Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times has very nicely put together a handy round-up of people who hate women, as shown by their reactions to the latest renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. You’d think that protecting women from abusive, violent partners would be something that any politician would happily get behind, but this time, the Act includes some provisions that some GOP Senators and other defenders of Family Values just can’t stomach. The offending items include but are not limited to:
The legislation would continue existing grant programs to local law enforcement and battered women shelters, but would expand efforts to reach Indian tribes and rural areas. It would increase the availability of free legal assistance to victims of domestic violence, extend the definition of violence against women to include stalking, and provide training for civil and criminal court personnel to deal with families with a history of violence. It would also allow more battered illegal immigrants to claim temporary visas, and would include same-sex couples in programs for domestic violence.
Can you see where this is going?
Jeff Sessions (R-Alabama) acts like he and his fellow GOPers are the victims in this:
“I favor the Violence Against Women Act and have supported it at various points over the years, but there are matters put on that bill that almost seem to invite opposition,” said Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican of Alabama, who opposed the latest version last month in the Judiciary Committee. “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?”
“Almost seem to invite opposition”? Sessions, is it possible that the bill’s sponsors (which include GOPers) put some new provisions in the bill that you don’t like because they disagree with you about how to approach the issue of combating partner abuse?
Conservative women are up to their usual tricks:
Janice Shaw Crouse, a senior fellow at the conservative Concerned Women for America, said her group had been pressing senators hard to oppose reauthorization of legislation she called “a boondoggle” that vastly expands government and “creates an ideology that all men are guilty and all women are victims.”
Last month on the conservative Web site Townhall.com, the conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly called the Violence Against Women Act a slush fund “used to fill feminist coffers” and demanded that Republicans stand up against legislation that promotes “divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men.”
Phyllis Schlafly, VAWA does not promote divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men. Men who beat their wives promote divorce, breakup of marriage and hatred of men. (Also, let us reduce, eliminate and eradicate redundancy.)
Who else hates women?
Senator Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, the senior Republican on the Judiciary Committee, found multiple reasons to oppose the bill when it came up for a formal consideration last month.
The legislation “creates so many new programs for underserved populations that it risks losing the focus on helping victims, period,” Mr. Grassley said when the committee took up the measure.
Let me get this straight. Just a moment; give me a little time, as this is a lot for my poor ladybrain to take in at once.
It risks losing the focus on helping victims because it creates so many new programs for underserved populations.
In Grassley-speak, focusing on helping victims means not helping too many victims.
Any other complaints about the bill? Oh, yes:
Republicans say the measure, under the cloak of battered women, unnecessarily expands immigration avenues by creating new definitions for immigrant victims to claim battery. More important, they say, it fails to put in safeguards to ensure that domestic violence grants are being well spent. It also dilutes the focus on domestic violence by expanding protections to new groups, like same-sex couples, they say.
There we have it, folks. Screw the Native American and rural women who need help escaping from their abusers. Screw the immigrant women married to abusive citizens. Screw the lesbians getting battered by their partners. Screw the stalking victims; if a woman wants to have the law on her side, she can bloody well get beaten up first. I suppose the Senate Rethugs like Sessions and Grassley still care about you if you’re a U.S. citizen living in an urban or suburban area and getting pummeled by your male partner, but if they’re so indifferent to the suffering of underserved populations, they probably don’t like the rest of us all that much.