March 18, 2014

Ever since women started standing up for their rights, they've been branded by conservatives as whiners for having the nerve to expect equality with their male counterparts. Rep. Andrea Kieffer joined that chorus after Minnesota Democrats introduced a package of anti-poverty bills intended to give women some measure of equality.

Huffington Post:

A package of bills in Minnesota that would enhance women's economic security by raising the minimum wage, providing paid family and sick leave and addressing the gender pay gap makes women "look like whiners," a state GOP lawmaker said last week.

"We heard several bills last week about women's issues and I kept thinking to myself, these bills are putting us backwards in time," State Rep. Andrea Kieffer (R) told colleagues at a Wednesday hearing on one of the measures. "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."

The progressive group Alliance for a Better Minnesota has posted the audio recordingof Keiffer's remarks and circulated a petition asking voters to denounce it.

The Minnesota Women's Economic Security Act is an omnibus bill intended to address the barriers to economic progress that Minnesota women face. Among other measures aimed at helping working women, the legislation would raise the minimum wage to $9.50 and protect women from discrimination in the workplace and unfair pay. Additionally, it would expand access to affordable childcare and paid sick and family leave, enhance protections for victims of domestic and sexual violence and encourage women entrepreneur’s business development in traditionally male-dominated industries.

Women are always told to suck it up and live with it. That's the standard line. It's just a little bit more offensive when it comes from a woman. Democrats were quick to fire back:

“In Minnesota, women earn 80 cents on the dollar to their male counterparts," she said. "That is not whining. That is a reality that we should not accept.

"Too often women are branded as 'whiners' when they challenge unfairness in our laws and society. I would bet a lot people said Susan B. Anthony was a whiner when she fought for the right to vote. The reality is that women in Minnesota and throughout our country face unique economic barriers and everyone deserves a fair chance at success."

I'd just like to add my own personal middle finger to that. Women have, for too long, settled for second class treatment by employers because there wasn't anyone fighting for their rights. I dare Rep. Kieffer to live in the real world where you get to juggle the child care, school obligations, struggling to pay bills and doing it all without getting sick because getting sick means no working, no pay, and falling farther behind so your employer isn't put out by having to pay you for a sick day.

By the way, Republicans...How's that rebranding effort going?

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