Home GLBT Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall Quotes Some Weird S*** About Women’s “Cradling Arms”...

Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall Quotes Some Weird S*** About Women’s “Cradling Arms” and Men’s “Throwing Arms”


Our old pal, Virginia Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall (R-Manassas) has really been fired up this General Assembly session. As usual, he’s fired up about telling women what (not) to do with their bodies. But he’s even more fired up (if that’s possible) in working to ensure that transgender kids don’t pee in the “wrong” bathroom or be recognized as natural or normal in any way.

For instance, check out Del. Marshall’s bill on “Discrimination; separation of the sexes,” directing that local School Boards in Virginia only “enact policies prohibiting discrimination in education” if they “[recognize] the inherent differences between males and females and the mere separation of the sexes by such policy based on such differences shall not constitute discrimination.”

It’s absurd and mean-spirited, of course, but sadly typical for Del. “Sideshow Bob” Marshall. Even more absurd, if that’s possible, is Marshall’s lengthy explanation as to why all this stuff is (supposedly) so important in his (warped) mind. In laying out his case, such as it is, for anti-LGBT discrimination, Del. Marshall quotes several doctors and other (highly questionable) sources on what they claim to be (supposedly) crucial differences between men and women. Here are a few “highlights” for your…edification, I guess. OK, maybe not. Heh. Seriously, though, keep in mind that a member of the Virginia House of Delegates is actually using all this garbage to justify discrimination.

  • “The soft, smooth skin of the infant bespeaks the soft, smooth skin of the woman. As we, out of solicitude, envelop the baby in soft, smooth coverings, so, also, with even greater solicitude, does nature. What baby, if given a choice, would prefer to be cuddled and cherished by a rough-skinned, hairy and stubbly male? Touch, the most fundamental of the senses, and a major means of communicating love, is facilitated in man by furless skin, and is enhanced in the woman and infant by their mutual tactile softness”
  • “The infant’s need to be held, carried and comforted bespeaks the woman’s cradling arms, arms that contrast significantly with the throwing arms of the male. The difference is not only evident in sports, but is even seen in the way children carry their books: boys at their sides; girls in front of them with flexed arms. The girls’ inclinations to encircle and encompass foretells the future cradling of the nursling close to the heart and breast of an initiation of a bosom friendship.”
  • “The infant’s inability to communicate verbally and conceptually bespeaks the woman’s ability to communicate through a modality of ‘feeling’: of knowing and loving through the intuitive, the poetic, the experiential and the affective.”
  • “Boys as young as two years of age, given a choice between violent fairy tales and fuzzy fairy tales, usually choose the violent stories. Girls as young as two years of age consistently choose the warm and fuzzy stories…A preference for violent stories seems to be normal for five- to seven-year old boys, while the same preference in five- to seven-year-old girls suggests a psychiatric disorder.”
  • “Human aggression is essentially a problem for men, not women. It is men who wage wars, engage in bitter competition, fight each other individually, and maintain vendettas lasting for years or even centuries.”

So anyway…for all these fine reasons and many others, Del. “Sideshow Bob” concludes the following:

Any ordinance that recognizes the inherent differences between males and females, including the biological characteristics or qualities that distinguish an individual as either male or female as determined at birth, and the mere separation of the sexes by such ordinance based on such differences shall not constitute discrimination, provided that such separation is consistent with Article I, Section 11 of the Constitution of Virginia.

In sum, according this right-wing extremist/theocrat, school boards in Virginia can continue to treat transgender kids badly because of women’s “cradling arms,” men’s “throwing arms,” etc. Make sense? Nope, didn’t think so. The question, as always, is who are the voters who elect people like “Sideshow Bob” (or his ideological soulmate, Fairfax County School Board member Elizabeth Schultz) in the first place???

  • Elaine Owens

    Thank God for Terry McAuliffe in the governor’s chair. We need no better reason to work like crazy to get a Democratic replacement in November than to listen to Wacko Bob and his theories on gender and sex.


    He is such a sad and pathetic figure. Well, come October, Bob will once again be circulating old pictures of himself in a hard hat at transportation construction sites, which would not have been funded if he had his way, pretending he actually cares about actual issues.

  • On a related note, check out the following from Fairfax County School Board member Pat Hynes about her faaaaaar-right-wing colleague Elizabeth Schultz.

    My colleague on the school board traveled to Richmond this week to personally promote Delegate Bob Marshall’s “bathroom bill” and chose to speak for the Muslim community:

    “Elizabeth Schultz, a member of the Fairfax County School Board, said the issue is particularly problematic for students from other countries, particularly those from Arabic cultures.

    ‘There are real issues of moral clarity for some people in our school systems that have to do with cultural norms, that have to do with religious norms,’ Schultz said.” (from the Richmond Times-Dispatch article)

    Here is what a FCPS student who is Muslim has to say for herself on the subject::

    “I’d like to speak about the separation of church and state. As a student who represents a religious minority, keeping religion out of public schools and spaces means a lot to me. Keeping class prayer out of schools doesn’t mean I’m taking away a student’s right to pray, it means that I won’t be bullied when I can’t participate. If keeping religion out of schools can help me feel safer and welcomed, then I should understand bringing it in will have the opposite effect. If I choose to impose upon another student’s right to use a bathroom or a locker room because of my religion, then I’m not making my community a safer place. I’m choosing to make my school more divisive, embracing certain freedoms and liberties only when they can help me.

    Trans students aren’t a threat, their being trans doesn’t make them more dangerous than other students. They don’t exist to terrorize and shock, they’re our classmates and our friends. They have a right to be in our schools and to be present. I can understand people fearing what they don’t understand, my mother did at first. But you have to step away from the lens that you view them through. You can’t view the trans community as “misunderstood deviants”. See it from their point of view. They’re young men or women just like your children, the only difference is they have to fight constantly in an attempt to validate their identity. Every day is a battle when you live in a society that consistently and systematically rejects you. As a community we have to ask ourselves if we want to oppress the already marginalized or accept them. I can’t speak for everyone, but my family and I will always be standing on the side of acceptance. Regardless of gender, race, religion, or sexuality.”