The lesson that was reiterated to me today: The GOP cares more about rich white men than women, the LGBTQ community, minority populations, the poor, and people who are suffering after a natural disaster combined. Haven’t read anything other than the Fiscal Cliff and your taxes? — Well that’s because that’s what the media chooses to inundate our Newsfeeds, News Channels, and front pages with. But the GOP also did not pass a recovery package for those whose homes and lives were torn apart by Hurricane Sandy. They also let the Violence Against Women Act expire because they could just not stand to bear protections also being for people who are part of the LGBTQ community or Native American women.
Way. To. Go, Old, Men! The recovery package is mind boggling and downright sad that they are arguing over pennies at the expense of people’s homes and well-being. But, as you all know, I want to focus my outrage on the VAWA (at no offense to those who are still suffering from the horrible Hurricane).
This holiday season, Republicans showed us that they think the proposed version of the VAWA protects… too many women. Wait, what? Not only did they show us that by letting the bill expire, but they told us they think LGBTQ victims and Native American victims are not deserving of protections, support, and assistance. Instead, I understand the GOP to be telling me that they think these victims deserve the violence and should fend for themselves. The GOP are showing us that they want to protect the men who are doing the abusing more so than the women who are being victimized and traumatized at substantial rates.
I don’t give a rats ass if you are white, black, brown — young, middle-aged, or old — heterosexual or homosexual. If you are a victim of such violence, you deserve protections and the right to feel safe again. This is not political, people. We should not have to have such debates and such restrictive proposals for policies about this issue. The fact that we do tells me society doesn’t 100% believe that violence inflicted against women and the LGBTQ community is ALWAYS wrong. I feel pure sadness by this harsh realization that has been stirring within me for years but has been solidified today.
Our media has drowned us with talks about taxes, the economy, entitlement programs, etc. Now, I will be the first to admit I cannot contribute to the Fiscal Cliff debate productively because my knowledge base is just not up to par. I also know that the economy is important and our futures depend on a lot of policies that are on the table right now. I am not trying to say that we should not care or be concerned with the so-called Fiscal Cliff. But I am disgusted that I had to Google Violence Against Women Act because it did not show up on my Google Newsfeed — which has topics such as sexual assault, human rights, domestic violence, and women’s rights. Why is it that I receive a Breaking News Alert from the NY Times in my inbox about Hilary Clinton being released from the hospital but I don’t get a Breaking News Alert on the GOP walking out on the millions of Americans severely impacted by domestic and sexual violence every day?
I am disgusted that less than the top 2% of earners have controlled the media. Let me throw you some numbers that you aren’t reading about on your iPhone or tablet tonight before bed or tomorrow over your first cup of coffee.
As of November 2012, there were 135.1 million people working in the U.S. Less than 2% earn $450,000 — which is the starting point for tax increases as a result of the deal that was passed today — so I’ll round up and say 2%. So roughly 2.7 million Americans fall into the category that all eyes were on and outrage poured out of during the Fiscal Cliff proposals and debates. All the outrage by the GOP because they weren’t seeing spending cuts — from the poor. And yet, the GOP let a bill expire that would strengthen protections for the 12 million victims of domestic violence, 6 million victims of sexual assault, and 1 million victims of stalking. They failed AT LEAST 19 million Americans but I would argue that number at least quadruples when you consider under reporting and the friends and families of loved ones beaten, raped, and even murdered at the hands of their intimate partner.
Change is needed now more than ever. Accountability of our representatives siting in the House and re-evaluation of what “representative” truly means needs to happen. The United States is made up of 50.8% women and yet 20% of the Senate are women and 17.9% of the House are women. Though Washington has beat records after this past election, it still falls short of general representation of the American people at a strictly gender-based analysis. Why are we okay with White men being the sole opponents of the reauthorization that went through the Senate back in the Spring 2012. Why are we okay with White men dictating the future of women? Why are we perpetuating the status quo of severe violence in our country to our mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, aunts.
Why aren’t more Americans outraged and screaming WHY?