Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentines

Image credit: One Billion Rising

It's that day again, when many of us are hoping to spend some time with a special someone:

Image credit: Cujo359

For many of us, though, romance is the last thing on our minds. Today is also the day when a group called V Day is holding an event called One Billion Rising to protest violence against women around the world:


A global strike

An invitation to dance

A call to men and women to refuse to participate in the status quo until rape and rape culture ends

An act of solidarity, demonstrating to women the commonality of their struggles and their power in numbers

A refusal to accept violence against women and girls as a given

A new time and a new way of being

About One Billion Rising

That's their logo at the top of this article. Their name comes from the claim, substantiated nowhere that I can see, that one billion women in the world today will be raped in their lifetimes. I don't know where they get that number, but there is plenty of violence against women, both here and around the world. It doesn't have to be that way.

There's even a search page to find an event near you.

While we're on that subject, the Violence Against Women Act was allowed to expire last session of Congress. The Senate has voted to reauthorize with bipartisan support. The House, which is controlled by the Republican Party and Speaker John Boehner, has so far been reluctant to do the same:

Republican leaders are again facing pressure from within their ranks to act. A letter sent Monday night and signed by 17 House GOP lawmakers nudges Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) in the Senate’s direction, twice calling for a bipartisan bill. The House GOP’s version last year passed on a party-line vote.

“Now is the time to seek bipartisan compromise on the reauthorization of these programs. … We believe a bipartisan plan to reauthorize VAWA is more important than ever,” wrote Republican Reps. Rodney Davis (IL), Charlie Dent (PA), Rodney Frelinghuysen (NJ), Mike Fitzpatrick (PA), Jim Gerlach (PA), Chris Gibson (NY), Michael Grimm (NY), Richard Hanna (NY), David Joyce (OH), Leonard Lance (NJ), Frank LoBiondo (NJ), Patrick Meehan (PA), Shelly Moore-Capito (WV), Tom Reed (NY), Dave Reichert (WA), Jon Runyan (NJ) and Lee Terry (NE).


Although House Republicans dislike provisions covering LGBT and illegal-immigrant victims, their primary area of discomfort with the Senate bill is the tribal lands provision. Senior House GOP aides declined to comment, but top Republicans, led by Cantor, are leaning toward a middle path that provides legal recourse for those charged with domestic abuse in Native American courts by allowing them to appeal to U.S. courts.

Senate Passes Expanded Violence Against Women Act

If your U.S. Representative is a Republican, telling him that his party's stance on this issue isn't OK with you might be a good way to celebrate Valentine's Day.

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