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.

 

Image of Man strikes another courtesy of Shutterstock

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. Eric M. says:

    Unless the VAWA was recently changed, it defines abusers as make and victims as female.

    If sponsors and supporters had any interest in affording males equal protection they would have changed the name a decade ago, including the name of the government agency.

    If sponsors and supporters were willing to acknowledge female abusers if males, it would not have been necessary to exert political pressure to gender neutralize the language. They would have just done it. Much misandry is at work there.

    • Joanna Schroeder says:

      Eric, why don’t you go look it up?

      I feel strongly that there are a few people who have claimed to know exactly what’s in VAWA and have gone on any of the MRA sites and said, “I read it, I know for a fact that it says xyz” and then everyone believes it.

      Noah has pulled a direct quote here. Either you say, “based upon that section, it does seem as though VAWA allows equal protection under the law for men” or you think he’s somehow lying or has been reading a fake VAWA. In that case, it’s up to you to find the document, and look for yourself.

      • To me the issue hasn’t been what wording was in the VAWA but how it was actually utilized/enforced. Similar to how there’s nothing on the actual law books that says women should be paid less than men for the same work but it happens anyway.

        Also I noticed there seemed to be like different versions of it up for debate/passing?

        And also which MRAs are we talking about here? I know that people get raked over the coals for saying “feminists” when they are/were talking about “a portion of feminists”.

        • I am wondering if it violates the negative generalization rules or does that only apply to comments? Could I now write an article “Feminists would like to selectively abort male fetuses to control the male population” because a few feminists actually support it?

          “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”
          From the sound of this line and quite frankly the entire document it appears the author dislikes MRA’s, can you at least clarify on WHICH mra’s you mean because it’s not looking good from what I can see. A simple qualifier is all that is needed to turn that paintroller into a nice accurate pin-striping brush.

          • Joanna Schroeder says:

            Fellas, I have never met an MRA who was for VAWA.

            Please fill me in if I’m wrong.

            • Joanna Schroeder says:

              That is to say – not that there aren’t MRAs who might be for VAWA – but rather that isn’t being against VAWA a fundamental tenant of the MRM? Of course there’s diversity within the movement on individual levels, but when something is a fundamental tenant of the movement, it’s hard not generalize.

              One similar example might be reproductive rights within the feminist movement. While we know that there are feminists who are pro-life, it’s pretty rare. And generally they set themselves apart from the feminist movement by calling themselves something different because pro-choice is such a fundamental tenant of feminism.

              Saying something like “feminists hate men” or “feminists scream at men who want to talk about father’s rights” is not addressing the fundamental elements of the movement. That’d be like me saying, “MRAs hate women” — it can really, really feel that way at times, but I try not to say it because I realize it’s a gross generalization and not a tenant of the movement.

            • Transhuman says:

              Many MRAs are against VAWA because it is against boys and men – since the MRM is FOR boys and men the clash is inevitable. Opposition to VAWA is not, of itself, a tenant of the MRM, anti-misandry is the tenant you’re looking for and VAWA falls under misandry.

              If VAWA was Violance Against People Act (VAPA) and its language, funding regulations and principles were non-sexist then the MRM would support it. It is worth mentioning that in mainstream MRM, anti-violence is a strong principle, because so many men are affected by violence. On many MRM sites, one of the few ways to be banned is to advocate violence of any form.

            • John Anderson says:

              What makes things interesting is that we’re told that opposing misandry is a tenet of feminism also, but many (I’d even say most) feminists support VAWA.

            • Eric M. says:

              “. . . we’re told that opposing misandry is a tenet of feminism.”

              This is one of many of examples of the feminist movement (since VAWA is widely supported within the movement) supporting and defending misandry. Are there any feminist groups or organizations at all, anywhere that don’t support VAWA because of its misandry?

            • http://www.avoiceformen.com/updates/news-updates/house-passes-vawa-reforms/

              And since when people like to attack MRAs one of the first places they reach for is A Voice For Men…

            • Except that’s the House version of the bill. Arguably the most restrictive and discriminatory version of VAWA is the House version.

            • Still beats the constant chirping that MRAs hate women.

            • Heather:
              Can you explain those suppositions?
              My understanding is that a lot of DV orgs rate this version poorly because A) it calls for budget review–for the first time there will be an accountability to where the VAWA funds are going (many reviews have showed there is rampan misuse of funds and corruption so that most of the money is not going to actual victims) and B) slices the “services pie” even further by removing biased language and ensuring that male victims can get aid.

              How that is restrictive and discriminatory I don’t understand, and I was hoping you could shed some light on that.

            • Well for one thing, it doesn’t provide for protections for LGBT individuals. For another thing, it doesn’t provide protections for illegal immigrants or Native Americans. That’s where the points of contention are.

            • Well then Obama should also veto the Senate version as it discriminates against 49% of the population, i.e. men.

            • doug1111 says:

              Do male victims of serious domestic violence get any funding? I believe the answer to that is no. Where are the battered men’s shelters? Is the police training under VAWA gendered unbalanced? Yes.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “Well for one thing, it doesn’t provide for protections for LGBT individuals.”

              Wrong, It doesn’t single out and grant special treatments for LGBT individuals, but, unless you are suggesting LGBT individuals do not consist of men and women, they are covered. And given the politically correct nature of our society, they are still far more likely to benefit than hetero men.

              Native Americans are also made up of men and women, what it doesn’t do (and the demo version does) is place non tribe members under the jurisdiction of the tribal council. This isn’t right.

              Illegal immigrants are affording protections, the just need to actually prove their abuse now to benefit. No more baseless accusations granting a fast track to the front of the immigration line. I’m curious why you think it’s more important that an immigrant be allowed to accuse a citizen and not be questioned on it, but instead be granted full citizenship for it?

            • That’d be like me saying, “MRAs hate women” — it can really, really feel that way at times, but I try not to say it because I realize it’s a gross generalization and not a tenant of the movement.
              I’m glad you try not to do that. Problem is Johanna when it comes to feminists that try not to do that you are actually in the minority. In the majority of feminists spaces you can say that exact line and it would not only go unchallenged but it would be supported.

              And that is part of what is bothering me on this. People try to make this up to be that all MRAs want to have the right to beat and rape women or something horrible like that even in the face of knowing full well there are those among them that do say they want full inclusion.

              Noah is trying to say that the full inclusion is already there in the language which may be the case (although I think Eric M. is making a decent argument against that) but it’s not there in the execution, discussion, or use of it. Again I’ll use fair pay. There is nothing on the law books that says its legal to pay women less than men for the same work when all other variable are equal. Does that men that there is no need for any of those Fair Pay acts?

            • From what I have seen of MRA’s they oppose gendered policy of domestic violence prevention, and detest the anti-male aspects of VAWA. If it were truly gender neutral and implemented with equality, no leaving anyone out, no funding mostly women and forgetting the men (I’ve heard this happens in other comments, correct me if it’s wrong). But pretty much all I’ve seen would probably support a violence against humans act.

            • Mark Neil says:

              There are some MRA’s that oppose VAWA in general as unnecessary spending, given assault is already covered under the books. Others couldn’t care less if it existed or not, but oppose it solely for the gendered language used throughout the document (even if a handful of paragraphs have been re-written to sound gender neutral, the document as a whole is not). Other still support VAWA, but insist it must be made gender neutral.

            • John Anderson says:

              I can’t say I support it, but at this moment I can’t say that I oppose it. I can’t even say that I support giving residency to people in this country illegally who report DV. Some people like to say that women don’t lie, but if people didn’t react to incentives then why do so many companies and the government give them out. There was a report out recently that said that military rapes were up over 60%. In 2009 the rules on pregnancy were changed because we lost too many soldiers to pregnancy. Pregnant women would now be court martialed along with the father. I can’t help but suspect that they’re related to some extent.

              Even the stuff Eric pointed out doesn’t convince me to oppose it. Funding programs to stop violence against women and girls is a good thing. It would be better if violence against men and boys was stopped as well, but I support ending violence against women and girls and don’t make stopping violence against men and boys a precondition of support. An argument can be made that funding studies about violence against women and girls and the name of the act is calculated to bias enforcement of the act’s provisions making it in effect discriminatory. It should be corrected, but I’m not sure that it warrants opposition.

              If this was the act that created rape shield laws, we should all oppose it. Men are more reluctant to report rapes especially by female perpetrators, have a much more difficult time getting it prosecuted and I’m certain that the convictions are harder. As an MRA I should support an accusation = guilt standard in rape cases if the law were truly gender neutral , but I have as big an issue incarcerating innocent women as I do innocent men. MRA is not anti-woman. What do you do when both parties accuse each other of rape? Previous false accusations and consensual sex within a window of the rape should always be admissible. It could explain some of the vaginal evidence. Finding other potential victims is often cited as a justification for releasing a perpetrator’s identity, but doesn’t hiding the identity of the accuser prevent the accused from getting exculpatory evidence for similar reasons.

            • Random_Stranger says:

              I find the imbalance in anonymity granted the accuser vs the accused in rape allegations totally bewildering. I always assumed that was a calculated imbalance by the AP when reporting such cases, I didn’t think it was fiduciary. Any know why it exists?

              The practice clearly engenders dubious incentives and must lead to abuse.

            • Mark Neil says:

              The assertion is that revealing the accused name will promote other victims of the accused to come forward, while keeping the accusers name silent will protect them from retaliation by friends and family of the accused. My problem with this is that it basically says a woman’s right to a second chance to accuse a man is more important than protecting that man’s rights and reputation. It is granting any women who may or may not exist, another opportunity to come forward after she has made the decision not to do so (which is fine, except it comes at the expense of all men, including those that don’t have other women out there waiting for a second chance to come forward.). It also denies the ability for others falsely accused or threatened with false accusations to come forward in the accused’s defense, and denies evidence of such should it actually exist. It basically creates a double standard where the accused’s past sexual history is damningly relevant to the case while the accusers is so irrelevant it isn’t even allowed.

