I guess it’s utopian of me to think that today’s politicians and mainstream media would be as radical as a Batgirl from a 1970’s Department of Labor PSA. But a girl, bat or otherwise, can dream, can’t she? Either way, it’s Equal Pay Day!
In the 1970s the radical, gender-norm-challenging-binary-questioning Batgirl character came out in support of equal pay. Today, decades later, the gender pay gap stands at 78 cents to the dollar and hasn’t narrowed in the last decade. Every April, Equal Pay Day marks how far into the year the average American woman must work to make what the average man made last year.
It’s sad that many of today’s politicians and so-called journalists aren’t quite as progressive as this character from over 40 years ago.
For instance, when I search Google News for “equal pay,” the first thing that comes up is an opinion piece by Diana Furchgott-Roth, a free-market fundamentalist who rails against feminism and the environment. Her book Regulating to Disaster: How Green Jobs Policies are Damaging America’s Economy is a page-turner, I’m sure. Her op-ed, published in Market Watch is called “Feminists overreach with Equal Pay,” and it argues that “in many ways, women already are ahead, but feminists won’t acknowledge that.”
Furchgott-Roth opens her opus by writing, “April 14 is feminists’ misconceived Equal Pay Day. That’s the day of the year, they say, when all women’s wages, allegedly only 78% of all men’s, ‘catch up’ to what men have earned the year before. The fairy tale is that women have to work those extra months to get their fair share.”
Just listen to all the terrible things we feminist extremists are agitating for:
Paycheck Fairness Act would allow women to sue for unlimited compensatory and punitive damages. It would encourage class actions by requiring workers who do not want to participate to opt out, rather than opt in, a radical change from conventional law and practice. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission would collect data on the race, sex and wages of workers to test for and prevent discrimination.
In other words, Furchgott-Roth argues that this law would…wait for…discourage discrimination. What could be less lady-like and more unAmerican?
She continues, “Feminists want Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, introduced in this Congress on March 25 by Maryland Sen. Barbara Mikulski and Connecticut Rep. Rosa DeLauro, both Democrats.” Like the best of journalists, Furchgott-Roth makes her point by using incredibly unflattering images of the two Congresswomen. Because doing your darndest to make so-called feminists look unattractive is a great way to compensate for your lack of logic or integrity.
Since we’re mentioning political parties, you may want to know that Furchgott-Roth served under George W. Bush as the chief of staff on his Council of Economic Advisers and as the chief Economist of the United States Department of Labor. Her position make sense, given that the Republicans in Congress have voted down the Paycheck Fairness Act four times since 2012!
Here is an updated Batgirl-based PSA from today’s Department of Labor, which is sadly as relevant today as it as back then. The text below the video reads, “40 years ago, Batgirl fought for equal pay for equal work, a fight that persists today. While the wage gap has closed slightly, women still earn 78% of what men earn, on average. And for women of color the gap is even wider. We can — and must — do more for #EqualPayNow.”
Here is the transcript for the original video:
Batgirl Teaches Batman a Lesson about Equal Pay
Announcer: A ticking bomb means trouble for Batman & Robin.
Robin: Holy Breaking and entering it’s Batgirl!
Batman: Quick Batgirl! Untie us before it’s too late.
Batgirl: It’s already too late. I’ve worked for you a long time and I’m paid less than Robin. Same job, same employer means equal pay for men and women.
Batman: No time for jokes Batgirl.
Batgirl: It’s no joke! It’s the Federal Equal Pay Law.
Robin: Holy Act of Congress!
Batgirl: If you’re not getting equal pay, contact the Wage & Hour Division, U.S. Department of Labor.