Kamala Harris and Women’s Fight for Equal Pay
21 May 2019
Senator Kamala Harris spoke with MSNBC’s Ari Melber last night pitching her plan to fine companies a part of their previous year’s profits if it is discovered they are not paying women equal wages as men for the same work.
Is this plan likely a non-starter? Well, if those guilty companies and the six conglomerates in control of 90% of media in this country have anything to say about it, it is. Do yourselves a favor and watch this segment with the volume off. Watch Ari’s expression. It telegraphs volumes. The medium is the message and if there is any way to discredit or minimize another messenger offering a prescription media bosses don’t like, they will do so.
This is likely also why a woman who launched her campaign with a massive rally of 22,000 people was treated as an afterthought while an old white male candidate–and bloviating non-ally Bernie Sanders–gets wall to wall coverage.
Yes, the broken career pipeline is real. More women than men graduate college today. While women may start their careers at a similar wage to their male contemporaries, as the years go on, the wage gap gets wider and wider. So if a woman stops to have a child, even a relatively short career break can have devastating consequences to earnings and career. That adds yet another diabolical dimension to the extreme-anti choice laws a number of states are attempting to put on the books, doesn’t it? Women without autonomy over their own bodies have no ability to self-determine — and are far less of a threat to excel in a world of insecure white males.
Whatever the outcome of Senator Harris’ plan here, it is critical that we raise issues pertaining to women’s equal treatment in every respect. The lack of push we hear from male candidates, or even their lack of understanding on many of these issues, only further illuminates the importance of women’s leadership and parity in government representation.
In the current presidential contest–and every political contest–we must also insist upon parity in news coverage, so that more qualified women, like Senators Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar and Kirsten Gillibrand get a substantive hearing — not dish about their tone or “likeability”. Or news anchors staring into space as though the person they are talking to has six heads.
News media. Do better.