Yo. There’s a war on women. I know that sounds so 2012 because that’s when politicians and interest groups of all kinds beat us over the head with that phrase, “War on Women,” at every turn. I’m a woman who proudly wears the labels of feminist and activist but even I tired of the term during the last 12 months. I was especially turned off by the language of war being tossed around so cavalierly in some instances, when we have Americans and foreign civilians dying in actual wars right now. But (wo)man, there really is a war on women out here! How so? We’re barely out of the first month of 2013 and already we’ve been inundated by rhetoric, policies, and very bad blogging that attack women’s health, safety, sanity, and rights. Let’s review a few:
Tony Farmer, a top basketball recruit out of Ohio, was recently sentenced to three years in prison for assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Andrea Lane.Footage of Farmer, who pled guilty to robbery, kidnapping, felonious assault, and intimidating a victim, receiving his sentence has gone viral.
It’s no coincidence that “My Sister’s Place” is a common name for battered women’s shelters across the United States. The feelings and imagery that such a name conjures – that of community, safety, and understanding – is essential in what’s likely to be the most traumatizing and disruptive moments of a woman’s life. Women have been seeking out the company of our “sisters” for as long as we’ve walked the Earth, both in good times and bad. In Kenya, women have taken this safety in sisterhood ideal a step further, going beyond a women’s shelter, sister-circle, collective, or book club, in the founding of Umoja Uaso, a village where they can flourish.
It’s widely recognized that domestic violence is a serious human rights violation that affects women, children and families worldwide. Violence against women* impacts the stability of families, increases the burden on our bursting-at-the-seams healthcare system, and negatively impacts our economy. Violence against women can result in the loss of one’s home, job, and dignity or, in some cases, life. So you would assume that most people are all for ending violence against women, right? If by most people you’re including Republican leaders in Congress, you’d be wrong. With the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) up for reauthorization, there are forces within the GOP who would oppose this legislation simply because it contains provisions to protect LGBT and immigrant victims and recognizes tribal authority to prosecute domestic violence crimes against Native Americans.