It's time again for Janet Allon's weekly essay at Alternet.org, this time titled, "10 Lunacies From the Right-Wing Fringe This Week: Women Want Malls, Not Equal Pay Edition."
"While Neil deGrasse Tyson has the creationists all in a tizzy, the right has quietly amped up its war on women, and this week, it seemed Republicans have trotted out some of their women as cover. Michelle, Sarah, watch out. You’ve got some competition.
"1. Minnesota Rep. Andrea Kieffer: Equal pay equals women whining.
"The word 'equality' is a lightning rod for Republicans. They don’t like it. They don’t believe in it. People are not equal, and equal pay for equal work just does not compute. The party has thrived on inequality of all kinds and it is bound and determined to keep it that way. And anyone who objects is just a lily-livered sob sister.
"Meet little-known Republican Minnesota Rep. Andrea Kieffer, who had this startling insight into the discussion of a package of legislation that would address the gender pay gap: "We heard several bills last week about women’s issues and I kept thinking to myself, these bills are putting us backwards in time," Kieffer said, according to an audio recording posted by the Alliance for a Better Minnesota. “We are losing the respect that we so dearly want in the workplace by bringing up all these special bills for women and almost making us look like whiners.”
"Kieffer was speaking during a hearing on the Women's Economic Security Act, which would raise the minimum wage to $9.50, expand access to paid sick leave and childcare, and protect women from discrimination and unfair pay. The legislative package would also improve protections for domestic violence victims.
"But seriously, women, stop whining. First you whined to get the vote, now equal pay. Where does it end?
"Fairness, schmairness. Whinypants. (Or should we say, whiny pantsuits?)
"Full story: Talking Points Memo
"2. Cari Christman of Red State Women: Women are too busy to need equal pay laws.
"Turns out there is such a thing as being an idiot and an asshole simultaneously. The leader of a recently launched political-action committee aimed at female voters in Texas made the nonsense argument during an interview this week that women don’t want equal pay laws because they are 'extremely busy.'
"Where shall we begin to poke holes in this? Perhaps women are so busy because they have to work extra to bring home the same paycheck a man does.
"A little background: Texas Republicans are in a bit of panic after their gubernatorial candidate, Greg Abbott, campaigned with known racist-gun-nutjob-headcase Ted Nugent, and said Texas has no need for laws protecting women against pay discrimination. So they launched a PAC called Red State Women, and appointed this genius, Cari Christman, as their executive editor.
"She has a real way with words, if by way you mean a method of putting words together so they don’t actually make sense.
"'We believe that Texas women want and deserve equal pay,' she admitted. 'We don’t believe the Lilly Ledbetter Act is what’s going to solve that problem for women. We believe that women want real-world solutions to this problem, not more rhetoric.'
"All righty then, what would be a better solution?
"'If you look at it, women are… extremely busy, we lead busy lives,' she stumbled. 'And times are extremely busy. It’s just — it’s a busy cycle for women, and we’ve got a lot to juggle.'
"'And so when we look at this issue, we think, what’s practical?' Christman continued. 'And we want more access to jobs. And we want to be able to go to get a higher education degree at the same time we’re working or raising a family. That’s common sense. And we believe that real-world solution is a more practical way to approach the problem.'
"Note to Ms. Christman: When you arrive in the 'real world,' do give us a shout.
"3. Beth Cubriel, executive director of Texas Republican Party: Women will get better pay when they learn to negotiate like men.
"Casting about for yet another lame excuse for not supporting equal pay laws, another Texas Republican good ole gal offered up this: "Men are better negotiators. I would encourage women, instead of pursuing the courts for action, to become better negotiators."
"The author of this pearl of wisdom was one Beth Cubriel, executive director of the Texas Republican Party. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which Texas Republicans oppose, would allow women to sue their employers for paying their male colleagues more for the same work whenever the pay discrimination is discovered, rather than barring them from doing so after 180 days following the first discriminatory paycheck. The law was inspired by Lilly Ledbetter, a woman who had worked for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. for almost 20 years when she received a note alerting her that she was being paid 40 percent less than her male colleagues of equal or lesser superiority.
"Cubriel concedes that women are paid less. It’s just that she thinks it’s their own fault.
"So to summarize, women are too busy whining rather than negotiating and therefore should be paid less for equal work.
