We have our own questions for state Rep. Mary Dye.
Let me ask you some questions, state Rep. Mary Dye, since that seems to be your thing.
Have you ever left the bathroom without washing your hands?
Done any role-play in the bedroom?
Bought 13 doughnuts and stuffed one into your maw in the car, then presented a pristine dozen to your unknowing co-workers?
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I don’t mean to be intrusive; I’m just giving you a taste of the kind of boundary busting you did recently, when you asked a group of high-school students visiting your Olympia office whether they were virgins.
A very personal question, asked by a stranger, in front of a group of their peers.
A week later, I am still shaking my head.
The students were part of a Pullman-area teen council chapter of Planned Parenthood, visiting Olympia for Teen Lobbying Day. They were advocating for bills that propose to expand insurance coverage for birth control.
That’s when Dye asked if the students were virgins.
“You don’t have to answer that,” said Rachel Todd, a Planned Parenthood worker accompanying the kids. (I would have said more than that, but I can’t print it here).
It was a question that, had it been asked of a teenager over, say, Twitter, Dye would have gotten her answer in a visit from the feds.
Dye — who has since apologized — said in a statement that while she “appreciated their time and professionalism, I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for.”
She said her thoughts were “well-intentioned” and that she may have “come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative.”
Yeah, because we all want our moms to ask if we’re virgins in a roomful of our classmates.
Ah, but the question is par for the course when you’re dealing with Planned Parenthood — and anything having to do with the government taking a role in helping prevent unwanted pregnancies.
Dye, a Republican, was appointed to her seat last May to replace Mary Fagan, who resigned. She was elected last November with 63 percent of the vote.
She has sponsored five pretty innocuous bills so far — one to honor the late Washington State University President Elson Floyd; another honoring a fallen police officer; one to notify first responders that a person with a disability may be present at the scene of an emergency; one providing local governments with flexibility regarding fireworks laws; and the last concerning “aircraft registration simplification and fairness.”
Oh, and she voted against amending regulations regarding recreational marijuana. (Surprise!)
My hunch is that Dye, like many conservative lawmakers, sees Planned Parenthood — and the family planning it provides — as women wanting a free pass to have sex as they please. And that’s not OK with them.
So if you want the government to support reproductive rights, well, you’re going to have to give something up in return. They want your private choices exposed before they’ll help you stay safe acting on them.
It’s that kind of thinking that spurred the #ShoutYourAbortion movement, in which women speak out about their abortions to not only destigmatize the procedure, but to illustrate how many women have found themselves unintentionally pregnant, and that they cross all lines: young, old, rich, poor, every color. And every story different.
In no other area would Day’s kind of intrusion seem appropriate.
Had the students been there to talk about gun safety, I doubt the lawmaker would have asked them if they had ever shot a man.
It would be funny, if it wasn’t so infuriating, so moralistic and ideologically transparent.
Here you had a group of kids getting involved with something they believe in, connecting with lawmakers and seeing for themselves how bills can become law.
Even better, they were advocating for birth control, something that — whether they’re having sex or not — shows an interest in being responsible, in living thoughtfully and carefully and with an eye to their futures, and those of others.
What happens? They get a lesson in the idiocy that politics can be.
And they say there are no stupid questions …