Today Sean Duffy condemned Roger Rivard’s remarks and gave Rivard’s campaign donations to charity. Paul Ryan also rescinded his endorsement of Rivard and condemned Rivard’s comments. It’s a move in the right direction for both Duffy and Ryan.
But it doesn’t change the fact that Rivard made his original comment that, “Some girls rape easy.” 10 months ago and enjoyed the support of prominent Tea Partiers and the Republican Party until the story went from a local misstep to a national controversy. It also doesn’t change Ryan and Duffy’s co-sponsoring federal legislation to redefine some rapes as forcible. Tea Party Republicans still have a long way to go in showing they value women.
“Some girls rape easy.” Those are the shocking words of Roger Rivard, a Republican state representative in Wisconsin.
Rivard is some nobody, he has some pretty powerful friends in the Tea Party establishment. Like Vice Presidential nominee Paul Ryan and freshman Congressman Sean Duffy, both darlings of the Tea Party movement.
Ryan endorsed Rivard in August of this year and raised money for him. Freshman Congressman Sean Duffy, the recovering reality TV star, campaigns with Rivard in northern Wisconsin.
Neither Ryan nor Duffy seem bothered by the Rivard’s comments from last December about women and rape.
Rivard was sharing his view that “some girls rape easy” as a way to illustrate that some women consent to having sex and later call it rape. He was commenting on a local story about a 17 year old that was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the high school’s band room.
Perhaps the Congressmen are not bothered because they are so used to hearing it and perhaps because they do not disagree.
Both Ryan and Duffy co-sponsored federal legislation to redefine some rapes as forcible. So perhaps the “not forcible” rapes are the girls that rape easy?
If you wonder why Republican’s have a problem with women voters it is because of a shared attitude in the Tea Party Club that Ryan, Duffy and Rivard all run in.
But it is not a problem exclusive to Wisconsin Republicans.
In Missouri, Republican Senate candidate Todd Akin referred to some rapes as “legitimate” and claimed women could not get pregnant from legitimate rapes.
Tom Smith, the Republican Senate candidate in Pennsylvania said that pregnancies resulting from rape were no different that pregnancies resulting from sex outside the marriage – when you look at it from the father’s perspective.
Perhaps these are other examples where “some girls rape easy”.
It is clear that members of the Tea Party establishment hold very odd attitudes towards women. Be it Todd Akin in Missouri, Tom Smith in Pennsylvania or Roger Rivard in Wisconsin, it is clear that when it comes to women these Tea Partiers just don’t get it.
About Bill Buck
Bill Buck is a Democratic strategist, President of the Buck Communications Group, a media relations and new media strategies consulting business based in Washington, DC, and Managing Director of the online ad firm Influence DSP. He has over twenty years of international and national communications experience. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of CBS Local.