Working moms make dumb kids, says GOP Mississippi governor

Republican governor of Mississippi, Phil Bryant, thinks working moms are the reason America’s schoolkids score so badly in education proficiency test.

Bryant was attending a Washington Post live online event about the importance of ensuring kids can read, when he was asked “how did America get so mediocre?”, referring to our kids’ reading proficiency.

Bryant responded:

MS GOV. BRYANT: I’m gonna get in trouble if I… you want me to tell the truth? … I think parents became, both parents started working, and the mom is in the workplace. It’s not a bad thing. I’m gonna get in trouble, I can just see, I can just see the emails tomorrow. But now both parents are working, they’re pursuing their careers, that’s a great American story now that women are in the workplace.

WASH POST: So it’s the mother’s place to teach them to read?

BRYANT: No, but I think there was that loving, nurturing opportunity that both parents have a little bit of time…

In other words, Mississippi Governor Phil Bryant wouldn’t be such a sexist pig had his mom not worked.

Note how Bryant tries to backpedal entirely, claiming that life is so hard in America today, that both parents have to work, etc., once he realizes he’s admitted too much.

Bryant is simply reiterating the Fox News line that was parroted by GOP blogger Erick Erickson on Fox the other day – that women who work are to blame for all of society’s woes. (As an aside, Erickson is from Louisiana.)  In Erickson’s case, he’s ticked at working women for violating the natural order of things in which female animals know their place, staying at home with the babies, while the big strong male animals go hunt, and play poker.

Erick Erickson (photo by Gage Skidmore)

Erick Erickson (photo by Gage Skidmore)

I’m so used to liberals telling conservatives that they’re anti-science. But liberals who defend this and say it is not a bad thing are very anti-science. When you look at biology, when you look at the natural world, the roles of a male and a female in society and in other animals, the male typically is the dominant role. The female, it’s not antithesis, or it’s not competing, it’s a complimentary role….

When you look throughout society, look at other animals, the male of the species tends to be the protector, the dominant one in that regard. We’ve gotten to a point in this country where you have a lot of feminists who think that the male and female roles are completely interchangeable.

Bryant didn’t misspeak anymore than Erickson misspoke.  Bryant and Erickson typify the backwards, intolerant neanderthals who run today’s Republican party.  They’re not nice people, and they think, and wish, it was still the 1950s, when women (and other lesser people) knew their place.

Mississippi's Republican governor Phil Bryant.

Mississippi’s Republican governor Phil Bryant.

Do you remember that GOP pollster’s focus group I wrote about recently?  It included 20-something middle class voters who voted for Obama but don’t consider themselves committed Democrats. Here’s what the focus group told them, and keep in mind Bryant’s comments and Erickson’s when you read this:

They started with the women, wrote a word on a blackboard, and ask them to free associate:

The first word she wrote was “Democrat.”

“Young people,” one woman called out.

“Liberal,” another said. Followed by: “Diverse.” “Bill Clinton.”“Change.”“Open-minded.”“Spending.”“Handouts.”“Green.”“More science-based.”

When Anderson then wrote “Republican,” the outburst was immediate and vehement: “Corporate greed.”“Old.”“Middle-aged white men.” “Rich.” “Religious.” “Conservative.” “Hypocritical.” “Military retirees.” “Narrow-minded.” “Rigid.” “Not progressive.” “Polarizing.” “Stuck in their ways.” “Farmers.”

Then they wrote the word “Republican”:

“Let’s talk about Republicans,” she said. “What if anything could they do to earn your vote?”

A self-identified anti-abortion, “very conservative” 27-year-old Obama voter named Gretchen replied: “Don’t be so right wing! You know, on abortion, they’re so out there. That all-or-nothing type of thing, that’s the way Romney came across. And you know, come up with ways to compromise.”

Then they tried the men:

The session with the young men was equally jarring. None of them expressed great enthusiasm for Obama. But their depiction of Republicans was even more lacerating than the women’s had been. “Racist,” “out of touch” and “hateful” made the list — “and put ‘1950s’ on there too!” one called out.

In today’s Republican party, intolerance isn’t a glitch, it’s a feature.


CyberDisobedience on Substack | @aravosis | Facebook | Instagram | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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43 Responses to “Working moms make dumb kids, says GOP Mississippi governor”

  1. Ynna Grey says:

    Women who are actively participating in the labor force should not be blamed in the deteriorating society. In a marriage rearing and guiding children should be shared responsibility of the parents.
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  2. silas1898 says:

    The evil Muslims raised oil prices to force American women to have to work, thus laying the foundation of their demonic plan to enslave us all in the Sharia Caliphate.

    Pam should be on this like white on rice. No conspiracy theory is too insane for her.

  3. silas1898 says:

    That’s an insult to mad cows.

