The Democrats want to expand US hate crime legislation to include crimes based on sexual orientation and gender identity and those women things, but Bush will veto it because such protection is "unnecessary".
First, let me criticize my supposed allies. In every report I’ve read of this, it’s all about gay rights. In other words, knowing how people here default, it’s all about the menz. That this bill would say something about hate crimes based on gender is just mentioned in passing. There’s been research into how many crimes are motivated by hatred of the GLBT communities, but no research into how often rape, murder and domestic abuse are motivated not by dislike of one woman, but by hatred of women as a group.
Because it’s understandable men would hate women. Isn’t it? Sure it is! Even attraction between genders is referred to as "sexual tension". It’s a naturally adversarial relationship. That’s why the Hallmark cards and Valentine’s flowers are so important: to give people the illusion that male/female sexual relationships are nice and sweet even though most people still accept the romantic model in which an aggressor (the Man) wins a prize (that woman thing).
Now let’s move onto the White House. Guess what their big issue with the bill is? They think if a church congregation member goes on a gay-bashing mission, his minister who preached against homosexuals might be charged, too.
There’s a simple solution from Jesus here: you could preach against homosexuality instead of against homosexuals. That’s how they did it when I was a kid going to an American Baptist church. I don’t know if y’all stopped-reading-after-the-Old-Testament fundie Christians have heard, but there was this Jesus guy who advocated hating the sin, not the sinner. Additionally, we believed that adultery – a sin that actually rated mention in the Ten Commandments, unlike homosexuality – was a lot more prevalent than homosexuality among congregation members, so maybe that should be an item of higher concern on our moral agenda.
Of course, the part of the bill that applies to women is doesn’t even merit a response from the White House. No one is talking about this. Not the press, not the White House. It’s just not important.
Yes, I do realize it’s possible the bill is written poorly. I also realize that to privileged people, it appears hate crime legislation gives "minorities" more rights than the dominant groups. Ideally, every crime should get the same treatment, regardless of the perpetrator’s motive (group hate, individual hate, drunkenness, whatever). But hate crime legislation was passed in part because that wasn’t happening. Because judges and juries were excusing, for example, good ol’ white boys for beating up on blacks while throwing the book at blacks so much as accused of a crime without evidence. Like affirmative action, it sounds unfair on the surface, but it’s a correction to an ongoing unfairness within the law.
In modern day, I will go so far as to assert there is no greater shortcoming in our legal system than its inability to deal with rape. This inability springs entirely from a bogus conviction that rape is a normal hazard of inter-gender relationships and the law shouldn’t be expected to try to do anything about it. Would hate crime legislation change this in any way? Quite possibly not.
But what bothers me is that nobody’s talking about it. We accept misogyny as a fact of life.