Mansplaining: Virginia Republican tells pregnant women they’re just ‘hosts’

Degrading and demeaning: In yet another skirmish in the Republican war on women, Virginia State Sen. Steve Martin claimed a pregnant woman is just a “host” for a fetus, and should have no right to end her pregnancy.

Martin, an anti-abortion religious conservative, went ballistic after a pro-choice group sent him a Valentine urging him to reconsider his stance on women’s issues. Martin responded to the request with a blistering, if ill conceived attack, on women, via Facebook. The following is an excerpt:

You can count on me to never get in the way of you “preventing an unintentional pregnancy.” I’m not actually sure what that means, because if it’s “unintentional” you must have been trying to prevent it. And, I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.

Martin has since edited the post to replace the word “host” with “bearer of the child.”

Tarina Keene, the executive director of NARAL Pro-Choice Virginia, said:

“Sen. Steve Martin obviously has zero understanding of the reality of reproductive choice and what it means for women to have control over their bodies, families, and lives. His remarks demonstrate what exactly these extreme lawmakers mean when they talk about ‘personhood’ – that pregnant women are no more than vessels. Even more outrageous, he also fails to understand how he as a lawmaker can help empower women to reduce unintended pregnancies — something that should be a common goal for all.”

Amanda Marcotte, writing for Slate, sums it up:

Overall, women come across, in this passage, as foreign creatures whose behavior is both alien and somewhat disgusting and who only hold interest to Martin insofar as they are the “hosts” to embryonic life. On the one-to-10 scale of right-wing misogyny, I give this an 8.5: more stomach-turning than refusing to use the word vagina while trying to pass laws controlling it but still falling short of the gold standard, “legitimate rape.”

Following Martin’s anti-abortion, pro-life, conservative Christian logic, a fetus is nothing but a parasite, and a woman is nothing but a host, both are reduced to livestock to be managed and manipulated by men.

Mansplaining is a portmanteau of the words “man” and “explaining” that describes the act of a man speaking to a woman with the assumption that she knows less than he does about the topic being discussed on the basis of her gender.

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  • TwoReplies

    Technically, a fetus IS a parasite.
    It’s TOTALLY parasitical by nature.
    Women are often just willing to allow it to siphon off nutrients and resources, letting it grow inside them until is violently bursts forth (often tearing flesh in the process). (Yes. It’s gross, and messy. Deal with it.)

    The difference IS, women SHOULD HAVE THE RIGHT to decide to extricate said parasitic organism, if the choose (or are unable) to foster its development.

    Just as PETA has no right to side with a gastrointestinal tapeworm and force anyone to keep it in them, neither does ANYONE (regardless of BS religious excuses) have the right to tell any woman they MUST keep a parasitic fetus in them.

    • Guest

      A parasite is an ‘outside’ entity that partakes in a NON-MUTUAL symbiotic relationship.
      A fetus is something intentionally created by the body and is an integral part of the natural survival process.
      If your going to try and come across as an educated person try going to fuckin school first!

      • sweettea

        Nice personal attack in an attempt to display logic, tonto. So, because our bodies create cancer and food allergies we should consider those part of the survival process too? Fetuses do all sorts of messed up things to women’s bodies. If a woman doesn’t want to partake in such activity, good on her. Not to mention the resources a kid requires after birth.

        And seriously, for the survival of humanity is not a good defense. Humanity does some awesome things that don’t promote its own survival, like kill people for fun and profit.

  • waraji

    So Sen. Steve Martin said this, … because he is just a dick?

  • ituri

    Hosts? HOSTS??? F you. Just F you. HUMAN BEINGS are not hosts, you useless MAGGOT.

  • Michelle Mason

    This guy is just a total a-hole he does not know what he is talking about!!

  • The ‘host’ bit is telling, but I’m more interested in his claim of never ‘getting in the way’ of contraception. The abortion LEGAL debate is such a quagmire because this is the least credible thing he’s said. A person *genuinely* concerned with preventing abortion would not just refrain from outlawing condoms, but would do everything in their power to improve contraceptive science and availability.

  • Mark Cook-Long

    Steve Martin’s brain is still in utero