Congress, It’s About Time

Guys, know that I am censoring the crap out of this sentence when I say that our [insert choice words here] Congress FINALLY did something resembling governing and passed VAWA today.

This is the real VAWA.  The one the Senate passed.  The one that expands protection to the LGBT community, Native Americans, and immigrants.  The one that actually recognizes that people are people and that we all deserve protection under the law.  The one that recognizes women’s rights as human rights.  THAT VAWA is the one that passed.

Thank goodness.

Folks, part of me is thrilled.  I’m thrilled because this new version of VAWA expands protections to some of the most vulnerable groups within our society.  It helps to right some real wrongs that we have been neglecting to address.  And it’s been such a long time coming.

But part of me is effing furious.  Because it should not have taken this long to get VAWA reauthorized.  It should never have been allowed to expire in the first place.  And I’m angry because this never should have been controversial: stopping violence against women shouldn’t be a subject we need to debate in this day and age.  Women should not see their rights sacrificed to political bickering because we have an alarmingly partisan government that is more interest in its own re-election than serving the needs of its constituents.

I’m also furious because 22 members of the Senate voted against VAWA. Here are the names of the 22 members of the higher house of Congress who don’t think your rights are worth protecting:

  • Marco Rubio (R-FL)
  • John Thune (R-SD)
  • Rand Paul (R-KY)
  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)
  • Ted Cruz (R-TX)
  • Tim Scott (R-SC)
  • John Cornyn (R-TX)
  • John Barrasso (R-WY)
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO)
  • John Boozman (R-AR)
  • Tom Coburn (R-OK)
  • Mike Enzi (R-WY)
  • Lindsey Graham (R-SC)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  • Orrin Hatch (R-UT)
  • James Inhofe (R-OK)
  • Mike Johanns (R-NE)
  • Ron Johnson (R-WI)
  • Mike Lee (R-UT)
  • Jim Risch (R-ID)
  • Pat Roberts (R-KS)
  • Jeff Sessions (R-AL)

At least three of the names on that list belong to men who have their eyes on the White House.

We deserve better than this.  I mean that, honestly.  We, the people of this country, deserve infinitely better than partisanship and so-called leaders who refuse to stand up for our safety and our rights.  We deserve a lot better than a Congress that took so long to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act that it actually expired, leaving millions of women at risk.  We deserve a government that actually recognizes the legitimacy of the concerns of its citizens.

Most of all, women deserve an America where we’re treated like full Americans.  I mean this of women of every color.  Women deserve an America where we don’t have to be afraid if we are walking home at night.  An America where we won’t be punished to protect those who hurt us.  An America where our fears are taken seriously.  I want my kids to look back on SlutWalks and have to ask me how on earth America could have EVER thought that women could be blamed for being raped.  I want my kids to only have to read about a time without abortion in their history books, not still be fighting to make sure that time doesn’t come back.  Women in America deserve an America where we are respected, and I have to tell you, as glad as I am that VAWA has been reauthorized, the battle over this piece of legislation has only reminded me how incredibly far we have to go.


~ by Randi Saunders on February 28, 2013.

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