Undead sexist cliches: Women’s rights are good, unless women try to fight for them.

As you may know, under the Lily Ledbetter Act women who discover after a decade or even two decades that they’ve been paid less than men for the same job (passed predominantly by Dems, opposed by Repubs, signed by Obama) can sue. This fixes the problem that if the statute of limitations expires before women learn they’re getting ripped off, the Supreme Court previously ruled they can’t sue (the LL Act creates an exception).
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio assures us that he and all Republicans support equal pay for equal work, but they don’t want women suing over it: “this legislation is in many respects nothing but an effort to help trial lawyers collect their fees and file lawsuits, which may have nothing to do whatsoever to increasing pay equity in the workplace.”
And, of course, while it’s fine for government to adopt policies that let for-profit prison companies and defense contractors make millions, it wouldn’t do to let trial lawyers collect from companies that have done wrong. And it’s not like suing companies and costing them money could possibly give them an incentive to change their policies (that was sarcasm). Besides, Mitt Romney has already assured us that once we have full employment we’ll get equal pay for women.
Fear of being sued is, however, a familiar right-wing flashpoint when it comes to women’s rights. Consider pundit John Derbyshire’s comments last year, after Herman Cain was accused of sexual harassment: “Is there anyone who thinks sexual harassment is a real thing? Is there anyone who doesn’t know it’s all a lawyers’ ramp, like ‘racial discrimination’? You pay a girl a compliment nowadays, she runs off and gets lawyered up. Is this any way to live?”
Women demanding equal rights doesn’t scare people. Women who can sue over them? That’s terrifying. Playboy columnist Asa Baber, Rush Limbaugh and John Stossel have all written about how monstrous the idea of legal penalties for sex harassment is (how are they supposed to pick up chicks if they have to worry about that shit?). It’s the equivalent of rape apologists: Yes, pay discrimination and sexual harassment are bad (I suspect Derbyshire’s stated views are what a lot of what the apologists thinkin private) but actually doing anything about them? That way lies madness!
In another undead sexist matters:
•I have a new And column out, on conservatives’ dubious claims nature supports their sexist views. Here’s an article on how “slut shaming” helps enforce male dominance. More links to discussions of patriarchy on Slacktivist, including this on banning abortion.
•Another right-wing cliche is that women should just look at how much worse off women are in the Third World and be grateful America gives them such glorious rights. Therefore, Sandra Fluke sucks!
Apparently the fact so many on the right want to take those hard-won women’s freedoms away isn’t something we should discuss either.
•Paul Ryan insists that the Republican war on women is just a media myth. Because restricting access to abortion or contraception and opposing the right to sue companies who stiff women on pay doesn’t affect real women like stay-at-home moms at all (no offense to stay-at-home moms intended. That’s a fine choice, but I object to Republicans treating it like the only respectable option).


Filed under Politics, Undead sexist cliches

3 responses to “Undead sexist cliches: Women’s rights are good, unless women try to fight for them.

  1. Pingback: Undead Sexist Cliche: Feminism is just women being irrationally pissed off. | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  2. Pingback: Assorted sexism-related links | Fraser Sherman's Blog

  3. Pingback: Sexual harassment, taxes and net neutrality | Fraser Sherman's Blog

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