by Eileen | 12:24 am, February 20, 2013 | Comments Off
My father bought me my first gun, my first box of ammunition, and took me to my first outing at the shooting range. But if Joe Salazar’s daughters – or any other woman in Colorado – is every threatened, he’d prefer they just whistle.
For pointing out the farcical and evil outcome of the path a Colorado legislator has suggested, I am, to a certain set, precisely the right-wing bitch who epitomizes the problem. I’m so crushed I can barely see through my tears to reload.
Tonight, four days after the freshman’s grotesque endorsement of ‘Lay back and enjoy it’ acquiescence, no member of Democratic leadership has publicly condemned those comments, and that’s not apt to change. I’m sure Joe is getting ripped a new one behind closed doors, but it says everything that his party is resolute about backing him publicly.
I’m not sure what there could possibly be to say to a party that tells women who are about the be raped that they should scream, blow rape whistles, tell the rapist they’re menstruating, and, if none of that works, just give in.
That anyone would react to the suggestion that it’s better to endure rape and its aftermath than to fight back with anything other than immediate condemnation is bad enough. But it’s also high hypocrisy from Democrats and their satellite organizations, all so tumescent and giddy to eliminate gun rights for citizens. The same heads who are silently nodding in agreement with Salazar’s assertion that it’s better to be raped than to ever discharge a gun are in high dudgeon over a Twitter hashtag that’s been trending for 48 hours: #LiberalTips2AvoidRape. Why? Because anyone not willing to be serious about dealing with sexual violence is contemptible…unless, apparently, the head in the sand is one of their own.
To back up a bit, state Rep. Joe Salazar, on the House floor to advocate HB 1126, a bill to strip concealed carry permit holders of their right to carry on public campuses, dismissed arguments that doing so places women at grave risk of assault and rape:
That’s why we have call boxes, that’s why we have safe zones, that’s why we have whistles, because you just don’t know who you’re going to be shooting at. And you don’t know, if you feel like you’re going to be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around, or if you feel like you’re in trouble, and when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop a round at somebody.
A Colorado Democrat publicly argued that women should not be allowed to carry firearms because we’re all so hysterical and paranoid that we can’t possibly assess a threatening situation and react appropriately. Joe Salazar thinks we girls are half cocked all the time and, left to our own emotional devices, will start blasting .45 holes in perfectly innocent men. Or, as this elected official worded it, we’ll “pop a round.”
Instead, we’re supposed to blow our rape whistles (conveniently hung around our neck on sparkly pink lanyards) or doff our kitten heels and mince on over to the nearest call box. Then the men can come along and tell us whether or not we were dealing with a rapist. In such a case, the rape kit may be helpful as the big boys make their determination.
Can you even conceive of the s**t storm that would befall a Republican who suggested women being followed by an aggressive man or trying to fight off a rapist should rely on call boxes and whistles, then passively wait for a man to come save them? What howls of derision if a right-winger suggested that simply branding a few square feet as a ‘safe zone’ would deter a rapist! As a rule, someone willing to commit a violent felony is not deterred by a bit of paper pandering on about ‘safe zones’. It would not, however, be the first time the American left has supposed they can refashion reality with labels.
Were Joe Salazar a Republican, or a right-leaning Independent, he’d be vilified across the nation for his comments. The stable of proudly leftist women who exist to see misogyny everywhere would suggest that as a man, Salazar has no right to speak on the issue at all. After all, they would suggest, how he can he know what it feels like to realize you’re alone with a man who is stronger and faster than you and is clearly hostile? Had a Republican suggested women don’t know when they’re being stalked by a rapist, it would be echoed hither and yon as a perfect instance of the ‘rape culture’, as yet another obtuse man belittling rape and telling women to accept it.
But Joe Salazar isn’t on the right. He’s a left-leaning Democrat and his party is supporting him, even trying to turn his comments around and blame the Republicans. Salazar issued an irritating non-apology, one that actually reinforced his depiction of women as unthinking children:
I’m sorry if I offended anyone. That was absolutely not my intention. We were having a public policy debate on whether or not guns makes people safer on campus. I don’t believe they do. That was the point I was trying to make. If anyone thinks I’m not sensitive to the dangers women face, they’re wrong.
