Another day, another story coming from the US about republicans doing their darnedest to take back rights women have fought for for decades.
Most recently, a Republican leader in Utah has come under fire for arguing in a letter that equal pay for women would be harmful to society, specifically the structure of American families.
James Green, who is the vice chair of the Wasatch County Republican Party wrote a letter to the editor in the Park Record and Wasatch Wave that men have typically been paid more so that they can support their families.
He wrote, "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."
Interesting theory. But even if we entertained this idea, what about women who are university educated and don't have children to look after? Why are they still earning 7% less than men in the US?
He continued on to say that it was detrimental to both men and women trying to support families for women to earn as much as men.
"If businesses are forced to pay women the same as male earnings, that means they will have to reduce the pay for the men they employ, simple economics. If that happens, then men will have an even more difficult time earning enough to support their families, which will mean more Mothers will be forced to leave the home (where they may prefer to be) to join the workforce to make up the difference," he wrote.
"And as even more women thus enter the workforce that creates more competition for jobs (even men’s jobs) and puts further downward pressure on the pay for all jobs, meaning more and more Mothers will be forced into the workforce. And that is bad for families and thus for all of society. It’s a vicious cycle that only gets worse the more equality of pay is forced upon us. It’s a situation of well-meaning intentions, but negative unintended consequences."
You may be checking the date right now, and no, it's not the 60s. It is in fact 2017, and this is coming out of an influential man's mouth.
The letter received lots of opposition from women's rights groups, and Mr Green has already issued an apology that is decidedly non-apologetic:
"The main focus of my letter was to express that I don’t feel the government should be dictating to private establishments what they must do in regard to employment, hiring, or wages," he wrote in an email to KSTU.
"Of course, Women’s contributions in the workplace are just as valuable as any one else’s," he continued. "I was merely pointing out the historical reasons for pay disparity and the challenges of overcoming that. While I worked my fingers to the bone (with numerous extra side jobs) so my Wife could stay in the home and raise our two Sons, who are now both Physician/Surgeons (plus one also has a Law Degree), I realize not everyone is so fortunate."