Ruth Martin

    Paycheck Fairness and Potty Emergencies: A True Story

    Posted June 14th, 2012 by

    Do you ever wonder what happens when we say that we’re going to hand deliver you stories, petitions, or signatures to elected leaders?  We really do it and

    My 9-month-old daughter, who will be 45 by the time the wage gap closes if we don't act now, is quite upset the Paycheck Fairness Act failed last week. Also, she's tired and hungry. You can see the 3-year-old's head on the left side of the picture.

    sometimes things go more smoothly than others.

    Last week I took both my daughters (one is 3 and the other is 9 months old) to help deliver MomsRising member signatures to the U.S. Senate.  We were nearly finished with the deliveries and had just one more office to visit.  When we walked into the office, both of the receptionists (both young men) were on the phone.  The baby was getting fussy so I was trying to calm her down while we waited. That is when my three-year-old saw the pitcher of water on the coffee table and decided to help herself to a big cup of water.  In a span of what felt like 30 seconds, she’d poured water from the pitcher into three different cups, took a drink from each cup, then proceeded to pour the water in the cups back into the pitcher and started drinking directly from the pitcher.  In the meantime, it became pretty apparent that the baby was not going to be soothed by bouncing and distractions alone and she started to cry louder (she was hungry, and I can now add “lobby of the U.S. Senate” to the list of places I’ve breastfed).

    The guys at the receptionists’ desk were still on the phone but were starting to look at me with panic in their eyes.  One of them got off the phone, and as I was telling him why we were there, the three-year-old started doing the universally recognized “potty dance” (by the way, she was not wearing diapers) just as the baby started shrieking.  I quickly finished telling the guys why we were there, handed them the materials and rushed to get out the door and avert a true potty emergency.

    Three hours later, that Senator announced he would co-sponsor the Paycheck Fairness Act.  Coincidence?  :)

    But alas, even with his support the Paycheck Fairness Act vote failed in the Senate last week.  Still, I was really inspired by all the actions thatMomsRising members took to build the MOMentum for the vote.  I want to say “thank you!” and share a little of what we accomplished.

    Together MomsRising members:

    • Shared hundreds of stories about the impact that wage discrimination and unfair pay have had on their lives and the lives of their families;
    • Sent tens of thousands emails to Congress in support of the Paycheck Fairness Act;
    • And, after the bill was defeated, MomsRising members rallied and helped raise thousands of dollars to turbo-charge our continued campaign for equal pay for equal work.

    It’s true that we did not get the outcome we wanted last week: The Senate failed to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act.  But we did build a groundswell of support and laid an important base for moving forward. We remain undaunted and undeterred and we will continue this fight!

    Feel free to share your thoughts about the Paycheck Fairness Act vote, and the campaign for equal pay in the comments below.

    Again, thank you for all that you do, and all that you enable us to do.  Together, we will keep up the fight on behalf of all women and girls!

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    June 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm by Rick Tucker

    Thanks for going the extra distance on all our behalf. You are a braver, more resolute soul than I am. Keep up the good fight and the least I can do is provide another signature for America’s recovery towards fairness, decency and compassion.


    June 15, 2012 at 7:41 am by Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli)

    Hi- You are awesome! Thank you for your importatn work & your dedication!


    Ruth Martin Reply:

    @Kathy Morelli, LPC (@KathyAMorelli), Thank you so much, Kathy!


    June 14, 2012 at 5:09 pm by Carolyn Barbre

    You’re wonderful.


    Ruth Martin Reply:

    @Carolyn Barbre, Thanks, Carolyn! I really appreciate it!


    June 14, 2012 at 1:02 pm by Mary (mom,grandma, 45 yrs fulltime worker)

    Great effort and story. I’m sharing this with all my sisters. I was proud of the effort so many women made on this and as a resident of northern Indiana, I was extremely disappointed in the no vote from our 2 Indiana U.S. senators. I read in an article today that Romney said he wouldn’t do anything to make our situation worse but that he also would not do anything to make it better. No leadership there and no surprise.


    Anita Reply:

    Thank you so much for your comment and for sharing this!


    Ruth Martin Reply:

    @Mary (mom,grandma, 45 yrs fulltime worker), Thank you for your note and for sharing this. I agree with you about being proud – I continue to be inspired by all amazing women – and men – working for fair pay. We’ll get it done. We won’t be stopped!


    June 14, 2012 at 11:42 am by Katherine W. Oxnard

    That’s probably the most real thing that has happened in that office in a good long while! More fodder for the argument that if policy makers had to face, in person, the people whose lives are affected by their lawmaking and lobbying and pontificating, their votes would surely be more compassionate and helpful to actual people. It’s easy to make a (ridiculous) statement about how the paycheck fairness act would invite a slew of frivolous lawsuits; it’s quite another to meet and listen to an actual working woman with kids and say to her, essentially, “You, your children, your family and your job don’t matter one iota to me–or to the senator–and he’s going to vote accordingly.”

    Nice work, Ruth-keep up the good fight!


    Ruth Martin Reply:

    @Katherine W. Oxnard, Thanks, Katherine! And, I totally agree with you – it’s a lot harder to look actual people in the eye and say they don’t matter. That is why I love the way MomsRising members share their personal experiences and stories and pictures to put a face to these issues. Thank you!



    1. “I don’t wanna wait till I’m 48 for fair pay!” « MomsRising Blog

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