June 6th, 2014
08:27 PM ET

Is GOP photo sexist or just a good joke?

Republican's so-called "war on women" is heating up in Michigan tonight.

It all has do with this picture, featuring three GOP state lawmakers pretending to read women's magazines. A reporter tweeted it out and quoted one of the legislators, Peter Pettalia, as saying, "Don't say we don't understand women."

Pettalia says the comment was taken out of context, but Democrats were quick to fire back with a tweet featuring four female lawmakers with legislation in their laps and the text "Real women read bills not fashion mags..."

Harmless joke or part of a larger issue? OutFront tonight is Vicki Barnett – one of the legislators in that rebuttal photo – and CNN political commentator Ben Ferguson.

Filed under: News • Politics
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. dave

    everybody has to be a victim...

    July 6, 2014 at 3:51 pm | Reply
  2. Bill Mishem

    We Republicans are being mischaracterized as hostile to women. That is completely untrue, the modern Republican party understands women's issues, and is about empowering and uplifting all women. Also, if the broads can't take a joke, they should get back in the kitchen.

    July 3, 2014 at 3:33 pm | Reply
  3. Tom Bukowski

    There's nothing funny about the GOP, sad, but not funny.

    July 1, 2014 at 11:48 am | Reply
    • Milt Chocolate

      I disagree. The GOP is hilarious! Michelle Bachmann, Sarah Palin, Larry Craig, Gearge W., and the list goes on-and-on.

      This photo, though, is not funny.

      July 2, 2014 at 2:04 pm | Reply
  4. AmericanBlues

    Grasping for straws a little CNN?!??

    June 27, 2014 at 1:28 pm | Reply
  5. alysbcohen

    I'm very much a feminist, and about as anti-GOP as it's possible to be. This photo is a joke, and it's more of a joke on the GOP. Even chick-flicks like Legally Blonde joke about these magazines and call Cosmo the Bible.

    June 25, 2014 at 1:21 am | Reply
    • David deductive

      So the Republicans making a insult free joke is offensive, yet the absolutely offensive Democratic response is not. The Dims stated "real women read bills, not fashion mags..." Well, most women in fact don't read bills, and a large % do read fashion mags, but they are not real women according to these Democrats. Even as a man, I think I can safely say, that is insulting to most women. What about the women who produce fashion magazines? Is not the editor of Vogue, Anna Wintour a large Democratic party donor, and fundraiser. Did she not just last month hold an event for the Democratic National Committee, that the president attended? Yes to both of these. So we will gladly take your money, and let you raise funds for us, but your not a "real" woman.

      July 6, 2014 at 7:15 pm | Reply
  6. dandintac

    I'm a liberal who votes Democratic almost all the time, but come one, don't we have much bigger fish to fry than this?

    A joke. In poor taste, and I'll agree that it reveals a certain mindset, but let's move on to much bigger matters.

    June 25, 2014 at 1:04 am | Reply
  7. TonyD

    The mere fact that they can read at all is the joke here.

    June 24, 2014 at 5:32 pm | Reply
  8. foxfroggy

    To "Brian" who is part of the problem: as it is unlikely that you are female, how is it that you speak for women? Do you consider unfair pay and paternalistic attempts to make the most sensitive medical decisions uproariously funny?

    June 24, 2014 at 5:18 pm | Reply
  9. northerstar

    No one ever accused ANY elected official from EITHER party of being particularly intelligent. But this is just another example of trying to make an issue out of NOTHING.

    June 24, 2014 at 2:58 pm | Reply
  10. art

    what a load of crap.. but then cnn is not know as the clinton news network for nothing.. Too often they ar elike the 3 monkeys, see no evil, hear no evil speak no evil when it comes to democrats.,. Any wonder the rating are falling

    June 24, 2014 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  11. belinda

    We all know where Republican's stand. After Tod Aiken's offensive remarks regarding women and rape, Prince Rebus, came out and stated that the Republican Party, supported him. Conservatives, actually have a lot in common with men from the middle east. They have a problem with women.

    June 23, 2014 at 7:45 pm | Reply
  12. Jack

    If I were the Republicans, I'd learned pull the foot out of my mouth and staple my lips. They left so fodder out ther for the opposition to eat them up and spit them out in pieces!

