McConnell fundraiser: Wives have 'obligation' to sleep with husbands

A conservative talk-radio host who has argued wives “ought to consent to at least some form of sexual relations as much as possible,” regardless of their “mood,” will co-host a Wednesday fundraiser for Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Dennis Prager, a prominent conservative author and talk-radio host, is slated to host a luncheon fundraiser for McConnell on Wednesday in California, along with talk-radio host Hugh Hewitt, Salem Communications CEO Edward Astinger and California insurance executive John Nelson.

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Tickets for the event, which was first reported by the Washington Examiner, range from $15,200 for individuals to $30,400 per couple.

Prager has penned a number of op-eds for conservative publications like TownHall.com and National Review that outline his views on feminism, which he’s said has produced an “awful legacy” for women, and sexual relations in marriage, which he’s argued is one of a wife’s “mutual obligation[s]” to her husband.

Writing on TownHall.com in December of 2008, Prager compares a man’s obligation to go to work, regardless of his “mood,” to a woman’s obligation to have sex with her husband.

“Why would a loving, wise woman allow mood to determine whether or not she will give her husband one of the most important expressions of love she can show him? What else in life, of such significance, do we allow to be governed by mood?” he writes.

“What if your husband woke up one day and announced that he was not in the mood to go to work?”

He goes on to compare a wife’s commitment to meeting the needs of their children or parents or friends even when not in the mood to having sex with her husband, asking that, because the woman is doing what’s “right in those cases, rather than what their mood dictates,” “Why not apply this attitude to sex with one’s husband?”

In a piece posted on National Review’s website in November of 2011, Prager outlines what he characterizes as a number of negative impacts of feminism over the past half-century, including “the belief among women that they could and should postpone marriage until they developed their careers.”

He says that, because of that belief, “the decade or more during which women have the best chance to attract men is spent being preoccupied with developing a career.”

“But most women are not programmed to prefer a great career to a great man and a family,” Prager adds.

“They feel they were sold a bill of goods at college and by the media. And they were. It turns out that most women without a man do worse in life than fish without bicycles.”

McConnell’s likely Democratic contender, Kentucky Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes, has made an active play for female voters in the race. Her campaign has charged that McConnell is on the wrong side of women’s issues by pointing to his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, among other issues, as evidence.

Democrats believe female voters are key to their chances in the race, which is a top target for the party as McConnell remains one of the most unpopular senators in the nation.

Asked about Prager's comments and whether the senator shared his views, McConnell campaign spokeswoman Allison Moore said the senator has a strong record on women's issues.

"Sen. McConnell has a long and distinguished record of defending and empowering Kentucky women and he's proud to run on that record. No one stands stronger for [Kentucky] women than Sen. McConnell," she said. 

Moore later reached out with an expanded response that suggested Grimes has waffled on women's issues to suit her politics, an implicit reference to former Kentucky Democratic state Rep. John Arnold, who resigned last year amid sexual harassment allegations. Asked previously by local press about the situation, Grimes said harassment in the workplace “cannot be tolerated,” but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

"Unlike Alison Lundergan Grimes whose defense for women only goes as far as her political allegiances, Sen. McConnell has stood up to senior members of his own party to defend women who were victims of sexual harassment," Moore said.

—This piece was updated at 5:36 p.m.