New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Hansen has pissed off the entire New Hampshire House of Representatives after he sent out an email to the official legislative listserv referring to women as "vaginas."
Engaging in a debate about a gun bill, State Rep. Hansen made his offensive comment in response to his colleague's recent speech about the benefits of retreating instead of using deadly force. Hansen sent out an email to everyone on the listserv saying:
What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina's of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims.
People, including members of his own party were immediately put off by his "crude catch-all for women," with State Republican chair Jennifer Horn calling his comment "disrespectful and shameful."
After being called out on how inappropriate his language was, Hansen tried to turn it around, saying that people's discomfort with the word "vagina" is what's really problematic.
Having a fairly well educated mind I do not need self appointed wardens to A: try to put words in my mouth for political gain and B: Turn a well founded strategy in communication into an insulting accusation, and finally if you find the noun vagina insulting or in some way offensive then perhaps a better exercise might be for you to re-examine your psyche.
Oh, OK. So people who are offended by his use of the word "vagina" to reduce half of the population to nothing but the hole between their legs are actually the sexist ones. Got it.
As the Huffington Post points out:
Hansen's comments are particularly bold in New Hampshire, the only state with a female governor and an all-female delegation to Congress. The speaker of the state House and the chief justice of the state Supreme Court also are both women.
Perhaps that's why he eventually kinda/sorta apologized, weeks later.
Can there be any doubt my comment is being misinterpreted and taken completely out of context? It was not, and is not, my intention to demean women at any time. It is apparent that the intent of my remarks has been misinterpreted, the true goal of the message lost and for that I apologize to those who took offense.
Whatever. Can you really be that surprised by Hansen's comments? If anything, they seem to be an aboveboard indication of what his party thinks about women.