.

    So, while McCain may be disengenuous when he points to these concerns as perhaps being more critical to the end goal of equal pay than the bill under discussion, it is certainly not the case that the issues he raises are not germane.


    Qualification vs. Discrimination (5.00 / 5) (#58)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:01:24 PM EST
    Here is the problem with his statement.  It was in context of responding to the Lily Ledbetter bill.  She was CLEARLY qualified for a job that she had for 20 years.  She was paid less than men who had the same job as her.  She was also paid less than some of the men who worked UNDER her.  If she was less "qualified" than the men under her, she shouldn't have had the job for 20 years.

    I am not saying women can't use a little extra help with education and training.  But to suggest that that is the reason we are underpaid, or more specifically, Lily Ledbetter was underpaid, is disengenuous, and yes, insulting.

    If he wants to support the "education and training" of women he should do it with bills and legislation not use it as an excuse not to back an important bill.


    Well, I guess we might have (5.00 / 1) (#71)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:30:24 PM EST
    differing definitions.  I see two forms of discrimination occuring.  

    One is where you have a man and a woman with the same education, training, etc. and the man is paid more than the woman.  

    The other situation is where you have a woman who never had the opportunities to have the same education and training for any number of reasons (maybe because she came from a sexist household where the girls were not encouraged to seek higher education, maybe becuase she got pregnant, the father ran off, and society refuses to step in to help with childcare, etc.) and is paid less for the same job than another person with a higher educational level or more training would get.  This type of unequal pay is not uncommon, but is also not necessarily gender discrimination.  My brother-in-law is a medical researcher.  The day before he was officially awarded his PhD, he got paid less for the same job than the day after he received his PhD.  All that changed was having the piece of paper.

    In any event, the bill in question may help fight against the former kind of discrimination, but it won't do much of anything for the latter form.  And frankly, I think the latter form is much more prevalent these days than the former.  

    So, again, supporting the bill is all well and good, but I don't really know how much impact it will have on the equal pay issue.  Increasing the opportunities for all women to receive equality in the opportunity to be educated and trained, and increasing the availability of childcare, probably will have more of an impact in achieving equal pay.

    As to which of these candidates genuinely is more concerned with equal pay...I don't think this particular dustup between the two tells us much.


    I've seldom seen such straw-grasping (5.00 / 1) (#78)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:06:47 PM EST
    People here have repeatedly explained why McCain's position is unacceptable for anyone in favor of equality, but you just refuse to listen.

    "As to which of these candidates genuinely is more concerned with equal pay"  - you could as reasonably be comparing HRC and McCain.  Ok, perhaps you're a Republican - if that's the case, the conversation would be clearer if you said so.


    I will expand (5.00 / 1) (#86)
    by pie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:42:24 PM EST
    on BTD' admonition:

    Trust no politician...

    before his/her time.


    First off, my bet is that (1.00 / 0) (#83)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:29:43 PM EST
    I've been voting Democratic for probably almost as long as you have been alive.  So quit with the ad hominems.

    Secondly, Hillary Clinton has been working on numerous levels for gender equality in the workplace for about forty years, and is a role model in her own right.  Comparing her to either Obama or McCain on this issue is a joke.  

    And finally, don't lecture me on not being in favor of gender equality.  Frankly, I don't see any more important issue in our society.  In fact, I think it's so important that it's not enough for me when Obama panders by supporting a bill that, although perfectly fine and possibly helpful for a certain rather rare kind of workplace discrimination.  And that I actually want to take the time to discuss what McCain actually said, rather than accept the interpretation of Obama cheerleaders at face value.


    First (none / 0) (#92)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 11:29:40 PM EST
    I've been a democrat since before Pericles, so stop  making incivil comments in response to reasoned arguments.  Saying you're arguing the standard Republican position isn't ad hom - an actual example of ad hom would be to say, "I'm older than you so shut up" - oops, that's your style.

    Second, comparing Obama to McCain is a joke, an unavoidable conclusion from the data and argument in this thread.

    Finally, I was lecturing you on actually reading and responding to the comments of people here.  I said nothing about you not being in favor of equality - just your not being in favor of participating in the dialogue.


    This... (none / 0) (#5)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:31:51 PM EST
    "What difference does it make when you have a candidate who always concedes in the end to the opposition?"

    can be applied to either candidate.


    Hmm (2.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Steve M on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:40:18 PM EST
    I am mystified at the suggestion that McCain always concedes in the end to the opposition.  What are you referring to?

    Are you suggesting... (5.00 / 0) (#14)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:47:43 PM EST
    McSame has never flip flopped on any issue?  To be fair, the 'always' in that sentence makes for an easy attack, since either Obama nor McSame will always flip on every issue.

    Really I was pointing out how both are pols and both do what they feel they need to do to get elected.


    either = neither (none / 0) (#18)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:50:50 PM EST
    That was likely (none / 0) (#76)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:00:41 PM EST
    a ref to the fact that McCain has a history of making maverick noises but going along with the hard right, while Dems have for a while been spineless.

    Yep (1.00 / 0) (#40)
    by Ga6thDem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:26:20 PM EST
    so who's to say he won't flip on this issue either?

    Yes... but we're McCain's opposition (none / 0) (#67)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:23:49 PM EST
    We WANT him to concede to us.

    Completely unsurprised... (5.00 / 0) (#2)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:30:22 PM EST
    republicans are always bad, even their 'mavericks'.

    Thanks TChris (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:31:11 PM EST
    It's not about Roe vs. Wade, it's about women's right's in every aspect of the law.

    As for the "training" meme, I am pretty sure that's what college is for.  And if Lily Ledbetter wasn't "trained" correctly she shouldn't have had the job.  If she was good enough to have the job for 20 years, she is "trained" enough to get paid like it.

    Again, the choice is clear (5.00 / 5) (#4)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:31:12 PM EST
    Thanks TChris.

    agreed (5.00 / 1) (#10)
    by bjorn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:39:35 PM EST
    even if his campaign does not excite me...Obama is the best choice we have

    Is it just me... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:47:44 PM EST
    or is anyone else bothered by the fact that the person characterizing McCain's position in this article is McCain's opponent?

    Bothered? It's politics. (5.00 / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:50:28 PM EST
    Let McCain say this is an unfair characterization.

    It's a strawman... (3.00 / 0) (#19)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:52:01 PM EST
    that's what bugs me.

    I get that it's politics. But it still bugs me...


    I agree with kredwyn to an extent. (2.00 / 0) (#25)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:57:29 PM EST
    TChris titled his post "Contrasting Positions on Equal Pay."  To show a contrast, it would be much more effective, it seems to me, to actually show how both of the candidates represent their own views on the issue, rather than simply cut and paste the campaign rhetoric of one of the candidates.

    Follow the links (5.00 / 0) (#30)
    by TChris on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:03:33 PM EST
    If you follow the links, you will find each candidate characterizing his own position in his own words.

    Your link to McCain's position (1.00 / 0) (#36)
    by dk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:10:48 PM EST
    is to an article in the Huffington Post which in itself seems to have done a cut and paste job of segments of McCain's comments.

    Again, I'm not coming down on who would do more to advance equal pay for women.  But I do think if you want to do posts contrasting the candidates' positions, it would be more helpful and effective to actually provide equal space for both candidate's positions.  Trust the readers to come to their own conclusions.


    He's just using it to pander to (1.00 / 0) (#34)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:07:25 PM EST
    women. I'm sure he'll find a few more panders of this sort. Obama has laid out his equality priorities on several occasions as "Race, religion and region". He just recently added "women" under issues on his website along with a few others.

    Sure (5.00 / 2) (#22)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:54:15 PM EST
    But McCain has come out publicly against the bill.  All on his own.

    And a McCain Supreme Court... (5.00 / 2) (#7)
    by Dadler on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:36:23 PM EST
    ...would certainly be retrograde in relation to women's rights and issues, along with almost EVERY issue.

    Perhaps McCain needs some education (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:36:28 PM EST
    on this, as do others that are blocking it. Regardless of who's elected president, it really doesn't matter unless the people start demanding their politicians stand up for them. Equal pay doesn't just effect women.

