Minnesota congressman defends his interest in calling women ‘sluts’

BTW

The misogynistic history of a Republican Minnesota congressman was unearthered by CNN on Wednesday, after the outlet scoured through months of audio from his former radio program.

Rep. Jason Lewis, who is up or re-election, had said on his show that “young single women” who are making birth control coverage one of their voting issues are not human and don’t have brains, while also stating that women vote based on emotion instead of reason, and “play into” the stereotype that they aren’t thinking when they vote for Democrats.

On the Jason Lewis Show, a nationally syndicated program that ran from 2009 to 2014, Lewis also discussed being unable to call women “sluts” anymore, even if they “behave as a slut.”

CNN’s KFile reviewed months of recordings of Lewis’ program after a February 2016 StarTribune column written by Michael Brodkorb, the former deputy chair of the Republican Party of Minnesota, revealed some of Lewis’ comments on women. Months after Brodkorb’s column, the Atlantic named Lewis “Minnesota’s Mini-Trump,” bringing to light Lewis’ previous comments on women and minorities, such as that women voters are “ignorant of the important issues in life.”

Lewis made his lamentation of the term “slut” while speaking about women’s rights activist Sandra Fluke and right-wing commentator Rush Limbaugh, who attacked her for testifying to a Democratic congressional group over contraceptive coverage in 2012.

“Well, the thing is, can we call anybody a slut? This is what begs the question. Take this woman out of it, take Rush out of it for a moment. Does a woman now have the right to behave—and I know there’s a double standard between the way men chase women and running and running around—you know, I’m not going to get there, but you know what I’m talking about. But it used to be that women were held to a little bit of a higher standard. We required modesty from women. Now, are we beyond those days where a woman can behave as a slut, but you can’t call her a slut?”

CNN KFile documented nine other segments of Lewis’ show in which he denigrated women on the team’s SoundCloud account. These comments included calling Fluke a parasite, saying that Obama was leading Romney in the 2012 election because he was pandering to women voters and that women shouldn’t dress “like sluts” if they don’t want to receive unwanted attention from men.

Lewis’ campaign defended his previous comments to CNN, stating that his job as a host was to be “provocative,” while Fluke called his attitude toward women insulting and that his use of the terms “slut” and “parasite” was an attempt to silence women from speaking up for themselves.

Minnesota Democrats have demanded Lewis to publish all recordings of his show. Lewis, however, has called the demands a  “distraction,” and said his comments are taken “out of context.”

H/T CNN

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.