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What Are the Feminists Up to Now? - Assault on Marriage, Husbands and Fathers
Trudy W. Schuett

Iım always looking for ways to explain this complicated issue in ways anyone can understand. When Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly, Americas foremost syndicated journalist on family issues, asked if Iıd come and speak today, Iıd just finished watching a program on TV about the Thugs of India, who for hundreds of years roamed the countryside robbing and murdering travelers. This is until the British got involved in 1838. It only took about ten years for the Brits to round up and either jail or execute their targeted individuals. They often jailed entire families for life, in sex-segregated quarters so they couldnıt reproduce, because they believed one group was congenitally evil. Thirty years later, the 1871 Criminal Tribes Act validated this notion, and set up a societal mindset there that Iım told survives until this day.


Toward the end of the program, they got some commentary from a modern-day Indian academic, who said the reason they were able to ³deal with² so many alleged criminals was that they changed the definition of the term. Thatıs the remark that made me sit up and take notice, because itıs just like the situation we have today with domestic violence, and the Violence Against Women Act.

Somebodyıs changed the definition here, too.

Then I did some research, and I found out that a lot of the entire story of the Thugs and the way the British handled things was more about establishing authority in that country, and reacting to hysteria and legend rather than about dealing with a pressing social issue.

It was about power and control. These are incidentally, the same things the feminists claim domestic violence is all about.

In case you donıt know, and many people donıt ­ the Violence Against Women Act was initially enacted in 1994. Just as a note of interest, President Clinton was urged by his mother to veto the legislation, but he didnıt listen. It sailed through reauthorization in 2000, because hardly anyone who could do anything to combat it knew about it. Now weıre on the verge of another reauthorization, which amounts to a billion dollars a year of your tax dollars going to support these ineffectual and hidebound programs. I really like that word ­ hidebound ­ because it explains it all.

There are a lot of parallels between the bigotry and arrogance of the Victorian Imperial British and todayıs feminism, which has its roots in that era. The fact of that bigotry and arrogance goes a long way toward explaining why VAWA is so damaging to todayıs American society while doing so little to address whatever the actual need may be.

We donıt know what that need is. Thatıs because those who stand to benefit financially from the proposed billions of federal dollars have seen to it that this is an issue not fully understood by anyone.

While the penalties for domestic violence arenıt yet life in prison, there really canıt be any argument that any family who has been through this system will never be the same again. Iıve been an activist for unserved victims since 1999 and have yet to hear from anyone claiming that these programs have helped them or their families. Iıve got several websites that are viewed by thousands of people every single day, not to mention articles on many other websites and other things, and yet the people I hear from on this issue are unserved individuals seeking help, or those who directly profit from domestic violence services. Employees of womenıs shelters and hardline feminists are the only ones who have any criticism of my position.

Before they held the hearings this time at the Senate on VAWA, the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence put out a call on the Internet requesting those women whoıd been helped by existing programs to come forward. Yet  those who ultimately testified included only people in the direct employ of services benefiting from VAWA grants, and an actress engaged for the occasion.

Doesnıt that make you wonder?

This idea of a law protecting women against domestic violence, which also provides some sort of solution in the form of shelters for victims, jail or training for offenders, and prevention programs for everyone, is a noble idea -- on the surface. I donıt think anyone would quibble about that basic idea, especially since it seems to be helping.

But what would you say if you knew that noble idea was actually nothing more than bigotry dressed up in a pretty package? What would you say if you knew that all the claims made by those who run these programs about the fine and admirable work theyıre doing is based on nothing more than their inflated opinions of themselves?

The Violence Against Women Act is that bigotry dressed up, and circulating in every community in the United States. There are so many of these federally-funded programs that no one seems to know the exact number. Senator Crapo of Idaho recently referred to ³over 3000,² the NDVH has mentioned 4000, but nowhere can you get a precise accounting of these programs. Thatıs due at least in part, to the fact that VAWA itself is a massive document that is only partially understood by the best of us. Thatıs why it has been allowed to pass, and stand for so long as the ultimate authority on intimate partner abuse. Those in a position to eliminate this wrong-headed, and ultimately damaging piece of legislation may well understand it less than anyone.

Andrea Dworkin, the well-known anti-male hatemonger, said herself that the only reason this thing was passed in the first place was that the legislators didnıt realize what kind of a law they were passing.

What Iım intending to do here today is to show you how this act causes harm to women and the general public, without any appreciable benefit whatsoever and at a cost that can never be recovered.

