Feminist Group Won't Win by Lying about Florida's Gender-Pay Gap

By: Nancy Smith | Posted: March 11, 2014 3:55 AM
I Beg to Differ

Female income inequity is real and it's wrong, but women aren't going to win the war for equal pay by blatantly lying about it.

An indignant organization called UltraViolet circulated a press release Monday, looking for quick publicity because Sarasota-Bradenton International Airport authorities, they said, refused to place their signs (one is included below) inside the airport "the day before a contentious special election in FL’s 13th Congressional District in which the 'War on Women' was front and center."

The "War on Women" front and center? Really?

I know Social Security and Obamacare were big-ticket items in the spectacularly acidic David Jolly-Alex Sink race, but the "War on Women"? All I can think is, maybe these folks figure any opposition to the Affordable Care Act is a blow against women. It's a stretch, but maybe that's it.

I know Sink is pro-choice and Jolly is pro-life. But I don't remember that issue anywhere near the head of the line during the campaign.

The lie I'm talking about was by implication and it figured prominently in their press release. Here's what they said:

"The Florida ads are part of a national project by UltraViolet to raise awareness about which states have the worst records when it comes to gender parity."

Plain as day, UltraViolet is saying Florida has one of the worst gender-parity records. 

And that's a big fat lie.

Florida isn't even close. Which I'm sure the author of the press release knew. But, hey, this is a great place for out-of-state firestarters like UltraViolet to raise money, and a great time -- Election Day with the eyes of the nation on CD 13 -- to elevate their profile. And why not stick it to the governor while we're at it? So what's a little fib when your published motto is "equality at a higher frequency"?

Now here's the truth: Every state fails to provide equal pay for women who do the same jobs as men. Every state, not just Florida. They're all sub-par.

But, get this: Florida is actually one of the more generous states when it comes to employing women. Read about it in Stateline. Sources don't get any more reliable than this nonpartisan, nonprofit news service of the Pew Charitable Trusts. Stateline provides daily reporting and analysis on trends in state policy.

What you'll find is, in Florida women have the fourth largest percentage of men's earnings at 84.9 -- fourth out of 50 states plus the District of Columbia. They follow only D.C. (94.8 percent), Arizona (86.8 percent) and Maryland (85.2 percent). Have a look at the whole chart for yourself.

Does this give Florida anything to brag about? Of course it doesn't.  

But the attempt to capitalize on a bold-face lie is nevertheless a cheap shot from an organization that obviously blew into Florida to give Sink a helping hand in CD 13; and in so doing it established itself as an out-of-control, shady outfit with no principles and no credibility. This isn't how you win the war against discrimination.

The release came from Molly Haigh at Fitzgibbon Media in Washington, D.C. Fitzgibbon says on its website that Molly "specializes in amplifying the voices of the progressive movement in the press." I'll say.

Molly throws this quote into the release: “If Florida officials find their record on women’s equality to be embarrassing, they should work to change it, not hide it,” said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. (She was apparently talking about the sign the airport  wouldn't allow.) “Women in Florida make only 84 cents to every dollar made by men, and that is unacceptable. When deciding where to spend their money, the public deserves to know which states are using those dollars to perpetuate discrimination, like Florida.”


It's not easy for a feminist group to lose me -- I've been a serial contributor to women's causes for more than 40 years, but UltraViolet's tactics and dishonesty -- not even the partisanship -- have managed to turn me off like a power grid in a blackout.

Welcome to Florida

The in-airport sign UltraViolet said was "banned" in Sarasota

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews or 228-282-2423. 

Comments (5)

Fran Slayton
12:50PM AUG 12TH 2014
I bet you would parse the First & Second Amendments the same way the Supreme Boys did. Remember logic, deductive reasoning? The press release segment quoted is likely boilerplate. There are red cars. I have a car. Therefore, it is red. In fact, Florida is a pretty sorry state for its non-rich, not-white citizens, especially women. The state is hell-bent on infringing women's reproductive freedom.
3:05PM MAR 11TH 2014
Its nice to see when either left or right are called out for their lies.

Its just terrible that Obama lies so much, and the so called "main stream" media just ignores it, or buries it, giving it little, if any, exposure.
7:29AM MAR 11TH 2014
Nancy Smith, where are the lies that so offended you? Every statement on the sign is absolutely true. You seem to be wiling to bend the facts to support your opinion. The generous part of your statement is limited to the 85% of earning portion which is on the sign unless 84% is an egregious misrepresentation in your opinion. Oh well, here's to hoping Alex Sink sinks the Republican pirate David Jolly.
Gary Blalock
12:08PM MAR 11TH 2014
Michael, did you read this story all the way through? The lie wasn't in the ad it was in the press release trying to justify the ad. Florida is NOT the worst state for female employees. THIS GROUP DID LIE AND AS A FLORIDIAN, IT'S OFFENSIVE!
9:42AM MAR 11TH 2014
I would like you to ask our President women in his administration are paid 18% less than men? Inquiring minds want to know.

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