A list of dudes who oppose the Violence Against Women Act

**Trigger warning**

Welcome to the new Washington, where it’s now perfectly acceptable to take a basic sentiment, like “I think we should make life easier for women who’ve been beaten, assaulted, or raped,” and declare yourself publicly in opposition to it.

Or at least, there are some Republicans who consider it acceptable. These Senators, all of them men, have set themselves against the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act. Yesterday, they all voted not to consider reauthorizing it: they don’t even want to allow it to come to a vote. Because hey, women are only the majority of voters in this country, and they’re only incredibly likely to be beaten, assaulted, or raped over the course of their lifetimes. So you know what? Fuck ‘em!

Would you like to know who these brave lawmakers are, these bold men willing to stand up against the sheep of the status quo as they bleat that violence against women is bad? Of course you would!

Ted Cruz (R-TX)

This guy just got elected and he’s getting off on the worst fucking foot ever.

If you live in  Texas, this guy is your Senator (his website says he’s just been elected “the 3th Senator from Texas” which I’m fairly sure is both innumerate and illegal)

Think the 3th Senator from Texas is wrong? You should contact him and tell him so.

Mike Lee (R-UT)

Lee is from Utah, home of sweeping snowy mountains and gorgeous national parks and, according to him, constituents who don’t give a fuck about violence against women.

If you live in Utah, this guy is your Senator, and you know that he’s wrong about his constituents. You should contact him and tell him so.

James Risch (R-ID)

Oh, James. James, James, James. Jimmy. Can I call you Jimmy? I can’t, because I’m not one of your constituents, and we’re not on those terms. But James, WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU THINKING?! That’s a good question, one you should ask him (more politely than that, I would ask) if he is your Senator.

Tim Scott (R-SC)

This guy was appointed by a woman. Like, five minutes ago. Governor Nikki Haley appointed Scott to the Senate, and I really, really want to be a fly on the wall when he explains to her that he isn’t interested in even letting his colleagues vote on funding organizations that would help people like her mother and her sister and her daughter and HER, if god forbid someone should do something awful to them. If you’re inSouth Carolina, Scott is your Senator. Call him and tell him why the VAWA matters.

BUT WAIT, there’s more! There are more men who oppose the Violence Against Women Act below the jump!

Pat Roberts (R-KS)

What’s the matter with Kansas? Well, having a Senator who opposes the Violence Against Women Act should certainly be on the list. Kansans of Feministing, call your Senator. Tell him what’s the matter with his stance on this issue.

Mike Johanns (R-NE)

Good god, this list is disgustingly long. And Mike Johanns is just the next guy on this list. This list of guys who don’t think that violence against women is that big a deal. If you’re from Nebraska, this guy is your Senator. Call him. Now.

Marco Rubio (R-FL)

New face of the GOP? Sure, but the new face has a pretty old school stance on violence against women. If you’re a Floridian Feministing reader, this guy is your Senator. Once you’re done soaking up the year-round sun and… insert other stereotypes about Florida here… Please call your Senator.

Rand Paul (R-KY)

I hate having to put those initials right after Paul’s name because – and yeah, this is how my mind works – I think about lube. And I do not want to think about Rand Paul and lube, or really Rand Paul in the same breath as anything that is even tangentially related to sex. Rand Paul, last but not least on this List of Ignominy, is the senior Senator for Kentucky. If he’s your Senator, once you’re done cleansing your brain of the horrific mental images I just planted in it (I’m so, so sorry, you guys), contact him and tell him how wrong he is about VAWA.

New York, NY

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia. She joined the Feministing team in 2009. Her writing about politics and popular culture has been published in The Atlantic, The Guardian, New York magazine, Reuters, The LA Times and many other outlets in the US, Australia, UK, and France. She makes regular appearances on radio and television in the US and Australia. She has an AB in Sociology from Princeton University and a PhD in Arts and Media from the University of New South Wales. Her academic work focuses on Hollywood romantic comedies; her doctoral thesis was about how the genre depicts gender, sex, and power, and grew out of a series she wrote for Feministing, the Feministing Rom Com Review. Chloe is a Senior Facilitator at The OpEd Project and a Senior Advisor to The Harry Potter Alliance. You can read more of her writing at chloesangyal.com

Chloe Angyal is a journalist and scholar of popular culture from Sydney, Australia.

