Just because it's Women's History Month in the year 2021 doesn't mean antiquated ideas about gender and its corresponding roles no longer inform political decision making.
One need look no further than Boise, Idaho, where one Republican lawmaker voiced opposition to a grant that would provide millions of dollars to expand access to pre-Kindergarten education for Idaho's toddlers.
State Representative Charlie Shepherd gave his reason for voting against H.B. 226 on the House floor earlier this week, and it's been met with serious pushback.
A Republican is against education bill because it's 'convenient for mothers to come out of the home' www.youtube.com
"I don't think anybody does a better job than mothers in the home, and any bill that makes it easier or more convenient for mothers to come out of the home and let somebody else raise their child, I just don't think that's a good direction for us to be going."
Shepherd's antiquated opinion comes from the long-held belief among men that "a woman's place is in the home," rather than in offices, social gatherings, or anywhere else that might reinforce the reality that they're autonomous individuals and not the property of their husbands.
After widespread outcry, Shepherd apologized, saying:
"My intent was to compliment mothers... I stand before you now to admit I failed miserably....My remarks sounded derogatory, offensive, and even sexist toward the mothers of this state."
"I have learned the hard way that misguided statements do not help solve anything. I sincerely apologize to any and all I have offended, and I will work hard to right any wrongs that I have done."
People clarified that his remarks didn't just sound "derogatory, offensive, and even sexist."
they were https://t.co/ooi9vvNxXB— Arnie (@Arnie) 1614802912.0
Remarks were very intended. #ShameOnYou https://t.co/lO8t8kDLDP— pam brewer (@pam brewer) 1614795584.0
Um..... because they were. https://t.co/SrZYEvPIng— Gemma Gaudette (@Gemma Gaudette) 1614793737.0
Ummmm..... maybe because they WERE derogatory, offensive and sexist? 🤷♂️ https://t.co/Nhq08k2Knc— Donald Williamson (@Donald Williamson) 1614793712.0
Yes. Yes they did. Now do something to actually help!!!! https://t.co/A1GWnf0LGy— rebecca young (@rebecca young) 1614794540.0
@davlinnews They didn't "sound" that way. They were that way. I hope he's open to changing his views and being more… https://t.co/bsnwyxCIjy— Joshua Schlag (@Joshua Schlag) 1614793650.0
Many felt the apology was insufficient.
I appreciate this but it’s only for the words he’s used and not the ideological statement behind it which is that w… https://t.co/KzY7Ty0Ynd— Hannah George (Sharp) (@Hannah George (Sharp)) 1614793837.0
The women of Idaho are PISSED https://t.co/bkmExWDas1— Emily Walton, Mask Wearer (@Emily Walton, Mask Wearer) 1614793783.0
This man just really doesn't wanna get punched in the crotch. https://t.co/wlzHzyfS3g— Zeh-Fur knows BLACK LIVES MATTER (@Zeh-Fur knows BLACK LIVES MATTER) 1614798631.0
H.B. 226 narrowly failed, though the bill will likely be revisited in the future.