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.

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Comments

  1. Kathleen Says: May 24, 2019 at 7:43 am

    Anita,

    It’s like “deja vu all over again”. Have you noticed how the media goes ga ga focusing on ANYTHING the male candidates say or do, while being much more nit picky with the women who do not meet their standard of perfection?

    I’ve noticed that Ari Melber seems to have a blind spot when talking with women who bring up the inequality of women and the sexism behind it. I noted that Harris was very deliberate in pointing out more than once to Ari the reality of that disparity, but I doubt it got through his thick skull.

    In fact, I’ve noticed that all of the men on these political programs still seem to have little to nothing to say when they are confronted with the evidence of this disparity in comparison to men. If they do respond, it’s in the same vein as what Donnie Duetsch said on the Morning Joe show when explaining the reason Elizabeth Warren would NOT be able to take on trump because he would paint all dems as socialist if he could and she would come across as striden if she responded in kind: “She’s tough. Bernie [Sanders] can get away with a certain stridentness, that it’s much more challenging for a woman…. It’s not fair, but it is…” It’s always been unfair and men will not do anything to change it without a woman being in charge to ensure that change occurs.

    Women have got to come to terms with the fact that if we want equality, it will take women in positions of power to make that happen. It won’t be biden, Bernie, beto and the other boys who will make that a priority. In fact, women’s equality always takes a backseat to everything when a male is in charge.

  2. Kathleen A Wynne Says: May 24, 2019 at 7:44 am

    It’s like “deja vu all over again”. Have you noticed how the media goes ga ga focusing on ANYTHING the male candidates say or do, while being much more nit picky with the women who do not meet their standard of perfection?

    I’ve noticed that Ari Melber seems to have a blind spot when talking with women who bring up the inequality of women and the sexism behind it. I noted that Harris was very deliberate in pointing out more than once to Ari the reality of that disparity, but I doubt it got through his thick skull.

    In fact, I’ve noticed that all of the men on these political programs still seem to have little to nothing to say when they are confronted with the evidence of this disparity in comparison to men. If they do respond, it’s in the same vein as what Donnie Duetsch said on the Morning Joe show when explaining the reason Elizabeth Warren would NOT be able to take on trump because he would paint all dems as socialist if he could and she would come across as striden if she responded in kind: “She’s tough. Bernie [Sanders] can get away with a certain stridentness, that it’s much more challenging for a woman…. It’s not fair, but it is…” It’s always been unfair and men will not do anything to change it without a woman being in charge to ensure that change occurs.

    Women have got to come to terms with the fact that if we want equality, it will take women in positions of power to make that happen. It won’t be biden, Bernie, beto and the other boys who will make that a priority. In fact, women’s equality always takes a backseat to everything when a male is in charge.

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