1994 Violence Against Women Act should have been declared
unconstitutional years ago. It was legislation typical of
the Clinton era. It invented a problem that did not exist,
provided work for thousands of prosecutors in an America
already gone prosecution-crazy, violated civil liberties
and squandered money on a vast, pointless federal program.
The law was Clintons payoff to the feminists. Since
state courts could not protect women, the federal government
had to step in. "State courts are riddled with gender
bias..." National Organization for Women (NOW) President
Patricia Ireland shrieked recently. "Surely women must
be able to look to Congress and the federal courts to enforce
our civil rights and save womens lives
and other violence, which have reached epidemic levels,
are devastating crimes against women and society."
of these claims has the slightest basis in fact. But the
lies serve a useful purpose. By portraying women as a victimized
group the government can usurp the powers of local government
in the name of protecting "civil rights." There
is no "epidemic" level of violence against women.
To the contrary, every day men are far more likely to be
assaulted than women. The statistics the feminists cite
are laughably misleading. Here is typical writing of this
genre the American Medical Womens Associations
The Womens Complete Healthbook. "Every
6 minutes a woman is raped," it warns, "every
15 seconds a woman is punched, slapped, kicked, or otherwise
physically abused by a man she knows
every day, approximately
four women are murdered by their husbands or boyfriends
of all American women experience violence from men at some
point in their lives
more than 12 million American
women, or one in every eight, have been raped at some time
in their lives
20 percent of girls
had been sexually abused before they were 18." Yet
a 1998 report by the National Institute of Justice and the
Centers for Disease Control states that 1.9 percent of the
women surveyed claimed that they had been assaulted in the
previous 12 months. For the men surveyed the figure is 3.4
percent. And while "18 percent of women surveyed said
they experienced a completed or attempted rape at some time
in their life," only "0.3 percent said they experienced
a completed or attempted rape in the previous 12 months."
In other words, women are hardly living in terror. According
to the 1998 National Crime Victimization Survey put out
by the Justice Dept., men are twice as likely as women to
be victims of aggravated assault. Three-fourths of murder
victims are male. And men are twice as likely as women to
be subjected to violent victimization while at work.
on these deliberate distortions, the government set out
to abrogate civil liberties. The Violence Against Women
Act was part of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement
Act, which changed the rules of admissibility of evidence
in federal sexual assault and child molestation cases. Its
now possible to enter into evidence during a trial a defendants
past criminal record. "These evidence rules,"
explains the Butcher of Wacos Justice Dept. smugly,
"facilitate the effective prosecution of habitual sex
offenders. They provide the basis for informed decisions
by juries regarding questions of propensity to commit future
crimes in light of the defendants past conduct."
Further, the federal government has been urging the states
to adopt these new evidentiary procedures. To do this it
doles out large sums of money among other things, the
Violence Against Women Act was a nice $1.6 billion boondoggle,
and there are grants galore written into the legislation.
administration and Congress have for years been desperate
to use the federal government for purposes of law enforcement.
Hence the bogus issue of "civil rights." The claim
that women are a victimized group is ludicrous. There is
no evidence that state authorities do not investigate crimes
committed against women. And women, like men, have recourse
to the civil courts to seek monetary damages against criminal
assailants. For the government to present itself as some
latter-day Don Quixote defending the honor of women it had
to pull off an extraordinary piece of legerdemain. Under
Section 8 of Article I of the Constitution Congress has
the authority "to regulate commerce...among the several
States." Since gender-based violence restricts womens
choices in jobs and travel, the administration and Congress
agreed that this was a proper matter for federal legislation.
"[A]ll persons within the United States shall have
the right to be free from crimes of violence motivated by
gender," the law declared. Quite why being "free
from crimes of violence motivated by gender" is more
of a fundamental right than being free from crimes of violence
motivated by pecuniary gain no one ever bothers to explain.
Indeed, it is hard to know what being "motivated by
gender" means. Does that mean that homosexual rape