The tweeted photo shows three male Michigan legislators smirking and reading women’s fashion magazines, with the quip: “Don’t say we don’t understand women.”
It captures, perfectly, the spirit of former state legislator Maxine Berman’s classic political memoir, “The Only Boobs in the House Are Men.”
Culture change is slow.
But politics are fast. And within two hours Thursday, the photo of Republican Reps. Roger Victory, Pete Pettalia and Ben Glardon and tweeted by Michigan Radio reporter Jake Neher had exploded across Facebook and Twitter. Meanwhile, enterprising political operatives got to work.
ProgressMichigan, a progressive “communications hub” and citizens watchdog group, e-blasted a fundraising letter within an hour of the photo’s publication, asking for $25, pointing out that “women's issues need to be taken seriously, not made into a sick joke.”
The Michigan Democratic Party issued a call for Terri Lynn Land to “Denounce Republican Politicians Mocking Women.” Gubernatorial candidate Mark Schauer tweeted with appropriate outrage.
And a quartet of Democratic women legislators posed for their own photo, which shows them poring over documents. The tweet read: "Real women read bills not fashion mags ... ."
And have a sense of humor.