North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory has refused to speak with protesters gathered outside his mansion to rally against the state's new abortion bill, but he did try to show some good will Tuesday by offering them a plate of cookies.The protestors were not appeased.Surrounded by four security guards, Governor McCrory came out of his mansion Tuesday to offer the cookies to Chapel Hill resident Jamie Sohn, one of the members of a Planned Parenthood vigil to protest the new abortion law. According to Sohn, McCrory gave her the plate and said, "'These are for you. God bless you, God bless you, God bless you.'" Then McCrory went back into the governor's mansion without engaging the group any further.The protesters didn't eat the cookies. They pushed them back under the gate with a note that read: “Gov. McCrory, will take women's health care over cookies!”
Some saw McCrory's gesture as condescending. A group began to chant: "Hey Pat, that was rude. You wouldn't give cookies to a dude.""If McCrory thought the gesture would make him look like a generous sort who reaches out to people who disagree, then it backfired, and not just because he avoided actually meeting with opponents about the law before he signed it," wrote Slate's Amanda Marcotte. "Next to sandwiches, cookies are probably the most potent edible symbol of the belief that women's role is to shut up, give up their ambitions, and return to the kitchen. While it's unlikely that McCrory was deliberately trying to tell the protesters to know their place, that's how the gesture reads."The undertone of misogyny that Marcotte mentions is something the Planned Parenthood protesters tried to highlight Tuesday with their 1960s, Mad Men-style garb. As the Charlotte Observer noted, it's "a nod to their perception that Republican policies are outdated."The North Carolina law in question requires abortion clinics to meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. Critics of the law say this will shut down all but one of the 16 abortion providers in the state. McCrory signed the bill Monday evening, after promising as a candidate to refuse any changes to the state's abortion policies.Looking ahead, Planned Parenthood will focus on registering voters in North Carolina to go after the state politicians who pushed the law through inside a motorcycle safety bill. "The legislators that have pushed through in a shameless way this restriction on women's health," said Paige Johnson, vice president of external affairs for Planned Parenthood's North Carolina branch, "we're going to make sure they feel it in their backyard."