Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) spoke of having a “heavy weight on my heart” in a statement earlier this week announcing her divorce from her husband of nearly two decades.
Boebert cited “irreconcilable differences” as the reason for filing for divorce from Jayson Boebert.
“I’ve always been faithful in my marriage, and I believe strongly in marriage, which makes this announcement that much more difficult,” she said.
Boebert’s expression of her belief in the institution of marriage matches the far-right congresswoman’s publicly stated views.
Her assertion of her own independence, however, does not.
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Boebert’s decision to break with the views of Christian conservatives she publicly supports to assert her own independence isn’t especially unique, and it helps explain the surge of misogynist rhetoric, Amanda Marcotte writes in a column for Salon published under the headline “Lauren Boebert's divorce exposes the dark little secret of red state life.”
Marcotte writes that Boebert’s divorce is a “window into an aspect of red state life that hasn't been much discussed, one which is likely fueling the ugly surge in misogynist rhetoric and policy being pushed by Republicans, especially the men.”
“The dark little secret of red state life is there's a lot of Lauren Boeberts out there: Conservative women who disavow feminism, but, when given a shot at more independence for themselves, gladly use hard-won rights like divorce and abortion. Republican men are getting increasingly angry about even this minor loss of control over women.”
This “minor” loss of control appears have had a major impact on America’s political dynamics in recent years, Marcotte contends, noting that a “sexual predator is the frontrunner for the Republican nomination. Abortion bans keep getting passed, despite being wildly unpopular. And now there's even a GOP push to make it harder for people — mostly women — to file for divorce.”
Marcotte writes that for decades the average age women marry has been steadily increasing from 20 in 1950 to almost 29 in 2022, noting that the trend is less pronounced but still exists in red states, such as Alabama and Mississippi, where women on average are over 25 on their wedding day.
“All of this is because American women, whether they live in liberal or conservative communities, have decided it's best to have a strong measure of personal independence,” Marcotte writes.
“As anyone who is connected to conservative communities could tell you, conservative women may denounce feminism, but still feel it's important to be self-sufficient. The story they tell themselves is that it's not political, but pragmatic: Finding a good man is hard. It's safer and smarter to be able to take care of yourself and keep your options open. Life without men is often, frankly, easier. Statistics even show that single mothers have more free time than married mothers.”