  4. Kenster999 says:

    I’ve gotta say I actually agree with a lot of what he’s saying, although it’s important to parse it carefully and not draw the wrong lessons.

    In general, it seems to me like society these days *requires* more families to earn two incomes. It used to be that one income was enough. (For better or worse, it was usually the father who was working.) Having the mother at home full-time is a huge benefit to a family, because it makes sure someone is there to watch the child, make sure they do their homework, etc.

    Now many families have both parents working. And there’s obviously a lot of good there. It’s great that women can finally have a career if they want to, rather than having “housewife” as their *only* potential job. Most women do a great job at their careers (and it’s a shame there’s still income inequality).

    But at the same time, it also feels unfortunate to me that many women *have* to take a job just to make sure ends meet. Why is this happening? Falling (relative) income? Rising prices? Reduced strength of unions? I don’t know, and “why” is not really the point. I’m just saying it *is*, whether we like it or not.

    And I think this does have an effect on families. I’m gay, single, and not raising any kids, and I’m frequently amazed how much time it takes just to take care of my own needs. I can’t imagine working a full-time job, getting home *exhausted* at 5:30, and then needing to make dinner for the rest of the family, work with the kids on their homework, do laundry, prepare lunches for the next day, etc. I can totally see where a parent feels it’s easier to just get some fast food for everyone on the way home (which I think also contributes to our increasing obesity rates).

    When there’s a parent at home, I think it’s easier to make sure the kids do their homework. If no parent is at home, many kids are probably likely to sit on the couch and play video games. (And listen to that damn rock-and-roll music… hey, get off my lawn!)

    Please note that I’m not saying it should always be the woman that stays at home. In *no way* are women “at fault” for anything. I don’t care how whether it’s the mother or father (or which daddy!) stays at home. All I’m saying is that having both parents away most of the time is bound to have some implications. I think kids do better if there’s one parent at home all the time. I’d rather see families be able to get by on only one income. Unfortunately, that is no longer possible for a huge number of families. These families obviously do the best they can, but I imagine many of them would prefer to be able to keep one parent at home if possible.

    Taking care of a household and raising kids is a full-time job (for both parents), and not *needing* to have both parents work all day frees up some resources to make their children’s lives better. I think there *are* benefits to having a parent at home full time, and it’s too bad that our society currently makes that impossible for a lot of families that would otherwise prefer to run things that way if they could. (Increased access to childcare is desperately needed.)

  5. karmanot says:

    Call her what? Will mad cow do?

  6. UncleBucky says:

    Call Pam Geller?

  7. FUFatherEisenman says:

    My wife worked and we had 2 children. Both have graduated from college. One is in the medical field, the other works in the financial district in NYC. Both are dumber than a box of Einsteins.

  8. Snaggletooth says:

    Every single time one of these asshats makes one of these comments we have to make a point to follow up with suggesting minimum wage be doubled.

  9. Mocas Dad says:

    W aprovingly told a mom who was working 3 jobs she was “uniquely American.” Based on the idiocy of his comment, I wonder how many jobs Bryant’s mater toiled away at. Oh, look at me, ending a sentence with a preposition. Well, mother DID work 2 jobs.

  10. catdance says:

    Oh that’s rich, coming from the Governor of Mississippi.

  11. Tor says:

    Isn’t it the lioness that does the hunting, killing and feeding?

  12. BillFromDover says:

    Yeah, and somehow, dumb moms that enter the workforce are to blame more than dumb stay-at-home moms?

    How in hell does this even compute?

    Warning! Warning! Danger, Will Robinson!

  13. tardigrade says:

    I guess you never did these sorts of things. People tend to follow in lock step (specially when given money) and before you know it… you find the source of these comments. Then, you find who is the bank.

  14. Just an elbow says:

    Are you always an idiot, or are you making an effort for this “special” occasion?

  15. Just an elbow says:

    give it a frickin’ rest already

  16. Just an elbow says:

    seriously? Yeah, keep taking that to the bank, see where that gets you.

  17. tardigrade says:

    How about making a plot of what is said and who said it. It sounds like folks have been given a script. I bet we can point to who paid them, too.

  18. Randy says:

    Totally correct. I love that term Regressives. I’m going to use it. Thanks!

  19. Houndentenor says:

    When I was a kid my parents both worked. they were both home by 5:30 just about every night. Whose job allows for that any more. 40 hours was a work week. Now most employers expect at least 60 hours (for what amounts to less money adjusted for inflation) for a full time job. Yes, this has a negative effect on their children. Are we going to address that? Or are we going to address the fact that most women don’t have the luxury of staying home with their small children? I agree that we could be doing better by our children. Better pay for teachers. Smaller class sizes. And quality of life issues for employers so they have time to spend with their kids. Those are issues that we should address.

  20. BillFromDover says:

    Or clay!

  21. BillFromDover says:

    It’s called the Bible Belt… go figure!

