Misogyny in the GOP? This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

December 13, 2009
In the era of Sarah Palin, Ann Coulter, and Fox News' Michelle Malkin, it seems the GOP has been embracing women more than ever.

Unfortunately, a recent Senate vote shows that, when it really matters, misogyny is not unwelcome in Republican circles.

I was absolutely shocked when I found out that 30 Republican senators, all of them male, opposed an amendment in the recent defense appropriations bill to restrict federal funding from government contractors who essentially silence rape victims. More specifically, the contractors in question include unfair, seemingly innocuous clauses in their employees' contracts that require disputes to be taken to arbitration instead of a court of law. This clause is, on increasingly more frequent occasions, perverted to include cases of rape or assault. Though the amendment passed, the large block of opposition is frightening. The amendment, proposed by Senator Al Franken (D-MN), was inspired by the story of Jamie Leigh Jones, a female employee of a former subsidiary of Halliburton, KBR.

When working in Iraq in 2005, Jones was gang-raped and severely beaten by seven of her co-workers. She had been drugged, and when she regained consciousness the next morning, she awoke to a nightmare. Lying next to one of her rapists, she was bloody and beaten so badly that she would later need reconstructive surgery for her breasts and pectoral muscles. After being treated by an Army doctor, she was placed under guard in a shipping container, essentially treated like the criminal and not the victim. Over the next four years, KBR clung to the arbitration clause in Jones' contract, forcing her to fight to even allow her rape to go to court. She finally won her case in September of 2009, but after a long and painful process in which the company “lost” crucial forensic evidence and repeatedly claimed that the sex was consensual. This victory was bittersweet for Jones, who says, "Four years to fight to get in court is not a day in court."

So why is the GOP (or at least a large block of it) protecting these government contractors? Objections to the amendment included the idea that the government should not interfere in private contracts. The basis for this objection, however, is frankly nonexistent. The amendment clearly states that government funding will not be allocated to companies that would deny rape victims their right to prosecute their attackers. In short, it does not prohibit such practices; it only restricts federal dollars to companies who do this.

I am deeply disappointed in the integrity of our nation's politicians. It is a sad day for women everywhere when the majority of Republican senators vote to protect government contractors at the expense of true justice for rape victims.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

SophiaCross said...
Feb. 24, 2012 at 10:08 am
Wow. This article is very well written, but infuriating. It's good of you to bring this subject to light.
freeflow23 said...
Aug. 10, 2011 at 6:52 pm
Wow! You are an amazing writer. You're very good at getting your point across.
gogreen1 said...
Jun. 5, 2011 at 3:39 pm
I like this article and it is truly shocking - but I'm wondering why you only focused on the opposition from the GOP. I may be wrong but there also must be some sort of opposition from the Democrats as well, and though perhaps not as pronounced, making it seem like only the GOP are in the wrong is slightly off-balance a bit.
AnotherJesusFreak said...
Apr. 22, 2011 at 2:59 pm

I understand what your saying, I do. But you have to understand, we are 14 TRILLION dollars in dept, the most America's ever been in dept before and we to cut spending on almost everything it seems like just to pay it off.


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