The Anti-Wonk’s Guide to the Violence Against Women Act

Action4VAWAToday the Senate votes, again, on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), so everyone brace yourselves to read a lot of bad reporting on it. It’s not all the reporters’ fault; political reporters have a problem, which is that people who like to write about policy tend to be wonks, whereas the people who end up reading their stories mostly aren’t. [Read more...]

Blind Spot

(Part 1 of 2)

My Google alerts at work read like the clips file of an unfocused true crime writer, they’re all “husband and wife arrested,” “parent kidnaps child,” “lawyer threatened,” “pet killed.” What I’m looking for, of course, is domestic violence, which is something that’s both very visible and strangely obscured, so it can be hard to track. [Read more...]

BREAKING: Anthony Weiner’s Wife’s Fetus Not Actually Your Business

Well, it’s over. Congressman Crotch Shot is stepping down, giving way at last beneath the weight of the nation’s collective scolding. I haven’t yet been persuaded that his toolish behavior constituted a firing offense; he committed no crimes that we know of, it was mostly the media coverage that made it impossible for him to do his job. The press of course went for the easy kill, focusing on what was personally salacious rather than professionally relevant. And Americans, never ones to miss out on a public shaming, set upon Weiner like pack of self-righteous hyenas.  Weiner should lose his seat, they argued, not because he was bad at his job, but because he was a bad man. Yikes! Tough audience. [Read more...]

Top Five Ways To Lose the GOP Nomination

#5: FORGET TO PRETEND YOU’RE NOT A BIGOT

Oh, Haley Barbour. Where do I even start with your dumb, racist ass? Such a high-rolling big fish in your stagnant pond of corrupt lobbyists and good ol’ boy operators, you actually started to believe your own hype and thought you might have a shot at the Presidency. Alas, a few months outside your native Mississippi and in the national spotlight, and you withered like a Kudzu vine in a swamp fire, officially declaring an end to your non-candidacy on Monday. Why? Because you just couldn’t keep your mouth shut about black people. [Read more...]

Happy International Women’s Day, Suckers

So there I was in the gym locker room, minding my own business for once, and in under a minute of watching CNN I saw the following headlines: 1) Jet-setting sociopath Joran van der Sloot, who came to prominence for allegedly-probably murdering Natalee Holloway in Aruba, is trying to plead down to manslaughter charges for totally-definitely murdering Stephany Flores in Peru. 2) In Texas, 18 men were arrested on suspicion of gang-raping an 11-year-old girl, though the suspects are black and it’s Texas, so I forbear further comment. 3) A judge upheld a statutory rape charge against one of the teens on trial in the Phoebe Prince suicide-bullying case. [Read more...]

We Don’t Know Jack

And we don’t know Charlie, either. Or Mel, or Chris, or Mike, or any of the host of public figures whose Wikipedia entries contain the footnote *Also likes to beat up women he’s sleeping with. Once you start looking, you see the landscape is littered with famous abusers. And while we often know more than we care to about the details of their freak-outs and rage benders, what we don’t seem to know is what the hell is wrong with them. And that strikes me as kind of important information to have, if we want to prevent them from being violent. [Read more...]