Dear state Sen. Tom Patton,
Listen, sweetheart, we need to talk.
I read in the Columbus Dispatch today how you decided it was somehow appropriate to refer to your Republican primary opponent for the Ohio House, Jennifer Herold, as “sweetie,” and questioned whether she should be running as a mother of two young children.
“The gal that’s running against me is a 30-year-old, you know, mom, mother of two infants,” Patton said on the (America’s Work Force radio) show. “I don’t know if anybody explained to her you have to spend three nights a week in Columbus. So, how does that work out for you? I waited until I was 48, until my kids were raised, and at least adults, before we took the opportunity to try.”
Your opponent is a mother of a 1-year-old and 3-year-old, as you seem to know, hun. And while we at Plunderbund don’t often concern ourselves with the doings of a Republican primary, I must say I found your disrespectful condescension to an obviously hard-working and ambitious woman chauvinistic and wildly inappropriate.
Now, I know you might fancy yourself some sort of old school man’s man, and you might impress the knuckle-dragging regulars down at your local with your cavalier, regressive attitude toward women. You might get a thrill throwing around pet names at your female servers in restaurants, and you probably leave feeling good about yourself, as though you’d somehow been charming.
But, I assure you, you’re not. What you are is part of the problem. What you think of as your endearing asides to women are recognized by most intelligent people as a symptom of a relentless patriarchy that has undermined the positive influence of women in our civilization for millennia. It’s almost astonishing that in 2016 we still have to put up with cretins such as yourself. But progress is slow, and people like you make it slower.
Your Y Chromosome does not give you carte blanche, sugar tits. In point of fact, it’s a mutation, and you yourself started off embryonically female. You have only the mutation to thank for turning you male during gestation, but some of us retain our doubts. You see, a real man doesn’t disrespect women; a real man reveres them.
A real man recognizes that every woman walking Mother Earth is somebody’s daughter, possibly somebody’s sister or aunt or cousin, and in this case at least two young children’s mother. Your opponent’s decision to challenge you in the primary was hers and her family’s and they seem to have decided that you needed challenged. Your comments illustrate to the rest of us that they were right.
I know your type, doll. I’ve been around country club golf courses enough to know exactly the show you put on for your buddies on the links. But your machismo is no sign of virility, muffin, quite the opposite. It’s a sign of intellectual and cultural impotence. You’re not a big man. You’re a little boy.
Of course, you don’t need me to tell you that. Your opponent did a pretty good job herself.
“We realize the sacrifice that is involved in holding such a position,” (Herold) said in a written response. “However, Tom Patton has crossed a line by trying to turn the fact that I am a mother of two children into a negative campaign issue. It’s insulting for my opponent to suggest that motherhood is a liability. In fact, my experience as a mom is perhaps my greatest strength.”
You claim your comments were “misunderstood.” I’m gonna have to call bull on that, sweetie. I think we all understood quite well how intimidated you are by a strong woman who stands up to you. Now go make me a sandwich.
D.C. DeWitt is a writer and man of sport and leisure. He has also written for Government Executive online, the National Journal’s Hotline, and The New York Observer’s Politicker.com. He is the Associate Editor of The Athens NEWS in Athens, Ohio. DeWitt can be found on Facebook and Twitter @DC_DeWitt.