Do you know why women earn less than men? According to Senator Glenn Grothman of Wisconsin, this week’s Ignorant Legislator recipient, money isn’t as important to us as it is to men. Grothman told The Daily Beast‘s Michelle Goldberg, “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.” And to attribute it to an outdated and sexist idea, Senator, is just not rational. According to the latest U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistic data, approximately 40 percent of working wives out earn their husbands.
Grothman told Goldberg the gender wage gap was caused by women’s decisions to “prioritize childrearing over their careers,” and that the hypothetical working wife is “not go go go.” Grothman clearly hasn’t seen the time use data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics either. If he had, he might know, women, on average, do more household chores than men. This is a scenario that occurs regardless of work status. Of course, we wouldn’t expect Grothman to consider that lack of sick time and affordable childcare affect women more so than men. And most working mothers are “go go go” from kitchen to daycare to work to daycare to kitchen and then probably back to email five days per week.
There’s an article circulating on the Internet, “Sheryl Sandberg Leaves Work at 5:30. Why Can’t You?” If you read past the headline you learn that no, the COO of Facebook isn’t superwoman able to run one of the hottest companies in a mere 8 hours a day. You learn that as a working mother, in order to leave the office at 5:30 at night in order to eat dinner with her children, Sandberg has been known to log on to her work email at 5:30 in the morning and again late at night. And if Grothman talked to the working mothers of Wisconsin I bet he’d meet a lot of “money conscious” women who do the grocery shopping, and know the costs of kids’ clothes, school activities and doctor’s visits, and who are looking a their accounts trying to determine how they will fund orthodontia and college and retirement.
Wisconsin, in case you hadn’t heard, just repealed the state’s Equal Pay Enforcement Act, thereby preventing victims of workplace discrimination from seeking damages in state courts. And Grothman, in case you hadn’t heard, is the same legislator who earlier this year introduced a bill that would require the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board “to emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.”
We think he’s a worthy recipient of this week’s award. Do you agree?