Unfortunately, it seems that every single day the news is telling us that we're actually going back in time with our policies and leaders. With the nostalgia-seeking campaign phrase, "Make America Great Again," helping Donald Trump be elected as the 45th president, and white supremacist groups on the rise, it's beginning to look like we're collectively moving backwards, not forward. And, in case you missed it, a Utah republican has made waves this past week with his comments about equal pay, and how he believes the concept is "bad for society." With these statements, many are wondering, who is the Utah republican arguing for equal pay? Well, James Green has officially resigned from his position as county official in Wasatch County Utah, a result of his letter published in The Wasatch Wave last week.
In a letter to the editor, Green argued against equal pay for women in the workforce, claiming that men "need to make enough to support their families and allow the Mother to remain in the home to raise and nurture the children." While these ideals regarding traditional gender roles aren't exactly surprising, especially coming from a more conservative state, Green's argument against what many consider to be common sense is disheartening. But now, with outrage over his statement's resulting in Green's resignation, perhaps the country is getting back on the right track.
Green's letter was written in a response to a bill that was introduced to the Utah Senate this year, which requires "the Department of Workforce Services to conduct a study on whether there is a difference in pay between men and women in the state," amongst other provisions.
Green's response to the proposed legislation resulted in the letter he authored, which was also published in The Park Record, however backlash to his comments was imminent, and caused Green to officially resign from his position, after apologizing for possibly offending anyone. In an interview with Salt Lake City's Fox News, Green said, "you wouldn’t believe the hateful, vile comments and messages I’ve received."
Speaking of his resignation, Green said that many of his critics pointed to his affiliation with Utah's Republican Party as a source for his letter, which Green claims was the main reason he decided to step down. "I didn’t want to hurt the party any further," he explained.
While Green's comments are still worrisome, and definitely illustrate a larger problem with America's culture, his resignation is a welcome sign that individual voices matter. And when Americans take a stand and speak out when something feels wrong, they can take small steps toward real progress and against dangerous, outdated ideals.