Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Colorado Rep. Calls Teen Parents "Sluts"

Oh, this is rich. Colorado Rep. Larry Liston made the following statement a a Republican caucus luncheon about teen parents:

In my parents' day and age, they were sent away. They were shunned. They were called what they are ... There's no sense of shame today. Society condones it ... They're sluts. And I don't mean just the women. I mean the men, too.

This is a prime example of the pro-life religious right's real agenda. They say they're all for saving babies. But rather than pushing for measures that would reduce unwanted pregnancies and abortions, they'd rather shun those who find themselves in the unfortunate situation of being unmarried, young, and pregnant.

After all, a culture that denys its youth access to birth control and then shuns girls who get pregnant, brands them whores, sends them away, and destroys their future couldn't possibly prompt pregnant teens to opt for abortion, could it? At the base of this is just an outright hatred of women, and a fear of female sexuality and female empowerment. Rep. Liston wants us to return to the good ol' days when women's sexuality was treated as something that didn't exist, and women were denied power over their bodies, their futures, their lives, by the very cultural mores that he lauds. And, by the way, as far as I know, the men were never branded as sluts in those good ol' days.

Liston later apologized:

The derogatory term I used was offensive and inappropriate and I would like to apologize for using it.

To my mind, though, this is a non-apology. He apologizes for using the term "slut". But it doesn't matter what word he uses; it's the notion behind it that is offensive. I would only be satisfied by an apology that recognized the misogyny in Liston's original statement, and rejected it outright. I won't be holding my breath.

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