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Counteracting Men’s Rights Attacks on Battered Women’s Programs  

Author:  Joan  Zorza, Esq..

Source: Volume 17, Number 06, August/September 2012 , pp.83-88(6)

Domestic Violence Report

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Molly Dragiewicz wrote her thesis on a unique and timely topic, namely, the backlash by men’s rights (MR) groups against funding for violence against women (VAW) programs, drawing extensively from their first lawsuit, Booth v. Hvass , 302 F.3d 849 (8th Cir. 2002)), cert. denied, 537 U.S. 1108 (2003) (see letter from Lorettta Frederick about winning the case at 7 DVR 24 (2002)), an attempt by MR groups to defund Minnesota’s domestic violence (DV) programs on the theory that DV programs are gender, biased against men. Dragiewicz has provided us with a treasure in its analysis of the motivations of men’s and fathers’ rights (FR) programs, as well as their claims and how to refute many of their arguments. She writes both as a scholar and as an advocate of antiviolence, and has probably set herself up to be an expert witness in future lawsuits brought by FR groups. But even if she does not testify, her book will surely be used to counter their suits. Her book, Equality With a Vengeance: Men’s Rights Groups, Battered Women, and Antifeminist Backlash (Northeastern University Press, 154 pages, 2011), is one that no state coalition library should be without. Ideally, every DV program should have a copy in the event it is sued by MR or FR groups. (Often these anti-feminist organizations masquerade with names implying they have other identities, such as children’s rights groups, or men and women’s groups, as in the recent suit against West Virginia’s DV programs. This article expounds on the implications of Booth.

Keywords: misuse of concept of equal protection; difference between sex, gender, and patriarchy; claims of sex symmetry wrong

Affiliations:  1: Editor, Domestic Violence Report.

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