Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wyoming, The Equality State- Ha! Ha!

In the last post I talked about how visually beautiful Wyoming is, and I'm not going to change that opinion. But there is a dark side to Wyoming, one that Wyomingites want to keep behind closed doors, and one that they chose to ignore, all the while it is slapping them upside the head. The Equality State? I think not!

Wyoming is a backwards looking, socially conservative and misogynistic state. Sure, we were the first state, in 1890, to give women the right to vote. We were the first state to have a women governor, a women justice of the peace, and the first all-woman jury. But these times are a changing, or something like that. The majority of Wyomingites (Human Critters) are regressing, going back into the Dark Ages, including the state's Congressional Delegation, Senators Barrasso(R) and Enzi(R) and the newly elected Representative Cynthia Lummis(R).

What comes to mind is the decision in the "Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company" case and the court's ruling. Because of that ruling, Congress set out to rectify and overrule this decision with the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act". Although this was attempted in the 110th Congress, and was passed in the House, it did not make it through the Senate. Go figure, as obstructionists were at work again.

So, in the 111th Congress, the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" was attempted again. It passed in both the House (250-177) and the Senate (61-36), and will become law once President Obama signs it. This is an important victory for not only woman's rights, but human rights. The Misogynistic Supreme's, 5 of them in this case, and we'll now forever call them "The M-5s" for short, and to act cool for the younger generations, because that is how Gen-Xer's or are they Gen-Zer's now, would refer to them, like J-Lo, L-Rod, blah, blah, blah.

The M-5s are "J-Boy" Roberts, "Fish-Scale" Scalia, "Ron-Rea" Kennedy, "Ta-Ta" Thomas, and "Sam-E" Alito. These fine young men decided that Lilly didn't deserve a legal and judicial remedy in her case, or equal pay for equal work. Separate and unequal! Shame on them, for they lacked any and all common sense whatsoever in deciding this case. A summary of the case can be found here: Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.

Which brings me back to Wyoming, a state where pay disparity between genders in not rare, but more like the norm. Sure there are a lot of theories, studies and rationalizing for why this is, but the bottom line is that in Wyoming, where the Republicans are the King, and entrenched to a point that I think it is in the non- Indian natives DNA. Look, we are the state of Dick Cheney where he revered as a deity, and worshiped like he is the second coming. The state of Wyoming is ranked last in the nation on gender pay equity, yes, I said LAST, with women earning about 67 cents to every 1 dollar earned by men. There are numerous socio-economic issues that need to be addressed to help turn this around, and the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" would have an immediate impact.

So, Moe, Larry and Curly, or in politiko speak, Enzi, Barrasso, and Lummis decided they would vote against the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009". Why you ask? Because the Wyoming Republicans march in lockstep with the Misogynist Republican Leadership in Congress most, if not, all of the time. And because the majority that voted for these "3 Stooges" are so ignorant, un and under-educated, and believe all the propaganda and lies spewed forth by these clowns. I really think that these "Three Stooges" could actually convince these unintelligent republican voters to do anything, (i.e. kamikaze pilots, suicide bombers, etc.) that they will follow them off the cliff, just like lemmings. How sad, how sad!

So, wage disparity is alive and well in Wyoming, and barefoot and pregnant is the rule and not the exception. It is ashame this happens in such a visually beautiful state. But we can change this, and hopefully soon.

From Nancy Freudenthal, in a letter to the Casper Star-Tribune-

Specifically, we can:

• Raise public awareness: The wage gap is real. It is hurting our families and our economy. We cannot allow the issue to be shelved as ust another report. Equal opportunity and equal pay will happen only when our leaders say it should.

• Become informed and end discrimination: A certain amount of the gap is due to illegal discrimination. Workers employers must become better educated about their rights and responsibilities. Employers might consider a self-audit to make sure pay differences are not caused by discrimination.

Wyoming must enforce its laws to stop discrimination.

• Promote equal economic opportunity: As long as women remain in in education, nursing, service, support and sales jobs, while men choose higher-paying mining, transportation and construction jobs, the wage gap will be a problem. Women should be persuaded to choose higher-paying occupations, and employers should allow them equal opportunity to enter these nontraditional jobs. Schools and parents can begin to break occupation stereotypes. Mentoring programs can help women understand what it takes to succeed and how to gain recognition for their work. We can join other states in documenting a "self-sufficient" wage and then use this as a basis to improve wages. Finally, Wyoming must continue its long-term efforts to diversify the economy is there are better career choices for women.

• Provide more opportunities for full time work: Wyoming women work more part-time jobs than pn do. In many cases this occurs because childcare is unavailable or extremely ex-pensive for multiple children. Part time work pays less and has fewer benefits. An examination of childcare options could improve this situation.

• Change practices: Government, with its thousands of employees, can lead by examining and changing wage practices for appropriate jobs.

• Become involved: We should support community and nonprofit efforts to end wage disparity. I am supporting the Wyoming Women's Foundation, as an important endowed fund dedicated to help women in the Equality State achieve economic self-sufficiency.

There is a chance to change our society's sexist ways, the time is now, if not yesterday. And it is going to take a long time to change the mindset of all the sexist men in charge of this country. And sure we are going to step on the toes of Big Business (Probably why the Repubs were against it.) but screw them and their $50 million Dassault 7-X business jet.

Oooh, And we can't forget McCain's brilliant remark, another ignorant little man:

From ThinkProgress- On 4-23-08: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) skipped the vote on the Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which “restores the longstanding interpretation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act,” overturned last year by a 5-4 Supreme Court ruling. In New Orleans today, McCain explained his opposition to the bill by claiming it “opens us up to lawsuits for all kinds of problems.” Later in Kentucky, he added that instead of legislation allowing women to fight for equal pay, they simply need “education and training“:

“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.

“It’s a vicious cycle that’s affecting women, particularly in a part of the country like this, where mining is the mainstay; traditionally, women have not gone into that line of work, to say the least,” he said.

The issue is not “education and training.” When denied equal pay by her supervisor, Lilly Ledbetter was doing the exact same job as her male counterparts and received numerous performance-based awards. McCain has a long record of failure on women’s issues, earning him a 0 percent rating from NARAL ProChoice America six years in a row, from 2001-2007.

In case you haven't read it yet, you can find the "Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009" here:

One final comment and it's about the Stimulus Bill. All the States and Congessional districts who Senators and Representatives voted against/or will vote against it, they should be kept out of the plan. No $$$ to them for infrastructure, jobs, tax credits and tax breaks! Nothing, Nada! I know it will not happen, but just fantasizing. I want everyone to succeed, and for everyone to have a job who wants one. Let's end poverty, NOW! Let's save our Country, on so many levels, NOW! Let's save our one and only Planet Earth, NOW! Amen!

Oral Argument in Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company Case before the Supreme Court: Click Here

And don't forget to read the Stimulus Bill if you truly want to argue/discuss it. Just a thought?

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