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Say "no" to American Idol, "yes" to equal pay for women

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women-liberation.jpgAmerican Idol kicks off its new season tonight but women everywhere should think twice before tuning in.

Do you care about equal pay for women? If you do you should watch NBC's Biggest Loser instead.

If you don't like pay inequity between men and women just remember how American Idol producers pretty much said "screw you" to Paula Abdul.

Even Simon Cowell is taking a stand and talking about starting his own rival show and taking Abdul along with him. He recently told People magazine: "I adore Paula. Whatever happens, I will be working with her in some capacity. Because I miss her."

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Fox and American Idol said: "sorry my dear" to long-standing Idol female judge, Abdul, last year because she demanded a small percentage of what the male judges, and even Ryan Seacrest, the host, were getting.

According to TV industry sources Seacrest got a $30 million deal, Simon Cowell got $45 million a year and Abdul cut her request for $20 million back but still got a "no way" from Idol producers.

I know it's just a TV talent show, but if we don't stand up when a woman is publicly told she's not worth as much as her male counterparts, why should we expect a level playing field for our daughters in the workplace at large?

This from a Forbes commentary today:

According to The Complete Mothers' Index, a 2007 report issued by Save the Children, women in the U.S. earn 62 cents to every dollar earned by men. This disparity ranks the U.S. 15th out of the 30 industrialized democracies of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), and 22nd out of the 44 highly developed nations ranked in the Save the Children report. Sweden ranks first among highly developed nations, with women earning 81 cents to every dollar earned by men.

I have written about how my daughter and son, 10 and 7, are upset that American Idol won't be on our TV watching list this year. But in the long run I hope they learn a lesson about what's right and what's wrong.

This is one of those easy protests gals and guys. We don't have to brave the cold with our signs demanding equal rights. We just have to tune out of the biggest show on television. A small price to pay to take a stand for women who still make 75 cents for every dollar men make. Right?