When it comes to finding a way to shove two feet inside your mouth at the same time, the Kansas Republican caucus sure has it all figured out. As the Kansas state legislature was headed to adjournment until April 25, members offered bipartisan support of Women’s History Month, and discussed the historical difficulty women have faced in the workplace.
But not all of the representatives were on quite the same page. As she spoke, in the State House, state Rep. Heather Meyers (D-Overland Park) heard state Rep. Paul Waggoner offer this unique analysis from somewhere behind her: Women don’t earn as much because they don’t work as hard. He faced some immediate pushback.
From the Kansas Reflector:
“I hear from behind me, ‘That’s because we work harder,'” Featherston said. “I hear lots of comments behind me and I usually just let it go because it’s not worth it. But that was too far. So, I turned around and I told him that I worked three jobs to put my husband through med school, and I certainly worked as hard as he ever did. I turned back around, and then I heard him say, ‘Well, it’s a statistical fact.’ And that’s when I was really like, OK, fine, you want to double down on this.”
So, you would think Rep. Waggoner might back down? Maybe?
“I said, to myself, something to the effect that, ‘Well, married men then work harder and longer,’ which is a known fact that is well established,” Waggoner said. “Featherston, surprisingly having heard my comment, turned around and said, ‘Well, I worked two jobs to put my husband through med school.’ At which point, the matter was dropped.”
Welp, I guess we have learned absolutely nothing, or at least one party hasn’t. In 2016, a Pew Research poll showed that Republican men often felt as though gender equity issues no longer existed. I guess that depends on how you think about gender equity, and if being at the subject of someone else’s control is just fine.
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Waggoner, who managed to double then triple down on the comment, seems unlikely to dial it back anytime soon. I consider it a matter of fact that is well established, as he would say, that at this point he’s beyond considering he might just be wrong.