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March 2013

I Support Zerlina Maxwell



Rutgers Law School made this meme in support of Zerlina Maxwell.

Ever since her appearance on Hannity, she’s been under a series of attacks, primarily by Conservatives, who are doing one of two things: 1) purposely misconstruing her words to make it seem like she is against the 2nd Amendment or 2) They aren’t doing 1 and are FULLY aware of her position, but are angered because ultimately she has directly challenged patriarchy and rape culture. Head on. They want to continue to proliferate the idea that rape is the responsibility of women to prevent and the fault of women if it happens. She did not argue against gun ownership; she argued that guns are not rape prevention.

Below are some of the statements that she made on Hannity; you can see her appearance and the transcript (one of the people who commented on the post transcribed the segment) on Feministing.

I think that I think that the entire conversation is wrong. I don’t want anybody to be telling women anything. I don’t want women, I don’t men to be telling me what to wear and how to act, not to drink. And I don’t, honestly, want you to tell me that I needed a gun in order to prevent my rape. In my case, don’t tell me if I’d only had a gun, I wouldn’t have been raped. Because it’s still putting it on me to prevent the rape.
I was attacked by someone I knew. So you’re requiring, if what you’re saying works out in reality, not in a theoretical scenario. You’re requiring that I shoot someone that I know? That is not the reality. Two-thirds of women are attacked by someone they know.
I think that we should be telling men not to rape women. And start the conversation there with prevention.
You’re talking about it as if there’s some faceless, nameless criminal. When a lot of times it’s someone that you know and trust.
If firearms were the answer, then the military would be the safest place for women, and it’s not.

The last statement thought? CHECKMATE. If guns are rape prevention, then explain the military’s problem. Try.

People are worried about women in combat when RAPE, not hostage situations, not “friendly fire,” not dying in battle, is the largest risk for women in the military. These women are trained. They know how to use weapons that most American women never touch. And…they are still raped. And then, people justify these women being raped not just through the usual misogyny reserved for civilian women, but also as “punishment,” for them being in a male space and “competing” with men for promotions. The same justification (and jokes) occurs for women and men who are incarcerated—as if rape should be an accepted part of their punishment for a crime. In my opinion, any state allowing (or participating in) this is in violation of the 8th Amendment.

Zerlina is a survivor of rape and because she alluded to the fact that a cultural change must occur—men must not be taught/must unlearn patriarchy, patriarchal masculinity and misogyny, AND be willing to check their male privilege in conversations about rape itself, actually LISTEN to what women are saying (I’ve been reading her tweets [and I retweeted a few from @GradientLair] and many men simply are NOT listening to what she and other women are saying), she’s being threatened with rape. If these men are suggesting that there is nothing to “unlearn” here, why are they then threatening her with rape because she spoke out against it? They’re walking contradictory misogynists.

Some men and women are misconstruing her words. They are suggesting that she is against self-defense and gun ownership. She did not suggest this. The issue is despite all of the precautions that women are demanded to take, women are still raped. The onus being on women to prevent rape and ZERO responsibility is placed on men must end. Men are raised to view misogynist thoughts and actions as “just being men.” They don’t have to attend rape prevention courses on college campuses. They are rarely prosecuted for rape anyway. Yet again, the prevention, onus, and blame lies on women’s shoulders. Zerlina had enough of this. Millions of women (and men, as some actually stand up against rape culture) have had enough of this. So have I.


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