Against the Violence Against Women Act?

Noah Brand investigates VAWA for himself, and discovers that it allows for equal protection under the law of all victims of domestic violence – regardless of gender or sexual orientation.

Our friends at Buzzfeed point us to an interesting article about how Men’s Rights Activists have influenced some right-wing members of Congress to revisit the Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that it could be abused by illegal immigrants to gain residency by falsely claiming domestic abuse. As usual, a good law is being attacked on the grounds that it could, in edge cases, produce a bad result, and it’s better that everyone have less protection rather than one person, somewhere, potentially having too much. You’ll recognize this tactic from some of its other incarnations, such as “welfare queens”, “zombie voters”, and similar largely-imaginary monsters used to screw over people who want to feed their children or vote.

For me personally, the funniest part is the guys in comments complaining that the law unfairly protects women and gay men but offers no protection for straight men. Why is that funny, you ask? Well, I admit, it’s funnier if you read the law.

`(6) DOMESTIC VIOLENCE- The term `domestic violence’ includes felony or misdemeanor crimes of violence committed by a current or former spouse of the victim, by a person with whom the victim shares a child in common, by a person who is cohabitating with or has cohabitated with the victim as a spouse, by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies, or by any other person against an adult or youth victim who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.

Notice anything? The complete lack of gendered language, maybe? Indeed, throughout the definitions section, gendered language is specifically eschewed, meaning that the law does, quite deliberately, provide straight men with the exact same protection under the law as everyone else. No wonder they had to fight it on the basis of Scary Scary Immigrants; it’s literally the closest thing to a leg that they have to stand on.

 

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About Noah Brand

Noah Brand is an Editor-at-Large at Good Men Project, and possibly also a cartoon character from the 1930s. His life, when it is written, will read better than it lived. He is usually found in Portland, Oregon, directly underneath a very nice hat.

Comments

  1. Bizarre, we are here debating whether a piece of legislation based on patriarchal dominance theory that discriminates against men, same sex couples and children that have been abused by their mothers is problematic or not.

    The morally correct position is to advocate that its de-politicised and taken away from the radical feminists asap and handed over to a group of professionals, like these people http://www.cafcusa.org/

    • Eric M. says:

      That’s what adherence to certain gender-based ideologies can do to one’s reasoning. Intentionally discriminating based on gender becomes perfectly logical and reasonable.

    • Mark Neil says:

      Unfortunately, what is morally correct and what is politically feasable are not always the same. As stupid and underhanded as the democrats efforts to promote the concept of a republican war on women campaign may be, it does have an impact, and makes any kind of large scale action such as completely scrapping VAWA a political suicide maneuver most politicians won’t dare for fear of repercussions. Sp baby steps.

      • Yeah but look at the strength of the grassroots push against it, its only a matter of time before it reached critical mass.

        • Mark Neil says:

          I see a strong enough push against VAWA to justify modification. The push against it isn’t strong enough to justify complete elimination. I think you may be overestimating the strength of opposition.

          • doug1111 says:

            The thing it VAWA has a sunset provision. If it isn’t reauthorized in some form by September it will expire. I can see that happening as the democrats refuse to agree to the house modifications and the Republicans stand on them as perfectly reasonable and not anti woman at all just pro fairness for men and not opening the door to more false allegations by illegal immigrants wanting amnesty.

          • The way I see it is this

            The only difference between it being eliminated and replaced by a professional operation, is feminist dominance of the conversation in the mainstream media while the people that are for a nondiscriminatory, evidence and science system are generally relegated to comments sections and grassroots sites – but its only a matter of time before the latter groups message breaches mainstream.

            • Nick, mostly says:

              With nearly 80% of Americans believing in a supernatural creator that sent himself to the middle eastern desert in the form a human born of a virgin to be brutally murdered as atonement for having created us imperfectly, I’m not going to bet on the “science and evidence” crowd showing up anytime soon.

            • doug1111 says:

              It’s also important that it be reformed to not make a no or trivial injury open handed slap shove or holding (small scratches, some bruising from having one’s arm held with the person held is trying are to free it – e.g. to slap some more) no longer criminalized with automatic, she has no say in it, orders of protection that force him to move out and stop all communication no matter how much she wants to talk.

