Counterpoint: Ledbetter Act lets women seek pay they deserve

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    The first bill signed into law by President Barack Obama, The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, resets the 180-day period women have to file a discriminatory pay lawsuit every pay period.

    Some who oppose this revolutionary piece of legislation say it will hurt businesses by forcing them to create a level playing field. Others say women deserve a lower paycheck because they focus more on their families than on their careers.

    Former President George W. Bush called it a “business killer” when the proposal originally entered the 110th United States Congress.

    Simply put, every discriminatory paycheck is a slap in the face to both the women who receive unfair pay and the men who allow it to go on.

    Hiring a female at a lower wage than a male with the same experience and expertise is blatant sexism.

    It is true that men and women are not the same in every way.

    At my current workplace, I am regularly required to move items and occasionally lift heavy objects, but I am not going to try to lift a 60-pound Broyhill chair because I know I am not physically capable of doing it.

    Does that make me a bad employee? Not when my job description includes a thousand other things I can do to earn my paycheck.

    There is a lack of education that fosters gender stereotypes. Men are groomed to be assertive, aggressive and have no problem asking for a raise if they believe they deserve one – and even if they don’t. On the other hand, women are raised to be polite, work things out for themselves and make do with what they have.

    Aggressive women also suffer in the workplace. Traditional male attributes seem out of place on female workers and are often negatively construed.

    The law does not provide equal pay but it opens the door for the modern working woman to pursue it.

    Women are working hard and deserve to be treated equally. Simplifying their efforts through stereotypes is encouraging sexism – plain and simple.