Photo: Rep. Blake Farenthold (official portrait)
U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi) is neither the most or least embarrassing Texas Republican in Congress, but saying he has some problems with women is an understatement of massive proportions. Actually, hold on a second…
BLAKE FARENTHOLD HAS SOME PROBLEMS WITH WOMEN!
*puts down megaphone*
That’s better. The representative was sued for gender discrimination by a female staffer back in 2014, and he later fired her for complaining (the lawsuit was settled out of court). After the infamous Access Hollywood tape where President Trump told a reporter he liked kissing women and grabbing them by the genitals without prior consent, Farenthold declined to unendorsed him. The representative only walked it back after being asked how he would respond to Trump baldly claiming he liked to rape people, saying he would “have to consider it,” and then finally apologizing under the backlash.
Oh, and he also took this picture of himself in duckie footie pajamas with women in lingerie…your guess is as good as mine, folks.
The latest embarrassment the representative has fostered upon our friends down in the Sparkling City by the Sea is his own hot mic moment. It should come to no surprise that Farenthold is a loyal rank-and-file member of the GOP when it comes to repealing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and replacing it with the Give Rich People More Money So They Can Harvest The Organs of Dead Poor People Act (Trumpcare). Lately, he’s been annoyed by the efforts of some in the Senate opposing the repeal, namely Sens. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. To quote Farenthold on radio host Bob Jones’ show, “Some of the people that are opposed to this, there are female senators from the Northeast… If it was a guy from South Texas, I might ask him to step outside and settle this Aaron Burr-style.”
I’ve got some things I want to unpack here. The first being, several male senators, even from the GOP, are opposed to at least some version of the bill, including our own Ted Cruz, and I don’t see Farenthold lining up to demand satisfaction. Although, if he does, I hope Cruz shows up in the Zodiac hood and a Stryper outfit because you don’t let that sort of opportunity pass you by.
Farenthold clearly feels that this was a joke that got out of hand, which is funny because that’s how most of us feel about the Republicans lately. Sure, it’s probably meant as a joke, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t sexist as heck.
So, I decided I would ask some Houston women if they would like to duel the gentleman from Texas’s 27th congressional district. The results were fun.
“I’d punch the motherfucka in his baby maker and claim that I felt threatened by his threat of a possible threat. After all, I am nothing but a fragile lil’ southern belle!” said the appropriately named Lady from the Heights.
“Well, if he weren’t such a feckless twat, maybe he wouldn’t be too scared to woman up and challenge me, then,” adds Erica. “Also, fuck him and that patronizing patriarchal bullshit horse he rode in on, too.”
“[I’d] Smack him in the face with a frilly pink hand-knitted glove hiding a chain glove underneath, then drop it at his feet and wait,” Megan told me, reminding me why pissing off knitters is a terrible idea.
I know these sound like overreactions to Farenthold, but try to remember he did, in jest or not, threaten to attempt to murder three women. Aaron Burr didn’t show off his mad suplex skills and an early version of the Greetings From Asbury Park on Alexander Hamilton. He shot that dude dead as the Whig Party.
I find women take very unkindly to threats of gun violence. Despite the right’s opinion of the gun as the great equalizer in a confrontation between men and women, women definitely end up dead more often. More than half of the women shot and killed in America met their end at the hands of an intimate, so clearly the gun does not significantly change the power dynamic between the genders.
But even beyond the vileness of the “joke,” Farenthold is like every other mediocre white man in the world: He thinks that he’s tough, but he’s had the odds stacked in his favor his whole life and he doesn’t even know it. Women in Texas and across the country are quite literally fighting for their lives in the healthcare debate as well as other Republican nonsense. Medicaid and Planned Parenthood saves their lives. Gun control saves their lives. The ability to operate on the same financial wavelength saves their lives.
Those fights have toughened them up beyond anything wannabe-Jack-Palance-of-Corpus has had to deal with. He and his party are fighting for the comfort of an unfair system, which is why he can talk the talk but will never ever walk the walk. Let’s hear from a few more women.
“I’d challenge him to a duel as the woman I am,” says Emily. “Fuck this ‘if I were a man’ shit. All sense of ‘chivalry’ went out the window the second he started treating me like a lobotomized two-year-old.”
“Dude, I don’t fight old men who don’t look like they do more cardio than lifting the fork to his mouth,” adds Patricia. “It obviously wouldn’t be a fair fight.”
“Texas grows its women stronger than its men, and it’s not fair to expect him to compete where he’d be so certainly outclassed,” says Cassandra.
And I leave you with one last one from local jazz star Tianna Hall, who I once covered in the Houston Press regarding exactly how hard raising her autistic son was before the ACA, and who should really be in the top five women not to have angry at you.
“I’m sorry, did those words actually come out of your mouth?” says Hall. “That’s adorable. Because as a woman, not only would I accept, I would obliterate you beyond the depths of your darkest nightmares.”
Farenthold needs to drop his sword, because he ain’t got what it takes to go from bell-to-bell with the women he thinks he is so intimidating to.
Dear Rep. Blake Farenthold: I DARE You to Duel a Woman This was reposted for my personal reading use