The Republican’s war on women has taken a frightening new turn in Wisconsin. A new bill, introduced by State Senator Glenn Grothman (who has never been married and has no children), is an amendment to a previous bill, and would require that the state’s Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board (CANPB) emphasize single parenthood, through public awareness materials, as a contributing factor to child abuse.
Yep, the right’s new boogeyman is the single mom.
Section 1. 48.982 (2) (g) 2. of the statutes is amended to read:
48.982 (2) (g) 2. Promote statewide educational and public awareness campaigns and materials for the purpose of developing public awareness of the problems of child abuse and neglect. In promoting those campaigns and materials, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
Section 2. 48.982 (2) (g) 4. of the statutes is amended to read:
8 48.982 (2) (g) 4. Disseminate information about the problems of and methods of preventing child abuse and neglect to the public and to organizations concerned with those problems. In disseminating that information, the board shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect.
Section 3. 48.982 (2) (gm) of the statutes is amended to read:
13 48.982 (2) (gm) Provide, for use by the board in its statewide projects under sub. (5) and for use by organizations that receive grants under subs. (4) and (6), educational and public awareness materials and programming that emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect and the role of fathers in the primary prevention of child abuse and neglect.
Now, one could read this law isn’t specifically aimed at targeting women, but what are the stats for single parenthood:
Mothers accounted for the majority of custodial parents (82.6 percent) while 17.4 percent were fathers, proportions statistically unchanged from 1994.
So what we have here is the attempted criminalization of single parents, the vast majority of whom are women. I think it’s pretty clear that this is aimed at women, but you tell me.
In fact, Grotham seems to have a real stick up his ass about women, namely single mothers. In a four-page tirade/newsletter entitled, “How the United States and the State of Wisconsin are Working to Encourage Single Motherhood and Discouraging Children in 2-Parent Families,” Grotham fretted about the loss of the traditional family, comparing it to Marxism:
“The family is the center of a free and independent society. This is why the abolition of the family was a goal of Karl Marx and has been for Atheistic Socialists ever since.”
He then made one of the weirder accusations that I’ve heard:
“The Left and the social welfare establishment want children to be born out of wedlock because they are far more likely to be dependent on the government.”
I know, it doesn’t make sense to me either.
But let’s just call this bill what it is: the slut-shaming of single mothers and the attempt to slap a big, fat “A” on their chests, brought to you by some right-wing dude who doesn’t care about jobs, or the economy, but is instead obsessed with women’s vaginas.
I don’t know what’s wrong with these Republicans and their unhealthy fixation on all things vagina, because I’m not a mental doctor, but I do know that this kind of obsessive concentration is starting to feel more than a little psychopathic, if not downright predatory.