    Thanks TChris (5.00 / 2) (#9)
    by flyerhawk on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:38:32 PM EST
    Obama is far from perfect.  But when contrasted against McCain there is no comparison.

    This is a good argument (5.00 / 3) (#12)
    by kredwyn on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:44:03 PM EST
    for trying to get more Dems into the Senate...and to get the ones who are in the Senate to "spine up" and stand for something.

    The Republican filibuster would quickly fade out if some sunshine were tossed into the mix to show exactly what the GOP is doing when it comes to the legislation currently sitting on the Senate doorstep.

    Right now Senate Dems stand for very little.

    It's cases like this (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by Grace on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:00:17 PM EST
    where I wish Harriet Miers had been put on the Supreme Court.  If you looked at her financial data when it was in all the newspapers, you would have noticed that her net worth wasn't anywhere close to what a comparable man's would have been even though she had held good jobs for a lot of years.  Why?  Because women just get paid less in a lot of jobs.  

    Even though Harriet was conservative, I think she could have been a swing vote on these kinds of issues, just on the basis of her being in that age group where women had to fight for a lot of equal rights.        

    The crux of the matter is when a woman can sue. (5.00 / 3) (#64)
    by Newt on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:17:43 PM EST
    Ledbetter experienced pay discrimination the entire time she worked there, but had she sued or even brought it to the attention of her supervisors, she would likely have been fired or faced other retaliation.  By suing close to her retirement, she (and other women) don't have to risk losing their retirement package they've worked for the entire time they were employed.  The Supreme Court basically said that women need to sue at the beginning of the discrimination, which essentially puts women at a disadvantage since raising the issue negatively impacts their careers.  

    McCain tried to look like he cared about women, his statement about women needing more training are a way to seem paternal and considerate.  He doesn't ever have to deliver on this vague "training" but he can come across as caring, concerned, big daddy trying to make everything better.  In actuality, he's more concerned about protecting businesses that discriminate against women.  

    Also (5.00 / 2) (#70)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:29:03 PM EST
    Lily Ledbetter didn't find out she was being underpaid until recently.  She was e-mailed by someone in the company annonymously.  The likelihood of that happening withing the first 6 months of employment (before people know you well) is slim to none.  Also, I would think it was WORSE that she was underpaid for 20 years than if it was only 6 months.  Silly me...

    I don't mind the time limit... (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:19:40 PM EST
    ....but I'd like to see it combined with a law saying that corporations have to show what everybody is being paid. I know that this violates every rule about corporate behavior, but how can anybody know that they are being paid fairly when the companies make it a firable offense to talk about pay? State employees manage to function knowing how much their peers make. I think that corporations have created this climate of hostility to openness just so that they can get away with unequal pay and obscene pay for high level executives.

    At the very least, they should be required to show what pay ranges are for groups of people in similar jobs with similar years of experience. Otherwise, it doesn't matter how long you give somebody to sue - you'll never catch the unequal pay.


    Right there with you (5.00 / 2) (#82)
    by CST on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:24:40 PM EST
    The only way I would be ok with a time limit is if companies were required to state their wages.

    I would be happier with that and a time limit than the fair pay act.  But I just don't see it happening.  Until it does happen, this is the best we've got.  To impose such a short time limit on something you don't have an easy way of figuring out is just wrong.


    You know you are not being paid (5.00 / 2) (#90)
    by nycstray on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:23:41 PM EST
    fairly when your boss tells you "You make a fine salary for a woman".*

    *this is NOT a snark.


    I've been told... (5.00 / 1) (#91)
    by dianem on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 09:43:37 PM EST
    ...that the men I worked with needed more money because they had families to feed. Not kidding. I had been helping with some accounting filing and found that men with comparable jobs were being paid much more. I confronted the owner (not in a hostile fashion) with the facts and that's what he said. The real irony is that every one of those men was married to a working wife (professional class), while I was a single woman paying a mortgage on my own. If anybody needed more money it was me.

    Oh please! (5.00 / 3) (#93)
    by Grace on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 05:57:47 AM EST
    I've been told every reason under the sun why I either couldn't get paid better or why I couldn't get a promotion.  