    June 20, 2014 at 10:55 pm | Reply
    • murphylass

      People that cannot take a joke should not get into politics, period. You have to view everything with an eye to humor, regardless of education level.

      June 23, 2014 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • WayneVan

      Lighten up Francis.

      June 24, 2014 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  13. dude

    I do not like the Republican one bit.

    But come on. This is just a joke. It's funny. Laugh and move on with your lives.

    June 19, 2014 at 9:12 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      The whole "War on Women" narrative is a joke, a fabrication pushed by the DNC. Anyone who believes it is a manipulated fool and a low-info thinker/voter. Unfortunately, we have too many of those in the US these days...

      June 23, 2014 at 11:20 am | Reply
  14. FredKelly

    And thus begins the DNC's assault on sense of humor.

    June 18, 2014 at 2:09 am | Reply
  15. Marysia MIciak

    Stupid. Yes, that's right...just plain stupid. Women read more than fashion magazines (trust me on that issue!), just as men read more than Playboy and Maxim.

    June 17, 2014 at 12:03 pm | Reply
    • Jake Ames

      Are the guys who read Glamour more likely to be the kind of guys who crawl under the stalls in the men's room?

      June 25, 2014 at 8:13 am | Reply
    • jonbme

      Any insinuation that their message was that women only read fashion magazines is your own.

      June 25, 2014 at 11:59 am | Reply
    • David deductive

      It was the Democrats who said "real women read bills NOT fashion mags" it is these Dem. women that are insulting women. The GOP never said this is all women read, but if you do read them then you are less of a woman according to those Democrats. If a GOP man would have said something this insulting about any group, the media would be on it for days. Much like CNN and the Obama insult by Ted Nugent. How many hours of how many days were dedicated to that? At least three hours a day for three days is what I recall. CNN ignores the real stories which effect the vast majority of Americans, because they are not favorable to their buddy Obama. This is just one more phony controversy which supposedly reflects poorly on the GOP. In reality, it just reflects poorly on CNN.

      July 6, 2014 at 7:54 pm | Reply
  16. West

    Funny upset about picture of men reading a "women's" magazine but not about a picture of women with men ontheir laps and the caption ""Real women read bills not fashion mags..." is really funny since a woman (Pelosi for those with a short memory) is the one that said "You have to sign the UCA to know what is in it" TO bad the media focus is on pointing out only "angry old white men and uneducated racist rednecks. Plain and simple. " the only thing plain and simple is media bias and ignoring those in both parties that are truly trying to help the whole country not just the special interest groups that bribe them.

    June 17, 2014 at 8:17 am | Reply
    • Ben

      Women with men in their laps? Huh? Did you read this?

      June 26, 2014 at 11:43 pm | Reply
  17. pbigby

    i think the repubs in MI are idiots. Horrible people. but this is not worth getting upset about. just a bad joke.

    June 13, 2014 at 2:26 pm | Reply
    • Brian

      Generalize much (rhetorical)? Sheeeeesh...

      June 23, 2014 at 11:21 am | Reply
  18. Jackie R

    Jokes can offend other people regardless if you didn't intend them too. Women are already degraded enough and often don't get the same salary as men for doing the same job.

    June 11, 2014 at 8:26 am | Reply
    • Brian

      Show me the metrics for that ridiculous claim, please. You get the same education, put the same time and effort into your career, you will make the same or better. Get serious and ditch the fictional DNC talking points, please. You encourage other low-info, single-issue thinkers/voters with your perpetuation of fictional, inflammatory dogma. It does NOTHING to help your country.

      June 23, 2014 at 11:23 am | Reply
      • southfloridasymphony

        Before you call names, YOU should read up on things. It is TRUE that women are paid less for the same job. GOOGLE IT.

