A Republican reportedly jumping into the race for Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-NH) Senate seat on Wednesday wrote a blog post on his website in 2009 that more women in the workplace were to blame for increasing gun violence.
“The collaborative, flexible, amorphously-heirarchical American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation’s breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs,” former state Sen. Jim Ruben (R-NH) wrote in the post. “Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers.”
Rubens wrote that the “collaborative” and “flexible” economy has allowed more women to enter the workforce. The fact that the economy has changed, Rubens also argued, has had a dangeous effect on men, causing a small portion of them to commit more acts of violence.
In a follow-up interview on Wednesday, Rubens defended the blog post.
“The point of this, if you read the whole thing, is that manufacturing jobs, which have been the basis for higher-wage working men during the post-World War II era have been in decline,” Rubens told Buzzfeed. “Men are more sensitive than women to external indicators of status, which is one of the points in my book — which you might want to read so you can understand the whole point of this — and it’s very important to all people, women and men, to have jobs, functions, and roles in life that are fulfilling and productive and engaging.”
Rubens said he’s supportive of having women in the workplace and added that the shrinking number of manufacturing jobs has caused men to engage in violent shootings.
“It’s a tiny fraction of males that become stressed for whatever reason and engage in acts of extreme violence,” Rubens said. “If you look through individual psychology of mass shooters over the past 10-20 years, you can see that in the profile. Often it’s a person who has been subjected to extreme stress in the form of social rejection, job loss and associated mental health issues.”