I am a husband and father of two beautiful girls, and I’ve spent the last decade defending women’s rights as a civil rights attorney. Again, I’m deeply sorry if I offended anyone with my comments.
Right off the bat, “I’m sorry if I offended anyone” is no different from telling the offended party she is out of line, that she is overly sensitive and that the ‘apology’ is only proffered to calm down an overgrown child. Far from a genuine display of remorse, it’s doubling down on the insult. From there, Salazar insist that it’s permissible to say anything at all under the rubric of a policy debate and bizarrely claims to be a great lover of women despite wanting to deny them the meaningful ability to thwart rapists.
Implicit in his ‘apology’ is the argument that he was making a valid example of how guns don’t prevent crimes or allow people to defend themselves. He’s not admitting he was utterly wrong in his characterization of women; he’s persisting in the exact opposite. And, of course, because he’s worked as a civil rights attorney, no one is allowed to question what his comments about women truly reveal.
House Speaker Mark Ferrandino backed Salazar, assuring we quivering and emotional little women of Colorado, ‘Whatever his words may have been and however much those words are being taken out of context, he did the right thing to take responsibility.” Except the context was, and is, crystal clear. Salazar did not take responsibility. Rather than owning his boorish, macho, Neanderthal statement, Salazar repeated his insulting claims and faulted anyone who took offense.
And then Salazar obliterated any clawback on that ‘apology’ by whining that the right is tarring him as a “boorish, macho, Neanderthal Latino.” I will tell you precisely how I read that: if I am bothered and offended by Joe Salazar and his contempt for women, then I must really be a racist who hate all Hispanics.
Now, spewing such ill-though bile on the legislative floor and refusing to back done is hardly the stuff of “public policy debate”, but neither is the response in the intellectually arid Internet echo chamber. The #LberalTips2AvoidRape hashtag got going and rose to a prominence usually reserved for lefty causes. That alone enraged the left. What’s been posted under the tag is what you would expect, snarky comments riffing on the febrile belief that rapists can be dissuaded by polite requests and ‘safe zone’ placards (some clever and some not), charges that the left is far more hostile to women they they pretend (which is true), and hysterical paroxysms of lefty rage, mostly trying to avoid admitting that a Dem screwed up big time and instead cast advocates of Second Amendment freedoms and a woman’s right to defend herself as vile scum who think rape is funny.
Satire, a category that describes some, but not all, of what’s been posted under the hashtag, is the use of humor to make a moral point about a correctible human failure. I try not to blame people who misunderstand satire; first, the lion’s share of what gets touted as satire doesn’t meet the definition. Second, the best satire is vicious stuff, deriving potency from its similarity to what the targets are saying and doing seriously. At bottom, #LiberalTips2AvoidRape is mocking the Democratic refusal to get serious about what happens when the people most likely to be targeted by rapists, robbers, and other malodorous types are stripped of any legal right to defense.
Obviously, the material posted under the tag is repetitious and not necessarily clever. But offending people isn’t a crime, nor should it be. Unlike rape. I don’t believe for an instant that the people decrying the hashtag are really don’t get the concept. I think they’d rather pretend there are non violent answers to violent people. And that’s about as wrong as things can get. You can cast about for intangible culprits all you like – society and the educational system and such. You can accuse anyone who disagrees with you of racism, hating women, and having an unnatural attachment to guns. You can take the idiotic route that telling women to arm themselves and prepare to fight back is the same as telling women it’s their fault if they are raped.
None of that addresses sexual violence. There are predators among us and they will continue to assault and defile the easiest victims until and unless they are stopped. Rape is not an experience from which its victims ever fully recover. Using the force of law to ensure that most women will be unarmed and largely unable to resist a rapist is going to effect the incidence of rape in one way and one way only; rape will increase. Obsessing over a Twitter tag when elected officials are trying to disarm already vulnerable people is profoundly unserious.
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