While the U.S. House is trying to figure out how to cut wasteful and/or extravagant federal spending, members should be mindful of Reagan's advice to begin by cutting programs that are harmful. One that fits this definition is the billion-dollar-a-year Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), now up for re-authorization.
This week is the 18th anniversary of an event that precipitated passage of VAWA in 1994. It's known as the Super Bowl Hoax, the assertion made on Jan. 28, 1993, in Pasadena, Calif., with fulsome media coverage, that more women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than any other day of the year.
That radical feminist fairy tale lacked even a shred of truth. It was designed to feed the feminist anti-male and anti-masculine prejudices that men are naturally batterers, women are naturally victims, sports fans are prone to aggression and macho posturing, and football is especially guilty.
Reinforcing this non-news-story was an appearance on "Good Morning America" by Lenore Walker to regurgitate her then 14-year-old book called "The Battered Woman." It is credited with originating what is known as the "battered woman syndrome," which spread the propaganda that batterers are always men, the battered are always women, and the definition of domestic violence includes acts and words that are not violent.
Feminist political correctness demands that we accept these gender-specific notions while at the same time denying any other innate male-female differences. Larry Summers was driven out of the Harvard University presidency for daring to suggest that we might research possible gender differences between men and women in math and science.
NBC joined the propaganda push by airing a public service announcement before the 1993 Super Bowl to remind men that domestic violence is a crime. The original feminist news release, plus all its "legs" (a favorite media word), was later conclusively proved false by the scholar Christina Hoff Sommers.
Of course, real domestic violence exists, and is a crime, and should be punished. However, this issue raises constitutional problems that domestic violence has come to mean whatever a woman alleges, with or without evidence, and men often lose their presumption of innocence and right to confront their accusers.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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