Regular readers may recall Glenn Grothman, the Wisconsin state senator awarded the position of the biggest asshole on the entire fucking planet. Well, he won’t let this status disappear! In fact, last month, he made a strong play to keep this position.
“Take a hypothetical husband and wife who are both lawyers,” Grothman told the website. “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…”
“You could argue that money is more important for men,” he said. “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.”
Can you say “Success Myth”? I bet you can!
Grothman, dude. Stay-at-home fathers and fathers who have sacrificed their careers in favor of their families exist. Mothers who work jobs exist. Most families are two-income families in which it is not meaningful to call one person the breadwinner because both of them go about winning bread. The world does not look like your vision of the fifties. For fuck’s sake, the FIFTIES didn’t look like your vision of the fifties.
Let me explain this in the simplest way possible. First, the Wisconsin equal pay law involved discrimination. For instance, if a company was paying women $40,000 and men $200,000, when they were equally experienced and in similar positions, that would be discrimination. If the woman was working a less well-paid job and had less experience because she took time off to take care of her kids, then it wouldn’t be discrimination. His entire argument is completely fucking irrelevant! I mean, if there is no discrimination, then no one will be awarded money for discrimination! Why would you even bother to repeal that law? It’d be like repealing one of those weird laws about not tying your giraffe to a public lamp-post.
Assuming for a moment he is discussing the causes of the wage gap and not whether discrimination exists, I still think he has a fuckstupid argument. Because if women are always the ones taking care of kids, and the men are always the ones working really hard all the time, the reason for this is…?
a) Mysterious ladybrain reasons.
b) Mysterious gentlemanbrain reasons.
c) Probably something to do with the evolution of cavelawyers in caveoffices and their cavepaychecks.
I mean, maybe this is related to the gender system in which men’s worth is tied to their careers and their income, and women are considered to be fail-women unless they’ve produced and raised offspring (according to multiple and constantly contradictory rules about how you’re supposed to, of course). Just a guess. Maybe men don’t inherently crave money more than women, but the gender system makes it so that they are far more likely to fall victim to the Success Myth.
But, no, really, I’m sure the cavelawyers and their cavepaychecks theory is very solid too.
Personally, I’m not sure why he believes that the “urgency” is a good thing anyway. As the growing number of unemployed people shows, we really don’t need everyone to be working sixty-hour weeks; in fact, people are more productive with a forty-hour week and we may not even need that. It strikes me as very Puritan and very joy-hating: is the highest purpose of a person’s life really to work their asses off for a corporation? What about making music, or writing weird porn, or hanging out with friends, or (yes) raising a couple really cool kids?
Honestly, we should have family-friendly workplaces– for everyone, not just for parents. The flextime that helps a parent be able to take care of a sick kid is the same flextime that would help someone like me if I am too panicky to leave the house, or a person who works two jobs if one is in crunch time, or a person actively involved in volunteering if they’re organizing something big, or any of the other important but non-monetary things people might do with their lives. Not only would we be able to have two parents actively involved in their children’s lives, but we’d be able to have better quality of life for everyone.
…Wait, wait. Does Grothman think that $200,000 a year is a typical income? Man. Love to be in his world.