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Sen. Fraser Needs More Than A Hearing Aid To Hear Women's Voices

by: Vince Leibowitz

Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 01:15 PM CDT

Yesterday, during the marathon 24-hour debate on Senate Bill 362, State Sen. Troy Fraser (R-Horseshoe Bay), the bill's author, committed a little gaffe that, when examined closely, has the added virtue of being true.

Update: Here's the video:

From the Texas Democratic Party:

"I have trouble hearing women’s voices." Texas Republican State Sen. Troy Fraser uttered that gaffe in response to Sen. Wendy Davis, who asked Fraser a question during Senate floor debate about SB 362, the photo Voter ID bill he filed. At the time, Sen. Fraser was likely unaware of the profound truth behind his blunder.
Indeed, Fraser was likely unaware that he uttered a statement that is very true about himself. Kirsten Gray, the TDP's Spokeswoman, had this to say about Fraser's comment:
"Sen. Fraser’s voter suppression legislation threatens to take Texas back to the days when some citizens had a voice in the election process and others, including women, were silenced..." "Sen. Fraser and his fellow Texas Senate Republicans need to move past their selective hearing and listen to what this bill really is: A sad and divisive echo from the past."
Fraser, as it happens, not only has a problem hearing women, but a problem understanding what he hears and understanding their concerns. Here are some examples of how Fraser fails to "hear" the concerns of women, especially with regard to voter suppression legislation that he's authored:
•Of all Americans without a license:
•Women are more than twice as likely as men not to have a drivers’ license. •One of every five senior women does not have a license. •Over 70% are women. [Source: US Census Bureau Detailed Tables. “Sex by Age Total Population.” July 24, 2006. Federal Highway Administration. “Licensed drivers, by State, sex, and age group.” July 24, 2006]
•There is ample anecdotal evidence that suggest factors like name changes related to marriage and divorce make it less likely a woman will have a current name and address on a photo ID that matches the name and address on the voter list.
So, the next time Troy Fraser says he "can't hear women" or their voices, remember that he needs more than a hearing aid.

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