    The worst ever "I can't promote you" talk came from a Divisional Director of a company I worked at straight out of college.  I had worked my azz off to prove I was an excellent salesperson.  I was breaking all the sales records they had (I broke 4 records in 3 months -- and there were only something like 12 records on the whole board).  I did all of this by cold calling without any established account base of my own.  

    Anyway, I applied for a stinky little promotion that would have given me an outside territory and some real accounts.  

    I was turned down.  You want to know why?  Because (and he said these exact words) I was 22, single and female.  They didn't want to waste money training me knowing that I would just run out the door, get married and get pregnant at the first possible chance.  I was a poor risk.  Yes, I was the best salesperson they had ever seen but they needed to find a MAN to fill the spot.

    Needless to say, I quit that job pretty quickly after that.  

    Of course, I followed that job up with two equally nasty jobs -- one of which was especially entertaining because that particular sales manager thought women sold better if they slept with their customers.  When I refused to do that, he started to pick on me for ridiculous things.  (The one I remember most was when he lambasted me for taking a photograph of a business without moving all the metal newsracks that were out in front.  Those newsracks were BOLTED to the cement.  How was I supposed to move them?  Was I supposed to plow them down with the company car?  Would he have been happier then??!!)

    I could go on and on but there has always been a ton of discrimination against women in the workplace, whether or not anyone else agrees with me or not.

    I've also been told that line about men needing to make more because they have families to feed.  Somewhere, there must be some central clearing house that gives male bosses these lines to hand out to females.        


    in sales. As has my wife.

    Your sexist experiences sound like anomalies to us.


    It's possible (none / 0) (#96)
    by Grace on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 02:39:26 PM EST
    I started my career in the late 1970s and in the South.  It always felt like we were way behind the times in some areas.  

    The man who turned me down for the promotion was subsequently sued about 10 years later for sex discrimination.  I believe it was a class action lawsuit but I honestly can't remember anymore.  I wasn't aware of the lawsuit until the case hit the media after the company lost.  At the time he told me I was unsuitable for any sort of promotion due to my sex and age, I knew he was in the wrong but it would have been my word against his word so I felt that there was nothing I could do about it.  


    Fair enough. (none / 0) (#97)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 04:24:57 PM EST
    Sales is such a merit-based occupation and women, in our experience, are almost always the top achievers - for a whole host of reasons that are assuredly purely sexist.

    Republicans (5.00 / 2) (#66)
    by pie on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:21:56 PM EST
    are not alone in their "stupidity."

    Boy, has that been brought home recently.


    I would rather have a president (5.00 / 2) (#72)
    by Militarytracy on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 06:30:35 PM EST
    who supports equal pay and expresses some sort of disgust at obvious sexism and misogyny at the very least.  Not one of the my choices though huh?

    I agree... (5.00 / 0) (#89)
    by Thanin on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 08:17:38 PM EST
    and Im not supporting Obama as much as Im going against republicans.

    Gender equality in the workplace is (5.00 / 1) (#94)
    by Grace on Tue Jun 24, 2008 at 06:10:50 AM EST
    an extremely important issue to me -- and it should be for all women.  

    Who cares? (2.50 / 2) (#24)
    by andgarden on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 04:56:02 PM EST
    Hillary was right.

    Molehills. (none / 0) (#35)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 05:09:11 PM EST
    Are you suggesting that if McCain had said "Oh, I think women should have 301 days" in contrast to Obama supporting the previous time frame of 300 days, you'd then be all googly-eyed over McCain? Riiight.

    More anti-business than pro-woman (none / 0) (#79)
    by Mad Donkey on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:13:25 PM EST
    It makes it easer for women to bring discrimination lawsuits.  Let's not pretend that this bill is the be all end all, and that Obama is a women's rights crusader because he supports it.

    I agree with this. There are any number of good reasons to oppose this bill. Obama is pretty consistently anti-business. I'm not typical, I admit, but I think there are many good reasons to oppose this bill. All it does is make lawsuits easier, which isn't something to feel warm and fuzzy about.

    Obama is only "anti-business" (5.00 / 1) (#84)
    by rilkefan on Mon Jun 23, 2008 at 07:31:09 PM EST
    from a hard-right perspective.  If you're a Republican, then fine, I understand where you're coming from.