              Aside from that being far to draconian for trivial things, it’s also in effect highly gender unbalanced since mere slaps by females about never lead to her arrest, and very rarely lead to him making a 911 call out of being pissed of etc. in the first place.

              What’s developed in part in response is that women slap, shove and punch men a whole lot more than the reverse, because they know they won’t get arrested and forced to move out through an order of protection but if he retaliates, he will be. That’s gotten into the culture by now.

  2. Greg Allan says:

    I’ve previously mentioned victims being aggressively rejected by government funded services due to their gender or that of their abuser. Often the victims concerned approach those services after seeing literature which is very carefully neutralised from a gender standpoint. In essence they have been set up – whether deliberately or not – for further abuse by the information disseminated by those services.

    A decade ago I would be heartened by gender neutral presentations that gave the appearance of inclusiveness for all victims. In the intervening time I’ve come to learn that gender neutrality is often merely a consequence of a political need to give the appearance of inclusiveness rather than an intent to actually operate in an inclusive manner.

  3. You know, it’s not a good idea to antagonize your audience with discrimination denial while profiting from advertisement in violation of the Adsense terms of service. This page and many others contain auto-refresh code that artificially inflates page impressions and thus deceives the Adsense statistics and the advertisers from who’s funding you profit.
    It’s also stupid because you can hardly be gaining much from that violation but risk losing the partnership entirely. I’m still in the process of deciding whether I should report this or not.

  4. Well, the title of the law itself is a bit gender biased wouldn’t you say? Aside from that, I don’t think people are specifically trying to remove a law that protects women from violence, they are trying to have this law specifically address those who DO falsely accuse someone and cannot be held accountable for doing so.

    To say that one person getting shafted to protect others is ok is a completely unfair thing to say. It isn’t as though just one person gets shafted, hundreds of thousands of people get shafted by the law, but that doesn’t even include the ripple effect it has over families. Just saying “I think something might have happened that he did to our child” is grounds enough to remove a man from the home, set a custody precedence, and completely destroy someones life who is otherwise a good father. Once the accusations are dropped completely the damage is already done.

    Obviously there needs to be a protection in place for abused men, women, and children but this law is seriously flawed. So flawed that its constitutionality has been questioned because right to due process is stripped entirely. The law was only enacted in 1994 so statistics are sparse, but some publications have stated that as high as 70% of all false accusations occur during a custody dispute. Even if it was as low as 20%, that statistic alone still shows that the law is being abused and not always used as intended. More and more women are catching on that they are immune from any liability and even some divorce lawyers have used accusations as a strategy to get their client what they demand.

    Personally, I think that holding false accusers accountable would have a tremendous effect on the amount of false accusations that take place. Not only would it be a major deterrent but it would also significantly decrease the amount of homes that are essentially destroyed. Please at least consider this before attacking those who may oppose certain parts of the VAWA.

  5. I note that “ the author investigate[d] VAWA for himself,” and came up with this conclusion: “No wonder they had to fight it on the basis of Scary Scary Immigrants:
    We can easily do some investigation of the “Scary” issue. To find out what is hidden behind the phrase “Scary, Scary immigrants,” see this news clip on Youtube: “CBS 5 Investigative report: Olga Chaikheeva of Shield Foundation, AKA-Arizona Russian Center” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZD1FUo57nrQ
    And also this article by an insider who reveals the false accusation racket : http://www.saveservices.org/statement-by-encounters-international/
    It turns out there are a lot of Good Investigators looking into this issue. The Good Men Project would do well in assigning an investigative reporter to looking into the experiences of men who are victims of fraud. Robert Franklin would be a good person to hire to do a multi-part investigative report on good men who are being targeted by criminals using VAWA to gain money, property and other desired benefits. The subject is too vast to be encompassed in just one or two long articles. And it requires a knowledgeable reporter like Franklin. Pop journalism, (emotions, opinions, ideological prejudices, sarcasm, cynicism) will not get the job done.

  6. I support rights for women but i believe this bill could cause men to be arrested first in domestic violence cases. I believe that we should protect women but that we should also create more bills to include men. I have spent much time in poor ghettos times are changing women now can have kids get free or affordable housing while men have to take constant verbal abuse for being low wage earners.

    TheHaveHopeNetwork.com

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