Read more about Chloe

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/silverwolfcity/ E

    I can assure you that Nikki Haley is just fine with Tim Scott’s stance on this issue. She has proved that she is no ally of South Carolina women. Her concern is earning street creds with the GOP old white dudes club, at the expense of the physical and economic well-being of the women of her state. She is an extreme far-right Tea Party governor with extreme far right Tea Party values. She is anti-choice, anti-gay, anti-affordable healthcare. She is a female Paul Ryan. She is good with this.

    Last summer she vetoed funding for rape and domestic violence victims, saying that allocating funds for those victims distracts from the state’s larger public health effort (whatever that is). She does not believe rape and violence pose a public health threat, nor does she believe it is her responsibility to, as you say, make the victims’ lives better. Thus, her appointment of Scott is in line with her governing history.

    Nikki Haley is not a feminist, not even once in a while.

  • http://feministing.com/members/cassius/ Brüno

    Also if it is reintroduced then only as VAPA violence against people act.

  • http://feministing.com/members/jwayne/ john

    Do you seriously believe these senators really hate women? That they think violence against women is a GOOD thing?

    I think it is important to look past the title of the act (“violence against women”) and into the actual substance, what the act actually does. To give you a historical example, in US v. Morrison, the Supreme Court ruled that part of VAWA was unconstitutional because it allowed the United States government to seek civil remedies on the victim’s behalf. Today, republicans disagree as to VAWA’s granting of temporary visas to illegal immigrants who are victims of gender violence (in addition to other provisions in the act).

    While you may disagree with the Supreme Court’s ruling or these Republicans’ viewpoint on the immigration consequences of VAWA, you have to understand that these issues are far more complex than “if you don’t support this act, you hate women”. For example, if you supported the government’s viewpoint in Morrison, it would grant the Congress the power to use the commerce clause to regulate non-economic activity.

    I hope you don’t think I hate women for making this comment because I certainly do not. The purpose of my comment is not to take the side of these republican “dudes” you listed. My purpose is to point out that the fact they do not support VAWA is not a dispositive factor for concluding that they simply “hate women”.

    • http://feministing.com/members/elwilson/ Laura Smith

      Dear John,

      Please read the following link and then get back to us:


      • http://feministing.com/members/fischedj/ David Fischer

        Dear Laura,

        Since when does someone’s gender invalidate their opinion?

      • http://feministing.com/members/barcing/ T Hanks

        Nice rebuttal. A+.

        I really liked how you used facts and reason to shut down his argument instead of some childish tactic.

  • http://feministing.com/members/silverwolfcity/ E

    Oh, look, a mansplainer.

    What you have to understand, John, is that nowhere in this post does Chloe say any of these men “hate” women. Nowhere does she say they think violence is a good thing. Her point, which is made rather clearly, is their callous disregard for the well-being of violence victims. You don’t have to “hate” someone to not feel it’s your responsibility to help them when they are raped or abused. You just have to be an asshole.

    What you have to understand, John, is that women and girls suffer disproportionately from rape and other forms of violence in this country. When you publicly and unapologetically dismiss a measure designed to assist victims of violence –I don’t care what bogus technicality you cite as your reason–you send the message that you don’t care in the slightest about another person’s pain. You got the shit beat out of you? Deal.

    What you have to understand, John, is that we live in a culture where women are devalued–particularly if you are a minority or you are gay–and we have a House that could care less. They wouldn’t even VOTE on this. All because some of the funds would be used to benefit undocumented immigrants and people in same-sex partnerships. So, compassion stops at straights and legals, I guess. Except that when this thing dies, it stops for everybody. You get that, right? Do you care what happens to the people who will be left out in the cold because of this? If so, then be a dear and don’t rationalize the GOP’s inaction and their callousness. People rationalizing on behalf of the GOP is why they keep getting to make decisions like this.

    • http://feministing.com/members/krstnhndrsn/ Kristen Henderson

      Can I vote this comment up or favorite it or high five it or something?

    • http://feministing.com/members/cinleavitte/ Cindy L

      What Kristen said!

