Zerlina Maxwell – political analyst, aspiring attorney and rape survivor – suggested this week that we should stop talking about all the ways in which women can protect themselves against rape and instead focus on teaching men not to rape women. The Internet exploded.
She was making an appearance on Sean Hannity‘s Fox News show to discuss college students, guns and rape. Hannity was referencing a pretty insensitive comment made to a rape survivor who thought her chances of not being raped would have been better had she been allowed to carry a concealed weapon on her campus. Democratic Colorado state Sen. Evie Hudak told the survivor, “Statistics are not on your side even if you had a gun. And, chances are that if you would have had a gun, then he would have been able to get that from you and possibly use it against you.”
Of course, the general public and Conservatives especially are always so concerned with offending rape victims – so they jumped all over the Democrat’s statement. (I so wish there existed a sarcasm font). Zerina Maxwell addressed her statement on Hannity’s show. From Salon.com:
“I don’t think we need to be telling a rape survivor that statistics are not on your side. That’s insensitive.” But where she drew outrage was in her suggestion to Hannity that “I don’t think that we should be telling women anything. I think we should be telling men not to rape women and start the conversation there.” She told Hannity, “You’re talking about this as if it’s some faceless, nameless criminal, when a lot of times it’s someone you know and trust,” adding, “If you train men not to grow up to become rapists, you prevent rape.”
Well, that’s a novel idea. Actually act like rape is not the victim’s fault? The nerve of Maxwell to imply that perpetrators – the overwhelming percentage of them being men – should be educated about what is appropriate and inappropriate. It totally makes more sense to tell women to stop wearing high heels and walking alone at night than it does to teach young men that rape isn’t something they should be remotely considering.
The Blaze called her remarks “shocking” and “questionable.” Chicks on the Right said, “Zerlina is the one that owes an apology to rape victims, for implying that their rapes could have been prevented if only our society taught men that they shouldn’t rape.”
Um, what? What is so offensive about putting the onus of crimes predominantly committed by men in the hands of men?
The whole world has gone crazy when a very educated woman and a victim of rape herself can’t make a comment about rape without being attacked. Implying that men can’t be educated about reforming or preventing violent behavior assumes that they are mindless monsters. I think Zerlina’s argument gives more credit to men while supporting a woman’s right to not feel like a constant victim.
Of course, because the Internet is filled with horrible trolls, she is being attacked left and right for her statements. Well, I support you Zerlina. Thanks for being brave enough to stand up for women in a very hostile environment.