The battle over the hearts and minds of women continue as Republicans continue to put their feet into their mouths. This latest incident of this nonsense came from a Wisconsin state senator, who criticized the state’s now repealed equal pay law.
From The Daily Beast:
Grothman says companies are being bombarded with false accusations of discrimination. “It’s an underreported problem, but a huge number of discrimination claims are baseless,” he says. “Most of them are filed by fired employees, and really today almost anybody is a protected class.” As a result, he says, many companies are forced to pay fired employees to go away. He argues that the Wisconsin law, which allowed for damages of up to $300,000, the same amount as in federal law, raised the cost of doing business in the state to intolerable levels. “It just puts Wisconsin way out of whack with other states,” he says. “I’m not sure there are any other states this bad off.”
Actually, there are—according to data from 9to5, 33 other states have either no cap on damages or the same $300,000 cap as Wisconsin. Still, even if the law isn’t an outlier, it’s not surprising that Grothman would see it as unjust, because he believes that the whole idea of pay discrimination against women is fraudulent.Whatever gaps exist, he insists, stem from women’s decision to prioritize childrearing over their careers. “Take a hypothetical husband and wife who are both lawyers,” he says. “But the husband is working 50 or 60 hours a week, going all out, making 200 grand a year. The woman takes time off, raises kids, is not go go go. Now they’re 50 years old. The husband is making 200 grand a year, the woman is making 40 grand a year. It wasn’t discrimination. There was a different sense of urgency in each person.”
He continues, “What you’ve got to look at, and Ann Coulter has looked at this, is you have to break it down by married and unmarried. Once you break it down by married and unmarried, the differential disappears.”
In fact, despite Coulter’s well-known expertise in the field, this is incorrect. A 2007 study by the American Association of University Women found that college-educated women earn only 80 percent as much as similarly educated men a year after graduation. Part of that is attributable to differences in life choices and family circumstances, but not all. “After accounting for college major, occupation, industry, sector, hours worked, workplace flexibility, experience, educational attainment, enrollment status, GPA, institution selectivity, age, race/ethnicity, region, marital status, and number of children, a 5 percent difference in the earnings of male and female college graduates one year after graduation was still unexplained,” it said. After 10 years in the workforce, there’s an unexplained 12 percent gap…
Grothman doesn’t accept these studies. When I ran the numbers by him, he replied, “The American Association of University Women is a pretty liberal group.” Nor, he argued, does its conclusion take into account other factors, like “goals in life. You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
Oh, boy. That’s just too much male chauvinist nonsense for me to tackle in one post, but I will try my best.
One: that “different sense of urgency” between men and women could exist because societal pressures often weigh heavily on working women. Along with some women who really desire to stay at home with their children, the working world is all too hostile for women with children. Working women with children often have to balance demanding schedules, rigid employment rules and regulations, work environments hostile to women who may need to pump breast milk during the day and places in which there are no on-site daycares. The working world just doesn’t make any accommodations for women with children and often frown upon women who can’t mold themselves into the superwoman myth.
But this just takes the cake:
You could argue that money is more important for men. I think a guy in their first job, maybe because they expect to be a breadwinner someday, may be a little more money-conscious. To attribute everything to a so-called bias in the workplace is just not true.”
While many men out there are under societal pressures to be breadwinners, I find it absolutely offensive this esteemed senator would even stoop to a male chauvinist point of view about women and money. In his world, Grothman most likely believes young women show up to work out of habit–something to do. Young women like myself could care less about making enough money to survive. Hell, we just completed our Mrs. Degree, so we’re just working to pass the time until we deliver birth and go home to raise the children since that’s the most pressing things on our mind. Why should women need money anyway when we can rely on all those men out there whose first priority is to become the primary breadwinners?
I find it laughable that so many of these male politicians have so much insight into the minds and opinions of women. I mean, just because you have two heads doesn’t mean you’re a genius or give you some special insight into those beings with uteri and vaginas.