Rude Washington GOP Lawmaker Asked Teen Lobbying Group If They Were Virgins
I had a theory once that the defining characteristic of Republicans was having aggressively bad manners. It still kind of holds water when you think about it–their most fervent desire is to be free to insult people without being criticized for that themselves, they’re not terrifically welcoming or gracious, and they’re not too good at sharing either.
However, Washington State Rep. Mary Dye took her bad manners to the next level this Monday when a group of Eastern Washington high school students came to her office for a talk. The teens were there as part of Planned Parenthood’s Teen Lobbying day, and had intended to talk to the Republican lawmaker about supporting legislation to expand for birth control.
Rep. Dye–who does not support such legislation, due to an apparent believe that teenagers are so responsible that they will simply not have sex if they are denied access to birth control–decided to take the opportunity to ask the teenagers directly if they were virgins, suggesting one of them in particular was not.
Rachel Todd, a Planned Parenthood worker accompanying the teen group, said the kids all turned and looked at her, and that she told them “You don’t have to answer that.”
Rep. Dye confirmed that she did ask the teenagers about the status of their hymens:
“I appreciated their time and professionalism,” Dye, 54, wrote in prepared remarks, “I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for.”
“Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices — opinions shaped by my mother and being a mother of three daughters,” she wrote.
“In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative,” Dye added. “If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.”
Eh…you’d think a mother–or anyone who had ever been a teenager themselves– would know that you don’t ask teenagers personal questions like that in that kind of group setting. Or anyone, really! It’s really quite rude. Also, these kids were coming to talk to her about legislation, not to be concern trolled about their personal sexual activity.
If she actually wants to talk about the “empowerment of women”–whether or not she agrees with the legislation, she might try treating kids like this with a modicum of decorum and respect.