What Ted Cruz Called The Texas Longhorns Was Completely Sexist & It's Not The First Time His Prejudice Showed
There are plenty of acceptable ways to express how disappointed you are in a sports team's performance, but comparing male athletes to girls is absolutely the wrong approach. While campaigning in Iowa Friday, Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz joked about the Iowa State Cyclones' victory over the University of Texas Longhorns on Oct. 31, saying: "I think they cancelled their football program and brought in a girls' junior high team." The Texas senator was criticized for bashing one of his state's most popular college football teams, but the sexism of Cruz's sexist remark is more troubling, and it's definitely not the first time he's degraded women or their rights as individuals.
Cruz comparing the Longhorns to a girls' junior high team belittles women's athletic abilities, the same way that saying someone "throws like a girl" does. If he wanted to make a joke about the college athletes playing like younger kids, he could have simply compared them to a junior high team, and not implied that girls are inherently less athletic than boys. These types of subtly sexist comments perpetuate the idea that women are inferior to men, whether it was intentional or not, and a presidential candidate should be especially aware of the underlying implications of their jokes.
Here are four other sexist remarks and actions from Cruz over the years, proving that this is a pattern for him.
As a student at Princeton, Cruz was a member of the debate team, and according to a recollection by David Kennedy published in a Harvard debate team reunion booklet in 2001, he proposed a way to prevent women from cheating on their boyfriends or husbands in one debate. Kennedy wrote that Cruz said God should "give women a hymen that grows back every time she has intercourse with a different guy, because that will be a 'visible sign' of the breach of trust." As if women's vaginas are men's possessions that they need to keep tabs on.
On Equal Pay
Cruz claimed he voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act in 2014 because it was a "trial lawyer bonanza," and alleged that the Democrats' push for the bill was for "political show votes." But it was an important bill for decreasing the gender wage gap in America.
On Abortion Supporters
During a speech for the anti-abortion group The Susan B. Anthony List in 2014, Cruz said those who support abortion chant "Hail, Satan" to silence their "enemies." Every GOP presidential candidate opposes abortion, but claiming women who want control over their bodies worship Satan is worse than just denouncing the practice — it is possible that abortion supporters have their own thoughts, and aren't controlled by an evil force.
On Birth Control
Cruz signed a pledge with the anti-choice group Georgia Right to Life, promising to support a personhood amendment to the Constitution if elected president. Such an amendment would make some forms of birth control illegal by giving fertilized eggs the full rights of human beings, and could put women who suffer miscarriages at risk of being prosecuted. Any law that unfairly restricts women's rights as American citizens is sexist, and a personhood amendment would take away women's ability to avoid pregnancy.