The Senate Judiciary Committee has 11 Republican members, all male, and 10 Democratic members, four of whom are women. Chairman Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) thinks the lack of women representation is no big deal. As a matter of fact, Grassley said it might be too much work for women to handle.
A reporter asked the 85-year-old senator on Friday why there aren’t more women senators on the committee, and Grassley responded: “Well, it’s a lot of work. Don’t forget, compared to a lot of committee meetings, we have an executive every Thursday. … So it’s a lot of work. Maybe they don’t want to do it.”
He was then asked if he’d want to see a woman added to the committee.
“Well, we can’t do anything about that,” Grassley said.
“First of all, the people of the states elect women or men. So you’ve gotta go by that. And then you’ve gotta have a desire to serve. And my chief of staff of maybe three years tells me that we’ve tried to recruit women and we couldn’t get the job done.”
The day after Grassley made his caveman comments, Brett Kavanaugh was sworn in as a U.S. Supreme Court justice.
Republicans dismissed accusations of sexual misconduct against the conservative judge, including the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford that he committed sexual and physical assault against her more than 30 years ago when they were at a party during their high school years.
Ford faced a Judiciary Committee of 11 Republican men, many of whom had already publicly downplayed her claims.
Grassley’s sexist and archaic viewpoint on women in the workplace seems not to bother Republican women senators like Susan Collins (R-Maine), who went along with supporting Kavanaugh’s nomination rather than advocating for a thorough FBI investigation.
Collins said Ford, a professor of at Palo Alto University, was “mistaken” in accusing Kavanaugh.
“I believed that a sexual assault had happened to her…what I think she is mistaken about is who the perpetrator was…I do not believe her assailant was Brett Kavanaugh,” Collins said in an interview with “60 Minutes” on Sunday.
On Friday, a crowd-funding site where activists have been raising money to defeat Collins in 2020 was so overwhelmed with pledges that the site crashed.
In regard to Grassley’s comments, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tweeted on Saturday:
Is it still All About Eve Trump blames Dr. Ford. Grassley blames Dianne Feinstein & says Republican women can’t handle the Judiciary committee workload. Really It’s 2018. A new day is dawning. Women marched, women are running, women will win.
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) October 6, 2018
In an interview with Fox News on Saturday, Grassley tried to walk back his comments.
“What I should have done, in one sentence I should have said [that] we even have a hard time getting men to serve on this committee,” he said.