Women’s Organizations Slap Fitzpatrick Statements

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Remember Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick’s “47%” moment last week when an audio clip from a Tea Party fundraiser released by the Morning Call caught Congressman Fitzpatrick making an inelegantly stated comment about supporting people who sign the front of a paycheck?

According to women’s groups in the 8th Congressional District, the political pundit class missed an equally important story by stopping at the paycheck comments.

The Pennsylvania National Organization for Women is asserting that nestled in Fitzpatrick’s remarks was the inference that it is men, not women, who take risks and start businesses.

Here’s Fitzpatrick’s quote in its entirety, with the part in question underlined:

“And one of the principles is that we need to support people who have a history and know what it is like to sign the front of a paycheck, not the back of a paycheck, the front of a paycheck also includes you took a risk and you build a business on your own without the federal government standing next to you as you’re signing a personal guarantee it’s just you and your wife and your banker, you know that’s it. Taking that kind of a risk.”

Women’s groups are now saying that the “you and your wife and your banker” line insinuates that women do not own businesses.

Helene Ratner, the Vice President of Pennsylvania NOW and Bucks County NOW, said that “[r]egardless of whether women sign the front or the back of paychecks, they deserve real representation in Congress. Congressman Fitzpatrick should recognize that it is often husbands standing by their wives as they start small businesses.”

Pennsylvania NOW was formed in 1971, growing out of organizing efforts to pass an Equal Rights Amendment to the Pennsylvania Constitution.

According to the group’s website, PA NOW nonprofit, grassroots organization with over 13,000 members and 20 chapters in Pennsylvania.

CREDO SuperPAC’s “Women Against Fitzpatrick” Committee also released statements making a similar claim.

“We knew that Fitzpatrick had a problem with women when he voted to defund Planned Parenthood and re-define rape,” said Brenda McCullough, a member of Women Against Fitzpatrick. “But, to insinuate that only men start businesses is flat out sexist and offensive.”

April Dibenedetto, another member of the group, added that “[a]s if the paycheck comment weren’t enough, Mike Fitzpatrick seems to have forgotten that this isn’t 1950, and that wives, husbands, partners and singles all run thriving businesses, take risks that pay off, and sign BOTH sides of paychecks.”

Women Against Fitzpatrick is a group comprised of local women who are running a neighbor to neighbor campaign to “help spread the message in their communities about Rep. Fitzpatrick’s disastrous record on women’s issues.”

Helene Ratner of PA NOW added that “Congressman Fitzpatrick’s remarks go beyond a simple gaffe when you consider the long struggle women have had against the male/female perception bias for doctors, lawyers, business owners and scientists. I look forward to a future for my daughter where a sitting congressman would never make this kind of gender assumption.”

About Jake Sternberger

Jake Sternberger has been a contributing writer at Keystone Politics since 2011. Sternberger primarily covers campaigns and elections, drawing from his experience working on municipal, county, congressional, and statewide PA races doing field, communications, and campaign management. He is currently a law student. Email: jakes@keystonepolitics.com Twitter: @JakeSternberger
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5 Responses to Women’s Organizations Slap Fitzpatrick Statements

  1. KMFDM72 says:

    This story is proof positive that feminists will complain about anything.

  2. Kathleen3 says:

    Perhaps members of CREDO and NOW do not have the collective intelligence to understand the majority of women in Bucks County, a well as America, are more interested in our economy, the failing education system, and the restoration of rights removed by this administration than they are in contraceptives, abortions, or the rhetoric spewed by these Progressive Parrots.

    • Susan Gibbons says:

      It seems to me the women understand that the republicans are trying to take away womens rights, to intrude on the right to privacy between a woman and her doctor, to take away the right to medical care for rape without having to defend herself by swearing it was forcible, the right to get birth control products from Planned Parenthood so she does not have to have the parents find out. The women understand the failing economy, especially the ones in the47% who are busting their backs working part time jobs and trying to care for children who will no longer get lunch is school because the upper 1% tax cuts have to be paid for. Stop trying to insult the “collective intelligence” of women and CREDO. Women know what is going on, and you only speak for yourself, not the majority of women anywhere.

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