        • “Again I’ll use fair pay. There is nothing on the law books that says its legal to pay women less than men for the same work when all other variable are equal. Does that men that there is no need for any of those Fair Pay acts?”

          Women were getting paid fairly before any such act. That the whole ‘women get paid less’ is a charade that refuses to die down is outright ridiculous.

          ‘In fact, as early as the 1950s the pay gap between men and never-married women (i.e., those women who were unlikely to have temporarily left the work force in order to raise children) was less than 2 percent. Never-married white women actually earned 6 percent more than never-married white men in the 1950s.’

          • The point was Noah was using that quote to try to say that VAWA does cover men, despite what others have brought up since. Based on the line of thought that if it’s in the language then its being addressed then the fact that there is nothing in the language of law to say that women should be paid less than men then its not happening right?

            By the way I’m not trying to defend the practice of paying women less.

        • doug1111 says:

          As study after study has shown men are paid more than women for the same work because it isn’t the same work.

          Men work longer hours, take fewer sick or personal days, are more willing to work on weekends and holidays during crunchs, have less voluntary absences from work during extended periods to stay at home for awhile with infants, spend less time gossiping and socializing at work, do hazardous or physically difficult jobs (like deep see fishing, oil rig work, put out oil rig fires, etc.) far more than women, and often trade status or nice and easy and congenial working conditions for more money. This was shown early on by Colin Farrell in his book “Why Men Earn More” and has been shown by study after study since.

      • Mark Neil says:

        Throughout the VAWA document, there are statistics and “findings” describing female victimization and male perpetration, with no cooresponding male victimization and/or female perpetrations rates. This sends a clear message and can only result in a bias against men. Furthermore, several sections still specifically only apply to women, I point you to section 901 of the artciles VAWA link, where it discusses native american WOMEN (ONLY).

        Now consider for a moment that this document is then the backbone of training for police, courts officials, and professions on domestic violence and ask yourself how a document rife with one sided gender profiling and stereotyping DOESN”T discriminate? And I’m not sure how one, or even a handful of gender neutral paragraphs in any way negates all that gendering, meaning’s noah pulling a single paragraph proves little?

        How about I show some proof of how this trickles down. Lets look at the STOP funding guidelines for 3 states:

        Hawaii VAWA STOP funding guidlines.
        Page 2-6
        Section 2 Service Specifications
        I. Introduction
        G. Limitations on STOP Program Funding
        “Children’s services supported by STOP Program funds must show an inextricable link and be the direct result of providing services to an adult victim of violence against women.”
        and
        “Male victims may receive services under a STOP Program funded project as
        long as the agency’s primary focus is on efforts to stop violence against
        women.”
        http://www.state.hi.us/spo2/health/rfp103f/attachments/rfp7411265074918.pdf

        In otherwords, in Hawaii, all programs must help women or else they can not help anyone.

        Louisiana STOP VAWA application instructions
        Page VAWA-3
        Program Purpose
        “1. There are a tremendous number of incidents of violent crimes against women, many of which are often hidden and underreported.
        3. The criminal justice system has too often not been responsive to women in domestic violence and sexual assault cases.”

        Notice the wording specifies women in more than just the “violence against women” name… justice system not responsive to WOMEN, violent crimes against WOMEN. You can see this clear gendering throughout the entire program purpose.
        Page VAWA-4
        General Funding Information
        Funding Priorities
        Prohibited Activities or Uses of Funds
        “Prohibited Activities or Uses of Funds
        6: Supporting Services that focus exclusively on children”
        http://www.cole.state.la.us/programs%5Cuploads%5CVAWA%5CVAWA_App_Instruct_rev_072010.pdf

        Kentucky also denies program funding to programs exclusively for children, but at least it includes male victims in a caveat, after saying women are overwhelmingly the victims.

        Now, with that said, I find it highly dishonest for the original author to not only dismiss, but ridicule those who oppose the current 2012 Democrat proposed reauthorization by pointing to the existing 2005 version, without any consideration for the changes the democrats have added.

        • Mark Neil says:

          The STOP funding quotes were originally written up for the purpose of showing how a single minded focus on women hurt even children, let alone men. I posted before properly formating it for the purpose of this discussion, but I think the point still stands

        • doug1111 says:

          Ilegal immigrants should not receive immunity from deportation because the make a domestic violence claim against their partner. Having such a provision will obviously encourage false domestic violence claims.

      • Peter Houlihan says:

        I’m reading it now, but given that it’s specifically the violence against *women* act and that I’ve never heard of anything but men being prosecuted under it I strongly suspect it’s not nearly as gender neutral as Noah claims.

        • Eric M. says:

          Yeah, there’re those pesky things called context, facts, and truth.

          MOD EDIT: Please avoid implying that other users are deliberately lying.

        • Copyleft says:

          Nice try, Noah, but your attempt to dismiss MRAs as immigrant-hating misogynists doesn’t reflect the truth. Opposition to the vile VAWA is legitimate and substantiated by facts.

  2. Eric M. says:

    I have looked it up. Me. Myself. Not someone else. The Act is a very long document that goes into a lot of detail regarding men, women, boys, and girls in various situaitons. I took the time to study it in depth about 2-3 years ago. I didn’t pull a single quote out of context with the rest of the document.

    Unless it has been changed in the last 2-3 years, it still defines abusers as male and victims as female in key sections. Unless it has been changed in the last 2-3 years, the name continues to be VAWA, which is not gender neutral. The name itself defines victims as females

    • Noah Brand says:

      Well, I guess we could look at the “definitions” section to see how it’s defining terms. That is kind of what it’s for.

      Wait, no, we did that. In this post. And you read it, you, yourself, not someone else, and then flatly asserted the opposite to be true. I’ll give you this, though: you’re telling the truth when you say you didn’t provide a single quote to bolster your assertion.

      • Eric M. says:

        Have you actually read the Act?

        There are dozens and dozens of places where victims are assumed (defined) to be female.

        Act, in various sections, assumes (defines) abusers as male and victims as female. That is, it uses the masculine gender in reference to the abusers and the feminine gender in reference to the victims.

        Example:

        ‘‘(B) to create public education campaigns and community
        organizing to encourage men and boys to work as
        allies with women and girls to “prevent violence against
        women and girls” conducted by entities that have experience
        in conducting public education campaigns that address
        domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or
        stalking.

        Men and boys perps, women and girls victims, according to the above.

        There are many others that define victims as female and either defines or implies that males are the abusers.

        (b) USE OF FUNDS.—The research conducted under this section
        shall include evaluation and study of best practices for reducing
        and “preventing violence against women and children” addressed
        by the strategies included in Department of Health and Human
        Services-related provisions this title, including strategies addressing
        underserved communities.

        No mention of similar data on male victims of abuse in the below section, or anywhere else.

        (2) Thirty-seven percent of all women who sought care
        in hospital emergency rooms for violence-related injuries were
        injured by a current or former spouse, boyfriend, or girlfriend.

        No similar data on male victims in the below section or anywhere else.

        (1) Nearly 1/3 of American women report physical or sexual abuse by a husband or boyfriend at some point in their lives.

        `(3) to increase the safety and well-being of women and children in rural communities, by–

        `SEC. 1402. EDUCATION, TRAINING, AND ENHANCED SERVICES TO END VIOLENCE AGAINST AND ABUSE OF WOMEN WITH DISABILITIES.

        and to develop and strengthen victim services in cases involving such crimes against women on campuses,

        `Subtitle M–Strengthening America’s Families by Preventing Violence Against Women and Children

        `The purpose of this subtitle is to–

        `(1) prevent crimes involving violence against women, children, and youth;

        `(2) increase the resources and services available to prevent violence against women, children, and youth;

        It goes on and on . . .

        • Noah Brand says:

          Right. So you concede you lied, intentionally or otherwise, about the definition and the legal protection. Good start. Should the education efforts and data collection deeper in the bill be less gendered? Quite possibly. But that’s in no way what you started out arguing, now is it?

          [MOD EDIT: Please avoid implying that other users are deliberately lying.]

          • Transhuman says:

            Noah, are you trying to “win” the argument, or are you willing to look at what VAWA actually says? So far, Eric has more runs on the board than you do. How do you explain the clearly sexist language?

          • What post are you reading? His list of evidence fully supports his earlier statements. He said the act “defines abusers as male and victims as female in key sections” then precoded to list sections that clearly defined abusers as male and victims as female. That section on public education seems very “key” in my books.

            So not only are you wrong in your assertion about Eric’s post. You violated both proper debating form and common etiquette. As far as I’m concerned, Eric presents a strong argument that in key points the VAWA is sexist while it’s not even worth reading your argument if it’s made in such bad faith.

          • Eric M. says:

            I would be happy to list the other several dozen citations that define where VAWA, on a case by case basis, situation by situation basis, defines possible victims of domestic violence as women or girls, NEVER as men or boys.

            It’s unfortunate and sad to see people so determined for men and boys’ to continue to be cast as evil and their equal rights and protection continue to be denied.

            “So you concede you lied, intentionally or otherwise. . .”

            First, wrong. I can cite dozens more examples to prove where VAWA defines victims as female, and the purpose of the Act to protect females, not males. Secondly, a person can’t lie unintentionally. Calling someone a liar is a personal attack, which is a violation of the commenting policy, which is not allowed. Straighten up.

          • Do the gendered definitions not have a significant impact on the IMPLEMENTATION of the resources to deal with domestic violence? It’s not a stretch to believe that the wording could be gender neutral in one section but the shelters etc still have major issues in supporting men for instance?

            Does VAWA have funding, and if so does that funding go equally to benefit male and female victims? I hear common complaints of a major lack of support for men in domestic violence shelters that are VAWA funded, could anyone elaborate on this? I don’t live in the US, my only exposure and understanding mainly comes from the news, this site, etc.

          • Eric M. says:

            “Right. So you concede you lied, intentionally or otherwise,”

            Concede I lied? Sorry, #1, I am not a liar. #2, it is not possible to “unintionally” lie.