Even if it was just the uncounted billions of dollars poured into this idea by governments at all levels as well as private industry, it would still be a tragic waste. It is unfortunately, the cause of broken homes, impoverished women and damaged children numbering in the thousands each year. It is responsible for a rising rate of suicides among men, and threatens to change the way families live, and our culture evolves. It has already done so much damage to American society that even if it were to be abolished today, it would take years to restore our way of life.

It has gone further than even the concept of legislating morality ­ it attempts to legislate our emotional lives and define our personal relationships.

Like the British Criminal Tribes Act changed the definition of the word, ³criminal,² VAWA has changed the definition of domestic violence to quite literally mean anything a woman wants it to mean. Because I am a woman, I can phone any shelter in the country, claim that my husband is abusing me, and depending on my locale, become the beneficiary of many government programs almost immediately. I can stay in a shelter which may provide up to four months of counseling, group activities, and round the clock security. At no time will anyone ask me to provide any evidence that I am in fact, being battered or assaulted.  

If Iım angry at my husband and want to get revenge, I can have him jailed, or in some states, like my home state of Arizona, even kill him without any concern for future repercussions. All of that is available, providing I have no male children over the age of 12, and am not currently employed. These kinds of considerations are not available to men, either. It is the Violence Against Women Act, after all, and so men who are victimized by out of control women cannot find help.

Shelters do not want older boys, because they are close enough to being men to qualify as the enemy. (Shelter workers claim abused women are afraid of all men.) Shelters also do not want employed women, because (they claim) their perceived violent husbands will follow them from their jobs and reveal the closely-guarded secret location of the shelter, which puts everyone residing there at risk. Never mind these odd policies have nothing to with reality, or security. In the past thirty years, how often have you heard of an abusive man mounting an assault on a womenıs shelter? I know each of you reads your local newspaper, and probably get even more news from TV and the Internet. Have you ever heard of a single case like that? I know I havenıt.

I can only imagine the harm these policies do to the children of those women with a bona fide need for help, yet are unwanted and rejected by these programs. Not only have they been beaten and terrorized by an adult, now the very program that is supposed to help them also tells them they are no good. It wasnıt long ago that Jan Brown, from the Domestic Abuse Helpline, told me about a woman with five children who was living in her car, since no program in her community ­ in New York ­ would accept her because she had full-time employment.

How is this morally justifiable? Remember,

they do not want to provide their kind of aid to women who are employed, or those with older male children. Why is that? Perhaps these women would provide some resistance, or may not be as vulnerable and open to their ideas, since they have developed their own self-reliance? And yes, youıd be entirely correct if you thought these kinds of policies were illegal. They are. Equal access for all is the federal mandate. The way these programs get around the legalities is by repeatedly insisting their services provide equal access. As a member of my local United Wayıs 2005 Allocations Panel, I had the dubious privilege of being in a room where the spokeswoman for our local shelter, an assistant of some kind  (the Director apparently had other plans that day) insisted that 3 days alone in a fleabag motel, which is the only service the unwanted receive, at best -- was entirely equal to a 120 day residential program, which boasted free access to counseling and group activities. If you repeat a lie often enough, eventually everybody believes it. I think these policies are more about maintaining the mystique of domestic violence, and keeping the culture of secrecy surrounding these programs than anything else.

Even the Allocations Panel was refused access to our local womenıs shelter, though all other agencies gave us a tour of their facilities. We werenıt supposed to ask why, either. I was on the same panel in 1991. In those pre-VAWA days, the local shelter was as open as any other agency. I find that today these so-called womenıs shelters are given plenty of leeway in their operations, leeway that is not granted any other agency. Iıve worked in and around non-profits for a long time, and if any of the agencies I worked for, such as the food bank or senior citizenıs programs functioned in the same way, theyıd be shut down immediately. Today, those few women who succeed in attaining help from these programs find that not only are they expected to file for an order of protection and divorce, immediately if not sooner ;>)  younger boys they have are expected to attend so-called ³prevention² programs. Female children of any age are not given this training to prevent their future violent activity, because under VAWA, only males are capable of any kind of violence. There is absolutely no provision in any VAWA-enabled program in the country for addressing the problem within the context of a marriage, or as it is, a complex issue of human nature. Once a woman accesses a service, decision making and control of her life is assumed by that shelter or service. These programs generally claim to provide ³empowerment,² and ³empowering² programs.

