"Guns are for men what jewelry is for women": Steve King's appalling sexism

A new profile of the right-wing congressman exposes his revolting misogyny

Published September 29, 2014 2:26PM (EDT)

Steve King                          (AP/Carolyn Kaster)
Steve King (AP/Carolyn Kaster)

Iowa congressman Steve King rose to notoriety thanks to his penchant for bigoted, insensitive rhetoric and nutty, conspiracy-minded views, including birtherism and his belief that the Muslim Brotherhood is infiltrating the U.S. government. A new Talking Points Memo profile lays bare another revolting aspect of the Tea Partyer's worldview: his blatant sexism.

Back when King was in the Iowa state Senate, where he served from 1996 to 2002, he attempted to shut down a female fellow member of the Judiciary Committee during a debate over closing the gun show loophole, whereby gun sellers don't have to conduct background checks for purchases at gun shows. According to TPM's Sahil Kapur, King told state Sen. Johnie Hammond, "You women don't understand — guns are for men what jewelry is for women."

It's the kind of story that might seem apocryphal. But King proudly owns the statement.

"I think I described that accurately. Yes, guns are to men what jewelry is to women!” he told TPM.

King has previously made headlines for insensitivity toward women. In 2012, he stood by Senate candidate Todd Akin after Akin suggested that if a woman would not become pregnant if she had experienced a "legitimate rape."

By Luke Brinker

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Abortion Conservatives Guns Iowa Politics Steve King Tea Party Todd Akin Women