Ms. magazine  -- more than a magazine a movement

SIGN UP FOR MS. DIGEST, JOBS, NEWS AND ALERTS

FEMINIST WIRE NEWSBRIEFS

ABOUT
SEE CURRENT ISSUE
SHOP MS. STORE
MS. IN THE CLASSROOM
FEMINIST DAILY WIRE
FEMINIST RESOURCES
PRESS
JOBS AT MS.
READ BACK ISSUES
CONTACT
RSS (XML)
 
feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

April-17-13

NH State Representative Reduces Women to Vaginas

New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Hansen (R) is being critized for an e-mail he sent to fellow representative Steve Vaillancourt (R) in which he used the word "vaginas" to refer to women. In an email conversation among the state legislators about a controversial "Stand Your Ground" law, Vaillancourt had been advocating retreating when a physical threat is posed, and resorting to deadly force only when pursued after that point. Hansen countered his argument by 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," emphasis added.

Multiple representatives who viewed the e-mail responded angrily, admonishing Hansen for his terminology. State Rep. Rick Watrous(D-Concord) replied "Are you really using 'vaginas' as a crude catch-all for women? Really? Please think before you send out such offensive language on the legislative listserve."

A speaker from NARAL Pro-Choice New Hampshire made the comment "[Women] are daughters, sisters, mothers, students, professionals, and community leaders. We deserve more than being referenced by our body parts."

Hansen's initially defended his wording: "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." He later issued an apology "to those who took offense."

Media Resources: ThinkProgress 4/17/2013; The Raw Story 4/16/2013; Huffington Post 4/16/2013


© Feminist Majority Foundation, publisher of Ms. magazine

If you liked this story, consider making a tax-deductible donation to support Ms. magazine.

 

 

Send to a Friend
Their
Your
Comments
(optional)


More Feminist News

4/23/2015 BREAKING: The Senate Just Confirmed Loretta Lynch for Attorney General After a Five-Month Delay - After a five-month battle, the Senate finally confirmed Loretta Lynch US Attorney General today, making her the first Black woman in US history to take on the role. . . .
 
4/22/2015 We Need to Talk About Gender On Earth Day - Today is Earth Day, an annual event that celebrates our planet and encourages people to find a way to protect it. . . .
 
4/21/2015 Feminists Mourn the Loss of Activist Grace Mann - Feminist activist Grace Rebecca Mann, a 20-year-old University of Mary Washington student, was killed in her home on Friday. Grace was found unconscious by her two female roommates on Friday, one of whom called 911 and attempted to administer CPR. . . .