Today Yesterday in Feminist History: The Lilly Ledbetter Act

Three years ago yesterday, President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act — the first legislation he signed as president (which you have to admit is kinda awesome).

What really inspired me about this legislation and Ledbetter’s fight was that it reminds us of the importance of storytelling and putting real stories to a cause — because that often best exposes the outrageousness of policies that hinder our rights. The legislation wasn’t named after a Congressmember, it wasn’t created around crappy talking points, but was named after a woman whose story resonated with so many other people because, well, they lived it too (and continue to). Ledbetter said in an interview back then:

It really gives me a humble feeling, just to know that someone, just a working ordinary human being can make a difference. I always believed we could, I just never had anything that was so important to me that I had to speak up for. A lot of the times when we stand up and speak up for things, it’s not the popular thing to do.

And look at where it got her. Ledbetter also came out this weekend backing Obama for the 2012 elections; check out her video here.

Lastly, let’s also remember today that there tons of more hurdles to overcome regarding discrimination in the workplace around gender, race, LGBT issues and disability, and critical bills that continue to hang in the balance (hello, ENDA). So let’s continue to make history, folks.

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