            As evidence that I my comment is true, correct, and contextually accurate are the dozens and dozens of statements that DEFINE women and girls and victims and boys and men as perpetrators.

            See, here’s the thing: the word “women” actually has a definition, as do the words “girls” “boys”, and “men.” All of which the Act dozens of times over uses to define who possible victims are, and who the perpetrators/victimizers are.

            By contrast, a person might try to take a single statement out of context to make a point that shown under the light of the rest of the document taken in context is easily shown to be false.

          • Per Noah:
            “Should the education efforts and data collection deeper in the bill be less gendered? Quite possibly.”
            If VAWA funds are used for education about the problem of DV in a gendered way (i.e. only to promote awareness and fight DV against women), then you will get a lopsided gendered solution to DV that will not work.

            Surely you are aware of the reams of evidence that shows women initiate DV as often as men (even when you take into consideration who is engaging in defensive combat. I.e. women execute as many DV unprovoked, non-defensive FIRST STRIKES as men)?

        • Thank you, Eric, for actually doing your homework. Just a cursory glance of the Act shows it to be littered with gendered language where it’s absolutely inappropriate and unnecessary.

          I find it ironic that the same people who would argue that Civil Unions are insufficient alternatives to gay marriage because WORDS MATTER are at the same time quick to harp on MRAs who object to a piece of anti-violence legislation that should be entirely gender neutral being titled the Violence Against WOMEN Act.

          Notice that when Noah asks hypothetically if the sections you pointed out should be less gendered he answers with a hilariously non-commital “quite possibly.” Umm, wouldn’t he, if he actually read the entire act and is committed to gender equality, know with a bit more certainty if parts of a significant piece of legislation should be less gendered?

        • doug1111 says:

          Excellent points.

      • John Anderson says:

        @ Noah Brand

        “Well, I guess we could look at the “definitions” section to see how it’s defining terms. That is kind of what it’s for.

        Wait, no, we did that. In this post. And you read it, you, yourself, not someone else, ”

        So I read it for myself. As I read the definitions section Noah provided, I’m less certain that even this section is gender neutral. It states “under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies,” and again in another area states, “who is protected from that person’s acts under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction.” Since the definitions in some circumstances are based on the definitions of the local jurisdiction, it can’t be said that the law is gender neutral based on gender neutral definitions unless all local jurisdictions have adopted gender neutral language.

        • Mark Neil says:

          And I’ve shown two examples above Hawaii and Louisianan that clearly don’t have gender neutral language.

      • John Anderson says:

        Now that I’ve read it, maybe someone could address Eric’s concern that other parts of the act could influence local jurisdictions to adopt gender specific definitions thus making this section essentially gendered. Unless same sex marriage and adoptions become legal, I’m having issues with that “committed by a current or former spouse”, “victim shares a child in common”, and “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” aspects of the definitions section also.

        • Eric M. says:

          How would VAWA supporting feminists and feminist organizations react if the next version of the Act did a simple find and replace, where “woman/women” and “girl/girls” were replaced by “man/men” and “boy/boys” and vice-versa? According to this article’s argument, that shouldn’t make any difference at all since equal protection is afforded. So, there would be no reason to object. And, since VAWA supporters don’t believe it to be misandristic and sexist, and claim that equal protection is afforded, what reason could there be to object? There isn’t any, according to their argument.

          So, it would be the Violence Against Men Act (VAMA). And, it would state that the purpose of the Act was to protect men and boys against violence. And that women and girls should be partners in ending violence against men and boys.

          Would this article defend it? Or would articles such as this and feminist organizations nationwide decry it as the most sexist, misogynistic piece of legislation in the last 100+ years, and call it a war on women?

          What are the chances that the next version will have reversed language, and that the federal agency’s name would become the “Office for Violence Against Men”, with the full support of those who argue that VAWA offers men and women equal protection?

          I would love to hear from a VAWA supporter.

      • Umm… did you read the act? How about just the whole definitions section? Or just that one part you quoted? For example the defenition of “TRIBAL COALITION” is
        ” `(A) an established nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal coalition addressing domestic violence and sexual assault against American Indian or Alaskan Native women; or

        `(B) individuals or organizations that propose to incorporate as nonprofit, nongovernmental tribal coalitions to address domestic violence and sexual assault against American Indian or Alaska Native women.

    • Eric M writes:
      “I have looked it up. Me. Myself. Not someone else.
      Unless it has been changed in the last 2-3 years, it still defines abusers as male and victims as female in key sections.”

      Particularly in every section that talks about funding. Critics of those opposing VAWA can quote whatever portions they want to make it sound egalitarian. But, when the portions for funding of victims *specifically* state that no grants will be awarded to shelters which house men, then those quote have exactly zero meaning.

      As I mention below it is a matter of *public record* that MRA’s and other orgs had to lobby congress to *insert* gender neutral language into VAWA in the mid 2000’s. Marc Angelucci and David Woods had to SUE to get VAWA grants to DV shelters to apply equally to men.

      As far as I know this only affects California, and the biased language regarding victim services is *still there*.

      If those at tgmp are going to promote a claim about VAWA’s egalitarian-ness, then I would like somebody to respond (w/out calling people liars) to our counter-claims.

      If you want to learn what MRA’s issues are with VAWA, then go to MRA sights like F&F or glennsacks and type VAWA into the search bar, rather than presuming you know it all from one passage of a very long complicated law.

  3. Dear Noah Brand,

    One of the basic principles of institutional discrimination is that laws which appear, on their face, to be totally neutral can have discriminatory effects.

    One of the primary examples of this is the difference in sentencing between crack-rock cocaine and powder cocaine. Both are the same basic chemical, and yet one form of the chemical carries a much stiffer sentence. The end result has been longer sentencing for African Americans, despite the fact that the laws regarding cocaine possession do not mention the race of the offender at all.

    Even is the VAWA contains no provisions that specifically mention gender, it is clear that the act serves three functions:
    1) To increase penalties for “domestic abusers”
    2) To provide additional resources for the victims of “domestic abuse”
    3) To grant additional power to law enforcement to combat “domestic abuse”

    On it’s face, none of this need be gender-specific in order to create misandry. Just as the laws that differentiate between “crack” and powder cocaine need not mention race to have a differential impact on African Americans when compared to other groups.

    When the institutions involved: the police, the court systems, the media, project an image of men as “domestic abusers” and women as “victims” then a completely “gender neutral” law can have a very disparate impact.

    But I suspect that, on some level, you knew this already. I suspect that you are familiar with the crack v. power cocaine debate, and well aware that a law need not be openly discriminatory in order to discriminate. That leaves the open question: why did you call this law out in specific? I don’t have an answer to that.

    The fact remains, however, that a law need not use gendered language in order to discriminate against men.

    PS – Your own comment system uses a spell-check algorithm that understands “misogyny” to be a word but does not recognize “misandry.” What does that tell you about the biases that predominantly exist in American society?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I’m not aware of any spell check in this comment system, is it a part of your browser? At any rate I agree that it’s an example of how misogyny is overemphasised.

  4. 100%Cotton says:

    Awesome! So next time my son’s best friend comes over with a goose egg where his wife broke her curling iron over his head, he can call a women’s hotline for help! Or take the kids to a women’s shelter when she’s in one of her “rages”.

    Love all this “equality”!

  5. Noah the section you quote is from the 2005 re-authorization of VAWA. Was it in the original 1994 text? I’m asking because I had no luck finding it (and I wager its because I’m not looking for it properly).

  6. John Anderson says:

    “Violence Against Women Act on the grounds that it could be abused by illegal immigrants to gain residency by falsely claiming domestic abuse”

    What about the person wrongly accused? How does this change the fact that the person was in the country illegally? What other violations of the law are forgivable / reward able because we don’t want people to be dissuaded from reporting crimes? A drug dealer who is robbed should have their drug conviction overturned because he reported the theft to the police.

  7. The author should do more research.

    Noah Brand, I know you are too good to address the rabble in the comments section there, but do you really believe that there is some mass delusion leading many people and domestic violence experts to object to discrimination in VAWA, that isn’t really there?

    MOD EDIT: This is incorrect, he’s made a few replies, please refrain from making personal attacks.

    Shelters are designed for women the batterer programs are designed for men, the VAWA funded PASs pump out lies about abuse rates.

    Feminist paper calling for discrimination in arrest polices because too many women were being arrested [1] http://www.ncdsv.org/images/she_hit_me.pdf

    Experts on the laws that resulted from that

    Controlling Domestic Violence Against Men Charles E. Corry, Erin Pizzey and Martin S. Fiebert
    “However, “Primary aggressor” laws usually result in the arrest of the male despite research showing 50% of domestic assaults are mutual. Studies consistently find women use weapons more often in assaults than do men (~80% for women; ~25% for men). Women are significantly more likely to throw an object, slap, kick, bite, or hit with their fist or an object. There is no support in the present data for the hypothesis that women use violence only in self-defense.”
    “Primary aggressor
    Straus (1980) first noted that in about half the couples studied it wasn’t a case of one person assaulting the other but that both committed violent acts. Cook (1995) has presented data collected from military couples that shows mutual violence occurs 60-64% of the time in abusive relationships (Table! ). Anyone who has been married knows that domestic disputes typically involve both parties. Experience with human nature suggests it usually ‘takes two to tango’. Thus, it is specious to presume that a peace officer, no matter how well trained, can make a determination in the turmoil of a domestic disturbance where a couple have both been violent that one or the other is the “primary aggressor.” Nor should police act as judge and jury in a free society. In practice, police may arrest both the man and woman when confronted with such situations. We have not seen any evidence that such dual arrests do anything but multiply the problems of both. The fallacious approach of promoting the arrest of males over females frequently compounds the abuse a man suffers from a violent partner as there are no constraints on her actions.”
    [1] http://www.amen.ie/articles/corry.pdf

  8. Did the editors read this before it was published? I can’t add much to what’s been said but I will add. VAWA = Victims Against WOMEN Act. I guess that would be a starting point?

