RE: Wages

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cgy1 comments on my last post:

You do know that Sen. McCain’s female staffers in the Senate, on average, make more than his male staffers, and that McCain’s female staffers make more, on average, than Obama’s female staffers right? Just because McCain doesn’t agree with using federal law to legislate equal pay doesn’t mean he doesn’t pay his female staffers a fair wage compared to his male staffers.

Yeah, I saw that article, too. And I can’t say I’m surprised. Obama’s staff, for one, is probably younger. And McCain has some of the longest-serving staffers in the Senate. Besides, that has exactly nothing to do with my point.

My personal interactions with the guy have shown him to be consistently respectful and even deferential towards women, and the women on his staff are some of the gutsiest, hardest-working, most out-spoken people I’ve met. So what? The problem with McCain’s position isn’t that he is, personally, a sexist or that he, personally, would pay women less than men. The problem is that he does not support legislation that would strengthen the legal tools that allow women to sue those that do. As I put it here (my second time linking to it, sorry):

Usually, having lots of women in one’s life is a cure for this sort of myopia. It’s McCain’s peculiar fate to be surrounded by women—heiresses, CEOs, hard-charging junior staffers without spouses or children*—who’ve been curiously immune to the curse of sexism. He is great for the women he knows; then there are all those other women out there—the ones who might not be able to get birth control, and, perhaps even more to the point, those whose background and income haven’t given them the means to combat inequality.

I think Palin’s personal history sets her apart from the women I mention above — she’s middle class, with a spouse and family — and maybe that’s one reason she sets aside the usual conservative take to embrace Title IX. Or maybe that’s just political incoherence. Maybe someday someone can ask her and we’ll know!