On November 17th, the Paycheck Fairness Act went to the Senate for vote. The bill would have provided "improvement and modifications" to the Equal Pay Act of 1963. President Obama called it a common sense bill. Nonetheless, it failed to pass due to an overwhelming surge of Republican opposition. Democrats voted 56:1 in favor, while Republicans went 1:40 against it.
So what have women lost as a result of this vote? As Jezebel reports, the Act would have "required employers to provide a business justification for paying men and women differently for the same work and make it easier for employees to obtain salary data and ask about salaries without retaliation." A lack of transparency is a key reason why many women remain underpaid. Currently, a woman makes 77 cents to each dollar a man earns.
What do Senate Republicans and one Democrat have against a woman knowing what her co-worker earns? Some argued that the Act would kill jobs, and that a woman's lower pay is a result of her choices in balancing family life with work.
Others argued that it would have opened up the work place for unnecessary lawsuits. But as the Washington Post points out, the Act would have simply "clarified vague language in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and applied well-established legal standards that are in place for other types of pay discrimination."
To mourn the death of the Paycheck Fairness Act, check out our homage to some of the more ridiculous laws regarding women on the books. Hopefully, some will soon be repealed. Let's just not send them to Congress to do so.
01. In Maryland, a woman cannot go through her husband's pockets while he is sleeping. Not even if she really wants a piece of gum.
02. In Vermont, a woman must obtain written permission from her husband if she wishes to wear false teeth. Because women really lead with their teeth in wanton, uncontrolled sexuality.
03. In Tucson, Arizona, women are not allowed to wear pants. No word on the stance on booty shorts or thongs.
04. In Carrizozo, New Mexico, it is illegal for a woman to appear unshaven in public. Rejoice, razor industry, rejoice!
05. In Dyersburg, Tennessee, it is illegal for a woman to call a man on a date. I don't want to live in a world where equal-opportunity drunk dialing isn't free to all.
06. In Carmel, New York, women may not wear high heels within the city limits. They are obviously just protecting their citizens, as this move effectively disqualifies the city from ever letting a "Sex and the City" sequel to be shot in their town. Good move, Carmel!
07. In Michigan, a woman isn't allowed to cut her hair without her husband's permission. But what if her husband cuts it for her?