***The Iowa Standard is an independent media voice. We rely on the financial support of our readers to exist. Please consider a one-time sign of support or becoming a monthly supporter at $5, $10/month - whatever you think we're worth! If you’ve ever used the phrase “Fake News” — now YOU can actually DO something about it! You can also support us on PayPal at [email protected] or Venmo at Iowa-Standard-2018 or through the mail at: PO Box 112 Sioux Center, IA 51250

Democrat State Sen. Herman Quirmbach broke partisan ranks on Tuesday as he voted in support of a bill abolishing gender quotas for boards and commissions in Iowa. Quirmbach didn’t just vote with Republicans, but he spoke in support of the bill on the floor.

Quirmbach noted that the current policy means if there is a 10-member board, five members must be women and five must be men regardless of who the best-qualified people are.

“What this policy does is it frequently makes the characteristic of gender more important than qualifications,” Quirmbach said. “If you had a 10-member board and one of those men resigned, a woman need not apply for that vacancy. She would be ineligible because of her gender. If that’s not a good definition of gender discrimination, I don’t know what is. This policy does not end sex discrimination, it institutionalizes it. It perpetuates it.”

Quirmbach said the educational attainment of the rising generation indicates women are doing just fine. Eighty-eight percent of girls graduate high school on time compared to 82 percent of boys. The undergraduate population on college campuses is 58 percent female.

“Women are earning the majority of bachelor’s degrees and that isn’t new,” Quirmbach said. “That’s been the case for 40 years. But the gap has been growing and growing and growing.”

Quirmbach said “the conclusion is pretty clear.”

“The rising generation of women are better educated and better prepared for public service as a group than are their male cohort as a group,” he added. “It seems pretty clear that the rising generation of women if allowed to compete on the basis of their merit will succeed and succeed in greater numbers. I believe that they should be allowed to compete on that merit.”

Just because there is sex discrimination in private decisions, Quirmbach said that is no excuse to legally mandate discrimination.

“The reply to that is pretty simple,” he said. “Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

As for the Iowa Senate, among the Democrats, there are eight women and eight men.

“We got to gender balance on our side the old-fashioned way,” Quirmbach said. “We elected the best people. Those who look backward view the quota policy as a floor for women’s participation. But those of us who look forward I think are more likely to see it as a ceiling. I think we should do away with that ceiling. I think we should let both men and women compete on the basis of their qualifications and their achievements and their willingness to work hard. I have no doubt that if we move in that direct, if we let women move forward as far as their talents and energy will take them, that 50 percent is going to be far exceeded in the not too distant future.”

Also worth pointing out — Quirmbach didn’t differentiate between gender and sex. In fact, he used the terms interchangeably.

He started by talking about the issue being a “gender quota.” Read again…

“If that’s not a good definition of gender discrimination, I don’t know what is,” Quirmbach said. “This policy does not end sex discrimination, it institutionalizes it. It perpetuates it.”

Gender discrimination equals sex discrimination, Quirmbach essentially admitted.

He did it again a few minutes later…

“We’re told that there is still sex discrimination in private decision-making…”

So, not only did Quirmbach actually side with commonsense on the bill, he also sided with science — refusing to differentiate between gender and science.

That is what makes Quirmbach this week’s legislator of the week.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here