"4. Ralph Reed: Making divorce harder is a better solution to hunger than food stamps.
"Faith and Freedom Coalition founder Ralph Reed does not like divorce. He has gone as far as to compare it to other scourges like 'drug use, human trafficking and legalized gambling.' On 'Morning Joe' this week, he explained why he feels this way to Mika Brzezinski.
"'I personally think the no-fault divorce revolution in the '60s and '70s has not been good for society,' he said. 'Certainly, I recognize that couples are not going to be able to stay together. That’s been true throughout society, but do we really want to make it easier for a man to discard the wife of his youth than it is for him to fire his secretary, for him to basically go in and say goodbye when 40 percent of all child support is never paid?'
"Which is why some women end up in poverty, he said. Well then, shouldn’t Reed support more federal programs like food stamps? MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle asked. Or support more enforcement of child support? Or both?
"Nope, just make divorce way harder.
"Forcibly, if you have to. Because abusive and unhappy homes always turn out better for the kids.
"Can you say "throwback"?
"5. Alaska Rep: Put state-funded pregnancy tests in bars so women will be more responsible.
"Generally, Republicans oppose expanding government funding for pretty much anything, but one Alaska State Senator, Pete Kelly, wants to add a line to the budget. State-funded pregnancy tests in bars so women act responsibly.
"Women, you see, are children, and yet they also have children. Sometimes, sadly, they have children with fetal alcohol syndrome, which is a big problem in Alaska.
"Here’s how Senator Kelly explained his novel idea in an interview with the Anchorage Daily News: 'Literally, you can go into the bathroom at the bar and test. So if you’re drinking, you’re out at the big birthday celebration and you’re kind of like, "Gee, I wonder if I—?" You should be able to go in the bathroom and there’s that plastic, Plexiglas bowl in there.'
"Might there also be a Plexiglas bowl of, say, condoms? Possibly in both the men’s and women’s bathrooms. Wouldn’t that help too?
"Nope, that is not part of Kelly’s oh-so-creative plan, because, “Birth control is for people who don’t necessarily want to act responsibly."
"Funny, we thought it was just the opposite. At least, that’s what we learned in sex ed.
"6. Rush Limbaugh: 'We already have museums for women—they’re called malls.
"Rush Limbaugh cracks himself up, he really does. This week, the conservative icon made fun of House Republicans for their blatant attempt to counterract their reputation for waging war on women by building a National Women’s History Museum.
"'What?' Rush whined. 'There isn’t going to be a National Men’s [Museum]. [All] those war museums and memorials, those are museums to men. We’ve left the women out, that’s right.'
"But wait, Rush thought with a little bit of mischievous glee. 'We already have —ladies and gentlemen—I don’t know how many museums for women all over the country. They are called malls.'
"Then he just went and upped the ante. He did. He made it even funnier. 'Hey, I could have said brothel.'
"Rush, stop. Our sides are hurting.
"7. South Dakota Rep: Businesses should be able to refuse service to gays and blacks.
"An honest bigot. So hard to find. Sometimes you have to travel all the way to South Dakota where one lone voice in the tundra, Republican State Senator Phil Jensen, laid it all out, plain and simple. Businesses should be able to refuse service to anyone, regardless of their race, color, creed or sexuality. But especially, they should be able to refuse service to blacks and gays. Because it’s that kind of bigotry that made this country great.
"It’s called freedom, people. Freedom with a capital F.
"Senator Jensen introduced a brave freedom-loving bill this week and explained it thusly to the Rapid City Journal:
"'If someone was a member of the Ku Klux Klan, and they were running a little bakery for instance, the majority of us would find it detestable that they refuse to serve blacks, and guess what? In a matter of weeks or so that business would shut down because no one is going to patronize them.'"Well, no one besides other racists.
"Putting aside the mind-boggling idea of the KKK running a bakery, kudos to Jensen for one-upping the widely ridiculed Arizona bill that merely would have allowed businesses to discriminate against LGBT customers. But Jensen’s bill wasn’t couched in terms of 'religious freedom;' he’s a self-described 'free market absolutist,' which is another creepy religion of the extreme right-wing.
"Saner heads prevailed in the crimson red Mt. Rushmore state, and the bill was killed in committee. We can’t wait to see what Senator Jensen comes up with next!
