Erick Son of Erick Fails Science Forever

There was a recent Pew Survey that showed a growth in the number of households in which women are the primary breadwinners.

The number of single mother households is up, but the number that is creating headlines is that the number of married women earning more than their spouses is also up. (no mention of married lesbian couples here, so I guess this is all hetero marriage.)

Pew also found that, “Most people reject the idea that it is bad for a marriage if a wife out-earns her husband.” You would not get that impression from the news media. The local and national news have been talking about this survey, usually in their shocked voices, and giving the impression that this is a big and frightening development.

Not surprisingly, the most absurd reactions are coming from Fox News. Here’s Erick Erickson, conservative media pundit and editor of, talking to Lou Dobbs:

This is confused, but I think the central quote here is this:

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.

I think the best reaction comes from Tod Kelly at League of Ordinary Gentlemen:

Normally this is where I make the comment that conservatives need to be careful about saying stuff like this because it could hurt them with the female vote in the next election. But this? This is so astoundingly terrible that I think it might create a rip in the space-time continuum and hurt them not just in future elections, but in past elections and elections in other dimensions as well.

See also Megan Kelly’s reaction to this. She rakes Dobbs and Erickson over the coals:

  • PsiCop

    Curiously, this trend has developed over the last 5 decades, the very same time during which the “downsizing/rightsizing” movement took hold in the realm of business management in the US. Way back when, the “typical” track was for a man to work a full-time job that paid enough to support his entire family, and he stayed at that job for life. The downsizing movement changed that. Full-time jobs that pay enough for one worker to support an entire family are much harder to find, now. Underemployment is common and so is having to work two or more part-time jobs because full-time work is impossible for many folks to get.

    What we’re seeing, then, is families dealing with this economic reality in whatever way they must … which includes having the wife/mother be the chief breadwinner, because that’s what happens to be available to them. Seems to me, instead of bellyaching about this, Lou Dobbs et al should be giddily happy about it. They got what they wanted, which was the devaluation of American labor over the last 50 years, and this is just one result of that effort.

    • kessy_athena

      Do you suppose this has anything to do with the pay inequality for women?

      • PsiCop

        Not particularly, at least not beyond the fact that keeping the wages of half the workforce artificially low, would tend to help keep wages generally low … even across both sexes.

  • brgulker

    In my experience, there are an awful lot of conservative women who would agree with this, which makes me wonder just how much this kind of thing would actually hurt.

  • The Other Weirdo

    All I got from this is that if the Time Lords were still around, they could fix any continuity problems, so I guess it must ck to be Republican now.

  • Anonomouse Fred

    I’m always surprised when religious pundits tell us to look at the natural world. Its almost as if they think man is just another animal.

    But when they want to argue a different point that get tossed right under the bus when they claim that man is not an animal but a higher being because of a soul or god or something.

  • Noelle

    I never realized my place as the sole wage-earner in my family was the result of a cataclysmic breakdown of society and family and all that is good and holy. I thought it was planned. Perhaps I am a evil master-mind. I chose my career path when I was 14, and followed it through. I loved science, and hated being poor. Before marrying, my to-be husband and I discussed how we would handle the care of any future offspring. I admitted I would be unable to take more than a standard maternity leave. I was also racking up some impressive educational debt and could only hope to pay it off if I worked the job I’d been training for. He did not like his job, and it would never support a family. He was quite excited at the prospect of quitting as soon as we had kids, and wanted to know how quickly we could arrange that. I now make about 9-10 times what he used to in our poor just-married days. It makes no sense for me to not be the sole wage-earner. Most married people in my profession with young children have spouses who stay home, unless they married another of the same profession.

    Why wouldn’t the ratio trend closer to 50:50 with time? There is nothing essentially different in the XX combo vs the XY that lends to different earning ability. Higher-paying jobs tend to be connected to higher education. Intelligence-wise, the genders are equal and have equal chance at education.

  • RickRayFSM

    “The facts are what the facts are.” I wish the creationists could get that into their thick skulls. Plus, leave the imaginary, invisible deity out of the discussion since it doesn’t exist.

  • Sue Blue

    Every time I think these rightwing religionuts have scraped the bottom of the barrel of cretinous stupidity, the bottom drops out. I guess their strategy must be “Double-down on Dumb”.