Comments On The January 11th, 2000 NOW Press Release
Extended commentary on a NOW press release.
"Every time women's civil rights are at issue, the tired, old 'states rights' argument gets dusted-off and dragged into court," said National Organization for Women (NOW) President Patricia Ireland. "State courts are riddled with gender bias, allowing violence against women to continue unchecked. Surely women must be able to look to Congress and the Federal courts to enforce our civil rights and save women's lives."
So begins the latest Press Release from NOW's mouthpiece, Patricia Ireland. To listen to Patricia Ireland, you'd think that only women are affected by 'states' rights' versus 'civil rights' issues. And as far as the issue of 'gender bias' goes, Ms. Ireland is absolutely right- State courts are riddled with it, only the gender bias is directed against men, not in their favor as she would have you believe. For proof, just ask yourself if there is a "Violence Against Men Act" before Congress. Finally, why shouldn't men be able to "look to Congress and the Federal courts" to enforce their civil rights and save their lives too? Men make up a significantly higher percentage of victims in EVERY category of violent crime.
Ms. Ireland continues:
"Brzonkala v. Morrison is the perfect opportunity for the High Court to recognize that women are entitled to equal protection under the law, as is provided by the civil remedy in the Violence Against Women Act," Ireland said. "Rape and other violence, which have reached epidemic levels, are devastating crimes against women and society."
Inspiring rhetoric, but totally false. Rape and other violent crimes are NOT at "epidemic levels", in fact, across most of the United States violent crime is down, including forcible rape and other crimes against women. Don't believe it? See for yourself- check out the FBI's Uniform Crime Report statistics. One of the key sentences in the Preliminary Report for 1999 is as follows: "The violent crimes of murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault fell 8 percent, and the property crimes of burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft dropped 10 percent." (Emphasis added)
Here's another tidbit, this one from the 1998 Uniform Crime Report: "For the 5-year period of 1994-1998, male arrests rose 2 percent, and female arrests were up 13 percent. Female violent crime arrests rose 12 percent during that same period, and male violent crime arrests fell by 12 percent." Figures for 1999 are expected to show similar trends- women committing more violent crimes- but don't expect to see this statistic noted in a NOW Press Release.
"Such a mammoth problem requires swift and far-reaching action by Congress and the courts. Anything less would be both inadequate and an insult to the survivors and victims of violence."
Enough already. Ms. Ireland is repeating the same old Big Lie- that women are perpetual victims, not safe on the streets or at home, and in dire need of a massive government reponse, presumably against men, the only people who (according to NOW) ever commit violence.
"Ireland voiced her support of the 1994 Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) at a rally in front of the Supreme Court held immediately prior to oral arguments in Brzonkala v. Morrison. At issue in the case is whether survivors and victims of gender-motivated violence will continue to have the right to sue their attackers in federal court under VAWA's civil remedy. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals declared VAWA unconstitutional, ruling that Congress overstepped its authority."
That's right, Patricia, the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals found that VAWA was unconstitutional, in that it discriminated on the basis of gender, among other things. VAWA was a one-sided bill; unfair, unequal, and extremely gender-biased. In other words, it was a typical NOW-sponsored bill.
"Oral arguments in the Brzonkala case come in the wake of Congress' failure to re-authorize VAWA during the year-end budget debate. Re-authorization of VAWA would continue, and in some cases expand, funding for numerous anti-violence programs, including many hotlines, shelters and support services for survivors."
What Ms. Ireland neglects to mention that ALL of the NOW-supported proposals are exclusively for women, benefit women alone, and do not include or support ANY legislation or programs that benefit men. NOW, in fact, came out strongly against the "Fathers Count Act", objecting to, among other things, that it "promoted marriage". That's a rather strange position to take for an organization that claims to fight for "equality".
"The right to safety should be fundamental. Yet, universally, women live in fear of violence -- whether in the home, in the streets, at work or in school. The threat of violence colors the decisions that women make everyday, like where to walk, when to go home and even what we say on our answering machines," Ireland said. "The Violence Against Women Act of 1994 only begins to address the problem, we have much more work left to do."
Well, Patricia, I have a News Flash for you. There is no "right to safety", not for you, not for women, and certainly not for men. It's not in the Constitution, because the Founding Fathers were smart enough to know that such a thing could never be guaranteed. We all take our chances in life, and no government will ever be able to provide a "right to safety" for its citizens.
Yes, some women do live in fear of violence, but it's a small number compared to the number of men who will actually experience violence in their lives. Men don't just fear violence, they get to enjoy being the recipients of it firsthand. Men are overwhelmingly the more likely victims of every kind of violence, and the statistics prove it. Does Ms. Ireland really think that just because I'm a man, I can walk wherever I please, whenever I please, and somehow be immune to violence? Perhaps she does, but I can tell you she's wrong. As a man, I fear violence too, and I'm much more likely to experience it firsthand, up close and personal, than Ms. Ireland ever will. She can pontificate philosophically about this all day long, but as a man I'm statistically much more likely to wind up in the Emergency Room as the result of violence than she is. Again, look at the FBI Uniform Crime Report for 1998:
Murder Victims by Race and Sex, 1998
Sex of Victims
Total White Victims
Total Black Victims
Total Other Race Victims
Total Unknown Race
Total Victims (1)
(1) Total number of murder victims for whom supplemental homicide data were received. Source: FBI Uniform Crime Report, 1998
According to the FBI, men are murdered at almost three times the rate women are (for example), even though there are fewer men than women. This is just one example where men are the primary victims of violent crime. We invite you to look at the FBI Uniform Crime Reports for the last ten years and see for yourself- men are victims of violence far more often than women.
This "only women matter" and "only women are victims" chant is getting old. Worse yet, it affects women who wouldn't normally consider themselves "victims" by default. After hearing this Big Lie for a decade or so, many women have actually started to believe it- and that affects their choices in life in a far more significant way than a "fear of violence". By taking on the "victim" role, women limit their choices in life far more radically than any "threat of violence" ever will.