Boys will be
It’s just another episode in a long, long string of episodes where some Michigan Republican men can’t get into any sort of back and forth with a woman without whipping out the sexist derogatory slurs. This time, it’s state House Representative Frank Foster.
While visiting the neighborhood of a Michigan Nurses Association staffer, he called her a “cunt”.
From the MNA press release:
On Tuesday evening, Foster was visiting a home on Lansing’s south side when he walked up to the fence and asked Michigan Nurses Association staffer Julia Smith-Heck to stop mowing her lawn. They had a conversation about the “Protect Our Jobs” campaign to permanently enshrine collective bargaining rights in the Michigan Constitution, which the Michigan Nurses Association actively supports. Foster became hostile and walked away.
He returned shortly afterward, demanding again that she stop mowing, saying it was bothering his autistic son. [Foster does not have children, according to his official bio information.] Smith-Heck declined, needing to finish mowing, but ended a short while later and went across the street to talk to her neighbor.
Foster, a woman and a boy of about 3 or 4 came out and walked up to Smith-Heck and her neighbor. Foster said, “I want to introduce you to my son, Chase. I want to introduce you to the person whose night you ruined.”
He then walked away, asking Smith-Heck, “Are you going to apologize?” She responded, “For mowing my lawn?” Foster said, “So you’re not going to apologize”? She repeated, “For mowing my lawn?” Foster yelled across the street, “You’re a cunt!”
The MNA is demanding an apology and asking House Speaker Jase Bolger to investigate whether action should be taken against Rep. Foster for this completely unprofessional and sexist behavior. Deb Nault, Assistant Executive Director of Nursing Practice for MNA and longtime nurse said, “Frank Foster should apologize, have his mouth washed out with soap and learn to show some respect for women. I am beyond appalled that anyone, let alone a State Representative, would think it’s OK to use demeaning language like that.”
Smith-Heck put it this way:
I guess Frank Foster thought he could get away with screaming a derogatory term at a woman because the cameras weren’t on him. I hope his supporters and constituents are paying attention to his true character. Disagreements happen, but real adults handle it respectfully, not by using sexist, offensive insults in front of children. I expect better from our elected officials, and I look forward to receiving an apology from both Representative Foster and Speaker Bolger.
I have a neighbor who mows his lawn constantly and it always seems to be right when we’re out enjoying the evening or trying to nap or entertain. But it never occurs to me to go out and call him derogatory names in the middle of the street in front of neighbors. In fact, it never occurs to me to confront him at all. People need to mow their lawns and it’s just a tiny price to pay for living in society: sometimes you will be mildly inconvenienced.
But Foster clearly doesn’t have that governor on his throttle. He’s clearly comfortable not only with confrontation to get his way but also with using the most sexist, derogatory put-downs he can think of.
Can someone please tell me how people with such poor judgement and self-restraint get elected to our state legislature? Because I. Do. Not. Get. It.
UPDATE: Here’s a photo of Julia Smith-Heck (on the right), attending the huge rally at the Michigan state Capitol building on Monday, June 18, 2012 for a reading of The Vagina Monologues:
Our write-up of the event with photos and video is HERE.
[Image credit: Official state photo of Rep. Frank Foster.]