Appalachian Basin

*Update III* He Said What???

I read a commentary on Energy In Depth today from Pennsylvania state Representative Mike Sturla  (D-96) that appeared on Capitolwire that made my jaw hit the table. I don’t care what side of the fence you fall on in terms of the natural gas debate, if you are a woman, his comments are offensive. Period.

Also, aside from building roads so their trucks can get to drill sites and doing a little stream work to mitigate damage from their road building, exactly what are all those things the drillers are doing for the local communities? Patronizing the bars at night? Driving up the cost of rental housing? Spreading sexually transmitted disease amongst the womenfolk? Causing school districts to ask local governments to ban truck traffic on local roads during school bus pick up and drop off times so kids don’t get killed? Upgrading emergency preparedness equipment to handle a well blow out? Running compressor stations that have decibel levels equal to a jet engine?…Really community oriented stuff

Forget that the representative spoke about a district outside his own which he clearly knows little about. Forget that the natural gas companies are doing great things in the community. My male counterparts at EID already did a great job of showing the misinformation that is riddled throughout the above statement. All of that aside, what I have a problem with is his blatantly chauvinistic reference to women.

As EID already said in their post, “it’s 2011 by the way, good representative” and as such I am pretty sure that I can speak for most females out there that being called “womenfolk” is a thing of the past. Actually when I saw the comment, my first reaction (in my best I used to live in Alabama accent) was, “Oh dear me. I’ll have to go get my big strong man to vote for me! How can I ever make a decision for myself!?”

All joking aside, Representative Sturla, I don’t think you have to worry so much about us womenfolk. You see, we fought for the right to vote and have been doing it since 1920. You might have heard of a little thing called women’s suffrage or perhaps the 19th Amendment. And as for your irrational fear of hydrauilic fracturing causing sexually transmitted diseases, well, I suggest you’ve confused certain of your menfolk body parts with your brain.

I also notice Representative Sturla, that you represent the City of Lancaster, and apparently this is the condescending view you have of the residents of the surrounding rural areas of that beautiful part of Pennsylvania.  The members of those Amish and Mennonite communities are just menfolk and womenfolk to you – nameless people of no consequence who you imagine yourself charged with the responsibility of caring for, as if they didn’t have minds of their own.  I guess that means you scored a twofer here, managing to insult both women and rural families at the same time.

And Representative Sturla, I am glad you are not in my district because I for one would not be voting for you come the next election. I have a feeling that after this display of your true thoughts about your female constituents, many of them won’t be either. But, what do I know? I’m just one of those simple womenfolk.

Because Representative Sturla’s comments are so offensive to me as both a woman and a proud resident of rural Pennsylvania, I am asking you readers if you feel the same.  If so, please add your comments.

***UPDATE*** Representative Sturla apologizes…I think? He wasn’t calling us “womenfolk” he was simply referring to the Wild West way the natural gas industry workers have come into Pennsylvania and their views on women here, saying, “Maybe these guys are gentlemen that just spread sexually transmitted diseases, I don’t know.” Sorry, Representative Sturla, but I think you will have to do a little better than that in your apology to us womenfolk. If what you imply is true then we’re just too wrapped up being promiscuous to take the time out of our busy schedule to listen to half-hearted attempts at saving your political career.

And, by the way, can please stop insulting blue collar workers and rural people while you’re at it?  Your condescension and arrogance’s awesome – I’ll say that much for you!

*Update 2* 

Knew this wouldn’t be too far behind. State Impact reports, PA Health data shows that rise in STD’s and presence of natural gas production not linked.  Touche Rep. Sturla on showing your classy and refined side.  We will be sure to check the election results in November 2012 to see how that women vote turned out.

*Update 3*

More information that Rep. Sturla does not think before he speaks.  The Wellsboro Gazette points out no linkage between STD’s and gasfield workers.  In fact, they point out the county with the highest levels of STD’s is Lancaster County.  No gas drilling there. Further, administration from the hospital Sturla based his remarks say their data does not support Sturla’s conclusions.


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