The Feminist Gadfly

Discussing the problems of feminist identification in the context of gender egalitarianism

Category: Current Events

Open Letter to Paul Ryan

by EddyNorthwind

[Content Note: Paul Ryan, dehumanizing language, mention of Hell]

Dear Rep. Paul Ryan,

I was going to say that you’re a sack of shit, but then I realized that that was unfair to shit. Shit makes decent fertilizer. You are the chemical waste that set fire to the Cuyahoga; you are the plastic island in the pacific; you are the bully, the bullet, the overdose, and the razor blade; you are everything that is wrong with this world and none of what is right.

In the likely event that you are unaware of which of your many utterly inhuman actions triggered this rant, I’m referring to your recent speech in Cincinnati in which you implied that I, along with ~54% of the country, are not human. In your words, “The things you talk about like traditional marriage and family and entrepreneurship — these aren’t values that are indicative to any one person or creed or color. These are American values, these are universal human values.”

Mr. Ryan, I am both human and an American. I do not share your value of “traditional marriage.” In fact, I find it utterly contemptible. That you would presume to speak for god and seek to use this presumption to deny millions of people their most basic human rights tells me that you are far beyond just unfit for public office. Your narcissism, chauvinism, and hatred are dangerous, and people are right to fear a government with you at the top.

Mr. Ryan, when you get to hell, take solace in the fact that your path there was both narrow and straight¹.

No love,

¹ Stolen from Guante’s poem “Neutral


Fuck you, Don Pridemore

by EddyNorthwind

Trigger warning for spousal and child abuse

According to Wisconsin Rep. Don Pridemore, a woman being abused by her husband should not divorce him. For the kids.

I don’t want to turn this into a news blog, so I’ll leave the reporting to local news. From the article:

Senator Grothman is getting most of the attention, but Representative Don Pridemore is a co-sponsor of the bill…

…Specifically, it [the bill] cites non-marital parenthood as a contributing factor in child abuse. The bill’s co-sponsor, Representative Don Pridemore, told TODAY’S TMJ4 he thinks even in abusive relationships, there are other options than divorce.

“If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help,” said Representative Don Pridemore.

There is more wrong with this than I can possibly fit in one blog post, but I’ll try. Abuse is not some kind of disagreement that can be resolved through better communication: If a pattern of abuse has started, the abuser has made it very clear that they are not interested in communicating. They are interested in maintaining control over their partner through intimidation or emotional manipulation. The best thing anyone can do in such a situation is get themselves and any children out of it.

Let’s follow Rep. Pridemore’s logic. My spouse is abusing me, so the best thing I can do for my kids is…keep myself and them with my abuser? Right, because people who abuse their spouses never abuse their children. Even if the kids are never touched, watching abuse growing up can cause a kid to think it is normal: children may grow up to be abusers themselves, or may be at higher risk of being abused themselves.

Also, Grotham and Pridemore? If you’re serious about single motherhood being a problem, maybe you should work to repeal some Wisconsin’s overly-strict abortion laws. Just saying, that would lead to fewer single mothers.

If anyone thinks that feminism/gender egalitarianism is no longer necessary, I point you to these elected officials who seem to think that divorce is so bad that one should endure lasting physical and/or emotional harm and put one’s kids in a dangerous situation to avoid it. This is what we are fighting against. As long as people like these two continue to be in positions of power, activism is not just necessary, but vital.


If you or someone you know even might be in an abusive relationship, please, call the National Domestic Violence hotline at 1−800−799−SAFE (7233) or TTY 1−800−787−3224. It’s anonymous and confidential and they will not call the cops; they won’t even tell you to leave your relationship. They will not care if you’re a man, a women, gay, straight, anywhere in between, or something else entirely. All they will do is help you recognize if what you are experiencing or seeing is abuse, and provide you with the tools to leave if that is what you decide to do.