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      Given that the author is the editor for this section I’m pretty sure it did.

      • Can acts be name-changed, or do they need to delete/remove that act and bring in a new one, even if the body-text is the same?

        • Peter Houlihan says:

          Not sure, but given that one of the first sections details the name of the act I’d imagine so.

          I don’t think it would solve the issue though. I’m not convinced that the OVW can be reformed just by mandating them differently or changing their title. They’ve been politically invested in the notion of gendered violence for too long to just change like that.

  9. Its the same bias at work here that caused a large section of the unsheltered homeless to be erased at NSWATM.

    “Decide that mra’s are always wrong, give issue a cursory glance and confirm bias, publish inaccurate article, refuse to acknowledge the resulting egg on ones face! ”

    Here are Save services proposed language changes, there are many corrections of gednered language.

    Partner Violence Reduction Act
    Amending and Strengthening the Violence Against Women Act
    Developed by:
    Stop Abusive and Violent Environments: http://www.saveservices.org/pvra *
    The Partner Violence Reduction Act accords first priority to victims of physical violence, curbs false allegations, removes discriminatory practices, encourages partner reconciliation when feasible, requires accreditation of educational programs, strengthens the research basis, improves accountability, curbs

    http://www.saveservices.org/wp-content/uploads/Partner-Violence-Reduction-Act1.pdf

  10. Nick, mostly says:

    There are two things we should be clear about:
    1) Definitions
    Definitions is a very specific and controlling term in a law. Irrespective of any other language in the law, it is the definitions that specifies who the law applies to. As Noah illustrated, the law even though specifically named the Violence Against WOMEN Act doesn’t actually include men or women in its definition of perpetrators or victims.

    2) VAWA doesn’t create new law
    Rather, it is a set of amendments to a bevy of existing laws and provides appropriations for the Department of Justice to enforce those laws. None of the amendments I have read (and I’ll confess to not having read all of them yet) actually amends any code with gendered language.

    It seems from this that the context and motivation of the legislation is certainly about violence against women, however the text of the language amending the U.S.C. doesn’t appear to carry that gendered perspective through.

    I’m going to read the original act from 1994 to see if there is any gendered language (in terms of definitions or amendment to the U.S.C. – there is plenty of gendered titular language). That bill can be found here: Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994.

    • Nick:
      See below my post (if it gets posted).
      When talking about victim services, the language of VAWA specifically calls for grants not to be made available to shelters that house male victims.

      In addition, male victims of DV are banned from testifying before VAWA reauthorization hearings.
      IN addition, the grants made available under the OVW (Office for Violence against Women) a subset under the dept of justice created by VAWA let’s the OVW give grants to PD’s to enforce *mandatory arrest, * primary aggressor codes/laws (which state in contravention to all known DV research that female initiated violence accounts for only 5% of all DV and PD’s must put into place protocols to investigate/review cops for bias if his arrests deviate very greatly from that or the grants can be yanked), and *no-drop prosecutions (in other words nailing the citizen to the wall, even in slapping or shoving cases in which the assailant has no record and isn’t at risk to reoffend).

      VAWA is misandry on nitro.

      • John Anderson says:

        “primary aggressor codes/laws (which state in contravention to all known DV research that female initiated violence accounts for only 5% of all DV and PD’s must put into place protocols to investigate/review cops for bias if his arrests deviate very greatly from that or the grants can be yanked),”

        If this is in fact correct, this is sufficient of every individual concerned with social justice to oppose VAWA. I don’t necessarily oppose laws that only benefit women (I actually generally like them and care greatly for some). I don’t necessarily oppose laws that might theoretically disadvantage men in some tangential way, but I vehemently oppose any laws that directly and intentionally hurt men.

        If this is true it not only provides incentive for police to ignore female perpetrated violence, it may also provide incentives to arrest innocent men. I’d love to hear Noah, Heather, Joanna or Nick address this.

        • I will try to find a link. VAWA has been gone over A TON on fathersandfamilies.org and on glenn sacks webpage. This will involve using their search tool and strolling through several dozens of pages of articles.

          If anybody else would like to help search to provide a link of evidence that would be great.

        • Here is a partial success:

          I searched goggle for “ovw identifying primary aggressor”

          The second link is Save’s downloadable study titled: Primary Aggressor Policies: Leaving the Abuser Unaccountable?

          Per the document it is stated:
          Origin of the Predominant Aggressor Concept
          Beginning in the mid-1980s, states began to enact mandatory arrest laws for domestic violence. Knowing that at least half of all cases of partner aggression are mutual, these policies triggered sharp increases in the number of arrests of men and women. In California, mandatory arrest policies caused the number of arrests of men to increase by 37%, while the number of arrested women soared by 446%.9
          Advocates began to complain that the law was being enforced too aggressively, arguing arrested women were being “re-victimized” by the system. In response, the DoJ Office of Violence Against Women modified its grant requirements. Beginning in 2001, application kits for funding under the Violence Against Women Act asserted that dual arrests “trivialize the seriousness of domestic violence and potentially increase danger to victims.” Thereafter, grant recipients would need to “demonstrate that their laws, policies, or practice and their training programs discourage dual arrest of the offender and the victim.”10

          Under that footnote #10 is:

          ht tp://www.ncjrs.org/pdffiles1/nij/grants/196666.pdf
          My computer seems to be unable to open this. I will try to manually search the ncjrs webpage for pdf files.

          • I found the issue. The document address is:
            ht tp://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/grants/196666.pdf

            On page 21 it details the disparity in increases of female and male arrests due to mandatory arrests. This report by the department of justice declares this a bad thing and labels it “backlash” from the law enforcement establishment.

            Per the report:
            “What is surprising is the degree to which women are being arrested,
            convicted, and incarcerated in response to policy that is essentially designed to provide for their
            safety.”

            This report talks about arrest and conviction increase disparities as if they are all the result of police bias, rather than possibly the new mandatory arrest laws were removing (pro female) police bias.

            If a new policy states that somebody has a visible injury from an intimate partner then the aggressor will be locked away, it seems many within VAWA and OVW simply weren’t happy to let the chips fall where they may. If a woman was being arrested, the safety of the male seems to be a non-issue.

          • Here is the actual grant application to OVW for PD’s for funding.
            ht tp://www.ovw.usdoj.gov/docs/fy2012arrest-solicitation.pdf

            Program Eligibility Requirements
            In addition to meeting the eligible entity requirement outlined above, applications for the Arrest
            Program must also meet the following requirements:
            Certification of Eligibility
            According to 42 U.S.C. § 3796hh(c), to be eligible to receive funding through this Program,
            applicants must:
            (1) certify that their laws or official policies–
            (A) encourage or mandate arrests of domestic violence offenders based on
            probable cause that an offense has been committed; and
            (B) encourage or mandate arrest of domestic violence offenders who violate the
            terms of a valid and outstanding protection order;
            (2) demonstrate that their laws, policies, or practices and their training programs
            discourage dual arrests of offender and victim;
            (3) certify that their laws, policies, or practices prohibit issuance of mutual restraining
            orders of protection except in cases where both spouses file a claim and the court makes
            detailed findings of fact indicating that both spouses acted primarily as aggressors and that
            neither spouse acted primarily in self-defense; and
            (4) certify that their laws, policies, and practices do not require, in connection with the
            prosecution of any misdemeanor or felony domestic violence offense, or in connection with the
            filing, issuance, registration, or service of a protection order, or a petition for a protection order,
            to protect a victim of sexual assault, domestic violence, or stalking, that the victim bear the costs
            associated with the filing of criminal charges against the offender, or the costs associated with
            the filing, issuance, registration, or service of a warrant, protection order, petition for a protection
            order, or witness subpoena, whether issued inside or outside the State, Tribal or local
            jurisdiction; and

            This doesn’t say specifically that women cannot comprise more than 5% of the total of dv arrests, but I’m sure this is not the only document on this topic.

    • Eric M. says:

      “As Noah illustrated, the law even though specifically named the Violence Against WOMEN Act doesn’t actually include men or women in its definition of perpetrators or victims.”

      That is absolutely 100% not correct. I have stood before judges and won and lost cases based on single phrases in a law. Each and every phrase and concept in a law equally applies, can be, and has been used to decide cases.

      There is no possible way to escape the dozens of references to women and men respectivel in the law. Any attorney could easily show that the purpose of the law is to protect women and girls from boys and men’s abusiveness.

      If a law conradicts itself, then it is “void for vagueness” (see Justice Sutherland’s opinion on that from 1926).

      • Nick, mostly says:

        That is absolutely 100% not correct.

        Please, show me where in the act there is gendered language in the definition of perpetrator or victim.

        I’m not talking about how police, prosecutors, or judges interpret and apply the laws based on the title or text, I’m speaking strictly about the definitions included in the code amendments.

        • Nick, the definition page is fairly pointless when the phrases that address funding the act *specifically* states that no grants shall be issued to DV shelters that house male victims.
          You seem to have signed on board to Noah’s assigning the definition page as some kind of gospel, and ignore other sections (particularly when talking about funding victims services) that outright spells out legal bias.

          • Nick, mostly says:

            Again, I’m not arguing that VAWA isn’t gendered. Eric M. says what I wrote is not just wrong, but 100% wrong. I asked him simply to show me where the words I’ve written, which were quite limited in scope, were wrong. Do you agree with him that the words I wrote were 100% wrong or not?

            You might argue the words I wrote were correct but irrelevant, but that’s not what Eric M. wrote.

            • Well, yeah (on your last sentence).
              I would have said that your points 1 and 2 were null and void.

              As far as #1 I would point out that definitions are immaterial when other sections specifically call for gendered funding.

              As far as #2 it may be true that VAWA doesn’t create new laws (although it does spell out new policies to PD’s for VAWA grants that are very gendered, but even bypassing that point) it does create new services, and it creates them exclusively for women.

