Claire McCaskill

Senator Claire McCaskill encourages more men to “shut the hell up” sometimes

On the Late Show with Stephen Colbert last night, Senator Claire McCaskill issued a reminder to men: “The world doesn’t need your opinion on everything.” 

In the video, McCaskill — one of the just 20 women in the Senate — says that while it’s important to encourage more women to run for office, “it’s equally important to encourage more men to sometimes just shut the hell up.” First and foremost, the staunch defender of reproductive rights suggests — sending a pointed message to her male colleagues in Congress — that men should zip it when it comes to “what women do with their bodies.”

Other things on her list of things women no longer need to hear men’s opinions on include: selfies, Shonda Rhimes, all art in general, and “ethics in gaming journalism.” In a development as predictable as sunrise, Gamergaters took the bait, vowing to defend to the death their right to give their opinions.


Hello, I’m Senator Claire McCaskill. As one of just 20 women currently serving in the Senate, it’s important to me to encourage more women to run for office. But equally important is encouraging more men to just sometimes shut the hell up. It’s not that women don’t value your thoughts; it’s just that we don’t value all of them. The world doesn’t need your opinion on everything. For example, what women do with their bodies. Hush. Who the next James Bond should be. Zip it. Whether or not it’s pronounced gif or jif. Shut up!

So as a public service, I made the following list of things women no longer need to hear men’s opinions on. Please take a moment to jot these down. Star Wars. Pants suits. Selfies. Shonda Rhimes. Curtains. Carbs. Millenials. Body hair removal. Religion. Gluten. Harry Potter. Nut allergies. Star Wars again. All art in general. Whether or not to brine the Thanksgiving turkey. And ethics in gaming journalism. If you can control yourselves and hold back from further expressing your opinions on any of these topics, we’ll let you keep weighing in on marijuana legalization. But that’s a huge, big “if.”

Thanks so much. 

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,, 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.

Read more about Maya

Join the Conversation