The Supreme Court ruled in 2007 that Ms. Ledbetter was not entitled to compensation even though she got raises that were markedly less than men in comparable positions at her job. This disparate pay gap occurred over many years and was justified by the court because Ledbetter did not file her first complaint with 180 days (or 6 months) of employment there – obviously because the disparities took place over time – a point of fact that the court neglected to address in their falacious decision! B.Obama signed into law an executive order that overturns that Supreme Court decision. The effect is intended to make it much more difficult for employees to challenge unlawful pay discrimination based on gender, race, age and disability.
M.Obama’s response was her first pubic appearance since the inaugeration and becoming first lady. It appears to be an enthusiastic and pointedly differentiating stride from her predecessors. The much publicized statements from M.Obama and her executing husband relate to the change in action for pay equity that impacts their daughters – oh, and the rest of us femalian types. This is a fairly bold political move and speaks to the recognizable gap that M.Obama must have incurred in her own career. Additionally, this ERA-esque law sends a recognizable nod toward the women in this country who were slighted by Hilary’s slide from presidential material to cabinent member.
M.Obama’s efforts have been directed toward the office of the interior which incidentaly has also historically been the ‘women’s work’ of policy making. This attention is a message to the american public about the importance of work and politics that impact women and children and disenfranchised peoples. The attention so very interesting to watch because it is these peoples (such as ethnic or political minority groups) who have been paid less for equal or more work than their white male counterparts in the building block of this economy.
In this new incarnation of recession, for white men at least, it really does feel like another great depression because they are largest segment of the laid-off/fired population in the latest unemployment reports. This might not be due to their lack of working skills in relation to other workers, but rather that the minority and female workers have been consistently paid less and therefore are more ‘valuable’ in this pathetic economy. A novel solution right now is being offered by large corporations who are encouraging their leading workers to ‘outsource’ themselves! They are helping workers to move on to other countries and facilitating paperwork and efforts to aid the processes to get there. The move is being fostered toward those countries whose economic range is much more limited than the american variety. You see in this way, these corporations can pertetuate the american status quo on a global scale.
A real change in american life encompassing socio/economic/political facets would be to radically undermine any efforts to maintain the status quo anywhere on this planet. The effects would be far reaching and improve relations with lasting impact between americans and other peoples in this world. Real change, real hope would mean equalizing the playing field for all workers, equalizing the quality of life for all people and not just americans. M.Obama’s attention does shine light in that direction, but the truth is in the pudding; will she or won’t she and her husband make those hard and fast and real changes? Making investments for parity between daughters and sons certainly is important, significant, and groundbreaking; but first mothering cannot just stop there, I am hoping that it doesn’t.