Opinion

Male lawmakers compete for most clueless comment about women

A Maine state representative has drawn fire for saying jail would be like “a country club” if incarcerated women were given access to free pads and tampons. (AP file photo.)
A Maine state representative has drawn fire for saying jail would be like “a country club” if incarcerated women were given access to free pads and tampons. (AP file photo.)

You know what I think about when I picture a typical country club? I envision a sunny second-floor ballroom, members and guests savoring a sumptuous Sunday buffet while watching genial golfers gathered below on lime-green tees.

You know what I don’t think about when I picture a typical country club? Incarcerated women being provided with sufficient sanitary products to make it safely and hygienically through their periods every month.

Bye, male readers. We’ll miss you. But before you go…

Richard Pickett, a Republican member of the Maine House of Representatives, says if you start letting prisoners have all the menstrual supplies they need, instead of a set amount, it will create a “country club” atmosphere.

“Quite frankly, and I don’t mean this in any disrespect, the jail system and the correctional system was never meant to be a country club,” he said, according to the Bangor Daily News

Well, quite frankly, and I mean this with all due respect, what’s wrong with this backward fool? Have all the women in his life been inflatable?

Now it should be noted Pickett acknowledges women should have these products in prison. The problem is, he doesn’t believe they should be on demand, handed out willy-nilly. What does he think we use these things for? As a longtime woman, I can tell you it’s not like we have Bedazzle parties and glue sequins on maxi pads because they’re just so gosh-darned pretty!

As you might expect, the most famous resident of Dixville has heard from constituents who, ahem, disagree. Many have used the toilet paper analogy in an attempt to dumb it down sufficiently. Would Pickett enjoy being told he had a Seinfeldian three-square limit? Doubtful.

The toilet paper comparison is apt. As in menstrual periods, not everyone needs the same amount for all functions all the time because, well, nature. Let’s say Pickett oversampled during a visit to Costco on a Saturday. The mini tamale, fried ravioli bites, garlic hummus and basil-butter salmon are, well, ready to rumble in his tumble. With any luck, our clueless conservative might make it to the bathroom behind the tire center. Once there, he’ll find bounteous rolls of TP to serve him. His hygiene is preserved with dignity.

Talk about your privilege.

It’s bad enough only a handful of states have figured out it’s downright immoral to tax sanitary supplies. Yes, for a normal physiological function women put up with for up to four DECADES.

The only person pleased with Pickett’s backlash was probably Florida State House Speaker Jose Oliva who surely welcomes the distraction after being blasted for repeatedly calling pregnant women “host bodies” during a TV interview about late-term abortions. As he mansplained it: “A human body can exist outside of its host body earlier and earlier.”

Speaker Oliva has since apologized for using the inherently creepy phrase perhaps because his own host body told him if he did it again she’d smack him upside the head. Mercifully, I see no effort from either Hallmark or Edible Arrangements to celebrate Host Body Day on May 12.

Celia Rivenbark is a NYT-bestselling author and columnist. Visit www.celiarivenbark.com.



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