Where did Michelle Bernard come from, and why on earth would anyone ask her opinion on the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which President Obama signed into law last week?
The first question is easier to answer. Bernard is President of the deceptively-named Independent Women's Forum, a thinktank that is neither "Independent" (Prominent members include Kate O'Beirne, Nancy Pfotenhauer, Lynne Cheney and the Podhoretz boys' wife and mother, Midge Decter. Funding comes from organizations like the Castle Rock Foundation and the Scaife Foundation. Sound independent to you?) nor particularly interested in furthering the welfare of women. In fact, some of their declared stances are against gender equality, like Title IX and the Violence Against Women Act. A curious case of self-loathing that must be given an inordinate amount of airtime, don't you think?
And who better to ask to
speak on monopolize a segment on a bill that simply gives women the right to sue if they discover--years after they've been hired--that they have been working for less money for the same job than their male counterparts, as Lilly Ledbetter discovered. Naturally, Bernard and the IWF do not support the Ledbetter Act. How dare women think they should be entitled to equality, those silly little things?
What happened is…the case was overturned at the Supreme Court on a technicality. Instead of being forced to bring a lawsuit that alleges discrimination within a 100 days…180 days, women now have a longer period of time to do that. The problem with the legislation that was signed yesterday is we don’t know what the unintended consequences are going to be. Number one, it tells women that you’re a victim. Number two, we don’t know what the burdens are going to be that are going to be put on employers. Will employers all of the sudden say if I…maybe I should hire less women…fewer women in the workplace because they might sue me 20, 30, 40 years from now. Insurance is going to go up. What is the negative impact that this could possibly have on women, and for that reason, the Independent Women’s Forum and the Independent Women’s Voice does not think that this is a great day in America for women.
Holy cow, my blood pressure is rising just re-typing that drivel. First, it teaches women to be victims? Once again the wrong-headedness of conservative logic rears its ugly head. This law now acknowledges women who have already been victimized by sexist employers and cheated out of fair wages. Those unexpected consequences, Michelle, will be employers--those ones afraid of lawsuits 20, 30, 40 years from now (which you realize means they have been cheating their female employees out of fair wages for that time)--actually abiding by the Equal Pay Act of 1963.
Chris Matthews, bless his clueless little heart, confuses issues by getting into an area that Bernard feels more comfortable--the issue of fair pay. As far as Bernard is concerned, anyone who goes into female-dominated professions like teaching or nursing should just suck it up, because that revered "free market" has spoken and their jobs just don't merit higher wages. I'm completely serious and she's seriously deranged.