It seems that Republican male legislators in New Hampshire are really taking the gloves off -- wearing pearls to mock moms involved in trying to act against gun violence. The trope of pearl-clutching, easily-offended liberals has a tradition in American politics.
"Male New Hampshire lawmakers on the hearing committee wearing pearls to mock Moms Demand Action volunteers and gun safety advocates," wrote Shannon Watts, founder of the gun control group Moms Demand Action, to describe the picture above.
Her post condemning the men quickly spread, accruing more than 6,000 shares and almost 5,000 comments, writes the BBC.
Debra Altschiller, a Democratic representative who sponsored the bill, tweeted: "Disappointed in the pearl clutching by @NHGOP [New Hampshire Republicans]. There are families who have lost loved ones here and this mocking prop shows how little they empathise with suicide."
"Mocking mothers isn't brave," read one comment, which received more than 6,000 "likes". "Lowly weak men mocking women don't scare us."
Republicans have responded that they were standing in solidarity with a pro-gun women’s group "The use of pearls date back to 2016 and the legislators and Second Amendment supporters were in no way wearing them in a mocking fashion to those who came to testify yesterday.
"They are a symbol of solidarity with the Women's Defense League and the Second Amendment community in the Granite State." CBS News reports that Kimberly Morin, the leader of the Women's Defense League, told media that its members first wore pearls 2016, when it showed support for a bill allowing gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit.
Morin said the pearls are worn "in defense of women's rights”, adding "We are moms just like they are only on different sides."
The New Hampshire hearing focused on a so-called "red flag" bill that empowers family members or law enforcement officers to go to gain court approval to temporarily take guns away from people who may pose an immediate threat to other people and themselves. Fourteen states have already passed such laws, according to The Associated Press.
Margaret Tilton of Exeter, whose son George died by suicide in 2017 at the age of 23, testified in front of the pearl-wearing men, according to the AP. Tilton told the House Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee that police were able to convince him to hand over a gun in 2016, but he was able to buy another one.
In this case a picture is worth a thousand words, and the perception of men wearing pearls as mocking women has far greater probable impact, given the constant mocking of progressive female values by Republicans.
Hey, when you're drowning in your own testosterone and Biblical interpretation that women must submit to you, I guess this is how Repubs treat women trying to save lives in the most violent developed nation on Earth. Funny how God didn't rain guns in all those other countries, just the USA. We're so special.
In 2012, as the Republican War on Women was roaring into high gear, Slate wrote: ‘A Plague of Pearl Clutching’. AOC notes that the far left has also used the expression of pearl-clutchers to describe Hillary Clinton supporters as making a big deal of events like this one but not being willing to take to the streets to truly fight Republicans.