January 5, 2013

Republicans have been busy defending rapists and voting against storm victims

There are two things that used to be less political.  Trying to help women in domestic violence situations and responding to storm victims.  As Chris Christie said of storms, they hit blue states and red states alike.  It is an American issue.  Yet Republicans, including my two senators from a state prone to natural disasters voted against the funding for Hurricane Sandy victims.

That is bad enough.  For many of them, it is just fiscal blindness.  For others, I suspect a basic lack of compassion.  But the Republican House killing the Violence against Women Act is, as this writer put it, "Protecting rapists, murderers by killing VAWA."  I just read Louise Erdrich's The Round House, which is a novel about rape and violence against Indian women.  Turns out that something like 1 in 3 reservation women will be raped, and Indian mothers are often teaching their daughters to expect it.  But here is the thing.  Agood many of those rapes are by non-reservation males, and when they are not tribal members, the tribal justice system doesn't have the jurisdiction to prosecute those attacks on tribal land.  And those with the jurisdiction often decide to not prosecute.  This bill would have given more control to tribal authorities.  And that, as it turns out, is Eric Cantor's big sticking point.  Other Republicans don't like the protection extended to non citizens or lesbians.  Evidently because Republicans don't approve of those groups, their women don't deserve protection.  But there appears to be room to negotiate on those points.  Cantor, from what I read, will not budge on protecting Native women.  I even called Cantor's office to ask the reason, but the staffer had nothing for me.  No spin about civil liberties or transparency or whatever.  Nothing.

I read that Phyllis Schafly hates the bill because, it

is “as sex-discriminatory as legislation can get.” Why? Because it isn’t designed to protect men. Schlafly argues that domestic violence is a problem that affects men and women equally: “A Centers for Disease Control survey found that half of all partner violence was mutual, and 282 scholarly studies reported that women are as physically aggressive, or more aggressive, than men.”
That's right.  The same people who insist that feminists and liberals are the ones equating men and women and not understanding physical differences are now asserting that actually women are just as aggressive and violent as men.  The numbers don't match that, but who the hell cares about facts?

But I expect this from people like Schafley.  She is reflexively and tribally conservative and if liberals want this bill, it has to be bad for her.  Cantor's insistence on protecting rapists and killers of Indian women, however, strikes me as even worse than anything Schafley has ever spewed.

Republicans appear to be outdoing themselves in their disdain for anyone who isn't white, male, fully abled, rich, Christian (conservative Protestant or Catholic).

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