Quote of the Day: Man-brain edition

Maine House Minority Leader Ken Fredette explained that he doesn’t support Obamacare’s federal funding for Medicaid expansion because of his “man’s brain.” Via ThinkProgress:

As I listen to the debate today and earlier debate on this bill, I can’t help but think of a title of a book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. And it’s a book about the fact that men sort of think one way in their own brain, in their own world. And women think another way in their own brain and in their own world. And it really talks about the way that men and women can do a better job at communicating. Because if you listen to the debate today, in my mind — a man’s mind — I hear two fundamental issues. From the other side of the aisle, I hear the conversation being about: free. ‘This is free, we need to take it, and it’s free. And we need to do it now.’ And that’s the fundamental message that my brain receives. Now, my brain, being a man’s brain, sort of thinks differently, because I say, well, it’s not — if it’s free, is it really free? Because I say, in my brain, there’s a cost to this.

First of all, referencing a pop dating advice book as source of actual science is embarrassing. Secondly, while the government really shouldn’t be run like a household, if it were, women would be more accurately stereotyped as the gender that’s more risk averse in financial decision-making. At least get your generalizations right.  And finally, despite the fact that “there’s a cost to this” in Rep. Fredette’s brain, in the reality-based community there is not–the bill, which passed the legislature, is expected to save the state $690 million.

“I thought it was 2013, not 1813,” State Rep. Diane Russell told ThinkProgress. “Apparently, I was wrong.” Silly woman–must have been her lady-brain again!

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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