  22. BillFromDover says:

    Simply listen to your average twit calling in to converse with Rush and Sean.

    In other words, in the red states, the answer is a resounding yes.

  23. silas1898 says:

    The tripling of oil prices in the early ’70s helped ramp up all those other prices, plus the utilities. Call Pam Geller. It really is an Islamic conspiracy for world domination! Those fiends!

  24. cole3244 says:

    when gopers are given their talking points they regurgitate them no matter the content, stepford wives are loose cannons compared to the lock step fascists of the gop.

  25. Jonas Grumby says:

    I gotta post again. God this infuriates me. My Mother worked from just about the day I was born until she died. I would GLADLY compare number and nature of undergrad and post-graduate degrees, IQ, Mensa, etc memberships, with this Neanderthal POS. Hell, I’d just challenge him to a game of Boggle and spot him points.

  26. karmanot says:

    And out the other end.

  27. UncleBucky says:

    Hear, hear! :)

  28. UncleBucky says:

    Mississippi? :D :D :D Men at the “office”??? Uhhhhh I never saw a 1950s sitcom where the father indeed does something (hardly ever clear) that was set in the South. It was always in the North.

    In the South men (white men) mainly work as drudges, and so their wives need to put on their shoes, take birth control and work at the local Walmarsh to make pin money.

  29. UncleBucky says:

    Yeah. Working moms in part came about as a result of the NEED for extra income due to rising real estate, food, medicine, health care, and car prices. Working moms are smarter in general than moms that stay at home and watch Fox or their “stories”.

  30. BeccaM says:

    That’s because they’re not conservatives. They’re Regressives.

    Some of them want to take us back to the 1950s, when sexism and racism were commonplace and accepted in the culture.

    Some want to take us back to before the 19th Amendment was passed because they think giving women the vote was a mistake.

    Some want to go back to the Robber Baron days, before organized labor won us things like an end to child labor, the 40 hour work week, overtime pay, the minimum wage, pensions, and health insurance. (If you’ll note, they’ve already won on some of these and are eroding the rest.)

    Some think the entire democracy thing is overrated, and although they’re not proposing a monarchy, what they do clearly seem to want is an autocratic strong-man. But hey, we seem to be heading in that direction anyway, since it seems like among the Powers That Be, if you’re the scion of a power, that automatically puts you next in line to inherit the mantle.

    And then there are those who want to repeal the Enlightenment itself. To teach their kids that science and critical thinking are bad. That fossils were planted by the Devil or buried in Noah’s flood. And most of all that questioning the theocratic authorities is wrong and cannot be tolerated.

    Not a one of them wants to ‘conserve.’ In fact, it’s almost funny because they’ve even made the notion of conservation into a dirty word and a taboo concept among the dogmatic faithful.

  31. DrDick says:

    No, it is conservatism and religious fundamentalism that produces stupid children and this asshat is example #1.

  32. Jimmy says:

    Idiocy like this is nothing new with the modern GOP, but what’s truly sad and maddening is that so many women vote them into office; especially in the red states. Do they actually agree with this stupidity?

  33. Houndentenor says:

    They also have the highest rates for divorce and teen pregnancies. Conservatives aren’t for morality. They’re for institutionalized hypocrisy. They aren’t going to live by those old moral codes wither, but they want us all to pretend in public like they do and vilify anyone dumb enough to get caught.

  34. TonyT says:

    Yeah, well maybe I was stopping for full emphasis. Not. :-)

  35. SkippyFlipjack says:

    It’s funny that conservative states like his own Mississippi, which presumably stick to his 1950s dream of men at the office, women at home, are also among the worst in terms of education and health.

  36. Gary Harmer says:

    Hey tony…there should be a “comma” after yeah, not a period. I guess your mom worked outside the home, eh?

  37. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Maybe his kids are dumb as mud. We will know for certain if they grow up to be Republicans.

  38. AnitaMann says:

    There you liberals go bringing up facts. For conservatives, truth is not based on facts. It comes deep inside, from the intestines.

  39. Mike_in_the_Tundra says:

    Well yes, but at least they’re consistent.

  40. BeccaM says:

    I’ll say it again: I appreciate it when these patriarchist misogynists tell us all how they really feel about women.

  41. Zachary Smith says:

    From another account:

    *** Bryant’s wife, Deborah, has worked outside the home for more than 38 years, including while their two children were growing up. ***

    http://kstp.com/news/stories/S3056516.shtml?cat=1

    But he’s in Mississippi. He’ll do just fine with his hypocrisy. His next step may be Senator from that great state.

  42. tsuki says:

    Oh, hammer meet nail. Good one.

  43. TonyT says:

    Yeah. Dumb kids like President Bill Clinton and President Barack Obama. and oh yeah, I don’t think Barbara Bush was a working mom what happened there.

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