'Outright Misogyny!' Polish MEP Slammed for 'Women are Less Intelligent' Rant

© AP Photo / Alik KepliczJanusz Korwin-Mikke, leader of the far right and eurosceptic Congress of the New Right Wing party
Janusz Korwin-Mikke, leader of the far right and eurosceptic Congress of the New Right Wing party - Sputnik International
Polish conservative politician Janusz Korwin-Mikke has caused chaos with his controversial comments on the gender pay gap in Europe when he insisted that women must earn less than men because they are "weaker, smaller and less intelligent."

Korwin-Mikke offered some very questionable evidence for his claims, asking his fellow MEPs during a European Parliament gender pay-gap debate, if they had ever heard of any top women chess players.

"Do you know how many women are in the first hundred of chess players? I tell you — no one", Korwin-Mikke said.

The 74 year-old's comments gave way to gasps of disbelief before Spanish MEP Iratxe Garcia-Perez reprimanded him.

"According to your opinion, I shouldn't have the right to be here as a member of parliament. And I know that it hurts you and bothers you that today women can sit in the House to represent citizens with the same rights as you. I am here to defend all European women from men like you," Ms. Garcia-Perez said at the event. 

This is not the first time that the controversial MEP has made comments like this, in 2015 he did a Nazi salute and made fascist signs in the European Parliament.

Campaigners and female politicians have come out against the MEP's comments calling them "shameful and disgusting." Jenni Gunn, who is a prominent political activist in Scotland, said that her initial reaction was one of "disbelief."

"I know that women in politics still face challenges, micro aggression and rampant sexism but I think that's one of the most clear examples of outright misogyny and its absolutely shocking and disgusting," Ms. Gunn told Sputnik.

​On the example and evidence used by Korwin-Mikke, that there are no top female chess players, hence the reason why they are less intelligent, Ms. Gunn said:

"Oh absolute nonsense, evidence of top chess players being a sign of the ability to lead, so does that mean that the top chess players from China and Russia are smarter then others?" Ms. Gunn added. 

Some experts have highlighted the fact that these comments from Korwin-Mikke only go to show how much more needs to be done on the matter of gender equality.

"On the one hand we see strides have been made but then we look at the comments made by the Polish MEP and some of the behavior observed from the new US president, Donald Trump. So in some ways we recognize that there has been progress, but then we hear the rhetoric in America that says 'You women have made progress what more then you want?' That shows us we still have some way to go," Dr. Kae Reynolds from the University of Huddersfield told Sputnik.

​However Dr. Reynolds said that perhaps the MEP's comments may help to bring these issues of gender equality to the forefront and cause people to confront the truth.

"It's been said amongst my colleagues and in academic writings that you can't change anything if there is no controversy. If everyone agrees with each other there can be no change. Even if that controversy incites shock, it brings issues to the table. While we can be shocked and appalled at behavior like this, such as using the Nazi salute, it brings these issues into the public discourse and gets people talking," Dr. Reynolds added.

European Parliament President Antonio Tajani said that an investigation against the Polish MEP Janusz Korwin-Mikke for sexist remarks made will be launched.

To participate in the discussion
log in or register
Заголовок открываемого материала