From the man who brought you the “Legitimate Rape” debacle of the summer, Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri, comes the assertion that women don’t need to make as much on the dollar as men because that just interferes with employers’ freedom to basically discriminate at will, according to The Huffington Post.
Akin caused a media firestorm this summer when he essentially said that women’s bodies were built to suss out “legitimate rape” and reject pregnancy if they've been legitimately raped, thereby making the argument that abortion in cases of rape is redundant. And now Akin is at it again implying that women in the workplace don’t need protection from predatory employers who are looking to save a buck by paying them less.
During a recent town hall meeting leading up to his Missouri Senate race against Sen. Claire McCaskill, a race in which several GOP members asked him to step down following the "rape" comments (he stubbornly refused), Akin addressed a question as to why he voted against the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. “Why do you think it is okay for a woman to be paid less for doing the same work as a man?” an audience member queried.
Attempting to distance himself from the whole pesky discriminatory underpinnings of not voting for fair pay for women Akin replied, “Well, first of all, the premise of your question is that I'm making that particular distinction (that it’s okay to pay women less).”
Then Akin went on to give a distinction-less answer that avoided the subject of equal pay altogether. Because, you know, if you don’t address the wage gap then it doesn’t really exist.
“I believe in free enterprise. I don't think the government should be telling people what you pay and what you don't pay,” Akin answered. “I think it's about freedom. If someone wants to hire somebody and they agree on a salary, that's fine, however it wants to work. So, the government sticking its nose into all kinds of things has gotten us into huge trouble.”
While Akin’s views support the backdoor, secret handshake, Mad Men school of management that can hire and undervalue individuals (namely of the female variety) at will, his opponent in the upcoming Missiouri Senate race Sen. Claire McCaskill, whom he referred to last week as “unladylike” for actually debating during their debates, condemned his statements, according to TPM.
"First, Todd Akin said Claire's not 'ladylike' because she's standing up for working families, now he's opposed to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay act because he believes employers should have the freedom to discriminate against their female employees," said McCaskill spokeswoman Caitlin Legacki. "Once again, it's clear that the problem isn't what Todd Akin says, the problem is what Todd Akin believes."
Here's the gift that keeps on giving in all of his glory at the town hall meeting.
Image via Getty.