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Oct 06 2005

Chris Rock, Indians, and VAWA

I saw an old Chris Rock special on TV the other day. It’s annoying watching Chris Rock on TV because (a) they bleep out everything he says unless (b) it’s some bit about how women talk too much. The people in charge of bleeping have their head up their butt if they think the word "fuck" is more offensive than yet another lame-ass bit about yappy chicks.  And I say that not as a feminist, but as a consumer of comedy.

Chris Rock is a piglet, but he occasionally raises the odd valid point, and he did, in this show, make the observation that Indians have it the worst of any class of people in the whole country, because "they’re all dead."

He didn’t mention that, of the ones who aren’t dead, one in three native women is raped. Which brings me to this editorial from NativeTimes, identifying this obscene situation as an emergency, and encouraging President Jesubush to sign the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) renewed–barely–by the Senate a couple of days ago. I’m sure W reads the Native Times every day.

The author observes that sexual predators target Indian communities where the legal consequences of their violence are likely to be lighter, since Indian courts can’t prosecute rape or murder cases, and since nobody, including tribal police, gives a fuck about Indian women. He wants VAWA to help’em out.

What the author may or may not know is that professional fucktard James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) has added a handy discriminatory amendment that undermines VAWA’s ability to address issues unique to minorities. This includes victim safety issues unique to rural women, such as lawyers-on-wheels and rides to distant shelters.

Meanwhile, men’s rights douchebags, who believe that it is "anti-man" if women catch a break, call VAWA the "Jane Crow Law." 

Nice.

25 comments

  1. Sylvanite

    Aaaauuugh! That’s all I can say. Well, maybe also, grrrrr! Like life as a Native American isn’t tough enough…

  2. Kyra

    Ask a MRD (that’s Men’s Rights Douchebag) if he thinks equal time and money should be spent on a Violence Against Men Act as on the Violence Against Women Act. Answer: Yes, because that would be fair.

    Ask the same MRD if he supports Title IX equality in time and money devoted to men’s and women’s sports. Answer: No, because it isn’t fair.

    MRD definition of equality: Equal time and money between the sexes is fair only when men have fewer needs for it than women, and therefore more of it can be spent on each area that needs it.

    Notice that of all the parts of the VAWA that could be attacked, the Reich goes for the things that protect the women whose positions are the weakest? Natural bullies, the lot of them.

  3. Sam

    Good call on the VAWA vs. Title IX bullshit, Kyra.

  4. miz_geek

    What planet are these guys living on?

  5. Daphne

    Kyra’s point is really interesting in light of the PBS doc on last night about education reform (“Making Schools Work”). (Note that I only caught the second hour because after watching Romy & Michelle’s HS Reunion, someone in my house turned on “South Park,” but I am happy he finally recognized that we’d SEEN one of the CRAPPY episodes already–hard to do because they are all the same / end tangent.) Anyway, instead of fiscally rewarding schools that do work (yay) you might try putting a lot of resources into schools that are failing, taking best practices (best teaching) from successful schools and helping teachers who aren’t “naturally” high-performing become high-performing teachers.

    Ergo, we need to focus a lot of resources on the poor, the disenfranchised, people of color, Indians, women, in order to make it fair. But guys truly fear a society in which they have to compete with those they’ve had an automatic advantage over all this time. Hell, if you’re a white English-speaker, try to imagine our future when our country is majority non-white, non-English-speaking. It sounds like it might be a harder world to get along in, doesn’t it?

    (I know this isn’t groundbreaking thought but for me it’s been a big help in understanding anti-abortion politicians.)

  6. Daphne

    PS I have no idea why I tried to use “ergo” and am not sure if I spelled it right. I’m a dork.

  7. Steph

    Same kind of crap is happening to Aboriginal women in Canada. There is a disappeared women project to document all the Native women who have been murdered or have just disappeared but whose cases have been ignored by the police.

    Except patriarchy fucktards just say “they’re working on it.”

    But when an overpaid hockey player bashes another overpaid hockey player in the head–violence in sport becomes a huge issue.

    Fucking patriarchy.

  8. Tony Patti

    Men’s Rights? Orwell just popped a vein, and he’s been dead for years! Hell, I just almost popped a vein.

    The only victims in this country worth caring about are rich white men in positions of authority!!

  9. norbizness

    Well, if they’re going to call it a Jane Crow Law, then you should at least be able to get your own fire hose and passel of German shepherds to break up a non-violent men’s rights meeting at the local community college.

  10. Marshall

    Well, if the fact that the Chimp was unable to even speak coherently to a group of native american journalists in the middle of an election cycle is any indication, I’d not hold my breath for his support. I mean, what kind of womany, non-war-booyah-related nonsense is VAWA, anyway?

  11. Denise

    So they Feminizied the name “Jim Crow” and are taking it to mean the reverse of its historical meaning (since Jim Crow was a black character and all). These guys must be brilliant. Offensive on all sorts of levels!

  12. Melissa

    Here’s a petition to get these shitheads on the conference committee to work out a bill that replaces the stripped-out provisions for underserved women.

    http://www.now.org/issues/violence/vawa/petition.html#sign_now#sign_now

  13. Christine

    How many Men’s Rights Advocacy groups do we need? I thought The Legislative Branch of government was large enough to do the job.

    Okay, so there is a small portion of the male population that needs domestic violence protection. Fine, they should get it, but objecting to VAWA is not the way to help their cause.

  14. Kyra

    What Denise said.

