Amanda Marcotte is the executive editor of Pandagon.net and the author of the book, It's A Jungle Out There: The Feminist Survival Guide to Politically Inhospitable Environments. She lives in Austin, Texas.
If you’ve been tuning into the right-wing media this week, you might be startled to discover a seeming concern about preventing rape. But don’t get too excited: It’s nothing but a gambit to persuade the public on issues of gun safety. It all started in Colorado, where the legislature is debating whether to ban concealed weapons on college campuses One of the favorite arguments offered by gun advocates for concealed carry on campus is that arming college women prevents rape. On the floor of the state House, Democratic representative Joe Salazar addressed this claim:
Of all the strange choices made by the GOP in recent years, the sudden opposition to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) is among the most confusing. The act had long counted on bipartisan support for its reauthorization every TK years—George W. Bush signed it without incident in 2005—but now Republicans in the House seem intent on killing it. Republicans haven’t suddenly morphed into evil comic-book villains who openly support rape and wife-beating, so what gives?
In the 40 years since Roe v. Wade, quite a bit has changed about the abortion debate. Evangelicals have taken the helm of the anti-choice movement, once dominated by Catholics. The movement has shifted strategies repeatedly—from stoking moral outrage and blocking abortion clinics to feigning concern for women’s health and, most recently, passing innocuous-sounding building regulations aimed at eliminating access to abortion.