Sunday, April 15, 2012

Wisconsin Senator On Equal Pay Repeal: "Money Is More Important For Men"

Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) recently repealed a state law helping women pursue complaints about workplace pay discrimination. Walker had the enthusiastic backing of Republican State Senator Glenn Grothman (left), who told The Daily Beast, "Money is more important for men." Grothman dismissed reports about a pay gap as reported by the American Association of University Women and other institutions, relying instead on the findings of "expert" Ann Coulter. Women make up half the American workforce and in two-thirds of American families are either the primary or a co-breadwinnner, yet still earn less than what male counterparts earn throughout the country. None of this matters to Grothman, however, who uses outdated and inaccurate notions to justify pay discrimination. Michelle Goldberg reports:

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.”

...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.”


omnivocal said...

Be careful with your statistics! The data you link to from the National Women's Law Center in the first paragraph indicates the bottom of the range is 63.8%, which is hardly "less than half."

That said, this is certainly an important issue and it's hard to believe that lawmakers like Walker and Grothman still adopt these kinds of biased positions in the face of such clear-cut data.

Thanks for all your interesting posts, Jeff!

Jeff Tone said...

omnivocal: Thank you for your kind words and for notifying me of the inaccuracy. I have corrected the error.