If you had any doubt that Republicans have an even bigger anti-woman agenda than their love of compulsory vaginal probes might suggest, consider Wisconsin’s Senate Bill 507.

Co-sponsored by two GOP state legislators, Senator Glenn Grothman and Representative Don Pridemore, it directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “nonmarital parenthood” for child abuse and neglect and “emphasize the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of same. Don’t be fooled by that gender-neutral abstraction “parenthood.” This bill is clearly aimed at shaming and blaming single mothers. “Fathers” after all prevent harm to children, so logically the only parents left to cause it are… yes, those unmentionable women who have the babies without a wedding ring to show for it. You might think that even in Wisconsin it takes two to tango down the aisle, but not according to Senator Grothman, who says, "There’s been a huge change over the last 30 years, and a lot of that change has been the choice of the women."

Maybe, but a lot of it isn’t. It’s not as if men are eager for shotgun weddings either. 

Pridemore goes farther. Women lucky enough to have landed a husband should stay with them, even if those men are violent. What should battered wives do? Love their husbands more! "If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” Pridemore advises. Because nothing says “prevention of child abuse and neglect” like wife beating. 

The best response I’ve seen to Pridemore’s marital counsel is this modest proposal, which was forwarded to a feminist list:

From: Caroline H.

Sent: Fri 3/23/2012 11:40 AM

To: Rep. Pridemore 

Subject: In response to your comment about divorce in case of abuse

Mr. Pridemore –

I would like to make a deal with you. I propose we live together (I’ll even relocate to Wisconsin!) for a year in an abusive relationship. I’ll beat the shit out of you on a regular basis, verbally assault you, make you live in extreme fear, break down any shred of self-worth you might have, all that good stuff. After 12 months, we can both reevaluate our positions on the issue.

Granted, you don’t know me well enough to "love me," thus giving you happy thoughts to call on when I’m beating you violently, but let’s see what we can work out. What do you say? 🙂


Caroline H.

Arlington, Virginia