Indeed, the AP reports that the coordinated speeches were a chance for Republican women to explicitly make clear “what they stand for and, implicitly, who they are not: Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.” Given Bachmann’s belief on the role of women, their effort to distance themselves is not entirely surprising. As the Washington Post’s profile of Bachmann’s husband today notes, Dr. Bachmann — not his wife — is the decision-maker of the household, and that “is an article of faith within the family.” An article that, in 2006, Rep. Bachmann preached to a congregation. Noting that she only pursued a law degree because her husband “told her to,” Bachmann told women in the audience “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives“:
“He is her godly husband,” said Peter Bachmann, Dr. Bachmann’s oldest brother, who lives on the family dairy farm across the eastern border in Wisconsin. “The husband is to be the head of the wife, according to God.” It is a philosophy that Michele Bachmann echoed to congregants of the the Living Word Christian Center in 2006, when she stated that she pursued her degree in tax law only because her husband had told her to. “The Lord says: Be submissive, wives. You are to be submissive to your husbands,” she said.
The fact that Bachmann needed permission from her husband to pursue an education, let alone public office, certainly cannot sit well with the “trailblazing” ways of the new GOP congresswomen. Noem, after all, decided to run for office in order “to stand up and defend” her principles presumably without asking her husband for permission. Adams left her marriage to a Navy officer at 22 “to escape an abusive relationship” and then “worked two jobs while studying for her GED.” As an advocate for victims’ rights, would she support Bachmann’s principle of submission?
Bachmann herself rejects the title of “feminist,” envisioning herself instead as an “empowered American.” But given that she attributes her critical life decisions to her husband, the question must be asked: Empowered by whom?