Women still only earn 80 cents for every dollar men earn, despite the fact that it's 2017, and having a Y chromosome in no way entitles someone to making more money for doing the same job. Unfortunately, not everyone understands this: In a letter published in two local Utah newspapers, a GOP official publicly stated women should make less money. Fortunately, though, internet rightfully lit up in protest.
In a letter to the editor published Feb. 15 in both the Wasatch Wave and Park Record newspapers in Utah, Wasatch County GOP Vice Chairman James C. Green lobbied that women should not receive equal pay for doing the same job as men because (now, I'm paraphrasing a little here) it could disrupt the outdated patriarchal nuclear family unit that's designed to keep women at home barefoot and pregnant where they belong.
Green said: "Here's the problem with the Equal Pay bill being considered by the Utah Legislature... Traditionally men have earned more than women in the workplace because they are considered the primary breadwinners for families. They need to make enough to support their families and allow the Mother to remain in the home to raise and nurture the children."
Does Green know it's 2017? Because, for a moment, I thought I was reading a letter to the editor from 1955. Here's a live look at my reaction when I read this:
Let's break this down. First, Green begins his argument with the word "traditionally," making the case that because something has always been done a certain way, it's the right thing to do. I mean, lobotomies used to be the primary way to control housewives, but at some point, people came to their senses and said, "hey — maybe sticking an ice pick through a woman's eye and scrambling her brain isn't right." Tradition isn't always acceptable!
Green then uses the word "considered," as in men "are considered the primary breadwinners." What Green doesn't understand is that men are traditionally considered primary breadwinners because men set up a system that keeps women dependent on them. And, since they traditionally are earning all of that bread, and the women isn't, she needs to get her bread from her man or starve.
After social media responded in protest to Green's gaffe with more than 9,500 tweets by Feb. 19, he penned an apology letter to Fox 13 News — but that apology was just as outdated and archaic. He said by earning enough money to allow his wife to stay home, his two sons were able to become doctors. OK, hold the phone, I totally get it now: Only children who are raised by stay-at-home moms can become doctors. He should have put that in the first letter!
There are almost 10 million households in the U.S. headed by single mothers, according to the 2015 U.S. Census. What's more is that more than 50 percent of the population is single (meaning not married). Women don't pay less for things like housing, transportation, or medical care. In fact women often pay more for goods and services (like haircuts, razors, etc.) than men. So it totally makes sense for us to earn less money to pay more for everyday items.
In his misguided argument, Green also said that forcing employers to pay women the same as men could cause companies to lose money and result in men getting paid less. Ugh.
Someone needs to tell Green that equal pay for equal work should mean just that, regardless of race, sex, or gender. Oh wait — more than 9,000 people did. I hope he gets the message.