Wisconsin Repeals Equal Pay Law, Lawmaker Says ‘Money is More Important to Men’
An effort to overturn Wisconsin’s state equal pay law—which Gov. Scott Walker sided with last week, signing the repeal—seems to be rooted in sexist attitudes and not actual research.
State Sen. Glenn Grothman’s (R), who led the efforts to repeal the law, dismissed the real, well-documented pay gap between men and women as a myth backed by phony research conducted by liberal women’s groups, like the American Association of University Women.
While ignoring the existence of a gender pay gap, Grothman offered his theory for why—if such a myth existed—women would be to blame. The senator said women have a “sense of urgency” toward childrearing, which he believes is the real crux behind the fight for equal wages.
Grothman told The Daily Beast:
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.
The only source Grothman said he trusted was right-wing pundit Ann Coulter (who acknoledges the pay gap and has, in fact, said she likes making less money than men and has also suggested revoking women’s right to vote).
Despite the overwhelming evidence that a gender pay gap exists, last week Walker signed a repeal of the state’s law, which was created to address the expansive pay gap but has also been used to protect those discriminated on the basis of race, age, disability, religion, sexual orientation, and other factors. The decision will likely make it harder for women to sue for wage discrimination in Wisconsin or demand back pay and lost earnings from their employers.
The economic implications of this decision are fierce. Because women are the primary or co-breadwinners in two-thirds of American families but still earn less than their male counterparts in every state, the sluggish economy can’t afford for any Americans to lose economic protection under the law.
Naima Ramos-Chapman is an associate editor at Campus Progress.