Washington State Representative Mary Dye was forced to issue an apology after she shocked a group of students visiting her office by asking them personal questions about their sex life. The lawmaker was speaking to a group of teens at the representative’s office with Planned Parenthood in a visit designed to offer the teens insight into how the legal process works. However, the teens were shocked when Representative Dye asked them if they were still virgins instead of explaining the lawmaking process.
The Daily Mail reports that a Pullman-area teen council chapter of Planned Parenthood was visiting Washington State Representative for an informational meeting to learn how the legislative process works. However, instead of learning about how laws are put into place, the teens were shocked when the lawmaker instead used the time to share her own views on sex and asked the teens if they were still virgins.
The Planned Parenthood representative who was with the group, Rachel Todd, was equally as shocked, noting that the question was “disrespectful” and “inappropriate.”
“After she made the statement about virginity, all of my teens looked at me. And I said, ‘You don’t have to answer that. You don’t have to answer that.’ It was incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate.”
To make matters worse, the students at the Teen Lobbying Day with Planned Parenthood say that Mary Dye asked if they were virgins before suggesting that one student in the group was not. She then went on to use her time in front of the students to advocate for what she felt was healthy sex advice. Following the conversation that the teens and Planned Parenthood worker deemed “inappropriate,” the Seattle Times revealed that Representative Mary Dye issued an apology statement acknowledging that she did ask the students about their virginity in the meeting. She says she was simply being “too motherly.”
“I appreciated their time and professionalism. I shared with them that I did not support the issues they were advocating for. Following a conversation they initiated on birth control for teenagers, I talked about the empowerment of women and making good choices — opinions shaped by my mother and being a mother of three daughters. In hindsight, a few of the thoughts I shared, while well-intended, may have come across as more motherly than what they would expect from their state representative. If anything I said offended them or made them feel uncomfortable, I apologize.”
Therefore, it seems that Dye was attempting to tell the students in the room that they should make better sexual choices instead of focusing on having access to birth control as a teen. Planned Parenthood’s Rachel Todd says that this is the first time she has experienced something like this from a state legislator.
“I’ve never been in any type of meeting, especially with teens, where an adult, especially an adult legislator, was so incredibly disrespectful and inappropriate.”
The teens at the meeting also felt the questions were inappropriate and noted that it seemed “insane.” One teen was 18 and said that it was not an appropriate conversation to have with constituents.
“It seemed kind of insane for her to say that, especially on the record, to constituents.”
Although the Planned Parenthood teen group says they felt disrespected in the meeting with Dye, they say their experience with Senate Majority Leader Mark Schoesler (R-Ritzville) was entirely different. When meeting with Schoesler, the group says they felt respected and that their presence was handled like “a normal meeting.”
What do you think about Washington Representative Mary Dye’s statements to the teens during what was supposed to be a “professional meeting”?
[Image via Facebook/Mary Dye]