        July 4, 2014 at 9:07 am | Reply
    • West

      They also do less at the same job and get same pay but that part gets ignored- have worked several cases where had women as co-workers and we all got the same pay yet when it came to heavy lifting or taking out the trash – it was the men that had to do it since was either to messy or to heavy or they woman in question might break a finger nail- but then you know of this too just ignore it and play the one side of the card just as do with everything-

      June 26, 2014 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  19. Mark

    As a Michigan citizen who has followed this war on women, note that these are typical three angry old white men who literally the face of Michigan power in Lansing. All three prefer women stay at home and clean dishes. The controlling Michigan GOP has brought this once-great state to a historical low. We now are on-par or below every measurable human and structural aspect of Misissippi–hence our new state name "Michississippi". We have the worst roads in the Country, the largest drop in middle-class family income, the largest rise in poverty, and a measurably sallow pall of negativity since the republican/Tea takeover of Michigan. Who to blame? Voters that vote, but more so voters that do not vote.

    June 8, 2014 at 11:58 am | Reply
  20. GotToes

    Seems like the Dem response was more of a "War On Women" than the original pic. So women are supposed to be criticized if they enjoy keeping up with fashion? Because?
    There are lots of jobs in fashion too. We shouldn't have those either?
    Judge not lest ye be judged, Dems.

    June 8, 2014 at 11:32 am | Reply
    • Mark

      Republicans= angry old white men and uneducated racist rednecks. Plain and simple.

      June 10, 2014 at 9:44 pm | Reply
      • DirtyHeat

        I am 27 with a masters degree and a Republican. Which category do I fit into? Most liberals, you included, are pompous, arrogant and intolerant to the point where you think you are right about everything. You generalize and stereotype groups of people by their beliefs and find nothing wrong with that?

        June 12, 2014 at 9:05 am | Reply
        • anon

          It depends on what you got a masters degree IN. Not all masters degrees are equal. Also, a college education won't affect how many brain cells you have. I know many college educated morons out there, and plenty of brilliant people who dropped out of school. Higher education means virtually nothing anymore. Doesn't even ensure you'll get a good job like it used too.

          June 19, 2014 at 2:25 pm | Reply
        • Lily

          And in your statemen above you just generalized based on political affiliation. But not the same thing, right? 😉

          June 24, 2014 at 6:54 pm | Reply
        • headlessthompsongunner

          Okay, so you have a masters degree. Yet you engage one inane comment with another, complaining about being stereotyped while stereotyping. What good was the degree?

          June 25, 2014 at 4:04 pm | Reply
      • djs1138

        Plain and simple describes the inner workings of your brain... and IQ...

        June 16, 2014 at 4:10 pm | Reply
      • Brian

        Get manipulated much? Got two brain cells to rub together??? I doubt the latter. Try dealing with reality instead of inflammatory, inaccurate stereotypes fed to you by the DNC.

        June 23, 2014 at 11:24 am | Reply
        • Chris

          So let me understand your point of view correctly. You claim that liberals and democrats are becoming low-info, single-issue thinkers who have played a role in fabricating the narrative that Republicans are warring on women? This is your thesis?

          Okay... the point you make about the party becoming 'single-issue' focused is a good one. But how is that any different than the GOP? Abortion, War on Christianity (equally a farce), defense of marriage (barring gay-marriage), the ACA, etc. are nothing but single-issue, low-IQ topics. The truth is that the GOP has been doing the same thing for decades now. Yet you only choose to focus on the DNC and their abuse of narratives? You're blind to think only the democratic party is creating low-info thinkers when the GOP thrives on it as well. Fear-mongering about godlessness and who should be able to marry is so insane it could be used in a Orwellian novel.

          GOP (pot) + DNC (kettle) = black.

          If you're going to get all righteous about intellectual honesty, perhaps you should try practicing it yourself first.

          June 27, 2014 at 2:29 pm | Reply
          • CC GWRider

            Bwaahahaha! Your own bias is showing, Chris. Please use your superior democrat intelligence to search for the article CNN published just today about the modern-world persecution of Christians worldwide. It's not a farce, and you would know that if you read the news with an open mind.
            I get my news from multiple sources, "liberal" and "conservative", national and international. Sometimes I agree with "liberal" points of view, sometimes "conservative." I never totally agree with either camp, because in my opinion both camps are equally bigoted, insulting, and full of liars and blind sheeple. They just have opposing opinions.
            Which is also why I always use the words in quotations. Because someone always makes a decision to call an opinion either "conservative" or "liberal" (or "progressive") and that description is always a matter of opinion.
            Like the wise man said, "Opinions are like a**holes, everyone has one and yours stinks."

            July 3, 2014 at 4:13 pm | Reply

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