File photo: Lilly Ledbetter, an Alabama Goodyear Tire &Rubber Co. worker, speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington.
: Susan Walsh/AP Photo

Fight over pay equity isn’t a ‘myth’ or a ‘meme’

On Friday night, Fox News’ Megyn Kelly hosted a lively segment on pay equity, in which viewers were told that it’s a “myth” that American women receive unequal pay for equal work. The host herself defended those who “question that meme about equal pay.”
The segment aired just two days after Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) asked what the proposed Paycheck Fairness Act would do for men and a week after Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) described the debate over wage discrimination as “nonsense.”
The White House apparently doesn’t see it that way.
A Presidential Memorandum due to be signed Tuesday will require federal contractors to submit wage data by sex and race, which the Department of Labor will use “to encourage voluntary compliance with equal pay laws and allowing more targeted enforcement by focusing efforts where there are discrepancies, reducing burdens on other employers.” […]
In order to create more pay transparency in the workforce, Obama will sign an Executive Order prohibiting federal contractors from retaliating against workers who share salary data, according to a memo from a White House official.
This will coincide with Equal Pay Day, which is tomorrow, and which Obama will commemorate at an event alongside Lilly Ledbetter.
What’s more, it’s not just the White House.
Senate Democrats expect to move on the Paycheck Fairness Act tomorrow – it’s expected to fail at the hands of a Republican filibuster – and their campaign committee is eager to raise the visibility of the debate.
Democrats are launching a new campaign hitting Republican Senate candidates on the pay gap between women and men.
The party believes the push for equal pay will be an electoral winner for Democrats, as they typically enjoy stronger support from women than men. Their polling also shows the issue moves persuadable voters of both genders toward Democrats.
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will run web, Twitter and Facebook ads. A social media push using the hashtag #GOPPayGap will highlight instances in which GOP Senate candidates have come out as opposed to equal pay.
The right can stick to the notion that this is a “myth” and a “meme,” but they’re up against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In the meantime, it’s a debate Democrats desperately want to have this election year.