This term has always made me feel uncomfortable, because it implies these women have no power of their own and must turn to someone or something else outside themselves (in this case, either feminism or government programs) for guidance. In 1994, VAWA validated, with massive grant money, an existing network of organizations called the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Each state has its local chapter, and while their titles may differ slightly from state to state, the philosophy and driving force behind each state agency comes from NCADV. Taken from The AZ Coalitionıs website, here is a portion of one of the pages that defines what theyıre all about: [START QUOTE] "USING MALE PRIVILEGE As long as we as a culture accept the principle and privilege of male dominance, men will continue to be abusive. As long as we as a culture accept and tolerate violence against women, men will continue to be abusive. All men benefit from the violence of batterers.

There is no man who has not enjoyed the male privilege resulting from male domination reinforced by the use of physical violence . . . All women suffer as a consequence of men's violence. Battering by individual men keeps all women in line. While not every woman has experienced violence, there is no woman in this society who has not feared it, restricting her activities and her freedom to avoid it. Women are always watchful knowing that they may be the arbitrary victims of male violence." [END QUOTE]


Does this seem like a rational approach, worth a federal program, supported by everyoneıs tax dollars? If you go to the website and read further, you find they are quite comfortable in rejecting out of hand any other examination of the problem. Also note that there is no consideration of individual needs or circumstances. If you were to check the websites of each state chapter, you would see the same mindless adherence to dogma, with a greater or lesser degree of hysteria in presentation, depending on the organizationıs webmaster. While the state coalitions do not provide direct client services, they are very much engaged in the initial referral process, and determining policies and procedures of individual agencies. 

Those member orgs that do provide services are required to maintain strict adherence to feminist ideology and the policies of the Coalition. This is even in cases where the service provider is a faith-based organization and the tenets of their faith are opposed to divorce. State coalitions are also instrumental where availability of funding is concerned, and to disagree with their policies presents an obvious financial risk to service providers. There is no study or research being undertaken by any VAWA-supported agency to address the problem in any other way than by the current non-approach.  They have no time to look for realistic solutions, as they know, in that unique feminist way of knowing, what is best for women.

They have decided that  women cannot possibly know what is best for them and their families. I think theyıre becoming that same patriarchy theyıve been fighting for decades. Coalitions spend a large percentage of their time lobbying for state, local, and federal laws regarding divorce, and special considerations for those women who claim to be victims. Mrs. Schlafly has pointed out that this may well be illegal activity. They promote such laws and policies as "must arrest" which require an arrest be made in any case where the police are called, and "no drop" which means that once a charge of DV has been made it cannot be withdrawn for any reason. This removes any control of the situation a woman may have thought she had. These laws are already in place in some locales. While services encourage women to set in motion all the legal machinery available to them, this is done without ever explaining any of the ramifications of things like restraining orders, which are handed out on simple request, without any proof required. Often the man whom the order is filed against has no knowledge it exists, and violates it through the simple act of  going home from work, at which time he is arrested.

The fact of this order ever having existed at all has the potential to destroy a manıs career. Not only the military, but many government agencies, professional associations, and large corporations have what they call ³zero tolerance policies² against domestic violence. In many cases, this means a man can never work in his chosen field again, no matter if the charges are dropped, and the order withdrawn. This bell cannot be un-rung. Iıve seen this policy at work. This story Iım about to tell will also explain some of the abuses of the law that happen every day, in every state. A couple of years ago, I got a frantic telephone call from a Marine Gunnery Sergeant. This man had been in the process of divorce. Note the operative term is had been. On the advice of her attorney, his X2B went to our local shelter, claiming domestic violence, even though no such thing had ever occurred.

The lawyer (as many lawyers do) saw it as a convenience that she should lie her way into one of these places, to give her the upper hand when it came to child support issues. So she went, and was so horrified by what she was subjected to she literally ran away, and called a friend for help. Sheıd expected to go there for a couple of hours and get some offers for ³counseling or something², as I was told. Instead she got a couple of days of incarceration in their lovely welcoming shelter, which she had not planned for. Since she was a military dependent, the Provost Marshal was notified as a matter of course. Her husband was immediately arrested, and his son from a previous marriage sent to Childrenıs Village, the way station for kids on line for foster care placement. This man cannot reenlist, when the Corps was his career choice. Thatıs why he called me.

People think that because I know about these issues, I have a magic wand or know something that can help them. Thereıs not a single thing I can do. There is no way around these ugly no tolerance policies. Despite the fact that they resolved their differences, and she did her best to withdraw that DV complaint, including visiting the CO in his office and begging for mercy, it will not go away. What alternate career choices are there for a Marine who expected to serve his country until retirement? What kind of life will this family have after a lawyer advised them to do something really stupid? The negative long-term affects of divorce are never explained to women who go to shelters, or the fact that the divorce process itself, especially if there are children can drag on for years, until the children reach adulthood and even beyond. I know personally men who are retired, and have grandchildren who are still paying child support. If you have occasion to visit a homeless shelter and talk to some of the men there, you will find a number of them whoıve left their home states due to onerous child support judgments they have no means to pay. Theyıve chosen to live in the streets rather than go to jail.

