Monday, August 17, 2009

War on Women....

*This post may be disturbing and contain triggers. Please be cautious about reading it if you have ever been raped or attacked.*

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I am sick and tired of turning on my television to see that one more woman has been abducted, raped and killed because she was hiking, jogging, shopping or sitting on her living room couch.

It's become clear over the past few years that these crimes are not being taken seriously. It provides plenty of sensational fodder for Jane Valez-Mitchell and Nancy Grace - but I'm not hearing anyone calling for direct action by the law enforcement community or the government to stop this war on women. That is exactly what it is.

I agree that we have to use common sense in going out alone at night, jogging in an isolated place or going for a long hike alone. That's an unfortunate reality that in this society, at this time, women are not free to live our lives as we choose.

Where and how have men gotten the idea that women are safe prey?

I'm sick to death of it!

Some of you who have been reading me for a while are going to be surprised by what I'm about to say.

I no longer go out alone without a gun. Yep. I am armed. And I'm NRA trained. I'm prepared to use it if some man decides to attack or abduct me in a parking lot because I have the audacity to go shopping by myself. If I am driving home late at night and some man decides to try to abduct me at a stop light, he is going to die.

It's time women were given the right to carry concealed weapons with a permit. We women are peacemakers. We don't like violence but I would challenge anyone to cite any belief system that holds that we should lay down and allow ourselves to be harmed.

Men need to know the justice system will take attacks on women seriously. Five or ten years in prison is not enough. There needs to be a PSA campaign that states clearly: You attack a woman, you go to prison for life. No parole. It should be treated as a hate crime. In addition to the charges he will receive, he should also be charged federally with a hate crime. This behavior is not acceptable in a civilized society.

I know some readers won't agree with my stand on gun rights but I have held these views for a long, long time. "An armed society is a polite society," as Robert Heinlein once wrote, "Manners are good when one may have to back up his actions with his life." The idealist in me wishes we didn't have to live in a society where self-defense of this nature was needed but that is the reality of women's lives at this time and in this place. I'm sure we would all like to be able to turn on CNN occasionally and not hear that another woman has been found mutilated in some ditch. Women are not to be treated like Bambi at hunting season.



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16 comments:

Melissa said...

Woo hoo! You go girl! :)

painted maypole said...

no guns for me, thanks, but otherwise I agree with this post wholeheartedly. Are you familiar with Eve Ensler and her V-day movement?

heartinsanfrancisco said...

I support your position although I do not have a gun myself, and because of other circumstances in my life have no plans to buy one.

We women are all at risk because rape is not only a risk for young, attractive women. It's about power, and the cowards who look for the easiest prey. It is no longer uncommon for 85-year old women to be raped, so I would like to see the excuse that a woman was "looking for it" because of her provocative attire permanently put to rest.

And incidentally, I wish those rotten bullies called "hunters" would leave Bambi alone, too.

flutter said...

I understand. I do.

Olivia said...

Now, I was certainly surprised by your stand on guns, Chani! I agree with your post however, on virtually everything, especially that laws for attacking women are loose, and were they strict, women would be safe! If attacking a woman isn't a hate crime, then what is?

I think that reasonable, competent, law abiding people should be allowed to carry guns, but I don't know how you would ever figure out who was who---when is someone "reasonable", for example. And there IS that pesky 2nd amendment, too.

But I know that some of the people I see driving vehicles because they have a license and a right to drive would be people I'd hate to see with a gun.

Provocative, as always, Chani!

xo, O

Mary G said...

I'm terrified of guns, but I would love to have bear spray or a taser or something for the terror filled moments spent scuttling from mall to car or whatever.
I am much happier out in the woods; black bear behaviour I can mostly predict, male human no.
I love your strong voice for women. We have a yearly event up here called 'Take Back the Night', a woman's mindfullness candle carrying march through the high risk neighbourhoods.

blooming desertpea said...

I'm not a gun lover but I'm sure neither are you, but I agree with women needing to protect themselves and if this is only possible with a gun, then so be it!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I agree with your stand, although I don't feel we should have the right to carry guns. As long as we DO have that right, however, I think it makes sense that you should carry a gun if you're trained and feel comfortable with it, for all of the reasons you stated.

secret agent woman said...

What Heart said. I do understand, but I am spiritually opposed to carrying a weapon. There are, of course, peole who wouldn't use a gun for anything but self-defense, but in so many cases the end up in the hands of the perpetrator or children. An armed society, to my way of thinking is not a polite society but a dangerous society.

mamaneeds2rant said...

Unfortunately, guns are the great equalizer. Without them, the smallest and weakest are at the mercy of anyone bigger or stronger with evil intentions.

Leann said...

It is something that has gone on for far too long and is still too accepted by society.

Men have no idea what it is like to know you do not have the freedom to move around as they do.

Ruth Hull Chatlien said...

I am opposed to guns, but I hate the violence against women and agree that it is taken too lightly.

My husband has asked me not to even go on the local bike path by myself. I hate that limitation on my ability to get healthy exercise . . . but I agreed because if something happened to me, he would be heartsick the rest of his life.

Angela said...

As always, Chani, I appreciate this writing and totally agree. I, too, have a gun I keep in my car and I think it's perfectly ridiculous not take precautions to protect oneself in today's society. There was a great article in a recent Oprah (I think)magazine about this very thing. A woman did have a restraining order, the police did know there was a problem and were actually right on the same street, and still one of her children was killed and her throat was slashed. Luckily, she lived.

Cold Spaghetti said...

I really appreciate that you wrote so passionately about this.

I also thought it interesting that the photo used shows the woman's face from the perspective of the aggressor. That photo, I think, is a good example of the sexualization of violence against women -- where we constantly see women from these vantages. Have access to her face, her flesh, her emotions in was that are stimulating to the viewer. I do think that these images, movies, and symbols play into why we have such slack laws that are so sympathetic towards aggressors.

Donna said...

Amen!

Buy Extenze said...

That photo, I think, is a good example of the sexualization of violence against women -- where we constantly see women from these vantages.