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Dear Republicans: Anytime you want to start that whole "rebranding" thing, you go right ahead. In the meantime, here's another one for the "I wonder why the Republican Party is having trouble appealing to women" files, this time in the form of Maine House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, here explaining why his female House compatriots are having trouble understanding the nuances of the health care debate:
"As I listen to the debate today and earlier debate on this bill, I can't help but think of a title of a book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. And it's a book about the fact that men sort of think one way in their own brain, in their own world. And women think another way in their brain and in their own world. And it really talks about the way that men and women can do a better job at communicating.

"Because if you listen to the debate today, in my mind -- a man's mind -- I hear really two fundamental issues. From the other side of the aisle, I hear the conversation being about 'free. This is free, we need to take it, and it's free. And we need to do it now.' And that's the fundamental message that my brain receives. Now, my brain, being a man's brain, sort of thinks differently, because I say, 'Well, it's not -- if it's free, is it really free? Because I say, in my brain, there's a cost to this.'"

Get it? The problem is that the female lawmakers are obsessed with stuff being free, whereas the Man-Brain is better with money and true costs and whatnot. As one of those female lawmakers told ThinkProgress, "I thought it was 2013, not 1813. Apparently, I was wrong."

I don't care if Fredette apologizes or not; the issue is how often this stuff happens. One time it's a guy in Arizona, the next it might be in Maine, the next in Kansas—the problem isn't with individual Republican lawmakers, the problem is that the party, and the party base, continues to have an innate hostility towards women that allows "opinions" like this to keep popping up as supposedly reasonable things. You've got the House Minority Leader in Maine explaining how the wommenfolk don't understand the health care debate because they're not good with money, and you've got Republican legislators in state after state (Wisconsin, now, because apparently they've got a bit of time left over after cratering their state economy) passing new laws for pre-abortion ultrasounds because, and this is important, they think the wommenfolk just don't properly understand the health care procedure they're asking for and need to have it legislatively mansplained to them. Oh, and you've got House Republicans nixing rape-and-incest exceptions to their abortion laws because they say it just doesn't happen often enough to be of concern.

This isn't an issue of select stupid Republicans saying stupid things. An open hostility towards women, women's opinions and women's rights are endemic in the party. It's one of the many, many things about the party that have become more extreme in the last decade.

Originally posted to Hunter on Thu Jun 13, 2013 at 10:41 AM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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