17 Real Things Male Politicians Have Said About Women's Rights
The political conversation since Donald Trump entered the presidential race has seemed like bad quotes from Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus stuck on repeat. It's been a series of awkward claims backed by offensive assumptions, and it doesn't show signs of abating. The real things male politicians have said about women's rights will make you cringe.
Compiling this list should come as quite the shocker. But in the year of President Trump, you can't forget that lately politics and an attack on women's rights go hand in hand. Unfortunately, this did not start with the 2016 election (although it sure did seem to rear its ugly head more than usual). Men have been making offensive claims about abortion, rape, feminism, and more for decades. In fact, there are enough of these terrible quotes to fill an entire wall. And not all of these quotes come from the past few months. Some of them date back years.
You'd think that politicians would be smarter than this. Male politicians are representing not just themselves but in theory their constituents too. Odds are, about half of those constituents are women. But more common sense education needs to happen before men in suits fully remove their foots from their mouths on a permanent basis. Hopefully by pointing these 17 instances out, the likelihood this ridiculousness continues lessens however slightly.
1) The Most Remembered
One of the best-remembered quotes on abortion rights of the decade. These words essentially ended Rep. Todd Akin's political career:
"If it's legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut the whole thing down."
2) This Guy Is Wary Of Women In The Military
Republican Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton is worried about women being treated equally in the military, essentially because he thinks they're weak:
3) Women Are Humans, Not Hosts
At least this guy isn't in Washington, D.C. Virginia state Sen. Steve Martin said:
4) The Fourth Degree For Married Rape Victims
Some 49 states in the country are also lucky that this guy doesn't have any say over their leadership. Idaho state Sen. Chuck Winder said this, again about abortion rights:
5) Don't Forget This Guy's In Trump's Cabinet
Ben Carson never seemed to have the answers during the presidential campaign, but he did have some rather offensive comments, like this one about women who decide to have an abortion:
6) This One Is Vice President
Mike Pence's thoughts on working moms will make you mad. "Sure, you can have it all, but your day-care kids get the short end of the emotional stick," he wrote in an op-ed before joining the national conversation. He implied that daycare was something selfish that women should avoid to raise their kids in the home.
7) This Guy Is The President
President Trump usually keeps his own children out of his offensive, anti-women comments. But not this time. When talking about harassment at work, he said he hoped Ivanka would get a new job if she ever faced that sort of thing — not that the company would get in trouble.
“I would like to think she would find another career or find another company if that was the case," Trump said in an interview with USA Today.
8) Literally Comparing Women To Criminals
Bobby Jindal, who was the governor of Louisiana until 2016, has said some pretty offensive things about women seeking abortions:
9) All The Women Rand Paul Knows
Rand Paul seems to think the women he knows are the only ones who matter:
10) Shaming Kids And Women All At Once
Jeb Bush would prefer that single mothers were shamed into getting married. That doesn't sound healthy to me:
11) Masturbating Fetuses And Anti-Abortion Propaganda
I don't even know to introduce this ridiculous claim from Rep. Michael Burgess of Texas:
12) I Wouldn't Want To Be Deployed With This Guy
Rick Santorum, former U.S. senator from Pennsylvania, called women weak and said he wouldn't want to be on a mission with one:
I'd be tempted to leave him, but not for lack of strength.
13) How Many People Can You Offend At Once?
Mike Huckabee knows how to say the worst things, in this case condemning women and abortion rights by invoking the Holocaust:
14) Discriminatory Equal Pay Remarks
Wisconsin state Sen. Glenn Grothman (again, thank goodness he's not in Washington) doesn't agree with equal pay for equal work:
15) This Attack On Feminism Really Happened
Jerry Falwell might not have been elected, but he was definitely a politician, running the culture wars for decades on the behalf of Republicans. He said this about feminism:
16) Better To Be A Witch Or A Lesbian?
Pat Robertson was (and is) right there with Falwell. He's got it out for equal rights for women, let alone sexual minorities:
17) But People In Power Think That Too
Steve Bannon — you know, the guy in D.C. helping Trump figure out what moves to make — has said some ridiculous things about feminism too. He explained why he doesn't think progressives like conservative women:
Sadly, not all of these quotes are from the 1990s and before. Some came from people in power today. So maybe you'll want to make your own mural in protest. But also get out there and vote, tell your representatives you don't agree with this kind of thinking, and make sure that the next generation doesn't have to deal with this kind of backwards thinking.