              I would have said your points may have been accurate, but the implication that therefore VAWA is an egalitarian law was 100% wrong.

        • Mark Neil says:

          If I were to create a baking document that defined cake (in general) as including cupcakes, in addition to layered cakes and wedding cakes, and then I was to include instructions that stated butter-cream icing was to be reserved for layered cakes, would you honestly attempt to argue the definition of cakes including cupcakes would grant it access to that butter-cream icing? how exactly does the general definition of cake including cupcakes somehow override the restriction on butter-cream icing only being for layered cakes?

          • Nick, mostly says:

            Great analogy, since I like cake (although not buttercream, I’m ore of a ganache person).

            So, can you point me to the language in the Act that amends the code or creates new code that specifically does this? I’ve read plenty of comments saying what the law does and doesn’t do, but none that have actually quoted any sections of the act that specifically amend the U.S.C. to do so. I’m not saying those sections don’t exist, it’s just that I haven’t found them yet and I would hope that someone among the many people on this thread who are vehemently against this Act might be more familiar and know what sections those are. Between the original 1994 Act and the renewal legislation it’s a lot of text to read through.

        • Eric M. says:

          Please show in the definitions section where “women” and “girls” are to be understood as also to be understood to mean men and boys. That is what that section would need to show since the Act states in very plain English (in many places) that the victims it is to protect are women and girls, including many purpose statements.

          If you tried to argue in court that VAWA offers equal protection to males and females, you would absolutely 100% lose. The evidence against your argument is overwhelming. What is sad are that people are so anti-male that they fight to keep it this way.

          • Eric M. says:

            Fixing typo

            That is what that section would need to show since the Act states in very plain English (in many places) that the specific intent it is to protect are women and girls, including many purpose statements.

          • Nick, mostly says:

            Please show in the definitions section where “women” and “girls” are to be understood as also to be understood to mean men and boys.

            Yeah, if I had made that argument it would be a reasonable request. I suggest saving it for someone actually making that claim.

            If you tried to argue in court that VAWA offers equal protection to males and females, you would absolutely 100% lose. The evidence against your argument is overwhelming. What is sad are that people are so anti-male that they fight to keep it this way.

            I see what you did there. You posed a hypothetical position I don’t hold, a strawman if you will, and then huffed and puffed and blew him down. Then you drop the subjunctive tense and say the evidence is overwhelming, as if that were my argument rather than one of your own fabrication. Finally you attempt a slight-of-hand and try to suggest being anti-male as a potential motivation for this argument that, as near as I can tell, only you have made. I think you need to fix more than just the typo…

            • Eric M. says:

              You’re right. You dont have an argument at all. There is no substance to anything you or this article has said. No need to even argue against it.

              But, at least you wisely retracted your initial statement where you said, ““Irrespective of any other language in the law, it is the definitions that specifies who the law applies to.”

              Even my daughter knows that words matter in the law.

        • John Anderson says:

          @ Nick, Mostly

          If you read my two posts on the definitions section, you’ll notice two things. One is many of the definitions are predicated on the definitions of the local jurisdiction, which may or may not be gender neutral meaning that the definitions section may or may not be gender neutral. Two because it specifically cites spouse or have a child in common, which we know LGBT people can’t have in many jurisdictions, it definitely is gendered when perpetrator and victim are the same gender. In these cases perpetrator and victim are required to be opposite gendered or there is no DV.

          Now if receiving grant monies is gendered as Eric has asserted and you have yet to refute, then I would submit that making receiving grant monies a requirement in the definitions section is gendered. Let me highlight the section.

          “by a person similarly situated to a spouse of the victim under the domestic or family violence laws of the jurisdiction receiving grant monies”

          So if they don’t receive grant monies because they don’t discriminate against men in delivery of services, it may not be considered domestic violence by definition under this section.

  11. I don’t remember the exact timing, but I believe it was around 2004 to 2006 that many egalitarian advocates lobbied lawmakers to put it the gender-neutral language that is now in VAWA.
    These are orgs like NCFM (natl coal for men), F&F, Glenn Sacks, and RADAR and SAVE.

    This was a heavy uphill battle.

    Then in 2008 Marc Angelucci filed a lawsuit in California on behalf of David Woods and two other defendants against the VAWA domestice violence services grant application process.

    It seems that VAWA (at the time) had specific language stating that grants for DV shelters could not be issued to any shelters that housed male victims. VAWA specifically *states* that (or did in 2008).

    Marc Angelucci won his case in the Calif. Supreme Court. The court ruling that The California Emergency Management Agency had to issue grants in an equal way so that male victims can get help.

    ht tp://ncfm.org/2012/02/action/ncfm-vp-marc-angelucci-and-david-woods-living-legacy-helps-clean-up-the-domestic-violence-industry/

    the push for gender-inclusive language and the lawsuit to overturn specifically *biased* language in VAWA for victims services is a matter of public record.

    David Woods was turned down from several DV shelters even though they get federal aid through VAWA.

    His daughter is only alive because when David’s wife pointed a shot gun at her head and pulled the trigger it was unloaded. Radfems gender battles against male victims of DV don’t just hurt men, they hurt children (of both genders too).

    The health and human services 2006 child maltreatment study shows mothers commit 70% of parental abuse (and parental slayings). I’m not making an indictment of women. But I am making a statement that there are a large percentages of abused children who *remain* in harms way because the parent who is trying to protect them from the abusive parent is the wrong gender–thanks to biased language of VAWA.

    This is a running theme I see from feminists. They presume to *just know* that it is MRA’s who are ill-informed, or misguided without doing any research whatsoever.

    Feminism isn’t the only or best way to equality. Rather than presuming that MRA’s are ill-informed, misguided, or evil maybe we should all get a little better at having these very important conversations.

  12. Yes, they’ve done themselves no favors by calling it the “Violence Against WOMEN Act”.

    It’s hard for anyone to make the argument that the law is not inherently biased when that’s the title of it. Imagine if we had a “Get Men Back to Work Act” which was really just a jobs bill for everybody, not biased against women, wink wink.

  13. There should be a violence against men act which punishes women twice for being the privileged sex when it comes to violence and grant anonymity to male victims because they it’s harder for them to come out.

    “Notice anything? The complete lack of gendered language, maybe?”

    and since it’s called the violence against the women act, there’s no need to point out that the victim is female by default? Or more correctly a ‘woman’, I am behind on the trans vs lesbian debate on what constitutes a woman.
    Even if we disregard this act, the victim is still female when it comes to domestic violence awareness, like white ribbon day in australia.

    “White Ribbon is an organisation that is working to prevent the most common form of male violence – that towards women.”

  14. doug1111 says:

    VAWA is a terrible law because it’s too hair trigger and it treats uncorroborated and often rather implausible claims by women upset at the moment on a 911 call as automatically true. Sure serious and real domestic violence should be and was before VAWA illegal, but VAWA turns a non injury return slap by a husband or male domestic partner into an automatic arrest if merely claimed by her on her 911 call even if she tell police she doesn’t want him arrested. Further he’ll get an automatic temporary restraining order that will force him to move out of his house that he’s living in with her, even if he entirely owns it or is the only one on the lease and pays all the rent. This happens automatically even if she asks that it not and even if the next day after she’s sobered up she says not happened other than yelling, she just wanted to teach him a lesson by the police talking to him. The TRO is generally for 90 days at least in NYC, during which he’s not only not allowed to be with her regardless of what she wants but also he’s not permitted be in communication with her in any way. These provisions are I think designed by radical feminists to try to break up the relationship and also to keep her caring for him after he apologizes refusing to testify.

    Even her just telling 911 and police that he was scaring her by saying he “was going to kill her” even though it was obvious rhetorical and a vast exaggeration, he can be and often will be arrested under VAWA.

    The police will about never arrest women for no injury slapping – and males rarely make 911 calls for such things. They usually won’t arrest her if she’s scratched him or bruised his arm or wrist, but they will him.

    Part of the purpose of VAWA when it makes no injury return slapping or minor bruising for say holding her wrists or arms to keep her from slapping or punching him in the stomach some more, is to erode and indeed erase male physical dominance in intimate relations, which has been a part of normal male and female relationship dynamics forever, but which radical feminists hate. Indeed given how differently it’s enforced against men vs. women it really creates female domestic dominance since she can call 911 and bring VAWA down on him and make false accusations, or goad him sufficiently that he does slap her or push her onto a bed or couch or something.

    Slaps which cause no or only very minor insignificant injury and shoves etc. should not be criminalized in intimate relationships.

    VAWA should be allowed to expire, instead of expanding it even further, which is an outrage.

    When [American] society agreed with Sean Connery

    Those were the days when men were raised to be neutered feminized betas and knew their natural relationship women involved male dominance.

  15. doug1111 says:

    *when men were not raised to be neutered …

    • Because that’s the “natural” state of things? How about NO one slapping or hitting each other or trying to wield power plays over each other?

      • There is nothing neutered about people treating each other with gentleness. God.

        • I’m not sure exactly what angle doug1111 is up to but the neutering he speaks of could be related to the double standard that males should never hit females but with no reciprocation.

          Now ideally treating each other with kindness would be the way. But that’s not how I learned it.

          • Mark Neil says:

            “But that’s not how I learned it.”

            Nor I. My mother would occasionally drill the point into me by saying “don’t hit women” as she punched me in the sternum and knocked the wind out of me.

            Furthermore, that’s not how the law teach’s it ether, or at least the training the law enforcement receives. Nor the media that jokes about male penis severing and gets all upset about a man grabbing a woman’s arm to lead the way (Tom Cruz with Holmes)

            • Then she was abusing you. And that’s flat out wrong. I wasn’t taught to hit anyone, in fact taught not to hit anyone. I was hit by no one in my family. Do I ever want to hit people? Of course I do. Women are plenty desirous of acting out. Some of them do. They are wrong. They should be treated as if they were wrong.
              Anyone abusing anyone needs a) penalty b) counseling.

