Politics

Julie Stokes Is Every Sexist Politician's Worst Nightmare

May 21st 2016

By:
Lucy Tiven

Louisiana state Rep. Julie Stokes (R) opened up about the outrageous sexism women face among fellow elected officials during a debate over a bill about strippers on Wednesday, Mic reported.

"I hear derogatory comments about women in this place regularly," Stokes said on the house floor. "I hear and see women getting treated differently than men, and you know what, you gave me a perfect forum to talk about it.”

Stokes spoke up about the bill in question.

The opportunity Stokes described stemmed from discussion of a bill that would raise the minimum age of strippers from 18 to 21, according to the Advocate. During the debate, Rep. Kenny Havard (R) proposed a "joke" amendment that would require strippers to weigh less than 160 pounds and be 28 or younger.

Stokes wasn't amused — and slammed the amendment as "utterly disrespectful and disgusting."

"I've got to say, looking out over this body, I've never been so repulsed to be a part of it," she said at the podium.

"I refuse the spirit of everything that I've heard, and I just can't even believe the behavior in here," she continued. "I think we need to call an end to this."

Havard, for his part, later clarified that his remark was meant to be satirical not sexist, and that he had hoped to point out lawmakers’ tendencies to “over-regulate” things, Slate reported.

Many applauded Stokes on Twitter.

Others pointed out that Stokes' voting record on gender equality wasn't impeccable.

In 2015, Stokes "moved to involuntarily defer" HB 182, an equal pay bill to "prohibit discrimination regardless of whether the differential in pay is intentional or unintentional." The motion was approved, and the bill was killed as a result, according to the Town Talk, a USA Today publication.

"As a business owner, I can't get past 'unintentional,'" Stokes stated, despite also saying that she believed unequal pay "is not right."

Still, Stokes' candid remarks about sexism in government — regardless of her political record — are a reminder that the fight for gender equality can, and should transcend party lines.

[h/t Mic]