The gender wage and income gap is real, exists for women who work the same jobs, the same number of hours and just as diligently as their male peers, begins “the minute the graduate throws her cap in the air” and could well condemn tens to hundreds of thousands of women to poverty in their elder years.

That’s what Lisa Maatz, lobbyist for the American Association of University Women told the Baltimore Sun yesterday as she urged passage of the Paycheck Fairness Act.

The Paycheck Fairness Act has become a political football in an era when Congressional action is manifested as a stone wall.

In the present political climate, both parties would likely block  a proposal to applaud the sun for rising tomorrow.

“Entitlements,” one side would grumble, “the sun can take care of itself and doesn’t need the nanny state cheering it on.”

The other side would accuse the Congress people across the aisle of conditioning the bill on budget cuts to pay for the paper it’s printed on.

Women are Doing It for Themselves

Continue to agitate for women’s rights, but you must at the same time take your own destiny into your very capable hands.

I’m an old feminist activist who then spent a quarter of a century serving the interests of a primarily male corporate culture. This permits me to bring Gen-Y women fire from the gods – how to negotiate your way to economic power.

Now that a corporation is a person, it’s more important than ever that women be fully represented in commerce rather than the pinky finger we’ve been for far too long.

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by Victoria Pynchon

Victoria Pynchon is an attorney-mediator and arbitrator. She is also a principal in the She Negotiates Consulting and Training firm for which her blog “She Negotiates” is named. In addition to writing for the legal blog “On the Docket,” Pynchon also authored the book “A is for A**hole, the Grownups' ABCs of Conflict Resolution.