House Democrats seek to renew the Violence Against Women Act, which provides grants for law enforcement training and victim services for domestic violence and sexual assaults. The bill, originally introduced in 1994 by then-Senator Joe Biden and reauthorized three times since with bi-partisan support, expires in September. But no Republican has yet offered support despite the looming deadline of Sept. 30. What's up with that?

Old Hollywood version of life romanticized it

Can it be that in the minds of Republican congressmen, when it comes to domestic violence, spousal rape is not rape?

Do they all buy into what Donald Trump's attorney Michael Cohen stated when the president's former wife, Ivana, accused him of rape in their divorce proceedings: “You cannot rape your spouse,” reported by the New York Daily News in 2015. Never mind that sexual assault in marriage has been a crime in every state in the union since the criminalization began in the mid-'70s? Or do those in the party of Lincoln think that non-consensual sex in marriage is an inalienable right as Rhett Butler believed in “Gone with the Wind,” Margaret Mitchell's novel about the Old South that David O.Selznick romanticized by portraying Butler's assault of his wife Scarlett O'Hara as manly and even heroic?

The book tells a different story

If House Republican think of Butler's action as a husband's right, they haven't read Mitchell's Book exposing his chilling words to his wife, cited in a word-for-word report by the New York Times in 1995. When O'Hara says she'll lock her bedroom door to him, he says, “Why bother? If I wanted you, no lock would keep me out.

Observe my hands, my dear. I could tear you to pieces with them with no trouble whatsoever...” If all the House congressmen saw was the movie showing an amorous Butler sweeping his wife off her feet up the staircase, they missed the grim details that Mitchell described: “Her head was crushed against his chest. He hurt her and she cried out...Up the stairs he went.

in the utter darkness, up, up, and she was wild with fear.”

There's no excuse for ignorant lawmakers

Granted, “Gone with the Wind” the movie remains the most popular of all time, according to film authority Danny Peary, author of "Cult Movies," but if the Republicans never read the book and were taken only with Butler's lordly ways in the movie, they're not only ignorant of some nasty details in the book, but also of the historical fact that Mitchell herself was a battered wife. She kept it a secret because back then violence against women was not a crime. And, as feminist writer Carolyn Gage noted in On the Issue in 2015, Mitchell, unlike O'Hara, didn't wake up the morning-after feeling love for her husband.

Instead, she woke with two black eyes feeling frightened and ashamed. But that was then and this is now when there's no excuse for any congressman to hold off support of the Violence Against Women Act.

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