We had an important vote in the Senate last night and for the most part it was the same partisan fare, although a few from the right crossed what is becoming quite a chasm to vote with the left so I’m glad my supply of birth control pills will remain, for now, uninterrupted. Other than last night the votes have been along party lines to the extent that there may as well be a river running down the middle of the Senate floor and many from both sides wish it was stocked with alligators.
There was a time when we were more bipartisan and while the good old days weren’t that good, this bipartisanship was better for America. There was a time when republican Tip O’Neill and democrat Ted Kennedy would get hammered on scotch and then hammer out a bill that was palatable to the majority of Americans and enough of the Senate would read the bill and take out the part where Tip and Ted decided to bomb Calgary on Thursday, probably knowing the bill wouldn’t pass with that in it. Everything of import to us, immigration reform, civil and women’s rights, national security was either founded or furthered with bipartisan support and we’re going to need more of it if they intend to get anything done. Right now we seem to be governed by one party who doesn’t know they won and another party which can’t believe they lost. One side is bullying to the extent they would be expelled from any public school in America and the other side is pouting so badly they will be alone at their birthday party. What may be even more disturbing for many of you is that if you look at all the individuals involved with an open mind, you would have to agree with me that the only ones making any sense at all are the women. Whether you are a fan of Warren, Harris or Gillibrand on one side of the aisle or Murkowski and Collins on the other side, these are the people bringing a rationale to the situations, probably because they’re used to breaking up fights between children which, coincidence or not, describes most of the men in the Senate where both sides appear to be in league with their respective lunatic fringes and not the majority of us.
But, having been around for a long time now, I can tell you it wasn’t always this way and this is an exercise in seeing how things are cyclical so none of us should be too quick to pat ourselves on the back. In the ‘50s the republican party demonized females in what they determined were male-based roles; I mean education was OK as long as it included ‘How to cook a pot roast and change a diaper’ but they did their best to keep women out of the work force with poorer pay, limited benefits, rampant sexism and harassment etc. As you can imagine, if you are too young to remember, this did not sit well with this burgeoning demographic and the democrats saw an opportunity to tap into this well of voters. To their credit, the democrats championed their cause and we are all the better for it as women began to advance in pay, benefits etc. to the point where it is still bad but better than it has ever been. But as it is too often with a good thing, the democrats took it one step too far and began to demonize women who opted to fill female-based roles. They intimated that stay-at-home equated with subservient and was less valuable than a working Mom and that promptly sent legions of their voters back to the other side.
What many in the Senate have lost sight of is that if there are two sides, logically there must be a middle so get together and find it for the majority of us; not just your CEO or your welfare recipient. In fact, if the CEO would take less in profit temporarily, you could put the welfare recipients to work for him and probably have even more profits.
Women can be wives, mothers, workers and soldiers but they don’t have to be any of those things. That’s called freedom and this is America. And equal pay should be a non-issue because you’re supposed to be paying for the job, not whether one of us is wearing a bra. And if you get the same pay for the same job, all it means to women is you no longer have first dibs on that seat in the lifeboat.
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