Todd “legitimate rape” Akin is back at it again, this time claiming that employers should have the “freedom” to discriminate against women.
At a campaign event Friday — the video of which seems to have been released Monday afternoon — a male attendee asked the rep: “You voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?”
“Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I’m making that particular distinction. I believe in free enterprise. I don’t think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don’t pay. I think it’s about freedom. If someone wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that’s fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”
Where do we even begin with this one?
To me, Akin’s statements aren’t just problematic for the normal reasons — that he’s clearly a sexist schmuck and wants to enact policies that reflect his woman-hating, etc.
Rather, they broadly reflect the Right’s misconstrued notion of “freedom.”
Well, it sure seems like Akin — and many others — interpret “freedom” as meaning it’s OK to violate an individual’s civil rights if said violation takes place at the hand of a private individual or business.
Of course, this doesn’t really work if we’re going to have such a thing as civil rights rather than just conditional, right-like perks which come into play ONLY in public or governmental contexts.
So, yes … freedom cannot be interpreted to mean “the right for select individuals and groups to violate rights” if we’re going to have a solid, unwavering notion of rights to begin with.