“We are more than the worst thing that’s ever
happened to us. All of us need to stop apologizing
for having been to hell and come back breathing.
Your bad dreams are battle scars.
What doesn’t kill you cuts you fucking deep
but scars are just skin growing back
thicker when it heals. ”
New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Hansen referred to women as “vaginas” in an email to colleagues sent on the Legislature’s official internal listserv. In response to a message debating a “stand your ground” measure being considered by the State House, the Republican lawmaker wrote:
What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims.
Hansen initially remained defiant in response to criticism, explaining that he had a “fairly well educated mind” and did not need his colleagues to act as “self-appointed wardens” to his speech. He went on to suggest that anyone offended by his use of female genitalia to describe women everywhere should “re-examine [their] psyche.”
But his critics persisted and Hansen relented over his figure of speech, at least a little:
It was not, and is not, my intention to demean women at any time. It is apparent that the intent of my remarks has been misinterpreted, the true goal of the message lost and for that I apologize to those who took offense.
“I have a fairly well educated mind”; “re-examine your psyche”; and “the intent of my remarks has been misinterpreted” are not the words you’re looking for when you apologize. Note, also, that he apologizes that the true goal of his message was lost to those who took offense; he specifically does not apology for being offensive.