Texas Republican gubernatorial candidate and current Attorney General Greg Abbott is already impressively anti-woman in his policies and statements. But now he gets to add this gem to his misogynist achievements: being bankrolled by Clayton Williams, the oil and gas tycoon who lost the governor’s race to Ann Richards and is famous for saying of rape “if it’s inevitable, relax and enjoy it.”
But, as every man who makes inappropriate and offensive statements about rape is quick to remind us, the quote was just taken out of context. Once you see the context, you’ll be totes fine with it. Back in March of 1990, Williams, the president and CEO of Clayton Williams Energy, an oil and gas company based in Texas, who everyone predicted would win the governor’s race, was getting ready for a cattle roundup at his ranch in West Texas when he harmlessly compared the bad weather to… rape. Who hasn’t done that before? And Williams felt terrible remorse right away, offering the classic “I’m sorry if anyone’s offended” line, which isn’t an apology for what you did as much as it is an expression of pity for those stupid or sensitive enough to miss out on a great comedic moment.
He even explained why he made the statement he did: context! “That’s not a Republican women’s club that we were having this morning… It’s a working cow camp, a tough world where you can get kicked in the testicles if you’re not careful.” It’s a tough world, indeed, where you can get kicked in the testicles for failing to compare inclement meteorological conditions to rape and for failing to tell women how they should just go with the rape flow. OK. So, still not remorseful. But, later on, when asked if he was worried he had offended anyone, he said, “I’m not going to give you a serious answer. It wasn’t a serious deal. It wasn’t a serious statement.” Eventually, of course, he came around, with the same sincerity of the Mormon Church on ordaining Black priests, saying, ”I feel just terrible about this. I had no intention in my heart to hurt anyone, especially those women who have been traumatized by rape.”
Well, it turns out that Williams has donated $120,000 over the past 13 months to Abbott, who is running against Democrat state Senator Wendy Davis of Fort Worth. And it was revealed this week that he has also donated $15,000 donation to Houston state senator and GOP lieutenant governor nominee Dan Patrick, who is running against Democratic nominee Leticia Van de Putte, a San Antonio state senator. And what do Patrick and Abbott have in common? They are both running against women and they are both terrible on women’s issues. Both oppose abortion even in cases of rape and incest. Dan Patrick voted against giving funds to test a backlog of rape kits in Texas. And Abbott pays his female employees less, on average, than his male employees. Male employees earn an average of $60,200 a year working for Abbott, while women make $44,708.
Williams is so toxic that though he raised $300,000 for then presidential nominee John McCain in 2008, the Arizona Senator canceled a fundraiser and returned the money! But in Texas, he’s A.OK!