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New Hampshire Lawmaker Calls Women “Vaginas”–Wins Asshole Award of the Week

April 17, 2013

Hmm, apparently we don’t need to be called women, according to Peter Hansen; we can just be called “vaginas.” And even though he has since come out and apologized for using the term “vagina” to indicate all women, he only did so after the e-mail he sent out was publicized:

A New Hampshire state representative apologized on Wednesday for using “vagina” as a synonym for “woman” in a mass email to lawmakers as part of a gun-law debate.

Representative Peter Hansen was responding to fellow Republican Representative Steve Vaillancourt, who had urged repeal of the state’s Stand Your Ground law. The 2011 law allows use of deadly force even if people could safely retreat from a threatening situation.

“What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT (Vermont), Germany and the bowels of Amsterdam,” Hansen wrote in an email to the 400-member House of Representatives in response to a speech by Vaillancourt.

“Why children and vagina’s (sic) 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.”

The April 1 email drew widespread condemnation from both Democrats and Republicans after it was republished on Monday on a state political blog called Susan the Bruce.

So, then he claims he is sorry for using “stupid” language and another representative says that most of the time we call women “women,” as opposed to vaginas?

Hansen, who initially defended the email, issued a full apology on Wednesday.

“I want to apologize to my constituents, my colleagues and women, especially those in my life, for the blatantly offensive, insensitive and, frankly, stupid language I used in my email with House members regarding the Stand Your Ground legislation,” Hansen wrote in an emailed statement.

“I am embarrassed, to say the least. There is no place or need in the public discourse for the words I used. The people and the process deserve better than that.”

The Democrat-controlled House voted to repeal Stand Your Ground on March 27. The bill faces an uncertain future in the state’s Republican-controlled Senate.

Hansen’s comments especially stand out in New Hampshire, which has a female governor and an all-female delegation to Congress. The House speaker and chief justice of the Supreme Court are also women.

“It just seemed outrageous because it was going out to all 400 representatives,” said Democratic Representative Rick Watrous. “Usually we use the term ‘women’ when we’re talking about women.”

Why is no one on record, besides other women, saying this guy is just an asshole? Why is it only a problem to call women vaginas when only men are around, or if you are sending such a to any person, much less 400?  Why do the numbers make a difference?

I can’t tell what makes me more sick, the fact that this guy who has just been awarded my Asshole of the Week Award has called women by their anatomy, but that the other guy, Rick Watrous says it’s a problem because the women saw it. So, I kept reading, seeing if Rick Watrous really sounds like the second asshole in this equation, but he doesn’t, according to another source:

“Are you really using ‘vaginas’ as a crude catch-all for women? Really?” wrote back State Rep. Rick Watrous, a Democrat. “Please think before you send out such offensive language on the legislative listserve.”

Oh, um, wait, not “think before you use offensive language,” but “think before you send out such offensive language on the listserve”?? Of course, because to use this language itself in reference to women is appropriate, just not on the listserve.  Gee, thanks, Rick. What an asshole; yep, still think so.

At first, this stellar man Hansen, didn’t actually apologize for his remarks.  He defended them.

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.

Consider my psyche examined, as it was a self-examination after all, but then, I still find that objectifying women by their anatomy offensive, so now what?

In his second attempt at “apologizing,” this was the result:

Speaking yesterday, Hansen claimed he was attempting to “get into the mind of the perpetrator,” and that the entire thing “has been totally blown out of proportion.” In signature non-apology fashion he also apologized “to those who took offense.”

(This from the article linked above, which was a bit earlier than the 3rd apology posted above, and this is from The Gawker. Yahoo didn’t have the guts to publish this.)

Guess we vaginas are just not happy with you penises.  Hmm, is “bitch” the next term that comes to mind?

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