Keep it up, Pat.
Oh good, I was somewhat confused on what I was supposed to do. Thanks for clearing that up, Pat.
Since the mid-March madness of those senate judiciary Republicans who voted no on reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) because it would extend a few more U-visas to abused immigrant women, cover people in same-sex relationships and enhance funding for community-based programs that directly address people of color, I’ve been suffering from an acute case of cognitive dissonance.
I don’t think any sane person could argue that since it passed in 1994, VAWA hasn’t done a lot of good. It has indeed funded and facilitated the work of thousands of people who shelter, counsel, advise and advocate for victims of intimate partner violence. Its most recent iteration addresses sexual violence, a necessary step given the prevalence of this form of harm. I also believe that VAWA represents and seeds a cultural shift away from the blatant acceptance of violence against women. Without a VAWA,Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI) wouldn’t stand on the House floor and talk about how she’d been sexually abused, raped and beaten. She wouldn’t have declared that “violence against women in this country is not levied against just Democrats but Republicans as well. Not blacks or whites or Hispanics but against native people as well. Not just Christians or Muslims and Jews but non-religious people—atheists. Not just rich people or poor people but middle-class people. And not just against heterosexual women but homosexual couples. It knows no gender. It knows no ethnicity. It knows nothing. And I’ll tell you: violence against women is as American as apple pie.”
Still, I have to say that in its funding and implementation, this (previously) bipartisan legislation has also made law enforcement its priority—a scary prospect for the systematically criminalized massive that includes black and brown, poor, undocumented and LGBT folks.
Back in 2000 before radical conservatives successfully soaked the media, public and legislative bodies in tea,Angela Davis laid out some still-essential, still-relevant theoretical questions about VAWA:
On the one hand, we should applaud the courageous efforts of the many activists who are responsible for a new popular consciousness of violence against women, for a range of legal remedies, and for a network of shelters, crisis centers, and other sites where survivors are able to find support. But on the other hand, uncritical reliance on the government has resulted in serious problems. I suggest that we focus our thinking on this contradiction: Can a state that is thoroughly infused with racism, male dominance, class-bias, and homophobia and that constructs itself in and through violence act to minimize violence in the lives of women? Should we rely on the state as the answer to the problem of violence against women? …
The major strategy relied on by the women’s anti-violence movement of criminalizing violence against women will not put an end to violence against women—just as imprisonment has not put an end to “crime” in general.
I should say that this is one of the most vexing issues confronting feminists today. On the one hand, it is necessary to create legal remedies for women who are survivors of violence. But on the other hand, when the remedies rely on punishment within institutions that further promote violence—against women and men, how do we work with this contradiction?
I really like the way this is phrased. It’s so easy for people to dismiss “rape jokes” when they’re referred to as “rape jokes” because it makes rape sound like nothing more than a subject, like there aren’t even any people involved.
“Joke about raping someone” sounds so much more accurate to what people do when they make a “rape joke.” You’re not just joking about some sort of comedic subject. You are joking about one of the most horrific experiences that can happen to someone.
More people need to realise this.
As usual, Republicans think women are unintelligent creatures who need to be regulated like common livestock being bred to increase the herd. They’ll make up any excuse to create anti-abortion legislation, even if science and the medical community refutes their claims and they’ll always seek to violate the privacy and personal liberty of women that the Constitution protects. Forcing women to do things against their will is what criminals such as rapists and kidnappers do. So by forcing women to not use contraception, or to undergo ultrasounds, or to view an abortion, or to carry a pregnancy to term, Republicans are turning the state government of Arizona into a criminal organization that has total disregard for the freedoms, liberties, and rights guaranteed by the Constitution.
I’m wearing a shirt that reads “Kill Me”.
If you saw me at a party or on the street would you promptly murder me?
What about if I had a few drinks? What if I was walking alone at night?
I’m guessing that you wouldn’t if you’re a sane individual.
The cops wouldn’t overlook your crime because of what I’m wearing because that’s silly. I wasn’t literally asking for you to kill me based on my choice of clothing. Who would take that defense seriously?
My friends wouldn’t blame me for being murdered and my killer would be behind bars almost instantly.
So, why is it okay to rape someone because they’re wearing promiscuous clothes? Why does THEIR choice of clothing excuse THEIR attacker?
It doesn’t. You’re silly if you think otherwise.
The less guilt on the attacker. The more guilt on victim.
Stop. Victim. Blaming.