This week the Paycheck Fairness Act, which calls for equal pay for women in the workplace, was blocked in the Senate after failing to get the 60 votes required to stop a Republican filibuster.
While many Republicans have declined to comment on the bill, Representative Scott Brown of Massachusetts confirmed to reporters that he had voted against the legislation, adding that he didn’t understand “what all the fuss was about with all this equal pay for women stuff.”
“Sure, recent studies have shown that women in the US earn, on average, about 77 cents for every dollar that men earn,” he admitted. “But let’s remember, we’re talking about women here. Even if they did earn that extra 23 cents on the dollar, they’d just blow it on manicures and makeup and Ryan Gosling movies anyway.”
Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana agreed, expressing confidence that letting the bill die was in the best interests of most Americans.
“Women are notoriously bad with money,” he said. “I’ve noticed that many of them still don’t seem to understand the value of a dollar—or, in their case, the value of 77 cents. Maybe continuing to earn less than men will help teach our girls how to save.”
Democratic legislators have argued that this significant wage gap adds up over a lifetime, costing the average working woman hundreds of thousands of dollars in earnings and impacting her pension and Social security benefits in later years.
“The best solution to the wage gap issue is for women not to work at all,” Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney told reporters during a recent press conference. “Instead they should stay home with the kids, tend to the garden and stables, and keep the housekeepers out of trouble. It worked for my wife,” he said with a wink.
Conservatives are also concerned that the legislation, if passed, could affect corporate profits.
“If this job-killing bill becomes law, it will make it more difficult for companies to continue paying women less than they pay men for doing the same job,” said Jim Rawlins, a spokesman for the American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank. “And where is that extra money supposed to come from? There is a chance that such costs could negatively impact well-deserved CEO bonus pay and shareholder stocks.”
He added, “Not only that, but in this economy, if corporations are forced to pay equally for equal work, they will likely hire fewer female employees, since they will suddenly be less of a bargain. That’s bad news for unemployed women.” He shrugged. “Times are tough. Maybe women should stop complaining and just take what they can get.”
“Ultimately, women are supposed to work for free, in the home,” said Arizona Senator Jon Kyl. “They should be grateful that we’re allowing them to go into the office at all, let alone that we’re paying them in actual money, rather than in babies and the occasional tennis bracelet.”
He added, “You’re welcome, ladies.”