The Fifth Post in the “Oh My Achin’ Head” Series: Virginia State Senator Refers to Pregnant Women as “Hosts” in a Facebook Post


Steve Martin, a Republican State Senator in Virginia, seemed perturbed when he received a Valentine’s Day mailing from the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition. In the mailing, the coalition told Martin that they were “disappointed” in his voting record on women’s health care. The group asked the senator to protect women’s reproductive health options, “including preventing unwanted pregnancies, raising healthy children and choosing safe, legal abortion.”

Martin didn’t take kindly to the correspondence from the Virginia Pro-Choice Coalition and responded in—what some would call—an off-putting manner. As Andrea Marcotte of Slate said, “Virginia Republicans just don’t know how to avoid being wildly offensive.” She added that Martin was the “latest in a long line of Virginia politicians offering weird and unsettling opinions regarding women…” Senator Martin turned to Facebook to respond to the coalition:

Senator Martin:

You can count on me to never get in the way of you “preventing an unintentional pregnancy.” I’m not actually sure what that means, because if it’s “unintentional” you must have been trying to prevent it. And, I don’t expect to be in the room or will I do anything to prevent you from obtaining a contraceptive. However, once a child does exist in your womb, I’m not going to assume a right to kill it just because the child’s host (some refer to them as mothers) doesn’t want it.

Marcotte editorialized on Martin’s response to the coalition:

The wording about pregnant women being “hosts,” which confirms every worst suspicion that pro-choicers have about abortion opponents, is sure to grab all the headlines. The contraception language isn’t a whole lot better, however. As is typical with many conservative men on this issue, there’s a tendency to talk about contraception in distancing language that makes it sound like an outré sexual kink instead of a normal part of women’s health care. Overall, women come across, in this passage, as foreign creatures whose behavior is both alien and somewhat disgusting and who only hold interest to Martin insofar as they are the “hosts” to embryonic life. On the one-to-10 scale of right-wing misogyny, I give this an 8.5: more stomach-turning than refusing to use the word vagina while trying to pass laws controlling it but still falling short of the gold standard, “legitimate rape.

According to Huffington Post, Martin edited the original wording of his comments on Facebook because–according to Martin–people took what he said the wrong way—“even though he felt it was clear he was being sarcastic.” He said, “I don’t see how anyone could have taken it the wrong way. It was me playing their argument back to them. Obviously I consider pregnant women to be mothers.”

No, Senator Martin, it certainly isn’t obvious that you consider pregnant women to be mothers.

And as for your “sarcasm”—it stinks!


Virginia Republican Says A Pregnant Woman Is Just A ‘Host,’ Though ‘Some Refer To Them As Mothers’ (Huffington Post)

Virginia Lawmaker Calls Pregnant Women “Hosts” (Slate)

Virginia Republican labels pregnant women as ‘hosts’ (MSNBC)

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22 Responses to The Fifth Post in the “Oh My Achin’ Head” Series: Virginia State Senator Refers to Pregnant Women as “Hosts” in a Facebook Post

  1. I bet that whole “hey, baby, would you like to host my parasite” line got you a lot of tail in college, didn’t it, Steve?

    Now that? Was sarcasm. Sarcasm in the form of a rhetorical question to be precise.

    He was much funnier in “Dead Men Don’t Wear Plaid”. Maybe the hair dye explains the loss of about 100 IQ points. Or perhaps it’s an intrinsic quality of being elected into the Virginia State Senate. Not many people know that since no one in modern politics can honestly compete with Jefferson that since about 1920 it has been the standard practice of that state to partially lobotomize all incumbent officials using only a rusty melon baller and a croquette mallet.

    True story.

    What an idiot.

  2. Blouise says:

    Isn’t this the same son-of-a-host who defended Cuccinelli’s running mate, Jackson when Jackson said, “Planned Parenthood kills more black babies than the KKK”?

    Republicans were actually surprised when McAuliffe won.

  3. swarthmoremom says:

    While losing the male vote, McAuliffe won the female vote 51 – 42.

  4. Anonymouly Yours says:

    I guess he’s listened to too many Tina Turner songs…. What’s love got to do with it…..

