Rep. Matt Gaetz, a Republican, is being investigated by the federal government for allegedly sex-trafficking a 17-year-old girl. On Saturday, he made fat-phobic and misogynistic comments about abortion rights activists in front of a group of college students. He also said that people who protest abortion rights are “disgusting.”
The Florida congressman asked the teens at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in Tampa, Florida, “Have you seen these pro-abortion and pro-murder rallies?”
“Those people are just awful. Why are the women who are least likely to get pregnant the ones who worry the most about getting an abortion? Gaetz said, “No one wants to have a child with you if you look like a thumb.”
“There is nothing good about these people. They are about 5 feet 2 inches tall and weigh 350 pounds, and they say, “Give me my abortions or I’ll get up and march and protest.” And I’m wondering—is it March? He told the cheering crowd, “Your ankles look weaker than the legal reasoning behind Roe v. Wade.”
Some of them need to get up and march, and they need to march for about an hour every day. “Swing your arms, get your heart rate up, and maybe mix in a salad,” he said as a final thought.
Gaetz’s rant was criticized by a lot of people on social media.
A feminist news site said that his comments were “cartoonishly misogynist.”
Molly Jong-Fast, a journalist, posted a clip from Gaetz’s speech on Twitter and called the congressman’s words the perfect example of misogyny. Many people who disagreed with the congressman and his comments brought up the scandal that Gaetz has been in since last year when The New York Times reported that the Justice Department was looking into him for the alleged sex trafficking of a 17-year-old girl.
The FBI reportedly started looking into Gaetz in the last few months of Donald Trump’s presidency. This was because of a previous investigation into Joel Greenberg, a political ally of Gaetz who pleaded guilty to sex trafficking.
Investigators are still trying to figure out, after more than a year, if Gaetz had sexual relations with a girl under the age of 18 and paid for her to travel with him across states. Under federal law, this is considered sex trafficking.
So far, only a few details about the investigation have gotten out. Gaetz has not been accused of doing anything wrong.
Exchange of money for sex
The Washington Post said that Gaetz used to set up dates with women in exchange for dinners or hotel stays. If there was a clear exchange of money for sex, this could be against the law. The newspaper also said that Greenberg wrote a letter accusing Gaetz of paying women to have sexual relations with them.
The Daily Beast said that Gaetz sent Greenberg about $900 on Venmo with the message “hit up ___,” which is a nickname for the 17-year-old.
Gaetz has always denied the claim, and he once said that the last time he had sex with a 17-year-old was when he was 17. Newsweek has asked Gaetz for his thoughts.
In harsh responses to what Gaetz said in Tampa, his critics on social media brought up the allegations that are being looked into against him.
“Says the guy whose wingman Joel Greenberg is working with the feds right now,” one person said in response to Jong-video. Fast’s
Others talked about what they said were Gaetz’s Venmo payments.
Gaetz’s comments were offensive in light of recent events in the U.S., where a 10-year-old rape victim was denied an abortion in her own state and had to travel to another to get the procedure.
Some critics also said that Gaetz’s words were similar to what Trump said in an interview with The Hill when he said that writer E. Jean Carroll’s claim that he sexually assaulted her was not true because she wasn’t “his type.”
According to Matt Gaetz, women who want abortion rights are too ugly to need them. Trump says that his victims weren’t his type, so he couldn’t have raped them. Republicans think that a 10-year-old girl being raped is an “opportunity.”
In response to Gaetz’s comment on Twitter, a user wrote, “Ladies, they hate us because they fear us.”
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