            • Being taught not to do something isn’t enough and never has been. Children aren’t simply taught not to hit. When you were a child you knew there would be repercussions for being violent with your peers. Most women beyond the playground rightly realize that there are very few repercussions against certain behaviors that they were previously taught is unacceptable. The incentive to do them remains more or less the same into adulthood, but the actual restraint is removed. Results proceed as expected.

            • Then why don’t I accuse some man of hurting me? If I apparently can get away with it, why wouldn’t I do it?

            • Transhuman says:

              Julie, some women do.

            • And many, many don’t.

            • I’m quite clear on my stance that anyone abusing/injuring others, should be penalized.

            • Transhuman says:

              Julie, I’m not sure what point you are making. You asked the question “Why not?”and I afforded you a demonstrable answer. The issue isn’t with normal, well-adjusted women, it is with the laws that allow maladjusted women to abuse men and get away with it. I have spoken with women who think it is fine for them to slap their dates, to pour drinks over men’s heads, to throw objects at them. They react with horror at the mere suggestion a man might hit them back. To them that is so WRONG.

              The problem is the law and police procedures support women who behave in an anti-social manner by assuming the man is guilty even if the women is actually the aggressor.

            • And I agree that the problem is the law and police procedures.
              And frankly, I wonder about how all these people are growing up so maladjusted. I guess I had it really lucky.

            • Mark Neil says:

              That’s a question only you can answer. Perhaps you have too much pride to use such underhanded, cheating methods. Perhaps you don’t want to devolve into the abuser yourself. But these are personal reason, not societal. Furthermore, it doesn’t address those that DO do it. Many men don’t abuse their wives, should we not bother having a discussion on it? Should we stop bothering to promote awareness?

              I’m really quite confused what your point is, because it sounds an awful lot like “I don’t do it, which means not all women do it, so it’s not a problem”.

            • Yep, I have too much pride to use underhanded cheating methods! I just abuse straight out, Mark! Nice implication, there. Jesus.

              Many many men don’t abuse their wives, absolutely! I never said they did! and of course it’s a problem. Good fucking god, Mark. Why the hell would I work at this site if I didn’t think violence against men was a problem? The courts should penalize any person who engages in abuse or violence (sexual or otherwise) on another person. that person should be made to get counseling as well. Of course, I realize that given our current financial situation, more and more people will fall through the cracks.

              I’ll answer you as I answered above:

              The problem is, of course, that men who have experienced intimate partner violence from women (or from men in gay relationships, or women from women in lesbian relationships) are less likely to report, less likely to be believed because of how the process of recognizing intimate partner violence has occurred over time, and is gendered to a great extent and because our culture doesn’t support men who have suffered at the hands of women (again for gendered normative reasons).

              So while the courts and legal systems are probably more on the ball at recognizing that women can rob a store, or steal a car, or deal drugs, they are less likely to recognize that women can abuse men or women, and given how defense attorneys job is to make the “best” case for the defendant, will utilize a person’s history with abuse to gain a lenient sentence.

              What I’d like to see the masculanists and feminists do, is address this particular issue and deal with the shame and guilt that is inherent in the issue. I can’t see how it can be addressed without each other.

              It’s a huge shadow-what does it mean to be a man, what does it mean to act out in a way that isn’t “womanly” yet use that as a power to hurt people as a woman. It’s dark stuff and because it involves shame, stays in the dark. Men (some) can and do sexually assault/violently assault people. Women (some) can and do sexually assault/violently assault people.

              I think feminism got some of it right. But women have to acknowledge on a global level, that they can be violent too and that until all those roles are broken down and the root of violence is dealt with, it’s just a blame game, patchwork process.

              Then again, all this change has occurred in a mere 60 years or so which means we can do a huge amount more in 60 again. Can we actually face each other and do the work is what I”m worried about.

            • Mark Neil says:

              “Yep, I have too much pride to use underhanded cheating methods! I just abuse straight out, Mark! Nice implication, there. Jesus.”

              Funny, I was under the impression I was acknowledging your statement you don’t do it. My point was, and I do believe I said this, is that your reasoning for not doing it is yours alone. It isn’t because society has told you it is unacceptable, that the laws have deemed it punishable.

              Before I respond to the rest of what you have to say, however, I would like two things clarified. 1: do you or do you not see where my concern (last paragraph) is coming from, with how your own idea’s of what you personally were taught as right and wrong are being used to dismiss the experiences of myself and others? After all, you dismissed Kyle’s questions by asking why you personally wouldn’t accuse someone. 2: what is it that you believe you were taught, and that was taught universally, that prevents you from accusing someone of abuse, that would leave you confident enough that everyone was taught this that you are comfortable challenging Kyles assertion with?

              ultimately, it comes down to the question: how is your not accusing someone, in any way relevant to kyles points?

            • You said, “Maybe you have too much pride to use underhanded cheating methods.” Which read to me like…whatever. It doesn’t matter at this point.

              I don’t need pride to not use a “method” because I am not maladjusted enough to think that hurting or manipulating someone is a good idea. It’s a terrible idea. Society HAS told me that. My family and culture and schools and church and people I spend time with HAVE told me that/modeled it and frankly, if I hit someone, it never would occur to me that I wouldn’t be punished for it. And it’s a fucked up reason not to hurt someone (I’d get punished). I see this in my kid’s schools all the time. Bullying is bad, violence isn’t the answer, talk it out, use your words.

              So I see it as a pretty universal lesson, I guess. That there is a small percentage of people with personality disorders going against it means those people, male or female need to be dealt with legally and otherwise.

              No one should be abusing anyone. If they do, there is something wrong with them and they should be dealt with. It doesn’t or shouldn’t matter the gender. I’ve said this so many times I feel blue in the face.

              There are women and men out there who game the systems, who are abusive. And there are more men and women out there who aren’t. I think the laws should be just and equal in how they deal with gender.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              @Julie: Again, I think he was trying (badly) to say that you aren’t a bad person, just that other people who are are enabled to abuse others by legislation like VAWA.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              It’s not the issue that you don’t, it’s the issue that you could. I don’t think Kyle was saying that all women are violent psychopaths, even if he came close. I’m pretty sure he was saying that the women who are violent psychopaths realise that their behaviour is enabled by gendered society and take advantage of that fact to harm other people.

              I’m sure you’re a lovely person :)

            • Not that Julie needs it, but in her defense, I think what she’s been saying about men and women abusing/being abused happens to appear in a heated thread. She said from the start that she believes that VAWA is off the mark. What I hear her saying is that men and women need to be held accountable but more importantly have to pull up on the violence.

            • I am entirely too patient, diplomatic and forgiving, that’s one of my flaws.

              And so the issue should be to legally address the issues around violent psychopaths, male or female. And one way of doing that is by eliminating gendered roles and responses (and something that women have to take responsibility for, I agree). Anyone who is a psychopath/sociopath and is clever enough to know how to game a system WILL game a system, no matter their gender.

            • Peter Houlihan says:

              @Julie: I agree, and I understood you did too. I was just offering my reading of kyle’s comment

            • doug1111 says:

              Yes many women do make false accusations. More slap, stomach punch and shove husbands and boyfriends since they know under VAWA, men can’t retaliate in kind or just with a slap (or shove).

              Of course I think that beating up one’s wife or female domestic partner, or husband or male domestic partner should be punished as domestic violence. But no I don’t think a no or only trivial injury (slight wrist bruising or scratching) slap or shove should be criminalized with 90 day orders of protection, requirement that he hire a lawyer, go to court multiple times etc. all when she decides she doesn’t want to testify against him or says she made it up to teach him a lesson for yelling at her.

              Since women are only very rarely arrested for doing the same thing, but men almost always are if she calls 911, the way VAWA stands now and the way it’s enforced gives her impunity to slap or stomach punch him all she wants, and she knows he CAN’T slap her back or it’s 911 VAWA for him.

              This is a completely wrong state of affairs and must be changed. Stop criminalizing no or trivial injury open handed slaps or shoves (but only when done by men) under VAWA. Change the law, in that way, and as the republican house has proposed as well, making it a lot more gender balanced in other ways, with the serious stuff.

          • Yeah, I saw plenty of women slap, punch their bf’s/partners in school and after even publically, no one bats n eye. These particularly women generally have entitlement issues and control their bfs, you’ll commonly hear “pussy whipped” thrown around because these guys don’t reciprocate, nor do they even speak up against it, they just allow the shit to continue. I’ve had women slap me when I was younger, I’d go OI but at the time I was caught in the whole omgwomengivingmeattentionyay spell from my insecurity and didn’t speak up enough. I wonder how many people suffer through these bad behaviours from not having the confidence to speak up against them?

            • You bring up an interesting point. I remember a study being talked about on F&F. It stated that the #1 indicator of whether or not women will be injured due to domestic combat is their level of unprovoked attacks.

              Look at “teen mom” star Amber Portwood attacking Gary Shirley (for which she was charged for either this aired segment or another).

              ht tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PG1tG7WhHXE

              Imagine the harm this guy could do if one day she pushes him past his breaking point (and when that happened would a battered husband defense ever apply? I have *never* heard of any man successfully using a battered husband defense for any criminal act).

              These women rely on an invisible curtain of a cultural double standard. That won’t protect them when they eventually push these guys too far.

      • doug1111 says:

        People get mad and lose their tempers. Women are almost never arrested and subjected to 90 days temporary orders of protection unwanted by either spouse or domestic partner, for mere no or trivial injury slapping but men are all the time if she just calls 911, which women do far more than men when they’re mad and often mad and drunk. Men shouldn’t be arrested, get those 90 day more out of their homes orders and no communication whatsoever, have to hire a lawyer and go to court repeatedly for some so trivial as a no or only really trivial injury slap or shove. Yet it happens all the time and shouldn’t.

