The perception of VAWA
Over at Good Men Project, Noah Brand (whose work I generally like), makes an odd point on the Violence Against Women Act. Brand responds to charges leveled by some conservatives and Men’s Rights Activists that the legislation is gendered and treats women as victims. After quoting from the legislation which he believes shows that the bill thwarts any type of gendered violence, Brand writes:
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.
It’s hard for me to think that this law is not inherently gendered when its called The Violence Against WOMEN Act. That’s like saying that a “Get White People to Vote Act” or a “Help Men Get Jobs Act” are meant to increase access to the ballot and to jobs for everyone, wink wink. Perhaps if liberals and Democrats wanted to avoid the complaint that the legislation is biased they should tinker with the title.