Monday, September 23, 2002

How's About a Bit of Activism?

Hi, everyone! It's been a while since I've posted. I've been here, in the background, and have enjoyed reading all that's going on with my Blog Sistah's. Here is a post I'm going to be putting on my own blog, as well. I think it's an important issue.

Are you all familiar with the Independent Women's Forum (IWF)? If not, then you should know that the IWF is a organization which has made a name for itself by attempting to defeat legislation aimed at supporting America's and the world's women. Counted among the IWF luminaries are such stalwart right-wingers as Ann Coulter and the late Barbara Olson. IWF takes some really unusual and extreme positions, such as their recent calling for the rejection of The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) - that UN treaty signed by all but a handful of nations (including the US, btw). Today, the IWF is back in the news - this time because one of their members, Nancy M. Pfotenhauer, has been appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women. To fully appreciate the surreal nature of this move, one needs to take into consideration that Ms. Pfotenhauer and her colleagues at IWF have repeatedly and publicly testified against the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). That's right, in their repeated opposition of VAWA before Congress and publicly, The Independent Women's Forum have maintained that the abuses for which VAWA was enacted no longer exist, and that government would be of no help to those women who are in need. Circuitous argument? You bet.

Another point to consider: the VAWA office reports directly to the Department of Justice. One wonders how it is that Ms. Pfotenhauer can be expected to fairly execute her committee duties on behalf of abused women when her public positions have always run counter to their interests. Given her track record, I can't imagine Pfotenhauer's advice and counsel to Attorney General John Ashcroft to be anything other than more of the same old effort at reducing government protection of individual rights. Can you?

Here is another example of the administration seeking to render impotent a department charged with protecting American rights. Just as with the appointment of the corporate anti-environmentalist Gail Norton to the Department of the Interior and with the anti-protectionist Peter Kirsanow, to the US Civil Rights Committee, the administration's selection of Nancy M. Pfotenhauer serves further notice that America's rights are under assault.

One might ask why anyone should bother fighting the Pfotenhauer appointment since what's done is done - she's now on the committee. The answer is that their fait accompli does not make it right, and that until advised otherwise, we continue to have freedom of speech in this country. Also, word is that John Ashcroft has also invited another anti-woman extremist to sit on this committee: IWF National Advisory Board member Margot Hill. These invitations run counter to the committee's ministry. Since its inception, members of the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women have included victims services providers, battered women’s advocates, survivors of domestic violence and legal professionals. Let's also not forget that we continue to apply the rule of one-man one-vote, and a mid-term vote is coming up. Politicians are eager to hear our views. Now is the time to talk up the problems. Please contact your legislator or write a letter to your local newspaper airing your opposition to the appointment of Nancy Pfotenhauer to the National Advisory Committee on Violence Against Women and demand her resignation. To that end, why not take advantage of this free internet fax program?

Learn more about this issue by visiting the National Organization for Women (NOW). Another good resource on women's rights and for that matter everyone's rights is the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), always a good friend to have around when your back is up against the wall.

1 comment:

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