The law forces employers who pay more to a man working the same job as a woman to prove that the pay is based on elements other than gender. It also changes the rules on whether and when employees can sue employers regarding pay issues, and allows employees to discuss pay without fear of retribution.
Aileen Rizo is one of the women who helped make it happen. A math consultant at the Fresno County Office of Education, three years ago Rizo discovered that one of her recently-hired male colleagues earned $12,000 more per year than her, even though he had far fewer years of experience and education.
I really should be careful about having the news on in the car. I nearly drove off the road when host John Hockenberry said, and I am not paraphrasing:
“If the only solution in a company were to be to reduce the salary of all men to equalize it with women, how uncomfortable would that make it for you in your office if that was the solution scenario?”
Aileen Rizo is a better woman than I am because she did not immediately scream IN WHAT DICKBRAINED SCENARIO IS THAT A POTENTIAL SOLUTION TO ANYONE’S PROBLEMS. She very soberly answered this victim-blaming nonsense hypothetical with a reasonable question as to how much companies spend on lawsuits, rather than paying workers fairly.
So let me ask, here. IN WHAT DICKBRAINED SCENARIO IS THAT A POTENTIAL SOLUTION TO ANYONE’S PROBLEMS? How is it her responsibility to assuage the insecurities of the dudebros she works with when her company screws over everybody instead of treating women fairly? How is it her job to pet these whiny ass titty babies and make them okay with her unconscionable demand for equality under the law?
And how would it be okay, fellas, for a company you work for to count on you being so completely idiotic that you’d jump at a chance to fight some girls instead of noticing that the company you work is punishing you so it won’t have to be decent? How is that assessment of you not an insult to you as well as the lady one desk over?
But the victim-blaming wasn’t done. Rizo was then asked if she shouldn’t shut up for the sake of her daughters, and again, direct fecking quote:
“Aren’t you worried that your daughters may go into the workforce and they’ll look at your name and go, ‘Oh, here’s the daughter of that rabble-rouser?’ What do you tell them about sticking up for the principle here?”
Yes, by all means, let’s teach our daughters (and by the way, our sons) that their best asset in the workplace is compliance with whatever the company wants, lest they make their bosses and/or men uncomfortable.
Girls, it is never too early to learn that speaking up is a rotten thing to do, not only for yourself but for other women. Quit being so selfish. Don’t you know that when you defend yourself, you force men to attack you and make everyone angry and mean? There is no greater sin, after all, than people in power being upset.
Make $12,000 less than some dude who barely passed high school algebra? That’s a small price to pay for keeping everyone calm. How greedy can you be?