A former Polish presidential candidate and member of the European Parliament spoke out against equal pay on Thursday ― and was taken to task immediately thereafter by a fellow MEP.
Spanish Socialist MEP Iratxe Garcia-Perez was visibly appalled by Janusz Korwin-Mikke’s comments, in which he said women “must earn less than men.”
“Of course women must earn less than men because they are weaker,” he said. “They are smaller, they are less intelligent, and they must earn less. That’s all.”
Garcia-Perez was quick to respond, admonishing Korwin-Mikke for his outdated stance:
According to your theory, I should not have the right be here, as a member of this parliament...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.
(Watch their heated argument below.)
The president of European Parliament is investigating whether or not Korwin-Mikke’s comments are in violation of the Parliament’s rules. According to the BBC, the rules state that the conduct of MEP’s “shall be characterized by mutual respect” and that MEP’s “shall not resort to defamatory, racist or xenophobic language or behavior in parliamentary debates.”
If punished, this will not be Korwin-Mikke’s first time violating European Parliament standards. In 2015, he was sanctioned for making a Nazi salute, and in 2016 he was suspended for referring to refugees as “excrement.”