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The gender pay gap myth is harmful to women

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What does it say about our country and our politics when politicians take elaborate measures to shame U.S. citizens with a lie rather than celebrating accomplishments? What are politicians really telling women when they seek to perpetuate the lie of women as victims every election cycle? More important, why is there no concern for negative consequences of pushing the false message?

This past week, Democrats in the Senate introduced a bill purporting to address the gender pay gap, repeating the claim that women only make $0.77 for every dollar men make. Since then, the picture above has been making the rounds through social media, trying to convince women that Republicans oppose women’s equality. It is a complete lie, nothing more than election year demonization of the opposition.

Paying women less than men based on gender has been illegal since 1963. The myth that pervasive and continuing gender discrimination has created a gap in pay was disproved a long time ago and by study after study since. Even a study by a staunchly feminist group disproved the claim. Essentially, these studies consistently show the gap in pay for women is the result of life choices made mostly by women themselves and not the result of pervasive discrimination. This includes the choice by women to pay themselves less.

Demonizing the opposition is standard fair for politicians during an election cycle. But, what are Democrats actually telling women when they push this false narrative?

First, they are disparaging the successes we have already accomplished. Forget that Diane Feinstein and Barbara Boxer have both been in Congress for more than two decades, along with many other women in Congress. Forget that women lead some of the largest, most successful companies in the world. Forget that women have served in the highest political positions in the nation, with only the President and Vice President as exceptions. Forget that many states have women governors. You, the women of the U.S., are still victims according to the Democrat caucus.

Second, they are telling you they think you are stupid. Everyone knows that pay discrimination is a illegal. UPS drivers do not make left turns, even when it is legal, in order to save money. If businesses could pay women less for the same work despite the law, they would only employ women. But, the Democrat party believes the women of the U.S. are just not smart enough to realize this.

Finally, worst of all, Democrats are telling women they are incapable of achieving equality in the workplace without government intervention. Not only does this disparage the abilities of their daughters and your daughters, it fosters unnecessary division and resentment between men and women. Do we really want to be telling young women they will never achieve professional equality without passing more laws?

The bill blocked by the Republicans this week has been presented to Congress before. In fact, it was presented in 2009 when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress and the Presidency. They did not pass it then, so it must not have been all that critical. The only reason it was presented was as a tool to demonize Republicans.

We should be celebrating the gains women have made in employment, not perpetuating a myth fostering victimhood through elaborate political theater. When the Republicans refused to buy into the condescending messages of the Democrats by objecting to an unnecessary law, they announced their confidence that women can and will succeed without the patriarchal protection of Uncle Sam.

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