Published: May 3, 2012
Sometimes, while not screaming at the ceiling, we repeat ourselves here at Happytown™ HQ. Sure you could blame the thin air in our lofty second-floor offices or the wafts of fish and popcorn coming from the break room, but mostly our repetition is a result of anger culminating in a series of Network-esque moments involving the fact that we're mad as hell and not particularly wanting to take it anymore. It's what you do when you realize that your righteous indignation is not echoing the way you hoped it would.
Case in point: Last week, we made a breezy mention of the fact that Gov. Rick Scott, during a $142 million game of running with budget- cutting scissors, decided to remove $1.5 million from the state's 30 rape crisis centers during Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The story kind of took on a media life of its own, with the whole shebang winding up with Scott, according to the now defunct Florida Independent, attending a Tallahassee awards ceremony the very next day to honor victims' advocates, including - wait for it - Nicole Bishop, who runs a certain Palm Beach County Victim Services Division that happens to be a rape crisis center that got in the way of Scott's eager cutting implement. Genius.
The governor's spokesperson Lane Wright was quick to jump to his master's defense, calling the new $1.5 million “duplicative” to the Huffington Post, adding, “There was no information suggesting any needs in this area that weren't already being met. The state already provides about $6.5 million for rape prevention and sexual assault services. That is in addition to the funds available for domestic violence programs - $29 million, to be specific. Many victims of sexual violence seek refuge at domestic violence shelters.”
Before we get too high on our ladyhorse here, it's worth pointing out that Wright's transparently flip equivocation of the various needs of women in trouble is just a small part of what we've already made ourselves hoarse over in trying to point out the general Republican war on women. Nationally, there's been a battle brewing in the U.S. Senate over preserving the 18-year-old Violence Against Women Act, with Senator-psycho Marco Rubio choosing to vote against extending the legislation along with his oak room pals, basically because they're afraid it's too kind to gays and immigrants. Back home in Florida, insult will meet injury on the ballot come November when Amendment 6 - a confusing bit of “right to privacy” and parental notification nonsense that even Florida Family Policy Council douche-in-residence John Stemberger admits in a legal analysis is intended to erode a woman's right to choose - comes up for some political air. At what point are women going explode in rage at all of this? How much more will it take?
“It's like, what else can they possibly do?” says Planned Parenthood of Greater Orlando President and CEO Jenna Tosh, who was called a “harlet” [sic] by one of the always informed Orlando Sentinel commentariat after writing an op-ed on Amendment 6 on April 27. “Every time you think they've gone as far as they can possibly go, they come up with some new, creative way to attack us. It's this idea that women are an interest group that can be marginalized and not 51 percent of the population. We're not an interest group. Everybody has a mother.”
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