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John Gibbs downplays his old university blog posts challenging women's suffrage

"It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top to get a reaction," John Gibbs said about the Stanford University blog post he made 22 years ago.

BYRON CENTER, Michigan — A Michigan Republican candidate for congress previously argued that the United States has suffered as a result of women's suffrage.  

John Gibbs, a Trump-backed candidate for Michigan's 3rd Congressional District, attended Stanford University and wrote controversial viewpoints about women in the workplace and women's right to vote. 

CNN first reported the now archived blog posts on Stanford University's website. 

The Donald Trump-backed candidate confirmed he wrote those blog posts, but called the CNN piece an "attack." 

"As a college student twenty-two years ago, and a Black conservative on a liberal campus, I made a website to provoke the left on campus and to draw attention to the hypocrisy of some modern-day feminists. It was nothing more than a college kid being over the top to get a reaction."

"Of course I believe that women should vote and work. My own mother worked for thirty-three years for the Michigan Department of Transportation, and it was her hard work and love that allowed me to be the first in my family to graduate from college," Gibbs said in a statement. 

In a blog post on Stanford's website from 2000, Gibbs challenges several of what he calls "commonly held notions" about gender roles and inequalities in the United States. Among the challenges he purposes are the woman's role in the workplace and the benefits of the Women's Suffrage Movement.

"Having more women in the workplace does not benefit men, it only strains them. In the post-feminist workplace, men must bend over backwards to make sure that they do not inadvertently offend any woman who might happen to hear a joke or comment uttered in humor and harmlessness," Gibbs wrote when explaining why having more women in the workforce is not beneficial.

Gibbs went on to challenge the Women's Suffrage Movement, writing, "We conclude that increasing the size and scope of government is unequivocally bad. And since women's suffrage has caused this to occur on a larger scale than any other cause in history, we conclude that the United States has suffered as a result of women's suffrage."

Gibbs held roles in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and was tapped as acting assistant secretary of the department during the Trump administration.

Endorsed by former President Trump, Gibbs defeated Meijer by 3,854 votes. Meijer received a lot of pushback from West Michigan Republicans for voting to impeach Trump at the beginning of his first term.

Gibbs will take on Democrat candidate Hillary Scholten in the November election. 

"I am shocked. Truly, these comments are alarming in every sense of the word," Scholten told 13 ON YOUR SIDE on Friday. "Mr. Gibbs has made comments, anti-woman, anti-democratic comments, but they are not just one-off comments. They're part of a larger practice, really an entire professional career that Mr. Gibbs has made peddling in extremist ideology and conspiracy theories."

Western Michigan University Cooley Law School Professor Michael McDaniel said he was shocked as well to see these statements. 

"I don't understand why a congressman, even in his younger days, a potential congressman, even his younger days would ever suggest that," he said. 

McDaniel said that Gibbs needs to publicly disavow these statements to not lose voters.

"I think voters are, in this day and age, very sensitive to a number of concerns based upon the debates that we've seen in the last eight to ten years," he said.

McDaniel added that these posts are an attack on voting rights, and he urges everyone to go to the polls in November. 

"When you have statements like this, have historically, the question is going to be 'Is that statement part of this of this candidate's DNA? Is it a part of his beliefs, no matter how long said? And so that's why I say he's got an uphill climb. And he has to say something about this, he can't ignore it," he said.


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