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Editorial: Asylum for Abused Women - a concurring opinion

by Robert Abrams
March 19, 2003

Editorial: Asylum for Abused Women - a concurring opinion

March 19, 2003

As I have asserted on several occasions in these editorials, dance is an expression of who we are as people, not just a form of entertainment. The New York Times reports today that Attorney General John Ashcroft is considering repealing asylum rules which allow women who are fleeing from domestic abuse perpetrated by private individuals to apply for asylum in the United States. These rules, known as the Alvarado rules, were put in place by former Attorney General Janet Reno.

Partner dance, at its core, is about the respect between two people. If we frown on a man leading a woman into a turn in a rough manner and if we frown on a man not carrying his own weight when dancing in closed position, it is easy to draw a line out to abuses such as a man hitting a woman or a man killing a woman for being seen in public with the wrong person (so-called "honor killings"). One would hope that people see the latter as patently wrong, but by seeing these offenses from the perspective of the much less consequential offenses found in dance, any attempt an apologist for the latter might make at defending the various forms of physical violence towards women becomes that much more difficult.

ExploreDance.com urges Attorney General Ashcroft to preserve the Alvarado rules providing women fleeing from domestic violence the opportunity to apply for asylum in the United States.

Sincerely,

Robert Abrams
Editor, ExploreDance.com

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