Maine Republican Quotes Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus on House Floor
4:45 pm, June 13th | by Colette McIntyre
Someone must have pranked Maine House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R) by gifting him a copy of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus with Neil Degrasse-Tyson’s name and the words “‘Trust Us, It’s Science!’ — Scientists” photoshopped onto the cover. That’s the only way I can make sense of his proud citation of the ’90s advice book during yesterday’s House debate on health care expansion.
Not only did Fredette invoke the good word of relationship counselor John Gray (PhD in the Science of Creative Intelligence from Maharishi International University in Iowa) but he also explained how it’s his “man’s brain” that stops him from supporting Medicaid expansion. You see, because Fredette has a “man brain,” he is inherently rational about costs, unlike us women with our female brains that just love buying, buying, buying and shoes, Shoes, SHOES. Since he is burdened with this logical, number-crunching man brain (it’s his albatross, really), Fredette is unable to understand the Democrats’ desire for free things.
Let’s have Fredette explain it in his own words:
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.
Unfortunately, Fredette’s man brain was wrong; Medicaid expansion — which passed the legislature today — will save Maine $690 million. Of course, Fredette’s man brain is wrong about a lot of things, namely that there is such a thing as a “man brain.” As State Rep. Diane Russell (D-ME) quipped to ThinkProgress, “I thought it was 2013, not 1813. Apparently, I was wrong.”
If I said it once, I’ll probably have to say it a thousand more times: gender is a social phenomenon. With that said, the self/mind isn’t impermeable or stable; the gender differences that we make salient in our environment greatly effect how we think of ourselves, how we think of others, and the expectations and stereotypes that we carry with us. Social and cultural psychologists know this. This is science, Mr. Fredette.