You can almost hear the gender gap getting worse for Republicans on a daily basis.
Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant (R) said Tuesday that America’s educational troubles began when women began working outside the home in large numbers.
Bryant was participating in a Washington Post Live event focused on the importance of ensuring that children read well by the end of third grade. In response to a question about how America became “so mediocre” in regard to educational outcomes, he said: “I think both parents started working. The mom got in the work place.”
I should note in fairness that I didn’t hear the comments, so I suppose it’s possible he meant this as some sort of bad joke, but that seems unlikely – according to the Washington Post account, Bryant acknowledged that he would likely receive a bunch of angry emails in response to his comments.
In other words, the Mississippi Republican realized what he was saying would be politically problematic. And he’s right – blaming national education problems on women joining the workforce is ridiculous, antiquated, and offensive.
But it also seems to be part of a growing recent pattern, doesn’t it? Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) argued over the weekend against pay-equity laws to protect women from discrimination. It came two days after a prominent Republican pundit argued that “science” dictates that husbands should earn more than their wives, and a prominent GOP ally in the religious right movement insisted that if a man “has a wife who out-earns him, I think that’s going to put some stress on his psyche.”
We are, to be sure, seeing fewer proposals for state-mandated, medically unnecessary ultrasounds, but the Republican war on women hasn’t ended just yet.