New Hampshire State Rep. Peter Hansen (R-Amherst) is telling reporters today that he was simply trying to shock a few people when earlier in the month he made a comment about “children and vagina’s [sic]” on a legislative email list after a debate over a “stand your ground” bill.
There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. 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.
“My point in the choice of words was two-fold, one was shock content and the other was to try to get into the mind of the perpetrator,” Rep. Hansen explained to the Nashua Telegraph. “This is something that has been totally blown out of proportion.”
Maybe Hansen believes it has been “blown out of proportion,” but considering the number of anti-women bills that have been sweeping the country in the last few years, there’s little wonder that some folks may take Hansen at face value that women have become the sum of their… parts. With bills being proposed daily seeking to take away their rights not just to choose whether or not to continue a pregnancy, but whether they should have the option to prevent pregnancy in the first place, a large portion of the past few legislative cycles have become highly focused on the lady parts and how to control them, while the well being of our educational system, environment, earning potential and economic well-being goes largely ignored.
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Even in New Hampshire, a state somewhat more sucessful than others at defeating anti-choice bills thanks in part to gubernatorial vetoes, the legislature eagerly partakes in the countrywide crusade to regulate and coerce childbirth, including the resurgence of the often proposed, never passed “informed consent” bill. The ceaseless war to restrict women’s reproductive autonomy even when they have little hope of being successful in their efforts shows that even as the state gains in women lawmakers, that hasn’t translated into full acceptance of women as full people.
“New Hampshire Republicans continue to make clear that they do not value women as equals,” Democratic Party spokesman Harrell Kirstein said. “They refuse to support equal pay for equal work legislation, have routinely attacked access to critical health services for women, and now State House emails reveal how their legislators in Concord really view half of New Hampshire’s population.”
Dear Rep. Hansen, we are more than just our reproductive organs. And we vote.