Oh dear, where do I begin. I have been absent from the online world (no Facebook, no Twitter, no news sites, no nothing) for the past couple of days due to a nasty cold that left me unable to get out of bed. As I am feeling a lot better today (minus my sexy voice), I jumped online and what was the first thing I read? Zerlina Maxwell, her interview on Fox’s “Hannity,” and rape threats. [Literally shaking my head].
Zerlina Maxwell, my heart goes out to you.
First, if you haven’t already, you have to watch the interview:
I understand that the interview was a result of Colorado Senator Evie Hudak’s reply to Amanda Collins’ testimony against the recently passed gun bill. Collins testified that she was raped on a gun-free campus in NV in 2007. If she had been allowed to carry her gun with her on college campus, she would’ve been able to protect herself.
If any woman wants to carry a gun for rape protection, go on ahead. It is her personal choice.
What I don’t get is why people believe Maxwell’s statements justify rape threats (Well, whaddayaknow! These threats prove we live in a rape culture, don’t them)? What she said made complete sense to me. We need to educate young men, boys to respect girls and women so we wouldn’t have to worry about arming our women in the first place.
Rape prevention should go further than arming our females with guns, knives, martial arts skills, or even telling them to stop dressing like “sluts.” Why do we put the responsibility of rape on the victims? Instead of teaching our women and girls how to not get raped, we need to start teaching our men and boys to not rape.
This problem—women needing a gun to protect themselves against rapists—as Maxwell stated encompasses a whole bigger issue. We live in a rape culture. It is where people blame rape victims/survivors for the crime perpetrated by someone else. It is where people are slut-shaming those who dress provocatively, have more than 1 sexual partner, or expresses their sexuality differently than what a “normal good girl” does. It is where society desensitizes the reality of rape through slang such as “We totally raped them in that game,” meaning they beat them, destroyed them.
Another thing Maxwell brought up that I want to talk about is that most of the time a rapist is not a faceless nameless person. According to RAINN, 2/3 of rapes are committed by someone the victim knows, 73% of sexual assaults are committed by an non-stranger, 38% of rapists are friends or acquaintances, 28% are by an intimate partner, 7% by a relative. More than likely, a rapist is not going to be a stranger in a dark alley. It could be that nice guy you met at the bar, your classmate, your boyfriend, your husband. Sometimes, victims were drunk, drugged, or too unconscious.
If a woman feels she needs a gun to protect herself against a rapist, by all means get a gun. Be a responsible gun owner. Know how to operate a gun, know your state’s gun laws, obey them, and also keep your gun locked away from children.
However, I will reiterate: “We can prevent rape by telling men not to commit it.” How do we tell men not to commit rape? By teaching our young boys, our sons to respect women, to respect consent or lack of consent. OH yes, almost forgot! And by teaching them to not threaten someone you don’t agree with with rape.