Thursday, October 18, 2012

Blinders, Not Binders

The big issue exposed by the debate question about equal pay for women for equal work performed by men isn't that Mitt Romney dodged a direct answer and ended up in Stupidville talking about binders of women looking for gubernatorial appointments.

It's that he cannot commit to the principle, and worse, that Paul Ryan voted "no" when it was before him in Congress as the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Play Act - - named after a blue-collar worker who'd worked years doing the same job at a tire plant for less pay than her male co-workers.

Do Ryan and Romney really want to argue and parse and communicate on this whole matter in the language of mandates, that requiring pay equity is some sort of an evil extension of power into the private sector, that our (men's) freedom can't be infringed in this way?

Interesting, isn't it, that Ryan and Romney, white male millionaires, are the ones having trouble with this issue. You don't hear too many women out there saying Lilly Ledbetter - - the person and the law - - are wrong.

If you believe that employers should have a freer hand through whatever means enforcing pay distinctions based on gender, you are endorsing discrimination that helps keeps more than half the population down, and:

Hurts women's families.

Makes them more dependent on a male partner who can earn more money through a chromosomal quirk.

And gives the employer a cheap supply of labor to increase profits - - and we know who is more likely to get more of that pie at the top.

And it's not much of a leap to say the employer should be free to discriminate on other grounds.


Jonathan Swift said...

He dishonestly claimed to have initiated the binder.There were more women in Mass gov't before and after than during the OurMoney term.
Why would someone who is as well connected in business and politics need a binder? Were all the women he knew too busy with their dressage sport?

Betsey said...

The "binders full of women" is an intriguing concept on another level as well:

The male leadership of the FLDS (Fundamental Latter Day Saints, the polygamists) is said to have kept a binder of marriageable women, (mostly young, some of them mere teenage girls) called the Book of Marriage or the Marriage Book or Celestial Marriage--or something like that. The older men who were allowed by the Prophet** to have multiple wives could shop for their dream next wife, presumably! The book contained pictures of the girls, I mean women, and pertinent information about them (hopefully including their lineage, so as not to concentrate the gene pool overmuch). The book was kept confidential from the women and girls in it. It was written about by Carolyn Jessop, the 4th wife (married at 18 to the then 56-year old) Merrill Jessop in her book, "Escape."

Of course, the LDS, or Latter Day Saints, the 'normal' Mormans, that Mitt hasn't talked about much, have spent decades and centuries distancing themselves from polygamists and the practice of plural marriage, which is a big part of both Morman history and that of its founder, Joseph Smith.

**The current FLDS 'Prophet', Warren Jeffs is in prison for two felony counts of child sexual assault. His conviction was for arranging illegal marriages between his adult male followers and underage girls. The two girls in the felony case were 15 and 12.

So "binders full of women," Mitt? You REALLY shouldn't have gone there!