Jessica Velenti goes positively off the rails in her Sunday Washington Post opinion piece, For women in America, equality is still an illusion, promoting the tired theory that women in America are no better off than women abroad and that we’re all “suffering under the mass delusion that women in American have achieved equality.”  She states: 

“Women are still being raped, trafficked, violated and discriminated against — not just in the rest of the world, but here in the United States. And though feminists continue to fight gender injustices, most people seem to think that outside of a few lingering battles, the work of the women’s movement is done.  It’s time to stop fooling ourselves. For all our “empowered” rhetoric, women in this country aren’t doing nearly as well as we’d like to think. 

After all, women are being shot dead in the streets here, too. It was only last year that George Sodini opened fire in a gym outside Pittsburgh, killing three women and injuring nine others. Investigators learned from Sodini’s blog that he specifically targeted women. In 2006, a gunman went into an Amish schoolhouse in Pennsylvania; he sent the boys outside and opened fire on almost a dozen girls, killing five. That same year in Colorado, a man sexually assaulted six female students he had taken hostage at a high school before killing one of them.” 

Well, yes, Jessica, that’s true. Women are being raped and murdered here in the U.S.–just like they are overseas. The difference is, Jessica, is that in the United States, those actions are illegal and in most cases, the individuals committing those crimes are apprehended and put through the American justice system. This unfortunately isn’t true in many other countries where women are beaten, raped, mutilated and murdered and there is no justice system to protect them or punish their attackers.  Isn’t that what feminists should be concerned about?  The total lack of justice for women?  The lack of legal protections?

Does equality mean an absence of crime against women?  That will never happen.  And frankly, men are also the victims of crime in this country–at a higher rate than women.  What does that prove in Jessica’s world?

The real and more serious issue feminists should be concerned about is how women are treated under a particular nation’s justice system.  Are crimes against women recognized?  Are their attackers prosecuted?  Are there protections for women in the law? 

Let’s look at a few other examples (since Jessica likes to throw them around dramatically).  How about Lubna Hussein-a Sudanese journalist jailed and fined for wearing pants because under Sudanese law, women are prohibited from wearing such things.  Or take for instance three women in Malaysia who recently were legally caned for committing adultery.  Or perhaps one should consider the government policy in China which forces women to have an abortion if they conceived a second child (of course this only impacts poor Chinese women who can’t pay off the party leader in order to let the pregnancy continue).  In each of these cases, while we might all agree that they were treated horribly, the sadder truth is that these women were treated legally under their nation’s legal system.  That is the real horror facing women abroad.  And that is why there can be no doubt that women have it better in the U.S.

Jessica can continue her sensational charges and delusional attacks on the United States. The truth is, women do have it good in this country and have largely reached equality with men. 

It’s too bad her brand of feminism diminishes the real suffering of women around the world.  That is a real crime against women.