Mike Huckabee Says That Male Politicians Should Treat Female Opponents Like a “Special Treasure”

What Women Really Think
March 11 2014 4:51 PM

Uh Oh. Mike Huckabee Is Talking About Women Again.

477118003-former-arkansas-governor-mike-huckabee-speaks-during
Look, you can't go around treating female politicians like candidates when they're so obviously women.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Mike Huckabee has some important ideas about how to run against female candidates, which is very different from running against ordinary human people candidates, and he thought he'd share them in an interview with Nora Caplan-Bricker of the New Republic. Male opponents are "common," he explained in an interview published this week. Women, on the other hand, require a "sense of a pedestal." "You treat some things as a special treasure; you treat other things as common," he added, describing women and then men, though neither gender is significantly rarer than the other in nature. Huckabee elaborated, in case Caplan-Bricker couldn't hear him from way up there on her pedestal:

“I’ll put it this way,” Huckabee says. “I treat my wife very differently than I treat my chums and my pals. I wouldn’t worry about calling them on Valentine’s Day, opening the door for them, or making sure they were OK.”
Advertisement

Valentine's Day must be pretty confusing for Mr. Huckabee—when he stops by the store to buy flowers, how does he remember if they're for his wife or the woman campaigning against him for public office? They're all women, you know, so there's just one blanket way to treat them.

Lest there's any doubt that Huckabee just made a mistake or was misquoted, he reiterated his points in an email to Salon:

“I believe in equality, and I have a record of transforming that belief into action,” the ex-governor told Salon in an e-mailed statement. “However, equality doesn’t mean sameness.”

He went on at length, but notably avoided sharing any details about what these all-important differences actually are when it comes to political campaigning. He just continued to insist, without explanation, that fussing over women in a manner designed to make their gender seem unusual and out of place is a form of respect:

“I was raised to treat women with respect,” Huckabee told Salon in his afternoon statement. “I still will invite a lady to go first, will open a door for her, and will place her in the center of the photograph. And yes, I would seek to treat a female opponent with the same respect I give to all women, even though we may disagree on the issues.”

Hopefully, Huckabee will soon elaborate on what it is about women specifically that invites respect and why male opponents do not deserve the same courtesies. Here's hoping Huckabee gets into the nitty-gritty about what the specific differences between genders are, and why, in detail, they necessitate a display of "respect" that is indistinguishable from condescension? Also, if he's sticking to his script, I guess he'll invite Hillary to "go first" as president.

Amanda Marcotte is a Brooklyn-based writer and DoubleX contributor. She also writes regularly for the Daily Beast, AlterNet, and USA Today. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Don’t Worry, Obama Isn’t Sending U.S. Troops to Fight ISIS

But the next president might. 

The Extraordinary Amicus Brief That Attempts to Explain the Wu-Tang Clan to the Supreme Court Justices

Amazon Is Officially a Gadget Company. Here Are Its Six New Devices.

The Human Need to Find Connections in Everything

It’s the source of creativity and delusions. It can harm us more than it helps us.

How Much Should You Loathe NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell?

Here are the facts.

Altered State

The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender

What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?

Surprise! The Women Hired to Fix the NFL Think the NFL Is Just Great.

You Shouldn’t Spank Anyone but Your Consensual Sex Partner

Moneybox
Sept. 17 2014 5:10 PM The Most Awkward Scenario in Which a Man Can Hold a Door for a Woman
  News & Politics
Altered State
Sept. 17 2014 11:51 PM The Plight of the Pre-Legalization Marijuana Offender What should happen to weed users and dealers busted before the stuff was legal?
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 17 2014 1:36 PM Nate Silver Versus Princeton Professor: Who Has the Right Models?
  Life
Outward
Sept. 17 2014 6:53 PM LGBTQ Luminaries Honored With MacArthur “Genius” Fellowships
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 17 2014 6:14 PM Today in Gender Gaps: Biking
  Slate Plus
Slate Fare
Sept. 17 2014 9:37 AM Is Slate Too Liberal?  A members-only open thread.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 17 2014 8:25 PM A New Song and Music Video From Angel Olsen, Indie’s Next Big Thing
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 17 2014 9:00 PM Amazon Is Now a Gadget Company
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 17 2014 11:48 PM Spanking Is Great for Sex Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 17 2014 3:51 PM NFL Jerk Watch: Roger Goodell How much should you loathe the pro football commissioner?