WASHINGTON -- Aside from Gov. Scott Walker, no one personifies the "war on women" in Wisconsin for progressives more than state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West Bend).
Grothman recently sponsored the legislation that repealed the state's 2009 Equal Pay Enforcement Act, which made it easier for victims of wage discrimination to have their day in court. In an interview with the Daily Beast, he dismissed the notion that the wage gap between men and women is due to workplace discrimination, instead stating, "You could argue that money is more important for men." Women, he said, were often more focused on raising children than earning money.
On Monday, State Rep. Kelda Helen Roys (D-Madison) challenged Grothman to a debate on women's rights, saying in a statement that his "outlandish views make clear that he is out of touch with the lives and needs of women and our families." Grothman responded to Roys in a letter on Thursday, in which he turned down her invitation. Roys' office shared his reply with The Huffington Post:
Thank you for your invitation. The tender of your letter indicates that your goal is to gain further platform to misrepresent the Republican position on a variety of issues. I have expounded my positions in many different forums and will continue to do so. I do not intend to debate someone who begins their invitation with the lie that I have "attacked" women and that Republicans are waging a so-called "war on women."
"What is Senator Grothman afraid of?" Roys said in a statement. "For the past few weeks, he has had no problem sharing one outrageous, retrograde theory after another -- and apparently intends to continue doing so. Yet, when challenged to defend those beliefs in a public forum, he demurs. My offer still stands: I am ready to debate Senator Grothman any time."
Grothman did not return a request for comment for this article.
Recently, Grothman earned national attention when he proposed a bill that would formally deem single parenthood a contributing factor to child abuse.
When commenting on the legislation in March, Grothman blamed unmarried women who have children for making bad choices and chastised American culture for encouraging "a single motherhood lifestyle."
"There’s been a huge change over the last 30 years and a lot of that change has been the choice of the women," Grothman said, noting that he thinks "we should educate women that this is a mistake."
Walker quietly signed Grothman's equal pay repeal bill into law this month.
Grothman's letter to Roys: