What do women want?
A handful of Michigan Republicans seem to think they will find that answer deep in the glossy pages of women’s interest magazines. Michigan Public Radio Network state Capitol reporter Jake Neher tweeted this photo of a trio of lawmakers reading several fashion magazines, including Glamour, on the Michigan House floor on Thursday.
“Don’t say we don’t understand women,” joked Rep. Peter Pettalia, at center.
Too bad. You don’t. Because this type of callous stereotyping is not what women want, especially not women voters. For a political party that is constantly facing charges that it’s out of touch with women, joking that “understanding women” amounts to reading enough fashion magazines may not be a good idea.
The House Democratic Caucus shot back with its own photo, aimed at the Republican Caucus. The tweet read, “Real Women read bills not fashion mags …”:
Women! Am I right?
Petallia later explained his comment in a statement to Mlive.com:
“During a short break on the House floor, Republican Rep. Gail Haines, a leading advocate on women’s issues in the Legislature, gave some of us magazines to read and asked to take our photo with them,” Petallia said.
“A member of the media then walked up behind her and snapped another photo. As part of that lighthearted moment, I made an off-the-cuff remark that has since been taken way out of context.”
Liberal group Progress Michigan has called on the state Republicans pictured to apologize for the remark in a press release.
This story has been updated with new information.