Fortune Staff
March 03, 2017 02:18 PM

 

This article originally appeared on FORTUNE.com.

In a debate in the European Parliament over the pay gap between men and women on Wednesday, Poland’s Janusz Korwin-Mikke went on a rant in which he argued that women should earn less than men “because they are weaker, they are smaller, they are less intelligent. They must earn less, that’s all.”

In an attempt to provide evidence for his remarks, Korwin-Mikke said that no women placed in the top 800 in the Polish theoretical physics Olympiad, nor did any rank among the top-100 chess players. Korwin-Mikke, who belongs to a marginal right-wing party, has issued controversial statements before. Last year he was fined and suspended for referring to Europe’s influx of migrants to “excrement.” And in the past, he’s used the n-word and issued the Nazi salute.

Foto-AG Gymnasium Melle/Wikimedia

On Wednesday, fellow MEP Iratxe Garcia Perez from Spain, who visibly grimaced during Korwin-Mikke’s speech, shot back at his diatribe with blistering remarks:

Look, according to your theory, I should not have the right to be here, as a member of this Parliament. And I know it hurts you, 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.

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Parliament President Antonio Tajani is now investigating whether Korwin-Mikke broke the body’s rules, which ban defamatory, racist, or xenophobic behavior. Violating the body’s standards of decorum can earn a member a fine or a temporary suspension.

 

 

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