I really shouldn’t be surprised by the ridiculous bills that are introduced into our legislative system anymore but when Senator Grothman of Wisconsin (R-West Bend) introduced SB 507, I gasped. In a nutshell, the bill says that the Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention Board (CANPB) “shall emphasize nonmarital parenthood as a contributing factor to child abuse and neglect” when they conduct their prevention work.
Before my blood reached boiling point, I did some research. It is not news that single parenthood is on the rise, with about 30% of all families with children headed by a single parent. Also, research does show that single parenthood can contribute to high rates of abuse of children. However, according to the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect (HHS), “there is no single known cause of child maltreatment. Nor is there any single description that captures all families in which children are victims of abuse and neglect. Child maltreatment occurs across socio-economic, religious, cultural, racial, and ethnic groups.”
So if we already know that single parenthood can be a risk factor for child abuse and/or neglect, why single out the single parents with a piece of legislation that further marginalizes them? Where’s the bill specifically outing the drug-using parents? Where’s the bill specifically outing the parents suffering from depression? Where’s the bill specifically outing the parents who are together but are experiencing marital conflict? Because if you read the link above to research conducted by the Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, you’ll see that these are also risk factors.
So again, I ask, why single out the single parents? Does Senator Head-Up-His-Ass think that most men and women actually set out to be single parents? To work the hardest job that ever existed? And does said Senator promote gay marriage and gay adoption? If the real issue here is single parenthood, then he should support the idea of two parents bringing up a child, gay or not. Or is there a double standard there too? Oh right, Mr. Senator is opposed to gay marriage and gay adoption too. Or maybe he’s concerned about the welfare of the children. If that is the case then he may want to reconsider his position on making women bring unplanned and unwanted children into this world in the first place.
Is this another attack on women? Yes, you could say that when single mothers outnumber single fathers five to one. I am so FED UP with the nonsense that’s happening in our state and national capitols. It started as political differences, evolved into political-religious differences, and now is a political-religious-moral mess plagued by disrespect for women.
Is child abuse awful? Yes. Is prevention important? Yes. Are single parents to blame? No. Is this bill the way to fix the problem? No. This isn’t an issue that can be legislated away. This is a problem that is multifaceted and complex.
People of Wisconsin, please don’t reelect this monster. Senator Grothman, Women are Watching! Single parents everywhere, how does this make you feel?