A good Father's Day gift would be to reform the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), make it gender-neutral, and assure men that family courts will accord them constitutional rights equivalent to those enjoyed by murderers and robbers. VAWA will be coming up for its five-year reauthorization later this year, and that will be the time to hold balanced hearings and eliminate VAWA's discrimination against men.
VAWA illustrates the hypocrisy of noisy feminist demands that we kowtow to their ideology of gender neutrality, to their claim that there is no difference between male and female, and to their opposition to stereotyping and gender profiling. VAWA is based on the proposition that there are, indeed, innate gender differences: Men are naturally batterers, and women are naturally victims.
Feminist supporters of VAWA obviously share Jessica Valenti's recent assertion in The Washington Post that American women are oppressed by the "patriarchy" and that "it needs to end." One way they hope to end it is by using the extravagantly expensive and discriminatory VAWA, which was passed in 1994 as a payoff to the feminists for helping to elect Bill Clinton president in 1992.
VAWA is not designed to eliminate or punish violence, but to punish only alleged violence against women. Most of the shelters financed by VAWA do not accept men as victims.
VAWA has been known from the get-go as "feminist pork" because it puts nearly $1 billion a year of U.S. taxpayers' money into the hands of the radical feminists without any accountability for how the money is spent. Feminists have set up shop in shelters where they promote divorce, marriage breakup, hatred of men and false accusations, while rejecting marriage counseling, reconciliation, drug-abuse treatment and evidence of mutual-partner abuse.
Feminists have changed state laws to include a loosey-goosey definition of family violence. It doesn't have to be violent -- it can simply be what a man says or how he looks at a woman.
Domestic violence can even be what a woman thinks a man might do or say. Definitions of violence include calling your partner a naughty word, raising your voice, causing "annoyance" or "emotional distress," or just not doing what your partner wants.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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