Sexist remarks at the state Capitol have become so commonplace that House Majority Leader Al Carlson sent out a one-page memo titled “Communication 101,” instructing legislators to shut the fuck up.
The document provides pointers on speaking with the media, how to present oneself on the chamber floor and etiquette for posting to social media.
“Think before posting, never respond when you’re angry and always re-read,” the document states. “Anything you say is public, even things you said years ago.”
This is clearly a response to sexist comments (which the Tribune reporter refers to as “jokes”) made by legislators during a debate on whether to let retailers open early on Sundays.
One lawmaker cracked a joke about the time being spent could include having a wife making breakfast in bed, while another joked about his wife spending all his money the other six and a half days of the week, so why not have some time without businesses open.
The comments drew attention from the North Dakota blogosphere as well as national pubs such as Huffington Post and Vice.
Carlson said he recalled laughing momentarily, but then shaking his head at the remarks being out of place. The Communication 101 document refers to the blue laws incident, warning that lawmakers are always on camera while in the chamber and “what you say can be taken out of context.”
“I wouldn’t have thought you’d have to do that,” Carlson said of issuing the reminder.
Another recent social media faux pas was committed by State Sen. Janne Myrdal, who shared a gay Nazi flag on her Facebook page. She deleted the image and claimed to have posted it by mistake.