IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Mississippi's Bryant laments when 'mom got in the workplace'

Associated Press

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."

And it's against this backdrop that we still see Republican officials going after contraception and Planned Parenthood.

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.