When our daughter was in high school, she chose violence against women for her research paper topic. I remember her horror when she learned that beating a wife was OK in old English Common Law, as long as the stick was no thicker than the man's thumb.
That is a horror, and she was so shocked because she never witnessed violence against her mother in our home.
However, the statistics show that world wide, one in three women will be raped or beaten in her life time. Rape is too often used in war. In some places, when a husband dies, the wife is immolated. I would like to believe those hideous incidences happen far away in "uncivilized" places. But, I must face reality.
In North Dakota in 2011, 4,808 victims of domestic violence recieved help from crisis intervention centers. They were not all women, but 96 % were. And how many incidents were not reported? And how many violent acts were not in a home, but on a "date?" And how often is verbal violence committed, intending to intimidate and control? I remember hearing yelling and cursing as I walked in to the high school where I taught. Way across the parking lot was a boy "friend" bellering filthy names at a girl. As she walked away, he was shouting "Come back here &#*!. I said, come back." I did not know who they were, and they were so distant I could not form a good description when I reported this dreadful scene at 8:00 in the morning. Fortunately, she kept walking. My daughter told me that when she was in school, in the 80's certain boys were to be avoided because they hit their dates! Shocking! Where did they learn this? Home? Movies? TV?
It seems biologically unnatural for a male to hurt the mother of his children. How does hitting a woman make her "love" or stay with the violent man? A natural response would be to flee to safety.
Only a weak and cowardly male dominates a woman with his fist. The idea that women need to be controlled or are not intelligent enough to make their own decisions is simply unjust and ignorant. But some current legislatures (inclulding women) pass laws to control women's reproduction and deny women choice. These laws are violations of perosnlal and religious freedom. These laws reduce women to breeding stock and chattel. Vaginal probes are simply a variation of rape! And where is the responsibility for the male?
There was a time when women were considered chattel, along with the livestock. In the 1700's the US census simply listed the number of women in the household, not their names. The idea of women as property is long past its time. It stinks and tastes as bad as sour milk.
In this 21st century, the Equal Rights Amendment has not yet passed. In some part, this is due to some women self-sabotaging, and believing lies. Would these same women give up the right to vote? Women were granted the right to vote in 1919 with the passage of the 19th amendment, about 55 years after slaves were freed and black men given the right to vote. Today women are earning MD's, PhD's, JD's, and DD's. They are supporting families, serving in the military, working construction, running their own businesses and heading up huge corporations.
These are strong, intelligent women, and will not be cowed or abused. Thank goodness the US House and Senate have passed the strengthened Violence Against Women Act, which now offers protection to women on reservations, even if the crime was committed by a non-native on the reservation. It also offers protection to gays and lesbian who are abused. Violence of any kind is intolerable against anyone.
So why did Senator John Hoeven vote against VAWA?