Mississippi Democratic Party Chairman Rickey Cole issued the following statement in response to Speaker of the House Phillip Gunn's remarks about female legislators*:
"By now many Mississippians have seen the true colors of the Mississippian Republican Party and Speaker Philip Gunn. Throughout the campaign season, Gunn made it abundantly clear through word and deed that he intends for Republican men to control all the power and influence in the Mississippi House. His recent statements, where he added female Republican House members only as an afterthought, and then insisted that they preferred to be called 'girls' because they 'think they are younger,' should not be considered a misstatement, nor should Gunn be called upon to apologize. When a man repeatedly says what he really means, the rest of us ought to listen, learn and act accordingly."
"Instead, we call upon the women of the House of Representatives, especially the Republican women, to unite across party lines and defy the antediluvian sexism and partisan power plays of the 'boy' who is now speaker (I call him boy because of the immaturity of his ideas, and so he will think that he is younger) and vote as a group for a new Speaker in January who will respect all members of the House equally, regardless of party, race, gender or age."
*The Clarion-Ledger published this passage Sunday:
“If you send me a Democrat, then he’s not part of that conversation,” Gunn said. “He has every right that any other member does on the House floor, but they’re not going to have as much of an input. ... And I think the people, the voters, need to realize that. They just need to contemplate, ‘Hey, is my district being represented? Is my man having a voice, or is he not?’ ”
The Associated Press asked: “What about the women?”
“Man or woman,” Gunn said. “Whatever. I should have said, ‘the member.’ ”
Wrapping up the interview moments later, Gunn circled back to referring to legislators as men.
“I didn’t mean to not include the girls,” he said.
AP: “The women?”
“They like when I call them girls,” Gunn said, “cause they think they’re younger.”
Kingfish note: " Gunn made it abundantly clear through word and deed that he intends for Republican men to control all the power and influence in the Mississippi House."
How many women have held leadership positions under the Democrats in the legislature in past years? Who was chairing a committee or sitting in the leadership? Just curious.
Is Emily practicing some "gotcha journalism"?