I am troubled by how many men choose to be stubbornly stupid when it comes to the issue of rape. Why is it so hard to grasp that when a man violates a woman and her body, the man is to blame? Because he violated her; because no means no; because no matter what a woman is wearing or anything else a man views as “suggestive,” if a woman doesn’t want you, then you back the hell away from her. Why is this such a hard concept to grasp?
Last week, during a segment on Fox News’ “Hannity,” writer and television commentator Zerlina Maxwell (pictured) refuted the idea that woman carry guns to protect themselves from being raped, noting that it is men who carry the greater burden when it comes to rape prevention.
Watch the exchange here:
Maxwell didn’t say anything puzzling. A rape survivor herself, she realized that carrying a gun wouldn’t alleviate the problem. As she explained, most of the time, women are raped by men that they know. And the military — where as many as one in three women are raped — should prove that gun access isn’t a quick fix to a systematic issue. Moreover, the idea of pushing guns on women leads in to the very sort of victim-blaming mentality that has long haunted victims.
But apparently, not pledging allegiance to firearms was the larger issue for gun owners who behaved as if she hurled out some sort of epithet at them. In response, a congregation of cowards — misogynists, gun lovers, and conservatives — hammered Zerlina with varying sorts of vileness via social media.
Some went as far as to tell her that she deserved to be gang raped and killed; some sickos even threatened to commit the heinous acts themselves.
The fact that that anyone would think that the threat of rape is an appropriate response all but confirms Zerlina’s point. Patriarchy still has a choke hold on society collectively, and while this is an instance of that in its ugliest form, the idea of a woman not being in control of her body and sexuality can continue being prodded out as a “joke.”