An Arizona Republican candidate for Senate is under fire after saying the gender pay gap is a fake "left-wing narrative" because he says it is men who do all the hardest work.
Blake Masters—whose campaign is funded by far-right billionaire PayPal founder Peter Thiel—is running to unseat current Arizona Democratic Senator Mark Kelly. Masters' Facebook campaign page proudly touts his endorsements from embattled Republicans Representative Madison Cawthorn and Senator Josh Hawley.
Video of Masters' speech was obtained by NBC News, and has led to heated criticism of the candidate.
See his comments below.
Speaking at a candidates' forum in deep-red Scottsdale, Arizona, Masters not only accused the left of propagandizing the idea of a gender pay gap but denied its existence entirely.
"Women are not paid less in America than men. It's a left-wing narrative, this gender pay gap."
He then went on to refute his own claim, saying women are paid less than men but it's because they don't work as much or as hard as men.
"When you control for the occupations, when you control for people taking time out to, you know, birth children, things are actually pretty equal."
"And men do the most dangerous jobs."
His comments came during a discussion of the Equal Rights Amendment, which Congress has been trying to pass since the 1970s. The amendment would prohibit discrimination on the basis of sex or gender.
Masters went on to continue refuting his own claim about the existence of the gender pay gap with more unsubstantiated claims about men's jobs being harder than women's.
"Men are the ones who are doing risky, you know, fishing–crab in Alaska."
"And sometimes those jobs pay more... and so I think we got to push back on the fake left-wing narrative that women don't have equal rights in this country."
In reality, the extensive data and research on the matter reveals the pay gap between men and women has been relatively stable for the past 15 years, with women making on average just 84% of what men earned in 2020.
When looked based on race, non-White women make even less.
And even when taking into account the dangerous and strenuous jobs on which Masters' entire claim rests, researchers still find a an average gap of $.05 in pay between men and women
On Twitter, Masters' comments drew no shortage of criticism.
While others just found Masters and his rhetoric ridiculous.
And many women shared their own experiences of being paid less than their male counterparts for the same work.
The furor over Masters' comments on the pay gap comes on the heels of comments he made last week.
Masters proposed the Supreme Court's draft majority opinion overturning 1973's Roe v Wade be taken even further with states being allowed to ban contraceptives.
Masters is currently polling in third place in the Arizona Republican primary.