A woman lies battered and bleeding and bruised,
As so often, reports CNN
And as always, a clamor—a group much abused—
Won’t somebody think of the men?
In a CNN opinion piece, Senator Patty Murray writes of yet another example of the failure of the Republican leadership to do the right thing:
This week, just over 250 days since the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan and inclusive bill to extend the landmark Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives allowed the clock to run out on protections that bill would have provided to millions of women across our country.
The act had been renewed many times since it was first introduced in 1994; there were a few changes this time:
Specifically, the bill included increased protections for women on college campuses across the nation following the brutal 2010 murder of Yeardley Love at the University of Virginia. It included new law enforcement measures to safeguard women on tribal reservations, one in three of whom will be raped in their lifetimes. It included nondiscrimination language for those in the LGBT community who had been unfairly left out of previous bills. And it provided protections to immigrant women, regardless of their status, who are often scared into silence at the hands of their abusers.
Yeah… no. That’s unacceptable to the right wing of the Republican party, and those extremists are in control.
But that’s not what my verse is about. No, as usual, I took an ill-advised peek into the comments at the article, and found… exactly what I expected to find. The real victims in all this?
Any sort of legislation aimed at protecting women from rape is clearly anti-equality and anti-american. Any concern over some victims of sexual assault (read: women) ignores the bigger picture, that equal treatment under the law means that privileged groups might have to settle for being treated equally, and that’s just not fair.
Never mind that the Violence Against Women Act’s nonexclusivity clause directly states that protections apply to male victims as well. Never mind that “what about the men?” does not apply to this story at all. The Republican extremists apparently don’t like LGBT, native Americans, or women in college–that is the hold-up. But CNN commenters aren’t always that nuanced.
One comment even suggested that the act is completely unnecessary, that other laws already cover everything that is needed to combat sexual assault. This commenter, of course, was referring to concealed carry laws. The solution to every problem.
Here’s hoping the new House of Representatives does a better job.