Rep. Steve Stockman (R-TX) has made quite the splash during his first few months back in office, including calling for President Obama’s impeachment, inviting Ted Nugent to the State of the Union, and taking bets on what his female colleagues might wear. Now, he has expressed his opposition to the Violence Against Women Act, specifically because of its protections for the LGBT community:
STOCKMAN: This is a truly bad bill. This is helping the liberals, this is horrible. Unbelievable. What really bothers — it’s called a women’s act, but then they have men dressed up as women, they count that. Change-gender, or whatever. How is that — how is that a woman?
If Stockman is interested in learning about people whose gender was incorrectly assigned at birth, he could start by learning that the proper word for this community is “transgender,” not “change-gender.” Perhaps then he could meet some trans people, listen to their stories, and learn how transwomen experiences every moment of their lives as women — not “men dressed up as women” — regardless of what conclusions he might draw if he invaded their privacy to inspect their anatomy. Then, he could study the extreme rates of discrimination that transgender people experience, including extreme poverty and rejection from domestic violence shelters. Maybe then he would not be so bothered by the language in the bill.
All people deserve to be protected from violence, particularly the communities that are particularly vulnerable to unfair treatment. Rather than mock people whose identities he doesn’t understand, Stockman might consider actually taking the time to investigate why his fellow lawmakers thought the protections important enough to include.