There are some politicians in Wisconsin who don’t like to be told that pay discrimination is a problem that should be addressed by law. Therefore, Gov. Walker has recently repealed the Equal Pay Enforcement Act. I don’t really feel like talking about Gov. Walker, though. One of the major proponents of the repeal was Rep. Glenn Grothman, and what kind of stuff does he have to say about women being paid less than men for equal work?
“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.”
Grothman to English: “Bitches be lyin’. They just want to punish their old bosses because they got fired. Also: political correctness.”
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.”
What he has to say about the vast majority of employees, who are not getting paid like lawyers and whose jobs do not regularly call on them to work 60 hours a week, is unknown.
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.”
Yeah, he’s totally happy to listen to Ann Coulter, but…
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.
But that doesn’t mean anything because…
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.”
I’m not sure I understand what being “money-conscious” has to do with how much you’re getting paid by your employer. I’m sure it has an effect on savings, investments and such, but this is supposed to be about salary, relative to other workers in the field.
And besides, AAUW is a liberal group, so their data don’t count.
Grothman’s name sounds awfully familiar, though. Where have we heard of him before?
Right. This is where we’ve heard of him before.
Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend), a Republican in Wisconsin’s state senate, thinks that children from single parents are probably victims of child abuse.
Okay! There we have it. Women in Wisconsin can’t possibly be as ambitious or hard-working as their male colleagues, because they’re not thinking of becoming breadwinners some day. That’s what the men are for, amirite? You couldn’t expect to be a breadwinner some day, because that would mean you’re preparing for the possibility of single parenthood, and that would make you a shitty mom.
This is how it is in Glenn Grothman’s world: men are the providers. They’re the ones who pay the bills. Women are supposed to prioritize child-raising over salary-making, so if they do work outside the home, it’s just for fun and it’s not important to make sure their employers pay them appropriately. As for those women who do have to provide for their families and pay their bills, well they’ve obviously failed at life, so screw ’em.