Last night, President Barack Obama delivered the State of the Union address, pledging to narrow the gap between rich and poor.
All the talk about inequality, quite naturally, led him to bring up the subject of women’s wages:
“You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment. Women deserve equal pay for equal work.”
The comment was met by cheers and applause, and the president continued:
“She deserves to have a baby without sacrificing her job. (More cheers, applause.) A mother deserves a day off to care for a sick child or sick parent without running into hardship. (Applause.) And you know what, a father does too. It is time to do away with workplace policies that belong in a “Mad Men” episode. (Laughter, cheers, applause.)”
The “Mad Men” line resonated. The twitterati called it the best line of the evening. And props to Diane Brady of Bloomberg Businessweek for pointing out the show’s long-suffering female character:
Yes, down with Mad Men era of women’s opportunity … except for Peggy Olson #SOTU
— Diane Brady (@dianebrady) January 29, 2014
But the president wasn’t done talking about women. He continued:
“This year let’s all come together, Congress, the White House, businesses from Wall Street to Main Street, to give every woman the opportunity she deserves, because I believe when women succeed, America succeeds.”
We’ll add our own cheers and applause to that line. When women succeed, America succeeds. We agree, Mr. President.