Sunday, October 28, 2012

Dear Ms. Schlafly ...

Written By Jennifer Averill VanBebber
Copyright September 11, 2012

5 women died today.
Every day in our country, 5 women die at the hands of a man.
11,000 women are beaten. 
6,000 children are raped.  Every day.  In our country

Phyllis Schlafly, a political conservative activist, known for her opposition to modern feminism, called the Violence Against Women Act a slush fund, “used to fill feminist coffers”, and demanded republicans stand up against legislation that promotes “divorce, breakup of marriage, and hatred of men.”

Dear Ms. Schlafly,
Every day in our country 5 women die, 11,000 beaten, 6,000 children raped – by men, every day. 
Perhaps, Ms. Schlafly, prior to your attacking the Violence Against Women act, you might consider directing your attention toward men and ask these men daily --to give us 5, 11,000 and 6,000 less reasons to "hate" them.

Anti divorce, you say Ms. Schlafly?  I dare you stand before my daughters, repetitively paralyzed in fear by their father, my daughters who have lived with the knowledge their father brutally beat, tried to kill their mother, I dare you stand before my daughter, who at nine years old, returned from a mandated dad visit, her entire back and bottom contusions, black, blue, purple, yellow. Stand before her sisters who, on the other side of the door, were forced to listen to the beating, mere 7 and 11 yrs old, unable to protect their sister from a 6’2”, 240 lb man  --stand before my daughters who were rejected over and over again with hateful debilitating words, stand before my daughters who knew, when his eyes glossed over and he bit his lip, terror was on its way.  Stand before my daughters, Ms. Schlafly, look them square in the eyes and tell them their mother had no right to divorce their father.

Do not come with your eyes diverted, Ms. Schafly, not lowered, not to the side. Look my daughters square in the eyes and if you cannot, for the sake of all victims of domestic violence, begin that daily plea to men, ask them to every single day give us 5 and 11,000 and 6,000 less reasons to "hate" them, then I would suggest to you, Ms. Schlafly,
--to shut the fuck up.

Republican Wisconsin State Representative Don Pridemore sponsored Senate Bill 507, which directs the state to prepare educational materials that blame “single parents” for child abuse and neglect, “emphasizes the role of fathers in the primary prevention” of abuse and dictates women be "counseled to return to their abusive husbands."  Pridemore claims women in abusive relationships should stay married rather than divorce. Allow me to repeat that.  Pridemore claims women in abusive relationships should stay married rather than divorce.  He says, "If they can refind those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help”.  

Dear Representative Pridemore,

Every day in our country 5 women die, 11,000 are beaten and 6,000 children are raped –-by men.

Mr. Pridemore, we are imagining the day a man, twice your size, moves in with you.  Every time you try to leave or ask him to leave, he’ll place his hands on your throat, threaten to have you killed, take your children far, far away.   He will do this whenever he feels like it (and trust me, you’ll never know when it is coming). Here is our message, Mr. Pridemore --in the midst of this abuse, you will maintain dignity, all while protecting three people you love, three people who are incapable of protecting themselves and you will do so with no more than twenty dollars to your name. Friends and authorities will never believe you when you tell them what is going on behind closed doors:
"Not Donald." 
"Are you sure you want to make these allegations?"  

If you actually do escape, choose to seek shelter, we women will escort you back.  You see Mr. Pridemore, we are certain you can re-find the reasons you were there in the first place. 

Here in the United States men kill 5 women every day, every day they beat 11,000 women. And every night, rape 6,000 children.  Perhaps, Mr. Pridemore, you write a bill mandating the state Child Abuse Prevention Board conduct public awareness campaigns that shout a daily plea to men in our country to give us 5, 11,000 and 6,000 less reasons to, in the words of Ms. Schlafly, “hate” them.

There they were.  Two men.  The only two people in the crowded room who were fighting against, against a bill that would help victims who were sexually abused as children, help these victims, raped as children–night after night, bring charges against their rapist.  Two men fighting for the rapists.  Child rapists.  There they were, these two men, suits, briefcases, making arguments to the Michigan State Judiciary Committee, protecting rapists.  
“Who are they?”, I asked?
“Attorneys”, they told me. 
“Attorneys employed by the catholic church”.

