Florida higher ed official says maybe women earn less than men for 'genetic' reasons



Among what seems like an epidemic of pale, stale males making misogynistic remarks this week, Florida can claim its very own: State University System board member Ed Morton, who suggested women's genes are to blame for their lower salaries.

Jessica Bakeman at Politico was first with the story, which has since been reported widely. At yesterday's board meeting, members were discussing ways to close the pay gap between male and female graduates of Florida universities. Morton opined that schools should teach women better negotiating skills. Not a bad idea!

He then proceeded to stuff both wingtips in his mouth, eradicating any credit he may have earned with that good idea, by saying that perhaps there's a "genetic" reason that women make less money than men.

“Something that we’re doing in Naples [with] some of our high school students, we’re actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given — maybe some of it is genetic, I don’t know, I’m not smart enough to know the difference — but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve,” said this probably well-meaning man, struggling to see past the mists of The Past swirling around his brain.


Morton, a retired investment manager, was appointed to the State University System board by Gov. Rick Scott, but even Scott quickly disavowed this hot and super outdated take. Spokeswoman Lauren Schenone said in a statement that as a father of two daughters, the governor “absolutely does not agree” with Morton’s comments. Morton apologized this morning, saying he "chose his words poorly."

Hmm, seems like that happens to old white guys a lot. Maybe it's genetic.

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