“Too often, these are called women’s issues. Well, I am a proud lifelong fighter for women’s issues, because I firmly believe what’s good for women is good for America.” – Hillary Clinton, September 5, 2015
Today I tackle #33 on Hillary Clinton’s list of 38 issues that comprise the bulk of her platform, Women’s Rights and Opportunities. This, more than any other, is a cause for which Hillary Clinton has been fighting all her life, and it is obvious that she is passionate about it when one looks at her comprehensive plan. The major components of the plan are:
- Work to close the pay gap. Women earn less than men across our economy—and women of color often lose out the most. We should promote pay transparency across the economy and work to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act—a bill Hillary introduced as senator—to give women the tools they need to fight discrimination in the workforce.
- Fight for paid leave. No one should have to choose between keeping their job and taking care of a sick family member, and no parent should have to go back to work right after they welcome a newborn baby.
- Make quality, affordable child care a reality for families. Read more here.
- Increase the minimum wage. Women represent nearly two-thirds of all minimum-wage workers in America. A higher minimum wage will help close the gender pay gap, lift millions of women out of poverty, and have a ripple effect across our economy. Hillary will also work to end the so-called “tipped minimum wage.” Read more here.
- Defend and enhance Social Security. We need to defend Social Security from Republican attacks and enhance it to meet new realities—especially for women.
- Protect and expand on the Affordable Care Act, which has helped address discrimination in our health care system and brought health coverage to millions more women. Read more here.
- Confront violence against women. One in five women in America is sexually assaulted while in college. Twenty-two percent of women experience severe physical violence by an intimate partner at some point in their lifetime. American women are 11 times more likely to be murdered with guns than women in other high-income countries. It’s time to address violence against women—and Hillary will put forward bold plans to do that. Read more here and here.
- Proudly stand with Planned Parenthood. Hillary is proud to have earned the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. She will always defend the essential health and reproductive care that Planned Parenthood provides for women.
- Protect women’s health and reproductive rights. Women’s personal health decisions should be made by a woman, her family, and her faith, with the counsel of her doctor. Hillary will fight back against Republican attempts to restrict access to quality, affordable reproductive health care. She will defend access to affordable contraception, preventive care, and safe and legal abortion—not just in principle, but in practice. Read more here.
- Promote women’s rights around the globe. In far too many parts of the world, women are still held back by social, economic, and legal barriers. Hillary will promote gender equality around the world.
In the early 1800s, women were second-class citizens. Women were expected to restrict their sphere of interest to the home and the family. Women were not encouraged to obtain a real education or pursue a professional career. After marriage, women did not have the right to own their own property, keep their own wages, or sign a contract. In addition, all women were denied the right to vote. Only after decades of intense political activity did women eventually win the right to vote. We have come a long way in just 200 years! (sarcasm intended) We are now allowed to own property, go to college, compete for professional jobs, and even vote. All just in 200 years. Yet, though some would deny it, women are still not viewed as equal in the workplace, and the proverbial ‘glass ceiling’ is still very much in existence. Remember one of my recent idiots of the week who said a woman should never be president because of her hormones? Yes, we still have a way to go, and hopefully it won’t take another 200 years to get there.
I cannot discuss every point in Ms. Clinton’s platform, but one I would address is the gender pay gap. While most analysts cite that women earn 80% of what men in comparable jobs earn, there are a few notable facts:
- The gender pay gap also grows with age, and differences among older workers are considerably larger than gaps among younger workers. Women typically earn about 90 percent of what men are paid until they hit 35. After that median earnings for women are typically 76–81 percent of what men are paid.
- In 2015 the pay gap was smallest in New York, where women working full time year-round were paid 89 percent of what men were paid. The largest gap was in Wyoming, where women were paid 64 percent of what men were paid.
- As a rule, earnings increase as years of education increase for both men and women. However, while more education is a useful tool for increasing earnings, it is not effective against the gender pay gap. At every level of academic achievement, women’s median earnings are less than men’s median earnings, and in some cases, the gender pay gap is larger at higher levels of education.
These statistics, courtesy of The American Association of University Women (AAUW). For some excellent additional information, including very good visuals, please visit the AAUW website.
One other point I would like to briefly address is that of paid maternity leave. Do you know that among advanced economies, the U.S. stands alone in not mandating paid maternity leave at the federal level for new mothers? That, my friends, is shameful. A vast majority of European nations mandate 15-20 weeks of paid maternity leave.
Ms. Clinton’s points are serious, well thought out, and she has plans for how to implement them. Nobody, this writer included, thinks that the problems facing women today are going to magically disappear within four years, but I believe Ms. Clinton is on the right track, it is one of her passions, and I firmly believe in her commitment to do everything in her power to narrow the gender gap and provide the rights that women both need and deserve.
Now let us take a quick peek at Ms. Clinton’s opponent’s platform on women’s rights. Oops … how embarrassing, but according to Mr. Trump’s campaign website, he doesn’t include women’s rights as one of the seven issues on his platform. So, I guess we will have to go straight to the horse’s mouth to see what he thinks is important for women today:
- “I would never buy Ivana any decent jewels or pictures. Why give her negotiable assets?”
- In his 2006 book Trump 101: The Way to Success, Trump wrote: “Beauty and elegance, whether in a woman, a building, or a work of art, is not just superficial or something pretty to see.”
- “26,000 unreported sexual assaults in the military-only 238 convictions. What did these geniuses expect when they put men & women together?”
- “It’s certainly not groundbreaking news that the early victories by the women on ‘The Apprentice’ were, to a very large extent, dependent on their sex appeal.” — How To Get Rich, 2004
- “You know, it doesn’t really matter what [the media] write as long as you’ve got a young and beautiful piece of ass.”
- “I mean, we could say politically correct that look doesn’t matter, but the look obviously matters. Like you wouldn’t have your job if you weren’t beautiful.”
- When a lawyer facing Trump in 2011 asked for a break to pump breastmilk for her infant daughter, The Donald reacted very poorly. “He got up, his face got red, he shook his finger at me and he screamed, ‘You’re disgusting, you’re disgusting,’ and he ran out of there,” attorney Elizabeth Beck told CNN. Trump’s attorney does not dispute that his client called Beck “disgusting.”
- “Women have one of the great acts of all time. The smart ones act very feminine and needy, but inside they are real killers. The person who came up with the expression ‘the weaker sex’ was either very naive or had to be kidding. I have seen women manipulate men with just a twitch of their eye — or perhaps another body part.”
- “While @BetteMidler is an extremely unattractive woman, I refuse to say that because I always insist on being politically correct.” HUH???
- “My favorite part [of ‘Pulp Fiction’] is when Sam has his gun out in the diner and he tells the guy to tell his girlfriend to shut up. Tell that bitch to be cool. Say: ‘Bitch be cool.’ I love those lines.”
- New York Times columnist Gail Collins recalled: “During one down period, I referred to him in print as a ‘financially embattled thousandaire’ and he sent me a copy of the column with my picture circled and ‘The Face of a Dog!’ written over it.”
- “All of the women on ‘The Apprentice’ flirted with me — consciously or unconsciously. That’s to be expected.”
Well, despite having no plan or platform on the issue of women’s rights, Mr. Trump certainly does have strong opinions about women. From these opinions, I think we can see just how important he thinks the issue is. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions as to which candidate is more qualified and dedicated to promoting and furthering equal rights for women over the next four years.
I have a number of women friends who are faithful lemmings committed to voting for Trump in November … I cannot imagine how any self-respecting woman, after hearing his opinions of women in general, can in good conscience vote for this horrid man. Perhaps the keyword here is ‘self-respecting’. Think about it.