Equal Rights Amendment, pay equity, comparable worth … the ERA of my teen years is back with all the false statistics and class and gender warfare.
Barack Obama last week began an ad campaign to bring it all back, starting with the statistics that shaped me as a conservative, a feminist. (Yes, feminist. Today’s feminists were the women’s liberation movement of the 1970s. When bra-burning women conjured up too many bad images, they co-opted the mainstream conservatives’ word.)
NOW, (the National Organization for Women) and other women’s libbers endorsed Obama in a press conference at the National Press Club, using the Democratic nominee for President’s oft-repeated and untrue claim that “women earn 77% of what men earn.” The figure is on his website under Fighting for Pay Equity and he thinks it justifies putting the government in charge of determining private-sector pay to ensure women and men “earn” the same pay.
A year ago I battled fundamental concepts with the authors of the 2006 book, The Motherhood Manifesto, Joan Blades founder of moveon.org and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner, founder of Moms Rising. Neither has any concept of balancing a business’s budget or the cost of her proposals. They were truly stunned that I had no desire to live in a world of their controlling ideas. The ideas seemed farfetched, so, although I was alarmed at the resurgence and popularity of socialism and Marxism under the guise of motherhood, I promptly dismissed them. But so many women have learned their world view in university women’s studies that barely veiled euphemisms for socialism and Marxism on our college campuses have had an effect.
Like the actually productive Amway, the libbers have been holding meetings in homes across America feeding women a Utopia where businesses have unlimited money to provide unlimited benefits to their workers and government is the all-encompassing parent to everyone for anything and everything. I am amazed that women buy it
If you look to www.momsrising.org and you will find the word motherhood misshapen as: “M is for Motherhood: Paid family leave combats poverty, gives children a healthy start, and lowers the wage gap between women and men by providing structural support to balance work and family.”
In 1970 women were supposed to earn 74% of what men earned. Obama says 77%. Does that figure amaze you? It should-it is a boldfaced lie. Women have earned 98% of what men earn in a similar job with similar education and experience since before 1985 when I cranked the numbers in the Reagan Administration.
Part of the problem is the Republican administration’s refusal to take control of the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which has resulted in undue credibility for an agency where bureaucrats and statisticians run as they will. The definition of full time work is 35 hours per week, and not all 52 weeks a year. Since more men work 40+ hours and 52 weeks a year, voila, women make less than men do.
In fact, workers who average 44 or more hours per week earn an average of 100% more than workers who average only 40 hours per week. Men in full-time jobs tend to work 4 to 10 more hours more per week than women in full-time jobs.
The Clarence Thomas in this high-tech lynching is that Gov. Sarah Palin is not playing by the rules set forth in The Mommy Manifesto, not complaining that someone needs to do more for her because she birthed children. Instead the women’s libbers complain that the governor cannot be a very good mother, not a real mother, unless she plays by their rules. The Equal Rights Amendment didn’t ring true to the majority of voters in states in the 1970s, and it won’t work for Obama today. Not all of us consider ourselves downtrodden and willing to believe falsehoods to justify our fears. But here we go again.
Mrs. Keene, a senior fellow at the Independent Women’s Forum, served in the Reagan Administration at the Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor.