Monday, October 03, 2005

VAWA and male privilege

This Wash. Times column says:
The resulting legislation was the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). While appearing to fight for a noble cause, the law does little to actually remedy domestic violence and does not address several original conference goals: It is not gender-inclusive, allocates funds under a flawed grant system, and ultimately promotes family breakup, not reconciliation. The legislation currently before both chambers of Congress purports to address the gender issue but offers ineffective or counterproductive language.
VAWA funds nonsense like this:
As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive.

According to Barbara Hart in Safety for Women: Monitoring Batterers' Programs:
All men benefit from the violence of batterers. There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men's violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence. Only the elimination of sexism, the end of cultural supports for violence, and the adoption of a system of beliefs and values embracing equality and mutuality in intimate relationships will end men's violence against women.
Domestic violence is about power and control. A feminist analysis of woman battering rejects theories that attribute the causes of violence to family dysfunction, inadequate communications skills, women's provocation, stress, chemical dependency, lack of spiritual relationship to a deity, economic hardship, class practices, racial/ethnic tolerance, or other factors. These issues may be associated with battering of women, but they do not cause it. Removing these factors will not end men's violence against women.
My tax money should not be funding this kooky drivel. It is destructive.

Cathy Young has just written a level-headed history of domestic violence in the USA. (Click on the pdf to get the full story.)

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