R.I.P., sexism!: Mitch McConnell declares workplace discrimination over

"We've come a long way in pay equity, and there are a ton of women CEOs now running major companies"

Published July 15, 2014 8:14PM (EDT)

Mitch McConnell                                        (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)
Mitch McConnell (Reuters/Jonathan Ernst)

Good news, everyone. There is no such thing as gender discrimination in the workplace anymore because Mitch McConnell says so. As Patrick Caldwell at Mother Jones points out, McConnell announced the happy news last week at Fastline Publications, a company that produces farm equipment catalogs.

"I could be wrong, but most of the barriers have been lowered," McConnell said. "I don't grant the assumption that we need to give preferential treatment to a majority of our population. [...] We've come a long way in pay equity, and there are a ton of women CEOs now running major companies."

This is an amazing development, obviously. (Too bad that Rush Limbaugh scooped him about the death of sexism a couple of weeks ago.) Now that most of the barriers have been lowered, someone should probably tell the 24 women on the Fortune 500 CEO list  -- 4.8 percent of the list -- that they have achieved parity, and that there are a "ton" of them. Once we alert them, maybe they can spread the word to the women who make less than their male colleagues for the exact same work, as documented in a breakdown of median weekly salaries from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Among the Bureau’s nearly 600 listed occupations, women earn less than men in all but seven of them. So spreading this message could take time. Better activate those phone trees.)

African-American women who work full-time year round and earn 64 cents on the dollar will also be relieved to know that workplace discrimination is dead. Latina women who earn 54 cents for every dollar earned by a white, non-Hispanic colleague, will feel equally pumped. Ditto for the Asian-American women who earn, on average, 87 cents on the dollar. And LGBTQ women -- particularly trans women of color -- are also letting out a contented sigh, safe in the knowledge that they receive equal wages for equal work and basic job protections.

And even though two out of every three minimum wage workers is a woman -- many who are also mothers or the primary caregivers in their households currently struggling to feed themselves and their families while pulling full-time hours -- they can relax about raising the minimum wage because their struggle with poverty has nothing to do with gender discrimination in the workplace -- which is dead.

I don't know about you, but I am feeling pretty good about this development.

Video of Mitch McConnell declaring workplace sexism over:

(Just kidding, this video is from 2014 CPAC. Audio of McConnell's remarks here.)

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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