Congresswoman Sums It Up: ‘Violence Against Women Is As American As Apple Pie’
It’s a bold comparison, but when Democratic Congresswoman Gwen Moore of Wisconsin said on the House floor that she had been raped, both as a child and as an adult, I found her wording to be quite accurate.
The Huffington Post reports that the politician took to the floor to advocate for the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which has been met with some resistance by Republican legislators. According to HuffPo:
The bill would renew grants to U.S. domestic violence prevention and survivor support programs, would increase availability of legal assistance to victims and would extend assistance to battered undocumented immigrants and same-sex couples.
Moore then recounted her own sexual assaults, speaking specifically of a date rape incident as a young girl in which her attacker then took her panties to present to his friends. But as horrific as her personal story is, this opening statement unifying the experiences of all women and girls is what has resonated with me:
“Violence against women is as American as apple pie,” she told colleagues. “I know, not only as a legislator, but from personal experience. Domestic violence has been a thread throughout my personal life…”
Her statement is sound in that we already know the startling rape statistics. We’re talking one in six women and one in four girls, making a sexual violation not a rarity at all — but about as a common as that slice of metaphoric apple pie. Her apt comparison reminds us that for many rape survivors, their violation marks, and perhaps even defines, a significant part of their American girlhood or womanhood in this country. Yet, despite this commonality, rape continues to be treated as a joke both in media and in other cultural messages that encourages everyone from young girls to boys to not consider the offense to be criminal.