New Hampshire state Rep. Peter Hansen apologized Wednesday for referring to women as “vaginas” in an April 1 email. Hansen was referring to a speech made by another legislator about using retreat instead of deadly force in a threatening situation, the Associated Press reports.
Hansen, who once held a trespasser at gunpoint in his own house, wrote, “There were two critical ingredients missing in the illustrious stories purporting to demonstrate the practical side of retreat. Not that retreat may not be possible mind you. What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina’s of course. While the tales relate the actions of a solitary male the outcome cannot relate to similar situations where children and women and mothers are the potential victims.”
Hansen, a Republican, first defended his remarks on Tuesday, saying “My point in the choice of words was twofold: One was shock content and the other was to try to get into the mind of the perpetrator. This is something that has been totally blown out of proportion.” However, he changed his statement on Wednesday, saying “I am embarrassed, to say the least.”
His word choice drew ire from both parties. New Hampshire House Republican Minority Leader Gene Chandler called on Hansen to apologize immediately. “These comments are repugnant and unbecoming of an elected official,” he said. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan said she was disappointed in Hansen, adding, “I think it offends and takes us away from the important task of making sure we debate with civility.”