  5. Elaine M. says:

    More news from the Land of Jefferson:

    Virginia GOP Official Uses Sexist Slang On Facebook
    The Huffington Post
    by Laura Bassett
    Posted: 02/26/2014

    A top official in Virginia’s Republican Party used a vulgar word for female genitalia on Tuesday night in a Facebook conversation about a female lawmaker, The Virginian-Pilot reported.

    In a Facebook discussion about potential replacements for retiring U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), one woman expressed her support for State Rep. Barbara Comstock (R). She also commented on the strength of Virginia’s Republican women voters, prompting state GOP Treasurer Bob FitzSimmonds to respond, “I have nothing against Barbara Comstock, but I hate sexist twat.”

    FitzSimmonds quickly deleted his post and apologized after his comment drew criticism on Facebook. He said he doesn’t typically use that kind of language.

    “I was trying to say that I don’t appreciate sexist stereotypes and apparently used one myself,” he said.

  6. Where’s my mellon baller . . .

  7. swarthmoremom says:

    A federal judge in San Antonio declared Texas’ ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Wednesday, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

    But U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia issued a stay along with the ruling, according to the newspaper, so the ban remains in place for the time being.

  8. Blouise says:


    Speaking of which … what about Arizona!? One of the late night jokes went something like: Russia and the NBA — “Places That are More Gay-Friendly than Arizona.” (Seth Meyers)

  9. Gamaches says:

    par·a·site /ˈparəˌsīt/ noun

    an organism that lives in or on another organism (its host) and benefits by deriving nutrients at the host’s expense.

    Don’t like the term “host”; stop using the word “parasite”.

  10. swarthmoremom says:

    Blouise, I am thinking Brewer has to veto it. She is a rightwing nut but I don’t know if she is a religious one.

  11. Elaine M. says:

    Blouise & swarthmore,

    Brewer has been getting lots of pressure from businesses–as well as from some Republican politicians (John McCain, Jeff Flake, Mtt Romney)–to veto the proposed legislation.

  12. swarthmoremom says:

    Brewer vetoed the bill.

  13. Byron says:

    Comstock isnt a bed of roses, she would not be a good choice for the congress. I am pretty sure she is a neocon and is close to the evangelicals if not one of them.

  14. I am wondering how much the NFL threatening to move the Super Bowl away from Arizona permanently had something to do with her decision to veto.

  15. Blouise says:

    Republican Rep. Eddie Farnsworth in the Arizona House and in the Arizona Senate GOP state senator Steve Yarborough were the sponsors. This bill has been sponsored by republicans in most Southern States and a few Midwestern States but always voted down … until the yahoos in Arizona got their chance.

  16. pete9999 says:

    looking deep into my crystal ball (not the one on msnbc) I think we’ll be hearing more of Brewer for 2016. The money people like her and she’ll be a counterweight for Hillary.

    remember you heard it here first

  17. Blouise says:


    You can see her from your window?

  18. Mike Spindell says:

    People like Rep. Steve Martin hate women although they are heterosexual. It all goes back thousands of years to the idea of “woman as temptress” forcing the poor man to have sex with her due to her overpowering feminine charms, which then justified rape and brutality at the extreme. It is the common psychological mechanism of projection, but it has been reinforced by religionists as a mechanism of control.

    In young men the sexual urge is extremely powerful, if I remember my own youth correctly. 🙂 In a country with discussion of sexuality being repressed and where religious strictures are spread as a means of social control, many young men find themselves in a quandary between their normal sexuality and the hypocritical social norms about sexuality. They project their own self disgust about being unable to control their urges, as demanded by church/society on to females the objects of their desires. The same mechanism exists with many homophobes who then make the Gay men they lust after into objects of scorn. I think the generation under 30 today appears to have a healthier outlook regarding sex and that the recent statistics showing a decrease in unwanted pregnancies is the result of more prudent use of contraception.

    Unfortunately, for those many sexually repressed males over 30, or those enmeshed in religious fundamentalism, this is all very threatening to the foundations of their personalities and so out comes their projected contempt towards women.

  19. pete9999 says:


    it’s either that or Putin/Palin. The russian bear and the mama grizzly.

    then we attack canada.

  20. RTC says:

    I suppose the Octomom would be the hostess with the mostest.

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