"Full story: Talking Points Memo
"8. Bryan Fischer explains why God has not killed Bill Maher yet.
"A lot of people have been wondering why God has not killed Bill Maher yet. Last week, the noted anti-religious HBO comic talked about the story of Noah, and how it reveals that God is 'kind of a dick' and a 'mass murderer' who gets off on 'drowning babies.'
"There must be some explanation for why Maher, who appears very healthy, has not yet been struck down for his blasphemy. And don’t give us that 'the lord works in mysterious ways' b.s. Maybe he's too busy starting the 'rapture' with Flight 370, as Billy Graham’s daughter suggested.
"Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association was nice enough to explain the ongoing existence of Maher on his Monday radio program. This is helpful, because Fischer and God talk all the time. It turns out that Maher will indeed be 'judged for those careless words,' but God is just going to give him a little more time.
"'God hopes it doesn’t come to that,' Fischer said about his buddy, God. 'God could, by all rights, take him right now and Bill Maher would have to face judgment by the end of the day. Why doesn’t he do that? Because he is patient with Bill Maher. He doesn’t want to have to do that. He wants to give Bill Maher the time to come to his senses and to come to a place of repentance.'
"It’s been a good decade now since Maher’s been openly mocking God. Think he’ll come to his senses? Think God will get around to smiting him?
"You can watch Fischer divine God’s plans for Bill Maher via Right Wing Watch:
"9. Yawn, yet another conservative billionaire calls progressives 'Hitleresque.'
"These conservative billionaires, so unoriginal with their name-calling. Home Depot co-founder and Pope Francis critic Ken Langone apparently was not paying attention when venture capitalist Tom Perkins was roundly mocked for comparing San Francisco progressive protests against inequality similar to Kristallnacht. Langone dove right into the idiot pool by calling populists (like New York Mayor Bill deBlasio) who are concerned about income inequality, Nazis.
"In an interview with Politico, Langone expressed dismay about the shift in the zeitgeist away from letting the one percent run roughshod against the rest of us.
"'I hope it’s not working,' the major GOP donor said of current populist appeals. 'Because if you go back to 1933, with different words, this is what Hitler was saying in Germany. You don’t survive as a society if you encourage and thrive on envy or jealousy.'
"We were hoping that the Hitler scholar might be good enough to cite where Hitler said that, but alas, he turned tail and later issued an apology, or rather, one of those pseudo-apologies.
"My remarks were intended to discourage pitting one group against another group in a society. If my choice of words was inappropriate — and they well may have been that — I extend my profound apologies to anyone and everyone who I may have offended," Langone said in the statement.
"Yeah, so he's really sorry if he offended you. And, it is not as if the one percent or their representatives have ever employed the strategy of dividing and conquering. (Paul Ryan, “inner city males,” for starters.)
"10. All the brave, anonymous, racist tweeters about the prospect of a black Annie.
"The incredibly talented Quvenzhané Wallis, nominated for her performance in Beasts of the Southern Wild has had the audacity to be cast as Little Orphan Annie, in the remake of Annie. The trailer was recently released.
"Vile racist spewage ensued on the Internet, directed at the 10-year-old actress. “Annie was a white girl,” said one tweeter of the fictional character. “This is racist....it’s a slap in the face.”
"It is dastardly indeed.
"Most of the comments were way less printable. Way more unhinged.
"WTF is wrong with these people?
"Read more here."
Along with racism, name-calling, and telling the world what God thinks, the Conservative War On Women rages on, but why? Are the Conservative leaders so much against equality that they are shooting themselves in the foot? Could the Cons be that stupid, or are they just so arrogant that they don't need women's votes?
As we noted just before the last election, the confidence by the GOP that they will win no matter who they insult and demean is a tad suspicious.
Quotes like, "women are too busy whining rather than negotiating and therefore should be paid less for equal work," are awful, but did anyone notice that the first three quotes were from Conservative women?
And for more of the same, check out our post from just a few months ago, "20 Vile Quotes Against Women By Religious Leaders From St. Augustine to Pat Robertson."
Democracy is built on equality, and racism and sexism has no place in a democratic society.
There oughta be a law.
“The Republicans are looking after the financial interests of the wealthiest individuals
in this country.”