        The trivial level stuff is only enforced against men and only called into 911 with rare exceptions by women. As well they open up huge scope for false claims which often happen when a divorce battle looms esp. if there’s a custody dispute, since how do you disprove claims of a no injury slap and women are required to automatically be believed for purposes of arresting, issuing temporary orders of protection, and prosecution hearings at least for 90 days to see if she’ll change her mind about testifying.

        It’s extremist and so in my and a great many men’s mind who actually know how VAWA operates on trivial stuff, so is any woman that supports this hair trigger and men being guilty until proven innocent of even the smallest stuff under VAWA.

        And jeesh is right. Fully in the other direction.

        • Furthermore Doug is that thanks to no-drop prosecution if a woman says she lied in the heat of anger the prosecutor will not drop the charges.
          Even if it was slapping or shoving, VAWA gives grants to PD’s and prosecutors to move forward with the charges. Even if there were extreme extenuating circumstances (like being fired, death of a loved one, or being drunk) and the assailant has no criminal record (in other words indicators he is at low or no risk to reoffend) the prosecutor is directed to move forward with charges.

          This violates one of the commandments of feminism: you should always believe the woman.
          But, not believe her if she recants. Isn’t it interesting that radfem inspired DV/rape laws says the woman herself is the best authority and needs to be listened to when she claims a man is dangerous, but when she claims a man is not dangerous she is no longer the best authority?

          This also violates simple concept of human nature. There is a certain level of dysfunctionality (or extenuating conditions) to assault another person. How much less dysfunctionality (or exacerbating conditions) does there need to be for a person to simply *lie* about the person assaulting them?

          No drop charges are a joke. Whether they are used as a tool of oppression of men or all citizens. No-drop prosecutions need to be done away with. They are a huge destruction of due process and erode the distinction between allegation and conviction.

          They are the enemy of a free citizenry.

  16. Well done, Noah. I haven’t seen an opinion so uneducated on this site before. Did you even glance through this thing before cherry picking this section?

    You seriously want to take MRA’s to task for being pissed about VAWA? Jeez, AVFM is going to have a field day with you I bet.

    • Copyleft says:

      There’s a big difference between this site and NSWATM. You can’t make cheap and unfounded attacks on MRAs here and expect it to go unchallenged.

  17. Random_Stranger says:

    So I’ll play devil’s advocate here and advance what I *think* the feminist position is on VAWA and its explicit gendered objective.

    So imagine we can classify the relationship between a victim and his/her assailant into three groups: non-affiliate, affiliate and intimate. Non-affiliate assailants would be the stranger you meet in the parking lot who puts a gun in your face or the unknown person(s) who steal(s) your property in the middle of the night. The victim and assailant have never met and have no prior relationship. Affiliated assailants are people known to the victim by association to a gang, transacting business or other loosely connected social group, their relationship is largely transaction oriented and ends when the terms of the relationship are violated, criminal or otherwise. Intimate assailants share a close, emotional relationship with the victim, their relationship endures assaults between the intimate partners until some boiling point is reached .

    Now with that framework in mind and a definition established, I’m going to suppose that we agree that a man is more likely to suffer at the hands of a non-affiliated or affiliated assailant while a women is more likely to suffer at the hands of an intimate assailant. Now, I’m not saying anything about the distribution of victims within a population of crimes (you could have more absolute male victims under all three categories), I’m saying if you look at the crime risk men and women face as individuals in society we *probably* experience different risk and consequently, a different understanding of what a crime and an assailant might look like.

    Bringing it back to my faux-feminist position, if you believe that the male perspective has been the dominant force shaping our understanding of law and justice, then our legal system and culture would have become very effective recognizing, policing and prosecuting crime executed by affiliate and non-affiliate assailants, in fact it may become what we think of when we think “crime”. Conversely, such a system may not understand crime by intimate assailants or even recognize it as “crime” as the male perspective would have less experience with it or, at least in proportion to affiliated and non-affiliated crime. And so, the feminist explicitly injects the female experience into the legal system to broaden its perspective.

    • Mark Neil says:

      ” I’m going to suppose that we agree that a man is more likely to suffer at the hands of a non-affiliated or affiliated assailant while a women is more likely to suffer at the hands of an intimate assailant.”

      What’s this supposition based off of? Because it contradicts your following line claiming to not say anything about distribution, because you have said victims are distributed more amongst females then males in this line, and actually require this to be true in order to continue. Or are you speaking ratios, such as 30/40/30 for men and 10/10/80 for women, in which case one must also know how much those numbers represent, after all, just because only 30% of male received violence is of the intimate kind, does say anything overall, especially if men endure 2.7x more violence (or more) overall. (numbers generated randomly for the purpose of example).

      So please clarify these.

      • Great point

      • I think Random may have meant total raw numbers rather than distribution.

      • Random_Stranger says:

        Yep, you’re on the right track, but you could go further….consider that it would be entirely possible to have 60% of all intimate partner victims be male while having only 1% of men and 30% of women experience intimate partner violence if it happens that 60% of the violence happens to 1% of men while 40% of the remainder happens to 30% of women (extreme skew for illustrative purposes).

        Basically, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics. You can get proportions to argue whatever you want depending on what you use as your basis and how you define your population. Beware those who come bearing statistics.

    • Do you believe that the legal system has become effective in recognizing, policing etc crime by affiliate and non? I’d say so. I also agree that intimate violence has only pretty recently been understood as an issue, mostly because of feminism.

      The problem is, of course, that men who have experienced intimate partner violence from women (or from men in gay relationships, or women from women in lesbian relationships) are less likely to report, less likely to be believed because of how the process of recognizing intimate partner violence has occurred over time, and is gendered to a great extent and because our culture doesn’t support men who have suffered at the hands of women (again for gendered normative reasons).

      So while the courts and legal systems are probably more on the ball at recognizing that women can rob a store, or steal a car, or deal drugs, they are less likely to recognize that women can abuse men or women, and given how defense attorneys job is to make the “best” case for the defendant, will utilize a person’s history with abuse to gain a lenient sentence.

      What I’d like to see the masculanists and feminists do, is address this particular issue and deal with the shame and guilt that is inherent in the issue. I can’t see how it can be addressed without each other.

      It’s a huge shadow-what does it mean to be a man, what does it mean to act out in a way that isn’t “womanly” yet use that as a power to hurt people. It’s dark stuff and because it involves shame, stays in the dark. Men (some) can and do sexually assault/violently assault people. Women (some) can and do sexually assault/violently assault people.

      I think feminism got some of it right. But women have to acknowledge on a global level, that they can be violent too and that until all those roles are broken down and the root of violence is dealt with, it’s just a blame game, patchwork process.

      Then again, all this change has occurred in a mere 60 years or so which means we can do a huge amount more in 60 again. Can we actually face each other and do the work is what I”m worried about.

      • Which is why you have the creation of “from ideology to inclusion” a yearly seminar which includes many from the medical fields, DV establisment, and mental health experts to concentrate on those things which reduce violence, rather than relying on the broken “duluth wheel” method which says the majority of violence is male on female and is due to patriarchy and the idea that men exist in a culutre that reward them for putting women “in their place”.

        The alternative methods of couples counseling teaching conflict resolution and impulse control and reducing behaviors which increase violence (like drugs and alcohol) are far far more affective than radfem inspired duluth batterers programs. For one thing, 80% of all domestic violence is reciprocal (in which both partners are aggressive and lash out–in other words the women also attack, not just engage in defensive combat). The duluth model refuses to even acknowledge female violence.

        ht tp://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=from+ideology+to+inclusion+2009&hl=en&as_sdt=0&as_vis=1&oi=scholart&sa=X&ei=Zn66T8a5HoWu6gHI8eymAg&ved=0CA8QgQMwAA

        As radfems strangle hold on DV programs refuge to let their be any evolution to gender-neutral solutions, then they will more and more be sidelined.

        My understanding is that many DV experts and mental health experts are starting to turn away from feminist-minded solutions and turn to solutions of the type I posted.

      • Random_Stranger says:

        Agreed, I can accept that the avg women *probably* has a higher risk of experiencing domestic violence than the average man (or not, it really doesn’t matter) its just frustrating that domestic violence is so deliberately gendered in our culture (and when I say culture, I’m referring to far more than semantics in a bill). By contrast, we don’t genderize murder even *if* men as a population are more likely to experience that crime. Its almost likely we’re attempting to compensate for some shortcoming.

        Oh, I just looked up the Duluth Wheel. Holy hell! And that section on “using male privilege” -man, that really rubs salt into my wounds.

  18. funnyfaceking says:

    genderless language is not the issue

    due process laws, or the lack of them, are the issue

    any male who is accused of domestic violence under VAWA or a related state domestic violence law, can be arrested and prosecuted without a shred of evidence

    it’s not a “good law”

  19. Why wasn’t this law tackled the way the Affordable Care Act handled?

    Why didn’t tgmp publish an article stating:”hey we have been hearing some bad press about VAWA. If you are critical of VAWA and have some research or evidence, feel free to share it with us”

    There should be a drive to get at the heart of somebody’s criticism of something before responding.
    You just may be surprised to find the critics have very good points.

    • Peter Houlihan says:

      I’d imagine this was independantly posted by Noah, than part of a concerted drive to support Vawa, but it’s a good idea. If you don’t mind I’m going to pass it on to Lisa. I’m not an editor or anything but she might be interested.

  20. Julie responded to Peter Houlihan (in a comment horribly nested):

    “Anyone who is a psychopath/sociopath and is clever enough to know how to game a system WILL game a system, no matter their gender.”

    Julie, many on here have been talking about the system (VAWA) and talking about the *very serious flaws* that allow abusive women to get away with violence, or non aggressing men to be put into jail on an angry women’s say so.

    In other words (unlike some of the posters you have been arguing with) we haven’t been saying “all women do X,Y, or Z” but instead said that the system is broken.

    The response for our troubles on offering proof of how broken the system is and how women can *easily* game it to abuse or jail men has been to be called liars.