5 women die every day at the hands of men, 11,000 women are beaten, every day –in our country.  Tonight and every night, 6,000 children will be and are raped.   

Jim Stamas, Republican Legislator, while thrusting upon Michigan the most invasive anti-abortion legislation in the history of the nation, silenced --silenced a female fellow legislator for using the word 'vagina'.

Mr. Stamas, will you please explain to me --while republicans so adamantly oppose abortion, while you are so fiercely pro-life, tell me, please explain --why is it --that post birth, you throw those babies in the gutter?  

There are 10.3 million single moms (not dads, Mr. Stamas, I did not say dads), there are 10.3 million single moms in our country who did not throw their babies in the gutter.  And Mr. Stamas, rest assured, hands down, there is positively no debate –that if men experienced 9 months of pregnancy, endured labor and delivery, if there were 10.3 million single dads –and make no mistake there are not, if men were the ones who, by themselves physically, emotionally and financially raised children while women skipped out on all child raising responsibilities  ….if this were the case, Mr. Stamas, I guarantee, there would be a fully government funded abortion clinic next to every single McDonalds in our country, buckets of free contraception next to the drink dispensers.  
5 women killed every day at the hands of men, 11,000 women beaten, every day.  6,000 children raped.  Every night, right here in our country.  

When the ratio of single dads exceeds the ratio of single moms in our country, when children are no longer raped night after night, --and trust me, a man in your neighborhood -yes, your neighborhood –is raping a child, beating a woman. When the men in our country give us 5 and 11,000 and 6,000 less reasons on a daily basis to no longer hate them, then and only then might men, and I emphasize the word “might”, present a voice regarding women’s bodies, women’s health.

The experts at the time said, “a man who beats his wife does not beat his own children.”  The male dominated courts said, “He is entitled to see his children.”  60,000 dollars later in legal and professional fees incurred in attempts to protect my children, these experts and judges did not offer to pick up the tab, protect my children.  Far more importantly, did not offer to heal the ongoing wounds inflicted upon my children.  Assuming these wounds can ever be healed. 

We will divorce when necessary.
We will provide shelter and counseling whenever needed.
Our children will not be beaten, raped or killed.
We will not be beaten, raped or killed.

Sisters, daughters, mothers, grandmothers –
Your vote is not your husband’s vote.  It is not your father’s vote. 
Your vote --is your vote.
--your sister's vote
--your daughter’s vote
--your mother's vote
--your granddaughter’s vote
Your vote is a vote for yesterday's, today's and tomorrow's five, 11,000 and 6,000.

30 million women do not exercise their right to vote
If you think your vote does not matter
In one short day then, 30 million votes do not matter.
30 million votes do matter  
You matter.

Every single election, let’s show them what matters.

5 women died today.
11,000 women got the shit kicked out of them
And tonight?   6,000 children will be raped. 

p.s.  ...and Ms. Schlafly, for the record, I love men.  Men. 
Not the savage beastly cowards you and your party protect. 
Men.  Men who stand up for women.  Men who respect women.
You see, Ms. Schlafley, women love men who love women. 
Time, Ms. Schlafley, to put the focus on the rabid dogs in your room.

Written by, Jennifer VanBebber
Copyright September 11, 2012


  1. Kudos to you. Very compelling. The numbers of victims reflects the HUGE NUMBER OF PERPETRATORS who are protected by our political & judicial system as well as by their families and their MALE FRIENDS.

  2. Thank you, Vivian. So very true. This message needs broadcasting and I am not stopping til the violence does.

  3. WOW! I am moved... I was that child-with that father, I was that woman- who lived with that man. I now too love a man who cherishes and treasures, loves and lifts me up each day.
    We cannot legislate peoples hearts but I can have the courage to STAND UP! To SPEAK UP now that I am in a safe place For the 5,11000,and 6000.

  4. I can't help but get the vibe that you must believe that these high statistics are somehow all males' faults.

    Please tell me otherwise.

  5. Juiposa, reading the piece in it's entirety might help you understand my beliefs. As far as these statistics (and yes, they are high), they are statistics/incidences of violence all carried out by men. In other words, men were the perpetrators of the violence.