    Oh, and getting back to the violence against Indian women issue, there’s an interesting article that you can find by going over to Pandagon, scrolling down to the post entitled “Consider Yourself Schooled” and clicking on the link; it has to do with the FBI’s tactics regarding Native American activists, specifically with the murder/execution of someone who refused to help them, and coercing another person to testify by telling her she’d end up like the one killed. Warning: not a pleasant story.

  15. Kyra

    “Okay, so there is a small portion of the male population that needs domestic violence protection.”

    How much you want to bet that the MRA’s aren’t interested in helping gay men who need domestic violence protection?

  16. Chris Clarke

    How much you want to bet that the MRA’s aren’t interested in helping gay men who need domestic violence protection?

    I suspect it wasn’t your intent to imply so, but it’s not just gay men who’re males victimized by domestic violence. Aside from the relatively rare but still statistically significant examples of women beating their male lovers or spouses, there are a staggering number of men and boys who are beaten by a parent or guardian, as well as the burgeoning issue of elder abuse.

    (I recognize that the general definition of “domestic violence” hews mainly to partner-on-partner assault. The VAWA seems to have a somewhat broader definition, and includes some forms of child abuse under that rubric.)

    [rant type=preaching target=choir] The thing is, of course, that recognizing the epidemic nature of male-on-female violence, and taking steps to combat it, in no way endorses violence against men despite the maunderings of MRA dweebs. The VAWA includes remedies for female rape victims as well, and this male rape victim thinks that’s a great idea, and I in no way feel my suffering has been trivialized as a result. [/rant]

  17. The Fat Lady Sings

    Hey there Twisty – Hope you are feeling better. Well – it’s the weekend – that usually helps with the whatever’s!

    Just wanted to let you know I put a spotlight on your blog for my Friday Feature’s segment. Come have a look-see if you like.

    Do take care!

    http://www.fatladysings.us

  18. The Fat Lady Sings

    Hey there Twisty – Hope you are feeling better. Well – it’s the weekend – that usually helps with the whatever’s!

    Just wanted to let you know I put a spotlight on your blog for my Friday Feature’s segment. Come have a look-see if you like.

    Do take care!

    http://www.fatladysings.us

  19. lacalda

    I had a wonderful friend in college who was a man. (I know: SHOCKING.) And he had a nice girlfriend who happened to be stalked by her ex boyfriend. One night, the exboyfriend watched them close up the restaurant where we worked, watched them walk home, and then took them hostage, bound her, made her watch while he killed my friend and then excuted her.
    So, anyway, when the incompetent local DA could not effectively prosecute this criminal it was the VAWA that got the whole thing put into federal court.
    And now the murdering son of a bitch is on a federal death row. (Which I don’t agree with, at all, but I dig him being in prison for life as opposed to the 15 years he had previously pulled down due to incompetent prosecution.)
    To clarify: the provisions in VAWA that made interstate stalking a federal offense gave the feds jurisdiction and the ability to retry this case with far superior resources.
    The moral: good laws improve justice for EVERYONE.

  20. ehj2

    as a useless old white male idiot of the patriarchy (and if you born a white male in this culture you honestly can’t avoid being anything but a useless patriarchial idiot) …

    i would gladly kneel and demand you cut me to ribbons with a dull sword if it would make you whole again.

    the fact is you are more whole in the last joint of your little finger than i even have words to say.

    it’s an honor to read you and know even these words of you. the world is clearer and cleaner because of you. i’m a better man because of you. today is a better day because you are in it.

    thank you for who you are
    and everything you do.

    if God wrestles with you, she wrestles with us.

    we love you Twisty Faster,
    you are a True North
    sail fast and be well …

    /e

  21. Sylvanite

    Good luck on your pending surgery, Twisty. I wish you a rapid recovery, and no diminishment of your obstreperal lobe.

  22. BritGirlSF

    You know, I have an ex-boyfriend who was raped by a gang of thugs. All his male friend treated him like shit afterwards, and the only real help he got was from the local (feminist run) rape crisis center. I have brought this up in conversation with MRAs when they start ranting about evil feminists and how we just don’t care about men. The results are quite illuminating. Most of them really don’t care about helping men who’re the victims of violence unless they can use it as an excuse to rant about the evils of feminist (ie, unless the perp is a woman).
    The huge irony is, there probably are far more male victims of domestic violence (and rape) than most people know about BUT the catch is that most of the people victimising them are also men (who are not necessarly gay by the way…the guys who attacked my ex considered themselves straight). Since the MRAs don’t want to admit this, as it undermines their ideology, they’re completly unprepared to help the actual male victims of violence. Among the many good feminist reasons to dislike the MRAs, I personally can’t help but add the fact that they wouldn’t have been willing to do a damn thing to help my ex.

  23. Xavier Harkonnen

    I love the red herring that MRAs throw about, that men and women exact “domestic violence” on each other with equal frequency. What they fail to mention is that the vast majority of what is legally partner domestic violence is comprised of somewhat heat-of-passion events where they guy and the girl (or just one of the two) hit each other during the course of an argument.

    Persistent use of violence to control one’s partner is perpretrated by men more than two-to-one, and around two thirds of adults put in hospitals by a domestic partner are female.

  24. Sheelzebub

    “The VAWA includes remedies for female rape victims as well, and this male rape victim thinks that’s a great idea, and I in no way feel my suffering has been trivialized as a result.”

    Survivor, Chris. You’re a survivor, not a victim.

  25. Chris Clarke

    Survivor, Chris. You’re a survivor, not a victim.

    I think it’s too early to tell. It’s only been 23 years.

    I completely understand the reluctance to use the word victim in general, and I appreciate the correction. But applying it to myself doesn’t bother me if only because the word implies a victim-izer.

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