  21. BlackHumor says:

    Noah, that’s not quite the line you want, because the original version at least textually did seem to give benefits to female but not male survivors of abuse.

    The line you want is in the 2005 revision: “Nothing in this title shall be construed to prohibit male victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking from receiving benefits and services under this title”

    • Black Humour

      Its more honest if one line isn’t cherry picked and the case declared closed, when the far more to the story.

      • Hell Noah and BlackHumor are both quoting from the 2005.

        But even if the words are there the big money question is: Is it being enforced and interpreted that way?

        • harlemjd says:

          By Immigration, it is. Can’t speak to every other government entity out there.

          • Mark Neil says:

            I actually think you might be right on that one. There were a number of women alongside men at congressional hearings disusing how their immigrant husbands filed false allegations to get their greencards, ruining their reputations (among other harms). Ironically, that is supposedly one of the aspects Obama has made even easier for immigrants, meaning his immigrant policy in the demo VAWA reauth is even more harmful to women as well as men.

  22. One has gotta really wonder about this editor based on reality: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fiwsq_31s64 Did he ever go to his local domestic violence, rape crisis or child abuse agencies to seek shelter or support as a purported survivor of female abusers? There’s certainly no sign that he did in this article.

    • Guys like daddy justice have real cojones. They are getting into politicians faces and asking the tough question. (which paraphrasing from the video is:)
      How does this law protect children who are being abused by mothers. Since the law specifically states that services for children will not be rendered unless it is in relation to violence against women, it leaves children who’s abuser is the mother unprotected.

      Mothers commit 70% of all parental abuse (even when you include sexual in the numbers), and 70% of all parental child slayings.

  23. Hi Noah, I’m reposting this from over at NSWATM:

    Sec. 402 (b):

    USE OF FUNDS.—The research conducted under this section
    shall include evaluation and study of best practices for reducing
    and preventing violence against women and children addressed
    by the strategies included in Department of Health and Human
    Services-related provisions this title, including strategies addressing
    underserved communities.

    Sec. 41305:

    ENGAGING MEN AND YOUTH IN PREVENTING DOMESTIC
    VIOLENCE, DATING VIOLENCE, SEXUAL ASSAULT, AND
    STALKING.

    And specifically Sec. 41305 (c.1.B):

    to create public education campaigns and commu-
    nity organizing to encourage men and boys to work as
    allies with women and girls to prevent violence against
    women and girls conducted by entities that have experience
    in conducting public education campaigns that address
    domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or
    stalking.

    Mind you, this is from a quick skimming. It’s an enormous document, so there may be corresponding clauses specifically targeting research into violence against men and specifically targeting education of women and girls to be allies of men and boys to work toward ending violence against men, etc. But I’m skeptical.

    There is, of course, mostly non-gendered language in the act. Which is good. But I still think there is enough gendered language to be critical of.

  24. Janet Dell says:

    Noah: You want gendered language, you should also have read the TITLE of the act.

    Violence against Women Act. Says it right in the title. If this act wasn’t designed to give women preferential treatment then why do they need the act. DV is already against the law, has been for a very long time. Every go back and listen to the debates, NOT ONCE is violence against men mentioned. You are looking for gendered language in the act itself NOPE probably not there, reason: Would be against the constitution BUT this act was / IS designed to get money for WOMEN and WOMEN ONLY

    • Or to put things another way: The smearing tactic from feminists against congressmembers who fight a straight-up reauthorization of VAWA as written (while proposing a new version of VAWA to tighten up corruption, free up funding or men, and state that illegals must have more than a mere allegation to secure citizenship) are demonized as being *for* violence against women.

      But, I thought the law protected everybody????

      • doug1111 says:

        I don’t think a mere allegation should get any man arrested and slapped with an order of protection, whether the husband or domestic partner of an illegal alien or of a citizen alike. People don’t realize how absolutely automatic a 90 day (at least) temporary order of protection is, whether the woman wants one on him or not, if she calls 911 and they read it as domestic violence. They also don’t realize how consequential and far ranging those are when you’re living with someone. You’re forced to move out, find another place to live, can’t have any contact with her whatsoever no matter how much she wants to and not even if she initiates the phone call, text or email, and so on. All this for her false allegation, or true on of your returning one slap to her after she slaps you three times, with almost always no consequences to her.

        This is all about radical feminists wanting to absolutely end male physical dominance in intimate relationships, at least among the middle class on up. This leaves her free to slap or punch him in the stomach as much as she wants, with no fear of his retaliation and little fear of VAWA consequences. Over the last couple of decades women and girls have been doing a whole lot more of both. The culture has absorbed that they can get away with it, while men can’t get away with the smallest retaliation. It’s outrageous.

        If she has no significant injury, he shouldn’t be arrested, or slapped with an order of protection, and VAWA shouldn’t apply.

        Amend it accordingly.

        • doug1111 says:

          I am sick and tired of this awaiting moderation on this site. Then my comments sometimes disappear and they’re all reasonable, and not personal attacks, but not down the feminist talking points either.

          • If you have personal questions about being moderated it’s best to contact Lisa Hickey.

          • @ Doug1111 … I “thought my responses were disappearing but I found that the run of responses may go to a second page and I found it on the prior page. Not saying this is your case but may be the situation.

        • Why should either gender have dominance? Do you believe men should have dominance in intimate relationships? you’ve brought this up before and it’s confusing to me.

    • doug1111 says:

      Read the longer comments here. There’s PLENTY of one sided gender language in the detailed implementing parts of and under the the act. Huge amounts. One way funding. The impact of the act has been hugely disparate, way beyond the relative incidence of domestic violence.

      Also trivial acts are considered domestic violence when committed by men, like open handed slapping, but not when committed by women. No it’s not written that way but it is enforced that way, and under VAWA training sessions for local police organized and paid for by VAWA, and grants to those police forces to implement VAWA goals, are taught and directed that way.

      It’s hugely gender imbalanced under a thin veneer on top of being gender neutral in order to try to pass constitutional challenge. I still don’t know why it hasn’t been by some top lawyers.

  25. Schadrach says:

    I take it that they ditched the language that stated (from the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011):

    “(A) Nondiscrimination.–No person in the United States shall on the basis of actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity (as defined in paragraph 249(c)(4) of title 18, United States Code), sexual orientation, or disability be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds made available under the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (title IV of Public Law 103-322; 108 Stat. 1902), the Violence Against Women Act of 2000 (division B of Public Law 106-386; 114 Stat. 1491), the Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (title IX of Public Law 109-162; 119 Stat. 3080), the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2011, and any other program or activity funded in whole or in part with funds appropriated for grants, cooperative agreements, and other assistance administered by the Office on Violence Against Women.”

    Because I’m pretty sure that clearly qualifies that VAWA funds cannot be used in a way that discriminates one the basis of actual or perceived race, color, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. Oh, wait there was another paragraph right after that…

    “(B) Exception.–If gender segregation or gender-specific programming is necessary to the essential operation of a program, nothing in this paragraph shall prevent any such program or activity from consideration of an individual’s gender. In such circumstances, alternative reasonable accommodations are sufficient to meet the requirements of this paragraph.”

    …unless they are discriminating against males (or trans folk, what with that actual or perceived bit), then it’s OK so long as they claim that it’s needed and provide a “separate but reasonable” alternative. There’s one important thing missing here: define reasonable. It’s certainly a lower standard than “equal”, but where exactly does it lie?

    • *Wild guess time* I think it’s possibly there for single-gender service/awareness campaigns eg women’s shelter, or men’s shelter. But that should still mean a men’s shelter should be funded? I’m guessing if you have a women’s shelter and want to keep it female only (something to do with feeling safe around your own gender) then those exceptions would allow that? I’d hope that both shelters though receive equal support where needed.

      • Mark Neil says:

        If you read the language of the VAWA STOP funding guidelines I provided elsewhere, you will see how that is applied. Female programs may be female only, but any program that assists men (and men are not allowed to be denied because it is for men) MUST also serve women (same standard applies to children. Any program for children MUST provide aid for women.).

        I know in Canada a lot of abuse shelters get around accusations of discrimination by proudly and loudly proclaiming they provide services for both genders. However, if anyone actually takes the time to examine these abuse shelters, one quickly learns that the services provided are counselling, shelter, etc for women, and anger management for men. Both genders do have services available, but it’s pretty clear where those shelters stand.

  26. It far more than a case of weeding out the gendered language.

    The act fund discriminatory programs and services, programs that are informed by the Deluth model, and patriarchal dominance theory – batterer education programs that assume the batterer is make, shelters that assume the victim is female.

    Predominant aggressor is a big deal too, because it profiles men, while not using gendered language.

    (arrest larger party and so on)

    Be careful not to run over too many abuse victim on your bus guys.

  27. John Schtoll says:

    Wow, I can’t believe someone is trying to make the case that something called the “Violence against Women act” isn’t gendered.

  28. wellokaythen says:

    This is a great lesson about how you can’t always judge a piece of legislation by its title, or at least you can’t really tell the content based on the title. It would be great if Congress was more straightforward and honest than that, but that’s not generally how politics works. Sometimes legislation is given a particular title to put any opposition in a bad light. If you’re against VAWA, that must mean that you’re in favor of violence against women, right? If you are against the Patriot Act, then you must be for terrorism, right? (It’s actually an acronym, P.A.T.R.I.O.T. A.C.T. One of the T’s is Terrorism, the rest I don’t remember.)

  29. Here it is, VAWA feminists in Washington saying that children being abused by their mothers does not come under their work and domestic violence.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vgGoCYGUx0

    • I like how she is throwing the “abusive” label in an effort to control his behaviour, then proceeds to touch him.

      • “I like how she is throwing the “abusive” label in an effort to control his behaviour, then proceeds to touch him.”

        While denying that false accusations of abuse are a problem!

  30. Here’s some reinforcement from a wise woman on the other side of the Pond: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qhTdonT1g4w

  31. 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.

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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.

  35. 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.

  36. 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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