Boehner’s Bathroom Equity Is a Pisser

Flush with success after his party handed Democrats a “shellacking” at the polls in November on a platform of “no” to everything, the incoming Republican Speaker of the House of Representatives, the eternally tan John Boehner, has extended an olive branch of sorts.  He’s decided he should do something for women.

No, he’s not going to battle for pay equity, fight for family planning or anything else that might actually benefit women across the country. ­ Instead, he’s committed to installing a women’s bathroom closer to the House chamber.

Boehner’s commitment to potty parity is laudable, but if he wants to go beyond giving women in Congress a place to pee (or perhaps to be pissed off), there are substantive ways he can support meaningful equality for women who aren’t in Congress. Here are just a few:

1. Apologize to all Americans for allowing his chief of staff to meet with Randall Terry, founder of Operation Rescue and one of those rabid anti-choice extremists.

2. Work to change the membership rules of the Burning Tree Club, the exclusive men-only golf club in Bethesda, Md., that he belongs to. If they refuse to allow women to join, resign.

3. Support paycheck fairness. Women are now half of all U.S. payroll workers, and in these economically challenging times more families are relying on women’s paychecks. In 2004, more than 7 million families with children under 18 were headed by a single mother–that means almost 30 percent of all working families. The labor force participation rate of single mothers was over 77 percent in 2004. Rep. Boehner could decide to support these women, and the 2 million working wives with unemployed husbands, by endorsing pay equity.

4. Support family planning programs. If you want to reduce the need for abortions, get on board with efforts to prevent unplanned pregnancies.

5. Get over his homophobia and join the rest of the country, which is not as afraid of lesbian, gay and transgender people as he and his GOP pals seem to be. The majority of heterosexual cisgender Americans are just not upset about gays and trans people serving in the military, getting married, teaching children or having children.

6. Stop threatening to overturn health care reform and start looking for ways to improve it for every American.

That’s just for starters. Bathrooms are nice for the women in Congress, but the rest of us need more. Readers, what do you suggest that Boehner do for women?

Photo via Flickr user rinnstar under Creative Commons 3.0.

Comments

  1. Here's an idea: he could lead the charge toward ratification of CEDAW so we can stop holding the embarrassing position of being one of only 7countries who have not ratified, setting us apart from Iran, Sudan, Somalia, and three small Pacific Island nations (Nauru, Palau and Tonga), countries not exactly known for fair and just treatment of women…

  2. Yoteech2002 says:

    The potty parity is a start…considerate to make it possible for female members of Congress to get back without missing a vote…those votes are important! Next step may follow…remember he was one of 12 kids or so in a house with only one bathroom…he remembers the long wait, apparently. :-)

  3. I'm having a hard time getting past the thought that it's 2010 and . . . how far have women had to walk to a bathroom compared to men? I mean . . .this is not only trivial in comparison to other issues he could be addressing as you accurately point out, but it is also embarrassingly belated on its own merits. Why wasn't there a women's bathroom close by 40 years ago?? Does he really want to call attention to this afterthought??

  4. Well, what’s in a name? Poor thing was doomed to demeaning women and Democrats and himself from birth.
    Thanks for the great news
    Carol!

  5. The fact is, there are many more women in Congress than ever before. If additional facilities were not opened up for women, I'm sure some would be complaining about that, and they'd call Speaker Boehner "insensitive." I doubt that Speaker Boehner's only concern is women's bathrooms. Let's get real here. Come January, the new Congress will be concentrating on what's good for our country….not what's only good for Congress. Does anyone out there appreciate Speaker Boehner giving up that big jet airplane of Madame Pelosi ? Everything means something.

    • No one said a bathroom was his only concern. He's concerned about extremist anti-choice activists, tax cuts for millionaires while millions of unemployed people are denied unemployment compensation, forcing women to give birth against their will, depriving LGBT citizens of their rights and refusing to protect them from hate crimes, to name just a few of his priorities. He may give up a plane but he isn't giving up his all male exclusive golf club. Yeah, he's a real man of the people.

  6. He could do a big favor to women and men by:
    a) Pledging to tell the truth about legislation instead of lying and exaggerating about anything the Obama administration attempts to do. The effects of this steady diet of misinformation can be seen in reader "N.L.Gs" comments.
    b) Rejecting corporate payoffs
    c) Finding some quiet time in his day to reflect upon his ethics

  7. He could do a big favor to the taxpayers by resigning and letting someone with actual integrity take his place.

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