Polish Politician Says Women Should Earn Less Than Men

The fact that a gender pay gap exists at all is bad enough (to say the very least), but can you believe that there are actually people who believe it should exist? Sigh. 

On Wednesday, during a debate on the gender pay gap, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, a Polish member of European Parliament (MEP), said, “women must earn less than men, because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent." He is now facing possible punishment from the European Parliament, CNN reports.

After a video of his comments was released on Thursday, Korwin-Mikke’s comments gained widespread attention, according to The Washington Post. The footage, according to CNN, also showed a rebuttal. Fellow MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez, of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party, said, “I know it hurts and worries you that today women can sit in this house and represent European citizens with the same rights as you. I am here to defend all European women from men like you."

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani has launched an investigation on Korwin-Mikke for violation of Rule 11 of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, which requires members to show respect to each other and prohibits any “defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior in parliamentary debates.”

Korwin-Mikke could face reprimand, a fine or suspension for his remarks, the Post reports.

According to the Post, Korwin-Mikke has been reprimanded severa times in the past—for using the word “negroes” in a speech, for example—and was suspended for giving a Nazi salute and again after describing immigrants as “human garbage.” It gets worse—this isn't the first time his beliefs on women, in particular, have been seriously off. He has also suggested that women shouldn't be able to vote, and that domestic violence brought women “down to earth” (he said he meant it ironically, but still).

How are people like this still allowed in politics?