This week Congress is discussing reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, a bill introduced in 1993 (passed in 1994) that has decreased domestic violence by 67% as of 2010. For the first time in the Act’s history, there is Republican opposition to reauthorization.
Why would the We’re not waging a war on women, (we’re just trying to help them by taking away their autonomy and rights) Republicans suddenly oppose a no-brainer always-partisan-supported piece of legislation? Because it extends rights to women in domestic partnerships, and expands protections for Native American women and illegal immigrants who assist in the prosecution of their abuser. Don’t want those sneaky lesbians getting a toehold on equality…
Jeff Sessions (R – AL) said in a quote to the New York Times: “You think that’s possible? You think they might have put things in there we couldn’t support that maybe then they could accuse you of not being supportive of fighting violence against women?”
Those sneaky, sneaky Democrats. Trying to sneak some more rights for more people into their legislation. At least they’re not accusing you of supporting hate crimes against gays. Or of supporting the building of
the Berlin wall a bigger
fence between the US and Mexico. Or of opposing stem cell research. Or of
opposing the right of a gay person to serve on the Supreme Court or in the
military. Or of supporting the KKK except for their unfortunate pot-smoking
habit. Or of calling the National
Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the American
Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) "un-American" and
fortunately Sessions has a lovely record on equality and tolerance, so we can
all feel comfortable taking his word…
Contrary to Sessions’ paranoid ramblings (and lets be fair, the opinions of the other 7
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee), an expanded VAWA doesn’t make
that evil gay marriage legal, it doesn’t allow more illegal immigrants to sneak
across the borders and it doesn’t … really? I can’t even come up with a
convoluted Republican justification for denying protections to Native American
women. Are they black magicky witches or something?
Even if you don’t agree with a woman’s lifestyle or personal sex life, violence against her is NEVER acceptable, and cannot be condoned by allowing VAWA to lapse. The Republicans are very explicitly stating that lesbian and transgendered women and Native American women are not the same as other women, and are not deserving of equal protection under the law. For a little bit of political gamesmanship, women’s lives will once again be in increased danger.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – as a woman, a vote for a Republican this election season is a vote for your own enforced servitude.
The Republican version of the bill doesn’t exist yet, though there have been promises made that one is in the works. Let’s just assume it’ll be called the Violence Against White Christian Women Who Already Know Their Place Act.