by Kathy Scott | Featured Contributor
Throughout the centuries, women have abided by the “You First” mentality. The U.S. was founded on the principles that men were the head of the family and women had no say in decisions that affected family business. We have seen women stand by philanderers at public apology events. After the Civil War, suffragettes were told to step into the shadows and push for the voting rights of black men before they could be considered. The Federal Hate Crime Statue includes the word “gender,” but not one individual has ever been prosecuted for rape under that statute even though we know rape is a hate crime. And, of course as moms, we always take the back seat to our children, but that is something we give freely with love.
So I’m not surprised that the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women’s Act in 2006 which added “any device or software that can be used to originate telecommunications or other types of communications that are transmitted, in whole or in part, by the Internet,” has gone relatively unnoticed. I only found it recently after a blogger I forwarded a draft press release with “FYI” to posted it and encouraged comments about my inability to send him a final version. The majority of the more than 100 comments were vicious, sexist, vulgar and possibly illegal.
So now that it’s taken eight years for me to notice, let me give you a brief non-legal opinion. The original statute was old and talked specifically to telephone calls and they had to be one-to-one communication. Then someone who probably didn’t even realize what 2014 had in store, added and telecommunications device – ie. smart phone, tablet, computer, and adds, “ initiates the transmission of, any comment, request, suggestion, proposal, image, or other communication which is obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, or indecent, with intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass another person.”
In other words, if someone posts comments that are indecent about you or are meant to be harassing AND that person uses a “handle” or undisclosed moniker, he can be charged under the VAWA. Not everyone likes the legislation, but it goes a long way in helping our women, young and old in combating the power many cowards feel when going after women who are trying to make a difference in their community.
We need to get #SEC223 to begin to trend on Twitter. Just the term #SEC223 needs to mean something to people who look to shut down the voices of women around the world. Keep it going and educate your followers.
Kathy Scott launched Me and My 1000 Girlfriends, That’s Who! in 2011 as a Facebook community of women poised to assist each other when asked to create and distribute emails, phone calls or letters. City council members, senators and governors were recipients of communication including Florida politicians interested in creating controversial 2011 Teacher Merit Pay Legislation, which planned to tie teacher salaries to students’ grades. The move would have hurt some underperforming low income areas where many teachers most wanted to teach, but would be unable to do so with the low pay rate. The legislation was hotly debated with 1000 Girlfriends doing their best to communicate to legislators. The law was later vetoed by Governor Crist.
Scott can be heard every Wednesday evening at 7pm ET at the Women on the Move Blog Talk Radio program. She recently launched her clothing and premium design – Women’s Party of America available on her Website under the Shop tab. Her success mantra is: Failure is not an option. Connect with 1000 Girlfriends on Twitter and at Facebook.