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Sun Mar 11, 2012, 06:23 PM

18 cents: Why Our Wombs are a Political Battlefield

"Men do not leave their jobs to have children and are less likely than women to leave their jobs to care for their children. In addition, men are less likely to move if their spouses are forced to relocate for professional purposes. All of these are reasons why turnover rates for men are lower than turnover rates for women. One study using Department of Labor reports estimates that the median number of years men stay on their jobs exceeds that for women by 77-100 percent."
Cato Institute paper, 1984
http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa038.html


In the 1960s, before birth control became safe and legal, women made 59 cents for every dollar men made. Employers justified this wage discrimination by citing the unreliability of female workers. Women got pregnant. Women had children. Women with kids missed work. Women could not devote themselves to their companies the way that men could, therefore they did not deserve promotions. Women’s “delicate condition” rendered them unfit to do high paid factory and construction work, though no one seemed to mind when they worked long, grueling hours in the pink collar ghetto, scrubbing floors, canning fish or sewing in sweat shops.

Women in the workplace were shamed for doing what they had to do to support their families. A woman who could not hold onto a man with a high paying job was deemed a failure. With her self-esteem battered and bruised, the female worker did not dare raise her voice to demand a better wage or better work conditions. She was just there “temporarily”, said her boss. The minute she got a man, she would quit. The minute she spread her legs and conceived a child, she would demand maternity leave. Or get a back alley abortion and die and leave her employer in the lurch. She was a liability. The boss only kept her on out of a sense of charity. She didn’t deserve more than 59 cents on the dollar---

Then came safe, legal birth control. Then came the right to (safely) terminate an unwanted pregnancy. And suddenly women could say, with confidence, “I can do the same job a man can do.” As a result, the wage discrepancy between women and men has been declining in the last few decades. The change has been slow. Women have gained a half cent a year, so that by 2010 we were making 77 cents compared to the dollar men made for comparable work.

http://www.pay-equity.org/info-time.html

Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but when you are living on the edge of poverty, that extra 18 cents an hour can mean the difference between food on the table and none. It can enable a battered wife to break away from her abusive spouse. It can pay the tuition for night school, so that women can climb out of the pink collar ghetto.

Eighteen cents is chump change to the employers of this country. And yet, they begrudge it to the women who raise this country’s children. And they dread having to hand over that other 33 cents that they currently pocket as profit. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, enacted by the Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Obama is a thorn in the side of the Right. The National Association of Manufacturers lobbied against it, on the ground that existing legislation was more than adequate to protect the rights of women---even though existing legislation still left women in this country 33 cents short.

http://www.nam.org/~/media/1C646E08B3F5440AAE75145BCB33689A/NAMLedbetterOppositionLtr7Jan2009v4.pdf

Dixie Cup, aka the Koch Brothers, aka the Cato Institute declared that the law was a “Sword of Damocles” that threatened the economy----because, apparently, the economy only thrives when women do the same work as men for a fraction of their wage.

http://www.cato-at-liberty.org/fair-pay-act-will-only-further-damage-economy/

In the face of federal legislation that makes it easier for women to sue for past wage discrimination, what is the right wing to do? Answer, strip away the reproductive rights that women have gained. Deny women birth control. Force them to give birth to children they cannot afford.

Then, the Dixie Cup manufacturers of this nation can assert, with confidence, “I don’t need to pay that woman an equal wage. She will just get pregnant and leave me in the lurch. Seventy-seven cents is too much for her. She should be happy with the 59 cents her mother made.” Never mind that single mothers in this country are overwhelming working mothers and that maternity leave is a luxury almost unheard of in the U.S.A.

The Koch Brothers don’t give a damn about your unborn child. Newt Gingrich could care less that your IUD may prevent implantation. Mitt Romney does not lose sleep at night knowing that your employer sponsored health insurance pays for your birth control pill. What they really care about is that 18 cents that women’s reproductive rights have cost them---and the 33 cents they stand to lose if the current trend continues.

And for all you guys out there, remember. When the wages of women and minorities are kept artificially low, all workers get paid less. Law of supply and demand.

“Needless to say, sexism emerged as a source of outrageous super-profits for the capitalists.”
Angela Davis Women, Race & Class

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Arrow 11 replies Author Time Post
Reply 18 cents: Why Our Wombs are a Political Battlefield (Original post)
McCamy Taylor Mar 2012 OP
brewens Mar 2012 #1
RKP5637 Mar 2012 #5
siligut Mar 2012 #10
Ilsa Mar 2012 #2
shcrane71 Mar 2012 #3
niyad Mar 2012 #4
Louisiana1976 Mar 2012 #6
BlueIris Mar 2012 #7
Tumbulu Mar 2012 #9
Lugnut Mar 2012 #8
BlancheSplanchnik Mar 2012 #11

Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 06:35 PM

1. One of the best ever aides to oppressing people was/is getting them burdened

with children they couldn't afford to feed. Another huge reason to be against allowing people to control births. At least it is if you see yourself as being part of the ruling class, willing to exploit that.

Hammer kids with religion and family values that you yourself care little about. Force them to follow the rules and exploit a huge peasant class is their goal. In Rush Limbaughs America, he can afford a whole harem of peasant houseboys to frolic with. No more sneaking to The Dominican for it.

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:24 PM

5. Exactly!!! Very well said! n/t

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Response to brewens (Reply #1)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:13 PM

10. Oppression has been a tool of the ruling class for as long as history has been documented

When they figured out how to use our instincts against us.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 06:47 PM

2. The ability to decide when to have or

not to have babies is one of the most important ways a woman can control her economic destiny. The OP brilliantly illustrates that and how the capitalists are motivated to destroy that right to self-determination.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 06:58 PM

3. This is excellent. Seems telling that when the Occupy movement is starting to make

headway with getting Americans to understand the inequality between the wealthiest and poorest Americans, that GOPers ramped up their war on women. The notorious wage suppression since the 70s is due in part to the sharp increase of women (who were almost invariably paid less for the same work) into the workforce.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 07:22 PM

4. k and r

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 08:21 PM

6. Well said! K&R

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Sun Mar 11, 2012, 09:47 PM

7. I think it's good old fashioned misogyny myself. The selfish material motives

are secondary to the woman hating ones. An overwhelming majority of people think punishing women, especially for exercising our few "rights" to medical privacy, autonomy and health, is practically a past time. Better than baseball. Cheaper, too (at least in their twisted minds.)

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Response to BlueIris (Reply #7)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 12:06 PM

9. Yes, I agree

I do not think this attack on women's health is about money, it is about power and the fear of women having any.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 02:28 AM

8. I was a grocery store cashier in 1965.

The pay scales for employees working in specific job titles was gender based. The men were paid at a higher rate than women were until new legislation was passed that deemed the practice as discriminatory. I received a check from the company for back wages owed. The pay scales were then uniform and based solely on job description with no gender difference.

My daughter was appalled to hear that this is the way it was for working women less than 50 years ago.

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Response to McCamy Taylor (Original post)

Mon Mar 12, 2012, 02:24 PM

11. Slave and prisoner labor did have a huge part in making HUGE PROFITS

for the white, male titans of business.

"the economy only thrives when women do the same work as men for a fraction of their wage."
“Needless to say, sexism emerged as a source of outrageous super-profits for the capitalists.”
Angela Davis Women, Race & Class

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