Senator Hansen Criticized for Calling Women “Vaginas”
An e-mail sent to fellow House members in New Hampshire in which he referred to women as “vaginas” has resulted in a firestorm of criticism descending upon State Representative Peter Hansen.
Although Hansen, who is a Republican representing Amhurst in the state senate, said initially he didn’t regret qualifying women by their body parts, reversed course a day later and admitted he was embarrassed by his actions. The e-mail in which he used the allegedly derisive comment was circulated among his colleagues during discussions about whether or not to repeal a current law that allowed the use of deadly force to defend themselves.
State Republican chair Jennifer Horn denounced Hansen’s comments as “disrespectful and shameful.”
“Representative Hansen’s comments are crude, offensive and have no place in public discourse,” Horn said in a statement Tuesday. “There is no excuse for anybody to use such disrespectful language — especially an elected official. I strongly condemn his disrespectful and shameful remarks.”
The 70-year old Hansen, who has personal experience facing a home intruder,initially said he consciously used the term “vaginas” in order to shock people and make them wake up and pay attention to what he was trying to express in his e-mail message and complained that his use of the term had been blown out of proportion.
Harrell Kirstein, a spokesman for the New Hampshire Democrats, called Hansen’s comment “shockingly inappropriate” and “disgusting behavior” and said it reflects Republicans’ stances on birth control, abortion and equal pay.
“New Hampshire Republicans continue to make clear that they do not value women as equals,” Kirstein told HuffPost in a statement. “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.”
But after critics went so far as to demand his resignation, Hansen was quick to stop explaining and offered a sincere apology for using what he termed “stupid language” that came across as offensive and insensitive to more than half of the population.
Hansen said that he didn’t regret the remark and that critics don’t understand the context.
“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,” Hansen told The Telegraph of Nashua. “This is something that has been totally blown out of proportion.”
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Peter Hansen, New Hampshire Lawmaker, Calls Women ‘Vaginas’ In Email To Colleagues