What the vast majority of people tell me is this: ³If Iıd known what divorce was going to be like, I wouldıve stayed married.²  They only find out when it is too late that divorce is no solution for a bad marriage anymore. They also never bother to explain that sometimes a divorce can lead to situations of domestic violence that never actually existed before, due to the tremendous stresses placed on all involved. Meanwhile, judges, the legal profession, and law enforcement agencies are getting training in feminist philosophy under the guise of ³domestic violence prevention² at public expense. This training is also under the guidance of state coalitions. The programs themselves have been devised by feminists who happen to have initials behind their names due to affirmative action policies and little else. They are otherwise quite poorly educated. Iıve encountered women with PhDs and MSWs who were barely literate.  Thereıs a strange concept here that if you make a law against something, it will go away, and when that doesnıt work you make laws that are even more stringent and unforgiving.

Iım sure a lot of you have heard a statement, something to effect that ³this community is getting tough on domestic violence.² This only illustrates how little these people advocating these laws know about the issue itself. The basic problem with abusive people ­ this includes men and women both, in equal numbers ­ those people who abuse their spouses or children, donıt think the rules of behavior that the rest of us follow apply to them. The woman who whacks her husband in the back of the head with a CD case because he forgot to bring home bread is not thinking about the governmentıs opinion of this behavior. Neither is the man who throws his plate at his wife when thereıs not enough salt in the potatoes. Even if you put every adult male in the country behind bars, there would not be any end to domestic violence. The Criminal Tribes Act had no effect on crime in India, and the Violence Against Women Act can have no effect on domestic violence.

All VAWA does is employ people who could not effectively function in real jobs elsewhere. Mrs. Schlafly refers to it as feminist pork, but Iıll take it one step further: It is nothing more than a welfare program for the hardcore unemployable. VAWA allows and promotes hate. It tells little girls to fear their fathers, and encourages grown women to act like rabid animals. At the risk of sounding disingenuous Iıll say it is the worst thing for Americans, ever. I have a beautiful infant granddaughter, a brilliant and lovely step-granddaughter entering her teens, and an accomplished daughter-in-law I admire. These relationships didnıt exist a year ago. There can be no law the US government can enact that will make me suddenly think of my husband or son in negative terms, just because we have these new women in our lives. Yet VAWA creates suspicion. It pays for anti-male posters in hospitals, and nasty PR about dating in high schools. We women are told to consider our dear men as potential pedophiles or abusers. How can we do this? This law can be no more effective than the monstrosity set on the Indian people in the 19th century. How much longer can we allow this new one? ------------------------------------

All special interests create legislation that is beneficial to them and almost be definition harmful to others in some way. our founding forefathers knew this would happen. Their solution was to require jury trials so that every case needed to be proven to the level of many people. They had the right to find the accused innocent if they did not like the law. This WAS the check and balance against bad laws, snuck into passage by special interests. However, judges have now made it illegal to even inform a jury of this right to find people innocent if they believe the law is bad. In fact they instruct the jury to the contrary, saying they can only decide based on certain criteria that the judge lays out. This has short-circuited justice in the U.S. today. Now no one is safe from special interest laws.

The VAWA is such a law it was snuck into law by feminists groups to redefine what violence is (anything woman don't like including "using logic" by the way). It LITERALLY strips any man of his constitutional rights as soon as a woman says the word "fear" in Massachusetts and many other states. It is out of control and makes marriage completely under the control of women. Any man can be thrown out of his home, have his children immediately taken away and have his income attached as soon as a woman goes in front of a judge and says she is afraid.  There is no due process, you are not even there, there need be no accusation that any violence has even happened. This is a travesty and an insult to both women and men. Laws like this will be the downfall of society over time. It make marriage an impossible situation for men because women can leave anytime the want, take everything and the man effectively is put into economic slavery right away.  In Massachusetts not only will they take 26% of you PRE-TAX income, but the judge will order you to pay the 50% of you take-home pay to maintain the home you just got thrown out of. That means that man, guilt, innocent we really don't know and no one cares, now has to live on 13% of his income. If you make $50,000 this is $357 per month. This manufactures criminals and is unconstitutional but happening every single day. I have seen judges CREATE divorces from little lovers quarrels by issuing this orders when it is very clear the statute is not even met (as loose as it is).

Get outraged!