    • http://feministing.com/members/jwayne/ john

      Sorry I accidentally clicked “report comment” when I meant to click reply. If an administrator sees this please disregard the report.

      First lets decipher what Chloe was really trying say so we may have a foundation for a constructive discussion. While Chloe never explicitly used the term “hate”, I don’t think that was unreasonable to infer based on her rhetoric. Nonetheless, for argument sake lets take your interpretation: because these politicians failed to support VAWA they demonstrated a “callous disregard for the well-being of violence victims”. (If I missed something please elaborate)

      Now I will sum up my previous argument so there will not be any misunderstandings. Before I do so I want you to know my purpose here is not to offend or to be a “mansplainer” (may I suggest you look up “ad hominem”). I also agree with you that women suffer from a great deal of violence and in no way was I trying to “dismiss” the issue. I am merely pointing to an issue which I believe is being overlooked. My previous argument was that the VAWA issue is more complex than it seems. There “mere fact” that a politician does not support VAWA does not mean they have a callous disregard for the well-being of violence victims.

      I believe my assertion has merit. See the following Washington Times article (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/feb/8/nance-why-congress-ought-ditch-vawa/): “There is a common consensus that VAWA isn’t effective. A recent national survey conducted by SAVE (Stop Abusive and Violent Environments), a non-profit victim-advocacy organization, shows 69.5 percent of respondents agree it’s time to reform VAWA in order to reduce waste and fraud within the system.”

      I am not suggesting that everything about this article is correct. However, I do believe it raises some interesting points. At a very basic level, there is quite a bit of dispute as whether VAWA currently is the most effective form of protection. Believe it or not, that is part of the job of politicians when they consider a bill. Therefore, I don’t think it is that outrageous to consider that perhaps these dudes failed to support VAWA for reasons other than their “callous disregard” for violence victims.

      Lastly, all the banter aside, my goal here really is to learn more about the specifics of VAWA and why you ladies believe it is effective (currently, my position on the bill is very neutral). Therefore, I will take all constructive comments you have very seriously. However, if you persistently dwell on the notion that “John” is just trying to rationalize “callousness” then perhaps I have came to the wrong forum.

    • http://feministing.com/members/tyciol/ Jordan

      “nowhere in this post does Chloe say any of these men “hate” women. Nowhere does she say they think violence is a good thing”

      Is that so? Let’s look at a quote:

      “these bold men willing to stand up against the sheep of the status quo as they bleat that violence against women is bad? ”

      Accusing men of standing up against people saying “violence against woman is bad” is implying they hold the contrary viewpoint that “violence against women is good”. So if we avoid splitting hairs too finely, that does contradict your second claim.

      Let us consider this in combination with some other statements:

      “likely to be beaten, assaulted, or raped over the course of their lifetimes. So you know what? Fuck ‘em!”

      “according to him, constituents who don’t give a fuck about violence against women.”

      “This list of guys who don’t think that violence against women is that big a deal. ”

      While you are correct that hatred itself is not involved in the accusation, these statements imply an incredible amount of apathy, as if violence did not matter if the target was a woman. Not only that it didn’t matter, but that they would oppose making it matter.

      While you’re right it’s not an accusation of hatred, I can’t help but feel strongly that it is implied somewhere along the course of these statements, when someone feels so little empathy we’re led to assume hatred’s likely to be involved.

      Regardless of whether or not it is ‘hate’ or misandry, even if it is merely apathy that the act’s opponents are being accused of, it still seems wrong. Could there not be other reasons besides a complete lack of care for women that someone might oppose an act?

    • http://feministing.com/members/steve1985/ Stephen

      Men are far more likely to be victims of violence and attack. Please tell my this bill does nothing to protect them.

      I know you think women suffer from violence more than men but it just is not true. Go look at the statistics and then tell me honestly women need this bill but men don’t.

    • http://feministing.com/members/kojoto/ Abi
  • http://feministing.com/members/steve1985/ Stephen

    How about if we pass a bill that help prevent women from murdering their children? We won’t mention men at all but that’s ok because most kids are killed by their mother anyway.

    If you oppose this you agree with baby murder…..

    Please just take a step back and think about what you are saying.

    • http://feministing.com/members/steve1985/ Stephen

      Should have said if you disagree you support baby murder