Maine GOP Leader Boasts That His ‘Man’s Brain’ Makes Him Think More Rationally About Costs


A top Maine Republican took to the House floor Wednesday to explain how his “man’s brain” can’t get behind Obamacare’s federal funding for Medicaid expansion because he is concerned about costs. House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-ME) invoked the classic gender-stereotyping book, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus to explain how he is struggling to reconcile his rational male consideration of costs with Democrats’ apparently female desire for free things.

The Maine People’s Alliance flagged the sexist speech:

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.

Watch it:

Fredette’s gendered argument apparently did not win over his fellow lawmakers, who passed Medicaid expansion today. Fredette’s “man’s brain” actually got the facts on Medicaid expansion wrong; as Maine People’s Alliance Health Care Organizer Jennie Pirkl noted, “Even the conservative Heritage Foundation admits that accepting federal health care funding will save the state $690 million over the next decade while providing health care coverage for 70,000 more Maine people.”

State Rep. Diane Russell (D-ME) was not amused by Fredette’s dismissal of her “woman’s brain,” remarking to ThinkProgress, “I thought it was 2013, not 1813. Apparently, I was wrong.”