Rebecca Solnit on Jeffrey Epstein: "In patriarchy, no one can hear you scream"

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/07/11/no-man-above-the-law.html

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“Monsters rule over us, on behalf of monsters.”

Man. That really hits the nail on the head.

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This makes my brain flip from Fred Rogers mode to Lorena Bobbitt,

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Truly horrific though this is, I get a small shred of hope when I see a male writer using his formidable following to amplify the voice of the original (and brilliant) author, Rebecca Solnit.

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I don’t own a gun. Never have. But if I was a woman I sure would, and I would get a license and firearm training. And I would carry it with me at all times (except where legally prohibited). It’s a great equalizer for the otherwise physically overmatched. If attacked - and I’m using a very broad interpretation of that - I would shoot my attacker - dead if possible. I would cite stand-your-ground laws in my defense, and the fact that I would have no hope of defending myself through any other means.I would go to jail, if that’s what it took. But if - nationwide - three, five, ten men a day were shot while attempting sexual assault, I think you would see behaviors change pretty damn quick.

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My gag reflex is being tested every time I see that scumbag Epstein.

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Not gonna help you when it’s on a date, or with a friend that you trust, or a trusted adult (if you’re a teen), or your partner or spouse. Most rapes are not some psycho hiding in the bushes or breaking into your house. It’s people that women know, and in some cases, even trust. A gun won’t do jack or shit in that case.

The ONLY thing that is going to fix it will be to dismantle the current systems of power that are in place.

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Jesus Christ, yeah. In a nutshell.

In the patriarchy, defending yourself isn’t allowed either. Women who’ve done that have gone to jail. (E.g. a man with a history of violence can get in a road-rage argument with someone, be able to walk away at any time, but shoots the other guy dead and he gets off; a woman trapped by an abusive partner shoots a gun in the air to get him to back off so she can escape and is unable to use “stand your ground” laws to defend herself, getting six years jail time.) Also, of course, owning a gun means a woman is more likely to be the victim of violence because it’s an additional weapon the men in her life can use against her. Guns are also surprisingly lousy for self-defense, as attackers - neither strangers nor those more familiar - don’t give one the opportunity to find a gun and ready it.

The only way guns are going to change the equation is if a group of vigilantes starts hunting down perpetrators after they get off and killing them. I’m just not sure which direction the equation would change as a result…

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And this!

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That’s the theory behind private handgun ownership, yes. In reality it rarely works out that way.

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Only white men actually get to stand their ground. Anyone else who tries it gets prison time.

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First off, reality isn’t a John Wick movie. It just doesn’t work that way. Maybe, after years of training, a person can become good enough at firearm self-defense where a gun is more of a threat to an attacker than to the victim. But even cops get shot with their own service weapons.

Second, you’re missing the context of how these assaults happen. They happen due to inequities of power and control. These creeps sidle up and play con games, or wait until a moment when the victim is incapacitated, or just intimidate their way into the abuse. No weapon is going to change that.

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Yeah the idea that a woman could shoot someone like Jeffrey Epstein or Donald Trump and walk away without facing serious consequences afterward seems pretty fanciful to me.

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Not even just ultra-rich and famous men, either. Cops. Mayors. Councilmen. Judges. Lawyers. Congresscritters. CEOs. Teachers. Professors. Any man with a modicum of localized power over others. Just this week, there was a story on here about a judge taking a rape victim to task for ruining the life of her rapist. How many times does that happen and we don’t hear about it, I wonder?

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Except this same argument fails when it’s applied to other classes of people.

“Carrying a gun just makes a cop’s job more dangerous because a criminal can take the gun away and use it against the cop.” That’s obviously a bullshit argument, but if you swap the word woman for cop suddenly it’s considered reasonable. It’s not about whether guns are useful for self defense, it’s about how some people are presumed to be competent and others are not.

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ISTR that’s the logic behind bobbies in Britland not carrying guns.

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It is a pretty well documented fact that people who own and carry handguns are statistically more likely to become victims of gun violence than people who don’t.

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Certainly somebody will show up to tell us about that time that they had their own gun pointed at them, if it’s the usual way guns are used.

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It’s not just about having one’s own gun used against them, though that’s certainly part of the risk. It’s also that being armed (and thus a threat) might well be the thing that prompts a mugger/rapist/cop to shoot someone they’d otherwise be inclined to let live.

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The game was rigged - and is getting more rigged.

Trump labor secretary who cut Epstein deal plans to slash funds for sex trafficking victims

Alexander Acosta, the US labor secretary under fire for having granted Jeffrey Epstein immunity from federal prosecution in 2008, after the billionaire was investigated for having run a child sex trafficking ring, is proposing 80% funding cuts for the government agency that combats child sex trafficking.

https://news.yahoo.com/labor-secretary-wants-slash-funding-050017218.html?soc_src=community&soc_trk=ma

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