GOP Debates: Michele Bachmann Says Submitting to Her Husband Means Respecting Him

What Women Really Think
Aug. 12 2011 9:53 AM

GOP Debates: Bachmann Says Submitting to Her Husband Means Respecting Him

120878718
AMES, IA - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn. and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney are pictured during the Iowa GOP/Fox News Debate on August 11, 2011 at the CY Stephens Auditorium in Ames, Iowa. This is the first Republican presidential debate in the state ahead of Saturday's all important Iowa Straw Poll. (Charlie Neibergall-Pool/Getty Images

In the past, Michele Bachmann has said that she decided to pursue tax law because her husband, Marcus, told her to. As our own Libby Copeland outlined in a Slate piece in June, here's how Bachmann's decision-making process went:

"Why should I go and do something like [become a tax lawyer]?" she recalled thinking. "But the Lord says, 'Be submissive wives; you are to be submissive to your husbands.'"

Advertisement

At last night's GOP debate, moderator Byron York asked Bachmann if she would take this submissive philosophy with her to the White House. Bachmann took this question in stride, according to the Washington Post, "sarcastically" thanking York and then saying:

“I’m in love with him. I’m so proud of him. And both he and I — what submission means to us, if that’s what your question is, it means respect,” she said. “I respect my husband. He’s a wonderful, godly man, and a great father. And he respects me as his wife. That’s how we operate our marriage.’’

Attorney and Democratic activist Christine Pelosi said last night in Politico that York's question was sexist. I must disagree here. How is asking Bachmann to explain and contextualize her past statements sexist? To Bachmann's credit, she gave a wonderfully polished response to a fair—though pointed—question. Though that answer was good, as Slate's John Dickerson points out, Bachmann spent most of the debate sparring with fellow Minnesotan Tim Pawlenty, and Mitt Romney came off the best of the lot.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore, and Schools Are Getting Worried

The Good Wife Is Cynical, Thrilling, and Grown-Up. It’s Also TV’s Best Drama.

  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 19 2014 9:15 PM Chris Christie, Better Than Ever
  Business
Moneybox
Sept. 19 2014 6:35 PM Pabst Blue Ribbon is Being Sold to the Russians, Was So Over Anyway
  Life
Inside Higher Ed
Sept. 19 2014 1:34 PM Empty Seats, Fewer Donors? College football isn’t attracting the audience it used to.
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 19 2014 4:48 PM You Should Be Listening to Sbtrkt
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Medical Examiner
Sept. 19 2014 5:09 PM Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?   A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.